procrastination, Projects

Random progress

We’ve both made an effort this year to finish things up or at least progress them. Of the two of us Chris has probably had a higher success rating but during the year we have both turned scraps into blocks, random blocks into tops and some tops into quilts. Barbara has counted up an embarassingly large number of long-term projects still not completed and made some progress on moving several of them on to the next phase, whatever that may be.

Very little chance of being without “something to do” -!!

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colouring in, Free patterns, Inspiration, possibilities, scraps

Meadowside blocks

One of the blocks featured recently over on our Meadowside Designs blog was one called Thrifty – rather appropriate we felt in these times. It’s very simple – just lots of squares.

But you can make some interesting quilt designs with it by changing the lights and darks around

Then we thought what happens if you combine the 6 inch block from Meadowside with a 12 inch block? We called it Double Thrifty!

You can download the rotary cutting instructions for a 12 inch block here, for a 6 inch block from Meadowside Designs here and a Double Thrifty quilt to colour in and play with here.

Once you start moving the lights and darks around in a quilt design it gets very interesting indeed! As each Double Thrifty block is 24 inches you have a big quilt in no time at all. Here the quilts are set 3 x 3 instead of 4 x 4 (so 72 inches square instead of 96 inches) without borders.

To be very thrifty remember that you don’t have to use all the same fabrics throughout, just the same colours (more or less), so it worth hunting through the scrap bags to see what you can find.

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Random is not easy

Quite some time ago we ran a series of Scrappy Sunday posts which stirred a lot of interest, and one of the recurring themes we discussed at HQ was how challenging it was for so many of us to work in a truly scrappy or random style. Barbara was reminded of these conversations when she decided to use up some hexagons left over from another project. The aim of using up the hexagons was to make a piece of fabric that could then be used to make a bag or some such useful object. This was as random an arrangement as could be managed! –

Hexagons still have a somewhat retro feel for us – they remind us very much of our start in patchwork back in the dim and distant past. How much has changed since we began!!

Electric Quilt, Scrappy Sunday, scraps

December Scrappy Doodles

Our December block is the deceptively simple Hourglass. Over on the Doodles page you can see some ideas in greyscale but over here we’re all about scraps – which can change the look of the quilts quite dramatically.

First – here’s the block as conventionally coloured and then using scraps with a different colour placement

What happens when we use scraps to make a quilt? First – rainbow colours on a white ground using the same colour placement as the first block above

These next three quilts use the colour placement of the second block

But, as it is now December, what does the quilt look like in the traditional red, green and white and using our Christmas scraps? This might give you an idea

You can download a quilt to colour here.

possibilities, Scrappy Sunday, scraps

Scrappy Sundays – Stars

Is it too soon to mention December 25th? Chris has been rummaging in the cupboards of C&B Towers and come across a set of table mats made some (oh dear – just done the sums!) 30 years ago for parents’ Ruby Wedding and for Christmas that year – parents got married at Christmas (foolish time of year according to mother many years later).

Enough rambling – today’s theme for Scrappy Sundays is Stars and quite fortuitously several of those mats feature star blocks. There’s loads of star patterns out there and what better for using up scraps than a few star blocks? And if you can use up scrap Christmas fabrics and decorate your table too?!

These were just simple 12 inch blocks quilted in the ditch and bound. They’ve been washed every year too – and still they have gravy stains.

But you could make a slightly more sophisticated style – border a block on two sides for instance and add a bit of fancy quilting before binding.

So why not give it a go? There’s plenty of time – for next year!

colouring in, Electric Quilt, Free patterns, Scrappy Sunday

Scrappy Sundays – EQ Doodles

November already and time for a new EQ Doodle post. Our block this month is based on an eight-pointed star and is called Checked X. Have a look on the Doodles page for lots of ideas for using this block in a quilt.

Over here on Scrappy Sunday we need to look at the quilt made with scraps – and in fact it does seem to work. This is just a straightforward 4 x 4 block setting. If you want to colour a quilt, or design your own then you can download a quilt to colour here; and if you want to make a block, or even a quilt, you can download the templates to make a 12 inch block here.

Scrappy Sunday, scraps

Scrappy Sundays – Squares

Squares are one thing that seem to accumulate in the scrap bag, or else packs of charm squares are purchased for some reason which is then forgotten. But we have a cunning plan for those squares.

First you need a collection of squares that are the same size – 3 inches or slightly larger seems to be about right, but perhaps no bigger than 8 (when they cease to be ‘scraps’ anyway are become ‘useful’!). Add to those a selection of background scraps – background means a fabric (or fabrics) that contrast well with the main fabrics, so usually dark or very light.

Place a background scrap across a corner of a square, right sides together, and stitch – the background should cover the corner of the square when folded back. Repeat for all four corners and you should end up with something that looks like this

Make lots of these, changing the angles of the backgrounds as you go, and then join them together into a quilt. You will get four-pointed star shapes appearing where the blocks meet.

Play with the colours – you may prefer to use squares of background with coloured scraps in the corners which will give you lots of blank space for quilting. . . ?

Electric Quilt, Free patterns, Scrappy Sunday, scraps

Scrappy Sunday Doodles

The October EQ Doodles are up and its time to look at scrappy versions. But first here’s the Rolling Crosses block with some colour – the original block could look like this

or if you swap the colours of the inner triangles you get windmills instead of crosses.

Put into quilts they would look like these.

But what happens when we make them from scraps? First of all are sixteen blocks and each is different

Suppose we make the outer triangles the same colour? You then get pinwheels forming where the four blocks meet. The dark version

looks quite different from the light version.

If you want to have a go at making this block you can download templates for a 6inch block or for a 12 inch block. And if you just fancy a spot of colouring-in then you can download a quilt to colour.

Piecing, possibilities, Scrappy Sunday, scraps

Scrappy Sunday

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’.

colouring in, Electric Quilt, possibilities, Scrappy Sunday, scraps

Scrappy Sunday – EQ Doodle

Its time to look at our September EQ Doodle and magically turn it from greyscale to glorious scrappy technicolor. Our block this month is Drunkards’ Pinwheel (download the templates to make 3inch units here) which in colour could look like this

Or you could use different shades of the same colours

or you could use lots of colour (or scraps!)

And then put them into quilts

You can download a quilt to colour here – print it out, chop it up, re-arrange it, colour it in, have fun playing with ideas and no fabric will be harmed!