An almost momentous event this week at the Overseas Office – various bags of scraps were emptied onto the worktable with the aim of sorting and reducing the heaps and making them more manageable.
Resisting the urge to press everything -!! – Barbara spent a happy hour or so straightening and sorting ALL this jumble into categories.
Category 1 – Far too small to be of any use to anyone.
Category 1a – Small weird shapes, 1inch or more
Category 2 – Very narrow strips, any length
Category 3 – Less narrow strips, any length
Category 4 – Slightly wider strips, any length
Category 5 – Wider strips and chunks
Category 1 is covered by scissors, Category 1a is to the right, Categories 2 – 5 middle and above.
Categories 1 and 1a have been combined and are off to a good home with another quilter who collects improbably tiny scraps. The rest have fitted neatly into one medium ziplock bag –
Overall result of this sorting and organising is that it makes room for more fabric! It may be time for a little online retail therapy…..
Sometimes you can overlook the obvious – take a look at Barbara’s worktable at the Rural Office
Concealing the crates that are stowed under the table is a very well worn scrappy quilt placed face down. The quilting on this vintage piece is fabulously random and bears no relation to the simple large squares of varying weight fabrics that have been pieced together –
An excellent reminder that quilts don’t have to be complex or complicated to be useful and treasured – simple scraps simply pieced and simply quilted = great result.
Much rummaging deep in The Cupboard at the Rural Office this week and this gloriously scrappy (and pink) quilt top came to the top of one of the quilt stacks. Hand pieced with fabrics dating from 1860 onwards we think this would be a great scrap project to remake in contemporary fabrics and you can find a pattern over at our Heritage Quilts Payhip Shop.
Hard to believe that July is slipping away and it’s almost time to tidy and close The Cupboard and transfer to the Overseas Office for a while. But Scrappy Sundays will continue – see you next week!
Scrappy Sunday takes on a vintage air today as we announce the release of another pattern in our Heritage Quilts series. The original quilt is tucked up in The Cupboard over at the Rural Office and is in quite a delicate condition so it’s great to be able to share it in pattern form at least. Very much a scrappy quilt, handpieced (without papers) and handquilted, very well-worn and washed there is still considerable charm to the small Rolling Star blocks which are made from a wide variety of 1930s prints.
This Rolling Star quilt pattern is available via our Heritage Quilts shop on Payhip.
Barbara was the official Template Tester for this pattern and managed to rustle up three scrappy blocks with scrappy sashing and borders to make a mini table mat –
Double Pyramid is the name Jan Halgrimson gives to this wonderfully scrappy block (Great Scrapbag Quilts, p28). Building real pyramids from tiny half square triangles would be impossible, but it’s a really handsome block and a great way to make a dent in your scraps.
To make one 12inch block you need: 3 squares 4 1/2inches, 3 squares 4 7/8inches cut once on the diagonal to yield 6 half square triangles, 36 half square triangle units (72 triangles), 24 half square triangles. For triangles cut 1 7/8inch squares and cut once on the diagonal. Or cut 2inch squares, cut once on diagonal and trim if necessary once stitched.
We’re not going to do the math to work out how many pieces would be needed for a 4x4block quilt (48inches square without sashing or borders) – we know it’s a LOT! but here’s a couple of virtual quilts to show you the effect –
So we’re off to cut scraps into strips, strips into squares and pair squares to make half square triangle units – we may be some time!
It’s not a finish but it’s a top! The scrappy Friendship Star/Nine Patch blocks Barbara made are sashed and bordered and moved to the “await quilting” pile. This was a really quick make and a great side adventure using some of those 2 1/2inch squares that were cut at the beginning of March.
It looks like we are going to turn our attention away from squares for a while. We’ve had a few high-level virtual consultations over the last week (HQ of course is closed at the moment so everything has been screen to screen and bring your own caffeine..) and we think it might be time to feature traditional blocks which work well with scraps. One of our go-to references for scrappy and traditional is “Great Scrap Bag Quilts” by Jan Halgrimson – here’s the sideways version
We’ve mentioned Jan’s books in earlier scrappy posts – our copies are VERY well thumbed and have been a source of much inspiration over the years. Here’s a peep at one page (P.85) which caught our eye – the block is Scrap Bag Star.
