Chris has been quietly Getting Stuff Finished for a while now – winter at C&B Towers is always a productive quilty time. At the Rural Office things have been more chaotic than productive but there is a hint that Getting Stuff Finished may be on the way here too. Barbara has emptied out storage crates, drawers and cupboards, shuffled project bags, rummaged through (lots of) fabric, sorted cables and chargers for cameras and assorted technology, cleaned things, counted things and made any number of plans. Further Fabric Management is required in the coming weeks! There has been a count of WIPs (WorksinProgress) and the total is far too embarrassing to reveal, so quite a lot of prioritising needs to be done – here are just four examples of the many starts that are waiting to be finished.
Our online PopUp class in October was a great success, and there are vague rumours circulating the corridors of C&B Towers that there might be something similar in the spring. Kate sent us this pic of her finish from the day – we think it’s a stunner!
Myf’s finish was a triumph of calm, muted colours –
We particularly liked the addition of top and bottom borders of squares and the pieced binding – super stuff!
And it’s back to squares again for Barbara in her pursuit of all things scrappy. The JellyRoll strips which showed up unexpectedly a couple of posts ago turned out to be the trigger for a new scrappy handpiecing project. Strips have been turned into squares and squares have been added to a couple of mini Charm packs and everything thoroughly mixed up in a large bag. Simple 4patch blocks have been set out on a worktable and we await further developments – maybe more squares will be cut and added to the bag, maybe piecing will commence. No deadline has been set even though some of the fabrics show snowflakes and holly leaves – it will just be stitching without overthinking, perfect for this time of year when we all need to take just a little bit of time for ourselves.
We can’t believe it’s more than 12months since we started this series of Scrappy posts. Barbara was looking through her photos from the past year and was quite surprised at the number of scrappy projects she has started, worked on and taught during that time. We thought we’d share just a few of them – absolutely no prizes for guessing which ones remain at the “begun” stage!
Plenty of autumn and winter stitching in store!
Another Sunday and another scrappy idea for using up those strips. This is the classic Chinese Coins quilt – rows of strips sometimes separated by plain rows as here (or you could use a print)
or sometimes just rows of strips. The strips can be all the same width as above or you can use strips of different widths as in this example.
Whichever one you choose to make they are really quick and easy – join strips of the same length (you choose) together until you have a strip the length you want your quilt to be, Make more strips – as many as you want and either sew them together or sew them to alternate plain strips until the quilt is the width you want.
All you have to do then is quilt it! If you’ve used plain strips then you can treat it as a ‘strippy’ quilt and stitch a different border-type design in each strip or if its lots of strips, as in the second example, you can use an allover pattern or treat it as a wholecloth quilt and quilt it from the plain ‘back’.
Chris has been loving the pictures of Barbara’s hexagon ideas and vintage quilts, but . . . . they are all hand-pieced – which Barbara loves doing and Chris cannot get her head (or more importantly: hands) around.
But it is possible with a bit of thought to make hexagon-style quilts by machine without having to do those dreaded Y-seams. How? By splitting the hexagon into half or into triangles. Ann Jermey started Chris off with her quilt – Hidden Hexagons
There was also a craze for cutting up cushion panels and rearranging them – a sort of ‘stack and wack’ precursor – which led Chris to make this little wallhanging
There were probably six cushion panels to start with which were then cut into 60degree triangles which were arranged to make hexagon kaleidoscope-style designs with the remaining triangles filling in the gaps. You can see a little better from the close-up photos
Ann’s hexagons were made from strips split on a 60degree angle but you could just just make half hexagons and join them in strips to make a honeycomb-style quilt on the machine.
Making your hexagons from triangles however opens up all sorts of new design opportunities. Instead of joining the triangles into hexagons as you would if hand-piecing though you need to think and plan ahead – a design wall or pet-free floor helps here so you can lay all the pieces out – as you will be stitching row by row.
You can now make Tumbling Blocks
or even Tumbling Boxes by machine
You can see in the first picture that the gaps were filled with plain triangles, by the second and third ones these had been replaced with plain strips – much easier! The triangles for these last three quilts were also cut from pre-stripped fabrics too.
We’ve probably strayed a bit from ‘scrappy’ at this point because the Tumbling quilts do need quite large pieces of fabric rather than scraps, although the last one with only three boxes didn’t use much.
We’ll be back next Sunday with yet more scrappy ideas.
What else can you do with leftover strips from various projects – whether they are 2½ inches wide or any other width?
