Saturday, December 2, 2023

Just the Beginning

Last month I shared the palette I'd pulled for a new project.

 I made up a handful of blocks right away. The first was this Four Corners block (all of these blocks will finish at 12").

Then I tried it out in blues.

Next I pieced four quarters that can be arranged in a variety of configurations. Each variant has its' own name of course. I don't have the brain power at the moment to recall which is which. 

I know one design is called Crowns.

Another might be Lost Ships.

There's probably another name but it escapes me at the moment. 

Care to take a guess which arrangement I decided to go with? 

Ta daa:

I may still make up another version, perhaps in blues again. Or even more than one! 

The last block I made is a variation of Aunt Sukey's Choice.

I'm planning to do at least one more of this one also. It's fun to play around with color and value placements to see how different the block looks from one to another. 

There are no specific plans at this point for how many blocks to make or how they will be set or anything like that. For now I'm just going to have fun trying out block designs and/or making some of my more favorite blocks. Well, I say for now but in reality it will probably be the new year before I return to this particular project. 😊

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Scrap Happy Day in November

 I needed something relative simple to sew recently. That led me to my collection of 3" wide strips. The strips are one of the things I cut from scraps and leftovers for blocks that go into my Parts Department. I use them to make 15" (finished) Scrappy Trips blocks. Once I got started I couldn't seem to stop!

I knew there were Scrappy Trips blocks in the Parts Dept. but I didn't think there were enough for a decent size quilt top. When I finally stopped and counted the new blocks and the old blocks I discovered I had enough to TWO quilt tops! 

My go-to size for a personal quilt is 60" x 80." That only requires twenty of these large blocks. But, it also leaves me at 75" in length. So I decided to add two more rows of scrap blocks to the first quilt top.

It was a bit of a struggle but I think I managed to keep the general pattern going. Doubtful anyone but a quilter would notice if I haven't succeeded. πŸ˜‰

For the second top I opted for a much easier solution to adding that extra five inches:

A whole cloth strip at both the bottom and the top edges. 😁

Now there are no more Scrappy Trips blocks in the Parts Dept. and I put a neglected leftover piece of fabric to good use. 

Scrap Happy Day is open to anyone who wants to recycle or upcycle or otherwise make something new out of scrap materials. We post on the 15th of each month in our various time zones. If you'd like to participate you can leave a comment on Kate or Gun's blogs. They are at the top of the link list and always worth a visit. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Moving Forward and Going Back in Time

It's time for a new quilt project. Something not made from the Parts Department or mere scraps. 

I have been collecting historical reproduction prints of late. Prints and colors that put me in mind of the last part of the 19th century and maybe into the beginning of the 20th. 

The three piles in the foreground are the most likely candidates for what I have in mind. Of course, it remains to be seen what actually works and what doesn't. I do like flying by the seat of my pants when it comes to this sort of thing. 

The next consideration is what to do with these fabrics. Which block or blocks? What type of setting, which will determine how many blocks I will need. I like to work intuitively, but a certain degree of planning is useful. 

At the beginning of October I put one of my Footsquare Freestyle (F2F) quilts on my bed for rather obvious reasons (if you live in the northern hemisphere). 

Under its' influence I have decided to make an assortment of 12" blocks. It may or may not turn out to be a typical sampler quilt with each block different from its' neighbor, but it will probably be sashed in the traditional way. Unless I get a brighter idea when the blocks are made. 

I'm going to avoid declaring a goal for regular output of blocks for this new quilt or any kind of deadline. I may make one a month or I may get started and not be able to stop! 

On another note, the second round of the Great Big Little Stitchery Swap has begun. I've committed to making and swapping eight 4" squares, putting them in the mail by 31 December. I made eleven squares in the first round. I may be able to make and swap a few more before the end of December but I didn't want to put pressure on myself what with the holidays and all. Hmm, I don't think I've shown you the squares I received in the first round of the swap. That's something to add to my To Do list. πŸ˜‰

Monday, October 30, 2023

Inspired by Halloween

I have finished a slow work in progress in time for Halloween and the Days of the Dead. I'm really pleased to have it finished and on display. It's hard to photograph because it's long and narrow, but here's the whole thing:

It's three inches wide and about 27 inches long (or tall). Here's a series of detail shots, working from the top to the bottom:

A spider charm and fly stitches above and feather stitching and some seed stitches below.

The skeleton is printed on ribbon. The cat is a charm, as is the ghost below.

I do enjoy feather stitching. And the fly stitches look like bats on the wing to me. 😁 

The undertaker print is from a Tim Holtz fabric.

There's a surprise hidden underneath that bit of wide lace. πŸ˜‰

I went over the major lines of the spider web with 12 wt Sulky thread to give it a bit more definition. There's more seed stitching in the background. 

You can't really tell in the photograph, but I put a tiny roll of batting underneath the skeletal hand to make it stand out a bit from the surface. 

The poison print is another from a Tim Holtz fabric. Not sure which line the scorpion came from.

I have another slow stitch Halloween project in the works but it's far from finished at this point. Maybe next year! πŸŽƒ

Sunday, October 15, 2023

Scrap Happy in October

 I feel like I should have something seasonal to share for Scrap Happy Day but, I don't. Instead I have another quilt top created from the Parts Department. Frankly, my sewing mojo has been pretty weak of late. Parts Department to the rescue! 

I pulled these 48 postage stamp stars out to see what I could do with them. 

I spent some time arranging and rearranging to try to get an even distribution of colors and such. I knew I didn't want to mash them all together the way they are on the design wall in this picture, although that was an option. While there are tiny pieces of whimsical or juvenile prints in the stars this seemed more like an adult's quilt in the making. Choosing a single color to use as sashing was a challenge. Then I remembered a paisley print I'd been given specifically to be used in donation quilts. Oddly enough, even though it looked like a busy print, it worked!

The paisley has a dark blue background, and the other colors in the print can be found in quite a few of the stars.

Most of the stars have 16 patch centers. Three of them have these Broken Dishes in the middle of the star. They were created from half-square triangles that finish at one inch. I don't think I'll be doing much of that in the future. There are an awful lot of seams in the center of that block. James will probably end up quilting around the center, but it does make for a bulkier block than even the 16 patch centers. 

I "pre-sashed" the blocks by adding a 2" strip (finished) to one side and the bottom of each block. That brought the blocks up from 8" to ten inches each. Once I had the blocks sewn into rows and the rows sewn to each other all I had to do was add a 2" strip to the top and one side of the flimsy for a finished quilt top. 

It could use another, wider, border but I'm going to stop it here and finish it with a dark binding, probably dark blue. It will be about 50" wide and 60" long when it's completed. To me that seems a good size for the destination I have in mind for this quilt. 

Scrap Happy Day is a blog hop hosted by Kate in Australia and Gun in Sweden. They are at the top of the link list below. The idea is to make something new out of recycled materials or the scraps left over from a previous project and then share your creation on the 15th of each month. If you'd like to join in leave a comment on either Kate's or Gun's blog. 😊