Scrappy Sunday doodles

Hopefully by now technology has been playing nicely (for a change) and the January Doodles are up on our doodles page. We thought we would introduce a new element to our Scrappy Sunday posts by adding in a scrappy version of the monthly doodle.

This month’s doodle is based on eight-pointed stars and the two blocks turned into a quilt might look like this –

jan blues a

But if we change those controlled blues to lots of blues and put them into a quilt then we could get something like this

Jan doodle blues a

Not very different but (possibly) more interesting.

Or we could go mad and use up lots of scraps from our scrap sacks and we might end up with something like this.

jan doodle multi b

A bit riotous? But using the same background fabric tames them a bit. Or you can try the third way . . . a more controlled palette than the multi-coloured one but add a little more colour into the blues.

jan blue and pink

You can download a doodle to colour here. And if you fancy making the quilt – or just a couple of 12 inch blocks – then you can download the templates for the Le Moyne Star here and the Four Stars block here.

Scrappy Sundays with Young Quilters

We know you are all busy at this time of year but Chris has been searching her archive of Young Quilter patterns for things that are quick and easy to make and can be adapted for children of various ages – which may (or may not, of course) keep them occupied for a few precious minutes.

Way outside Chris’s comfort zone of machine patchwork these involve hand stitching and are based on that perennial old favourite – the Suffolk Puff. Remember you don’t have to use your fabric scraps for these if working with young children – felt works well too and doesn’t require turning under a seam.

Grab some scraps and get started. First up is a Suffolk Puff wreath – you can stuff them with wadding or leave them flat. Draw round anything circular from a cup to a dinner plate to make the initial template. The photos are of ‘works-in-progress’ as the finished articles have long since vanished along with the their photos.

Or you can make trees

tree layout

You can, of course, make different sizes of SP and pile them one on top of the other from largest to smallest to make a 3D tree – photos of this idea have also long since disappeared along with the tree!

Lots of these Suffolk Puffs can be joined in a long string to make a garland – add in different sizes for variety, or stitch (staple?) them to a ribbon with perhaps beads threaded in between . . . ?

The there is the felt Christmas Pudding (looking a bit blurry, but you get the idea)

complete pudding a

And Christmas Bells (although these are circles not ‘Puffs’)

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You can find patterns for these and more free to download on our sister site – Meadowside Designs.

And if you have scrap wadding why not turn the larger pieces into snowmen – decorate them (with felt, fabric or pen) and stitch several together to make a ‘garland’, or just hang from the tree. You can download a snowman template here or you can download more YQ ideas here  – the snowman is included in this project booklet (and apologies, I have just realised that a couple of pages have been repeated).

Let your imagination (or that of the children) run riot – keep calm and carry on stitching!

Scrappy Sunday

It seems to be December already. Again! So I suppose the Scrappy Sundays ought to look at using up some of those red, green and white scraps that we will have accumulated. Chris was playing with these when making the braid strips the other week but if we go back another couple of weeks there were Christmassy (oops, said the C word) scraps used in some of the Dresden Plate blocks.

These may (or may not) be destined to be turned into a runner or table mats at some unspecified time in the (distant) future.

But the Dresden Plate can be turned into other useful things at this time of year. Such as a wreath

Dresden wreath 2Dresden wreath

or a tree skirt

Dresden mini tree skirtDresden tree skirt

The big one is still lacking its ribbon – and may well continue to lack its ribbon!

If you would like a guide/pattern to making either of these you can download it here.

Scrappy Sundays – Braid

Strips and hexagons again this week – but not at the same time. Braid is an excellent way to use up left over strips, particularly those of different widths. Chris was demonstrating this at the weekend’s quilt show in Eccleshall. Starting with a triangle (these ones cut from 5 inch squares as they were available) it involves sewing strips to alternate sides of that triangle and trimming as you go. Chris had a bag of assorted green strips and a bag of assorted red strips beside her and just picked from each bag in turn and at random. To get the chevron effect half the triangles were started with the green on the left hand side and half with it on the right.

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These sections were cut to the width and length of the ruler available on the day, which was a small one, but you can make your strips any length or width you like – the width is determined largely by the size of triangle you start with. If you make your strip really long (bed length) you may find it starts to bend like a banana by the time it gets beyond 4 foot – take care with the pressing to try to correct this; also, with luck, when you join all your bendy long strips together you can fudge/block (in extremis – dampen it slightly, pin it to the carpet so it is square and straight, leave it to dry) the whole thing straight!