Chris had quite a lot of short lengths left over from her Autumnal Log Cabin quilt. Joined into pairs, one thin strip plus one fat strip and then cut into squares they could be arranged to make yet another pattern. Turning the small quilt they made on its point suddenly made it much bigger – the autumnal leaf fabric surrounding them was a lucky find. A few fabrics were auditioned as a narrow border between the leaf triangles and the pieced square but none of them looked as good as the square and leaf together with no border. A final wide border made a good sized wall-hanging from just a few left-over bits.
The same design was used with some left-over 2½ inch strips to make two cot quilts (or play mats) for twins. This time the strips were paired with white strips the same width. No fancy turning on point either, just a simple border and binding with a bit of stitch-in-the-ditch (ish) quilting. Download a free pattern for these cot quilts from our Free Patterns page.
Ann Jermey had a few strips and bits left over but of varying lengths. Her cunning plan was to join them together fairly randomly end to end and then trim to make long strips all the same length. Narrower strips of the same fabric were then placed between these pieced strips.
Finally lots of strips all the same width (but yours needn’t be) joined together and then cut to make (in this case) pieces that were 6½ x 8½ inches. A 2½ inch wide strip of white was then added to the bottom of each strip set to make them all 8½ inches square. And look what you could do with them. It’s proving too hard to come to a decision!
One idea we both had was to cut our scraps into 2½ inch wide strips. Barbara even went one step further and cut strips from all her fabrics. We have also been seduced by the handy packs of 2½ inch strips (a.k.a ‘jellyrolls’ etc) and each have a little selection of unopened as well as part used ones. But what to do with those strips and squares once you have them?
Here’s one idea from Chris which used 2 1/2 inch strips and squares but could be used with any size – providing they were all the same width.
You need a collection of leftover (or newly created from scraps) 2½ inch strips and squares in assorted colours and /or prints and in a contrast plain such as white/cream or navy/black/dark grey. The plains can be all different fabrics – they are in Chris’s quilt – but they need to be the same colour and value. The block will finish at 12 inches if you use 2 1/2 inch wide strips and squares.
Make 4-patch centres either by joining two strips and then cutting into 2½ inch slices, turning one slice and stitch together or by joining four 2½ inch squares. You can find out more on how to make these units here.
You need one of these units for each block.
Corner units are made by again either joining two strips and cutting into 2½ inch slices or joining two 2½ inch squares. These pairs of squares are then stitched to a 2½ x 4½ inch strip. Use a background strip with pairs of colour/print squares and a colour/print strip for pairs of background plus colour square. You will need two of each sort for a block.
Remaining units are 2½ x 4½ inch rectangles of background and colour/print stitched together.
You need four of these for each block.
Stitch the units together as shown – taking care with the placement of the background strips.
Stitch the rows together – reversing the bottom row – to complete the block.
Make as many blocks as you can or you feel like. Join them together to make a quilt top, or a runner, or a wall-hanging or . . .
Further strips can be used to construct a border.
You can find another free pattern to make two little quilts from left-over 2 1/2 inch strips on our Free Patterns page.
Or there is this quilt from our Payhip shop which uses 2 1/2 inch strips and squares.
Official announcement of our first pop up workshop!
Date: Saturday 27th July
Time: 10am – 4pm
Venue: Chairman’s Hall, Walton Community Centre, Stone, Staffs
Non-refundable deposit: £15 required with each booking
Print out a booking form here and return it with your deposit
There was a lot of disappointment that The Corner Patch Retreat had to be cancelled this year, a lot of disappointment that the date clashed with other activities, we were disappointed because we’d designed a sparkling new project. And so many folk have asked us for another Chris&Barbara Saturday workshop. So here’s your chance!!
Looking forward to 27th July!
All the festive stuff has been packed away and the corridors of C&B Towers have been swept clear of tinsel ready to be replaced with the usual random pins and bits of thread. Over at the Rural Office it’s a similar story but with added suitcases and project boxes – there’s a short visit to the Overseas Office in the offing and a healthy level of supplies needs to be maintained.
There are new doodles over on our Doodles page for you to scroll through plus a link there for a downloadable colouring page. The IT Department is working overtime on a number of changes and improvements to various aspects of our web presence – we’ll post updates here when work is complete.
A quick glimpse of a corner of Barbara’s desk – some EPP looks to be under way. Chris’s desk is too overloaded to take any pics – a large quilt is being finished so watch this space!
Keeping this post really short, more soon!