This is a 12inch block and we are trying not to focus too much on that instruction that says “cut 24 light, 84 dark” – that’s a LOT of pieces for a 12inch block! But it would make a reasonable dent in a stack of very small scraps …. The lovely thing about the early books of patchwork patterns is that they are black & white only and you can use your imagination to put colour in them. And the equally lovely thing is that we now have EQ8 (and its predecessors) to draw, colour and make virtual quilts with these blocks. Here’s our first EQ8 stab at Scrap Bag Star –
Then it’s hard to resist clicking on the random recolour tool –
We’re off to get more scrappy inspiration from Ms Halgrimson – tune in next week for June’s EQ Doodles, Free Pattern Friday and more scrappiness on Sunday.
… but we’re not convinced. This year is rushing by and we think someone has forgotten to include spring in the plans. The Rural Office is surrounded by tall meadow rather than lawn as it has been too wet to mow, days of strong cold wind at the Overseas Office and all staff at C&B Towers have been issued with new raincoats and wellingtons.
Chris did manage to escape and take a few days to enjoy gardens and tulips –
Somewhere in her travels Chris managed to pick up a mystery virus which has confined her to C&B Towers for several days – we’re hoping that it will disappear as quickly as it arrived.
Meanwhile, at the Overseas Office, Barbara spotted a new resident –
- a little stitching has been achieved –
And the most neglected sewing machine ever was spotted in a reclamation yard –
This is probably a timely reminder for us to clean out and oil all our machines and give them an appreciative pat!
Our Electric Quilt Doodles for this month are mega simple, so no downloadable pdf – but do click over and take a look at our May offerings.
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If it’s February it must be just a bit nearer longer days and shorter nights and maybe better light to sew by (although it goes without saying that our sewing spaces are wonderfully illuminated with the very best of task lighting….).
Chris has had such a busy start to the year with a full schedule of classes at The Corner Patch – not that much humming of sewing machines over at C&B Towers, just the whirr and clatter of the printing press as worksheets are put together.
From the Overseas Office there are reports of lots of silent sewing/quilting but very little pictorial evidence so far. However, you will note that certain C&B traditions are being upheld –
In other news our Electric Quilt Doodles page has been updated for the month – why not click over and take a look? And download the colouring sheet for a quiet coffee break.
The December EQ doodles have arrived even if Father Christmas hasn’t yet. However we have brought you a bumper colouring pack this month rather than just a sheet. You can download it here. As ever you can print it off as many times as you like, cut it up and re-arrange the blocks to make your quilt designs and generally have fun (in between wrapping presents, basting the turkey, peeling sprouts . . . .).
In breaking news (drum roll) one of our Minton tile patterns will be in the January issue of British Patchwork and Quilting magazine due out mid-December. This one was based on a tiled floor in Uttoxeter and is double bed size.
(Barbara thinks this is one really smart quilt that would look great in any colour way and is thrilled that yet another of Chris’s quilts will appear in print. )
Looking ahead to next year –
News reaches us from the Overseas Office that Barbara is planning a Hand Stitching Retreat there in May 2018 – you’ll find an email link for further info on her website and blog.
Chris has an exceptionally full programme of classes throughout 2018 at The Corner Patch – Block of the Month, Technique of the Month and more besides – details and pics on The Corner Patch website.
Barbara will be deserting the Overseas Office in March, June and October for a mini series of hand stitching classes at The Corner Patch – dates have been fixed and the samples almost finished.
We are also looking forward to being a part of The Corner Patch’s first quilting retreat in June – this will be one event not to be missed!
So, busy times ahead – in the meantime all the staff at C&B Towers, the Rural Office and the Overseas Office wish you a merry Christmas and an excellent New Year.
Extra high activity levels at C&B Towers and the Rural Office – a full schedule of classes at The Corner Patch and all the preparation and packing/unpacking that involves, plus intensive gardening duties at both locations. The English summer has been sufficiently watery to promote lots of lovely lush hedge, shrub and tree growth, all of which requires putting into good shape before the winter. Old fruit trees have unexpectedly broken and fallen in the strong winds and generally there is a LOT of very serous tidying to do. The sort of tidying that involves filling many bags with garden waste and making lots of trips to dispose of same. So stitching has taken a little bit of a back seat and it was with some horror that we realised October had started without a new set of EQ Doodles. And no time to do a lovely new collection. But, if you click over to our Doodles page you will find that we have posted some selected doodles from previous Octobers so you won’t be totally lacking for seasonal inspiration. And, just for good measure here are a couple of doodles in sort of seasonal colouring –
But we have done a Doodle Colouring page that has nothing to do with any of the above quilts – you’re on your own. You can download it here and we can tell you that it contains two different Autumn Leaf blocks and one called Autumn Tints Around. So find those brown, red, orange, yellow (and even green) pencils and enjoy a quiet five minutes of autumnal colouring.