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.
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.
Over at the Rural Office the focus is still on squares but there are signs that half square triangles may enter the picture in the near future. A week before everything came to a halt Barbara had cut a bag of 2 1/2inch squares and we’ve shown some of the blocks that have grown out of that bag in previous posts. The bag is now greatly diminished but proved a handy starting point to lay out some reference pics for an informal online challenge with a group of indefatigable hand stitching students.
Here’s the original greyscale plan for a small (18inches square) quilt top –
And here’s a glimpse of Barbara’s progress so far – just 2 blocks to finish and then choose sashing and borders –
A further progress report in a future Scrappy Sunday post – happy stitching!