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You can be a little more ordered with your braid and cut all the strips the same width to start with.

block c

quilt 1

You can piece the strips with contrast fabrics.

block d

quilt 11

quilt 6

You can add squares to the ends of one set of strips so they travel along the centre of the braid.

block b

quilt 2

You could make the strips on one side of the braid an equal width and the strips on the other side alternate wide and narrow and light and dark.

quilt 7

quilt 8

When you put the strips together you could separate sections with plain ‘sashing’.

You could make very ordered (in terms of colour and width) braid strips which can give a totally different look.

quilt 9quilt 10

But didn’t someone say ‘hexagons?

Yes, you can make braid strips with these! They do need to be the same size, and actually they are half-hexagons . . . . but  . . . !

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These ones were cut from jelly roll strips, so there’s another way to use them up.

And if you fancy (or have to) use completely random strips in a variety of colours? Try to use darks on one side and lights on the other if you can.

And those pieces Chris was making last weekend – they may end up as a runner a bit like this

runner

Scrappy Dresden Plates

If ever a block called out for scraps it has to be the Dresden Plate in all its guises. Each petal only uses a tiny piece of fabric (especially when making 6 inch blocks) and they can all be different. Even when you use the same fabric more than once in a block you still won’t need a huge piece. Here’s one Chris made earlier (although it has to be said – Barbara did the hand applique!)

dresden spring

The blocks are six inch squares and have the same orange fabric for the centres but the petals are scraps of blues or yellows.

Another tiny one waiting to be finished (at some unspecified time in the distant future) is this little yellow scrappy one – lots more petals and pointed ones this time

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but note that it has quite a large centre circle (or it will have one day).

You can use fabric strips to cut your petals from – these were jelly roll strips but any scrap strips will do. This block is about 16 inches square.

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Who says your centre has to be a circle? Here are a couple of examples from Chris’s students

You can have a lot of fun changing the size of the centre, or the size and shape of the petals as you can see from these other examples from students work

Normally when making a Dresden Plate you stitch the petals into pairs then the pairs together as you build up the units until you just have two halves to join – and hope it all lies flat – as in these two examples.

But you can ‘cheat’ and use fusible web with satin or zig-zag stitch instead

Fancy Dresden Plate 3aIMG_9685

and, if you have a large enough scrap you can even ‘fussy cut’ some of the petals and/or the centre.

Over on our sister blog Meadowside Designs there is a whole series running on different Dresden Plate designs – they are all 16-petal ones and you can download the templates to make 12 inch blocks. Pop over there, have a read – its been running for a couple of months now so scroll through to find all the posts – and follow the links to the tutorials and the templates.

Scrappy Sundays – machine hexagons

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

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

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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

half hexagonsAnn’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

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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.

Scrappy Sundays – more triangles

Barbara has branched out into other shapes and her collection of vintage quilts. Chris meanwhile is still playing with half-square triangles and Electric Quilt. This hasn’t been helped by Ann Jermey giving a talk on her quilts the other night – many of which featured scraps, and triangles in particular. She even made a quilt featuring different ways to put triangles together –

 

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So Chris came home and played around with EQ and some triangles, turning them this way and that, adding squares in or not . . .

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But these triangles have also been a feature of recent quilts. The other week at The Corner Patch Chris was teaching Roman Stripe – and what is it but half-square triangles. One half of the square is pieced with diagonal strips and the other is a ‘plain’ triangle. Just like the simple HST units these blocks can be put together in a variety of ways with or without plain squares and will create interesting designs.  Note that you can cheat and use a striped fabric instead of creating your own from strips.

By the way – the pattern for the Roman Stripe quilt used during the workshop is available from the Meadowside Pattern Store.

Another quilt Chris has been completing is one started several years ago when demonstrating ideas for 2 1/2 inch strips. These batik strips were paired with a white on white print. The problem was choosing a setting.

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You can cut up 10 inch (or other size) squares, join them back together in a random sort of way and then pair those resulting squares with a plain one to make HST units as well.

In fact the possibilities are a bit endless.

And so we leave you with another couple of Ann’s quilts . . . .

. . . . the first is just ordinary half-square triangles but sorted into colour families and arranged to make stars across the quilt (sorry its not a brilliant photo but I had to snatch an opportunity after the talk)

 

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This last one is another take on the strips plus plain triangle –

 

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More scrappy quilts and ideas next week.

PS We will play around with ‘crumb’ quilting and ‘improv’ piecing in future posts but we’d just like to point you to a blog with instructions for making crumb blocks using your scraps which will then go to the charity Siblings Together. Read all about it here.