Our long-running Scrappy series of posts has reached the finish line so for this final Sunday of 2020 we’re showcasing our pick of this year’s Electric Quilt Doodles. Fresh Doodles will be arriving each month in 2021 – stay tuned!
There’s another free pattern over on Meadowside Designs today. This one is (so far) a virtual quilt courtesy of Electric Quilt.
Head over there to download the instructions and for more ideas on colour and design.
A slightly different take on scraps and scrappy this time – Barbara was reviewing her many “in progress” “not yet finished” “only ten years since it was started” projects and started thinking about using scraps of time. As in always having a small bag with handsewing within reach so you can put in a few stitches in those little scraps of time waiting for appointments, on the train, at the airport etc. And you can use other scraps of time at home to prepare patches, marking out, cutting out and pressing. EPP projects in particular are perfect for this approach and stitching on the move, keeping your hands occupied and your blood pressure down.
The blocks shown below were handpieced (not EPP) over the course of one year, mostly during one 2hour train journey most weeks. Cutting and marking pieces ( which were scraps from an earlier project) was squeezed into ten minutes here and there at home. The block is one Barbara knows as Antique Rose Star, and has since proved a very popular class. Still waiting for it’s final setting, this remains one of Barbara’s favourite “in progress” projects.
This week’s scrappiness is all wrapped up in one very small quilt. The inspiration came from a vintage “cheater” cloth used in an equally vintage quilt – just too good to ignore!
Chris drafted the pattern using our beloved Electric Quilt program (find out more at UKQU as well as the pattern links) and Barbara raided her scrap bag for the scraps needed to piece it. Look really closely and see how many different fabrics Barbara managed to put together to make this – probably more than you might think at first glance. One of the main themes of these Scrappy posts is that you can make almost any mix look good if you keep a balance and a style and you can see that here – many different repro shirtings and a mix of black and red prints with no two blocks being identical. Here’s another shot of the same piece basted ready for quilting –
Due to a lack of scrappy quilts in Chris’s cupboard this post is brought to you thanks to the wonders of Electric Quilt! One of our favourite blocks is the Ohio Star.
But on its own it isn’t very interesting turned into a quilt. And even if you do alternate colourings it still fails to excite that much, although it is much better. Adding sashing can improve things too.
But . . . what about scrappy stars? We seem to have a number of so-called orphan blocks left over from class and workshop demonstrations. What would they look like put into a quilt?
Perhaps sashing would help a bit – if you have enough bits in the scrap bag. Or an on-point setting maybe?
If you fancy making the block you can find some instructions for a 9inch one here.
Just a quick reminder – in case you have used up all your scraps and need more fabric – the grand Fabric Sale and Quilt Show is on this Sunday (Jan 19th) at Nantwich Civic Centre from 10am – 4pm.
Maybe see you there?
How amazing that this beautifully stitched piece was stitched by an 11year old!
Next, a little scrappy piece Barbara unearthed while searching for some other long-lost project. It just needs a little quilting so it has been put on the growing “to be quilted” pile.
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.
C&B Towers has shut down for a few days while the British winter does its worst – not the numbing polar blast our US friends are experiencing but grim enough that the best remedy is a steaming mug of coffee next to a warmed-up sewing machine and a nest of batting to keep out the draught.
At the Overseas Office however the sun is shining and the skies are blue….
We’ve both been very inspired by the Hannah Hauxwell quilts we talked about in our previous post. Chris has drafted templates for one of the quilts, Barbara has made test blocks and is now frantically rummaging through the Overseas Stash to find just the right fabrics to make some more. We’ve also revisited our extensive files of vintage quilts including some from the depths of The Cupboard at the Rural Office – we predict that several new patterns will be available before too long! Here’s a quick glimpse of just two of The Cupboard quilts –
Both of these quilts are particular favourites of ours – the first one starts at the centre with a 4inch block and then grows out in traditional frame style with very simple pieced borders; the second one is far more elaborate with a centre panel of pieced blocks and a series of pieced borders. We’ll show you some more of both quilts once Barbara returns to the Rural Office and rummages in The Cupboard.
And in other news, our Electric Quilt Doodles have been updated and you can download a colouring page here – feb doodle
It has been a hectic few weeks since we were enjoying the fabulous Corner Patch retreat – so much so that we missed our monthly deadline for updating the Electric Quilt doodle page and also our regular update post. In fact, we’ve been so busy that we can hardly remember what we’ve been doing, it’s all been rather a blur! – over at C&B Towers all activity has been restricted to early morning only in a bid to ‘beat the heat’ and the Rural Office has not fared much better. Various computer tech issues have reared their little heads, mostly in the shape of unasked for updates to Windows 10 – complete frustration all round. Barbara achieved her third annual Grand Tour teaching in Devon & Cornwall leaving Chris to start the planning for the next Corner Patch retreat (you can never start too soon!) Lots and lots of projects are being progressed from the ‘Just Begun’ pile to the ‘Halfway’ pile and the ‘Almost Done’ pile is gradually building up.
So, we hope you are having a good summer too and getting lots of stitching done. We thought you might like a quick re-run of a few of our favourite EQ doodles from previous years – back soon!