Monday, April 12, 2021

Parts Dept. to the Rescue

We have two nieces who were expecting babies this year. One child has already arrived, the other is due in a couple of months. I hadn't done a thing in preparation to welcome these new arrivals when the first baby came into the world at the end of March.  Fortunately, things timed out well for me in terms of my health, etc. I pulled a piece out of my fabric stash that I thought was a panel print. It turned out to be a wide border of these darling sheep along one selvedge edge with clouds floating in a blue sky for the remainder of the width of fabric.

I cut the fabric into as many 8.5" squares as I could, then went to my Parts Department to see what I could use for alternate blocks. The postage stamp stars were the best fit. There weren't quite enough of the cloud squares to fill out the 5 x 6 grid I'd created so I had to find something else to fill in the empty spots.

This print was whimsical but spoke too loudly. (The colors looked better together in person than they do in the photograph.) After another rummage through the stacks of green in my collection I found a stylized leaf print that seemed to work. 

It's a quieter print, more in keeping with the clouds. The next step was to add borders of some sort. I considered piano keys in an assortment of blues and greens but didn't have the energy to follow through on that plan. In the end I decided on a one inch frame of the small leaf print and a three inch (finished) final border of larger acanthus-type leaves. 

I even had enough of that blue print to cut the strips according to the direction of the print!

The next trick will be to find sufficient yardage or appropriate colors and prints to build a back. This is not a large quilt, roughly 48" x 56" when finished, but my supply of larger pieces of fabric has been dwindling and not replenished. You never know what will turn up though!

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Nibbling Away at the Parts Department

 A couple of months ago, as you may or may not remember, I pulled a bunch of my 6" scrappy Barn Door blocks out of the Parts Dept. and began to build a quilt out out them. I managed to get 88 blocks sewn into rows using donated fabric for sashing. 

But once the rows were assembled I could go no further. Last week I finally felt like tackling the job of inserting more sashing between the rows to complete the top. 

It turned out to be sort of an odd size to my way of thinking, 62" s 84." Not quite the right dimensions for a twin bed. It also seemed to be crying out for a solid or tonal dark blue border. That would have made it closer to a twin size too. Unfortunately, I couldn't find anything in my stash that would work. Nor was I up for fabric shopping. Our guild's stash didn't appear to have anything appropriate either. So it is what it is. When the paisley I used for the sashing was donated I also received sufficient yardage of a quiet print that worked really well for the back. All it needs now is to be quilted! 

Since my last post I've also made a pair of potholders out of the Parts Department. I was in such a hurry to send them on their way that I forgot to take pictures. I was able to use eight 4" (finished) crumb blocks for the fronts, four for each potholder, and 8" orphan blocks for the backs. They used up some scrap batting too. 😊 Now I'm going to have to start something else to have ready for Scrap Happy Day on the 15th!

Tuesday, March 30, 2021


Remember that neutral print scroll I showed you recently?

I sort of got stuck after a while, as you do, and started another scroll. That one is nearly complete - but I'm not going to show it to you yet. One thing at a time! The happy news is that I've picked this one up and started working on it again.

First, I used the technique I just learned for making hexagons out of folded circles to make a few hexies that may or may not go on this scroll. I've done some additional stitching too, only some of which is very visible.

Those triangles are part of the selvedge edge of what may be the last section of this scroll. It hasn't been stitched down yet. That will either be the last piece of this scroll or I will have to add to the batting strip I'm using as a foundation for my stitching. 

On another front, with the return of some sunshine to our part of the world I'm finding myself thinking about making quilts again. I haven't done anything more than just think about it yet but it's a step in the right direction which makes me feel better overall. James has made a quilt though. 😁

He'd come across a couple of map prints he really liked last year but couldn't figure out what to do with them until he decided he needed a new quilt for his bed. Then he looked for a block/quilt pattern he liked and settled on this Storm at Sea design. It's only the second quilt he's made that was primarily pieced. Of course he did his own quilting (which doesn't show up unfortunately but is pretty basic). He used a cotton sheet for the back. The binding was machine applied but sewn down by hand, by him. This came together over the space of about a week once he'd decided what he was going to do. There were some mis-cuts along the way but it sounds like the process went as smoothly as one could expect. You would be right in assuming I'm one proud mama. 😊

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Tags Nine and Ten

 I actually got all caught up with the #52tags project during week ten! If I hurry up and get this week's tag made I'll still be all caught up. 😉

The prompt for week nine was "bits and pieces and a gift." 

I used some strips that seemed to have nowhere else to be, and a  scrap of cheesecloth. Then I tied on the large button. It came out of the gallon bag of vintage buttons my SIL sent to me from her friend's parent's clear-out. The strips of fabric hang free, like fringe. 

Week ten was to include a Suffolk puff (or yo-yo) and a bit of lace. Some folks enjoy making Suffolk puffs and went nuts on their tags. I put one on mine. 

I found a circle of lace I'd made some years ago that worked beautifully under my yo-yo. It's basically a strip of lace sewn up the way a Suffolk puff is. I used beads and sequins to fill the hole in the center of the puff. A few pistil stitches in the corners to hold the layers together and I was done! Sometimes it's best not to over-think things. 😁

I've also been stitching away on my scrolls. There are now four of them in various stages of construction. (There were only three when I wrote my last post!) I wish it were easier for me to photograph them so you could see a whole strip in one picture. Hopefully you'll be able to piece the separate photos together in your mind's eye. These more recent scrolls are only about 24" long; my first ones were longer. Still, 24" is too long to get in one photograph close enough for you to see anything in detail, more's the pity.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

A Change in Perspective

 Kate mentioned in a comment on my Scrap Happy Day post that she'd been missing the quilt making content that was the focus of this blog for so long. I have to admit I haven't been entirely comfortable with the void either. Except there really hasn't been that big a void, just a change of direction. Miniaturization, if you will. Aside from the ATC's I've been making in conjunction with Anne Brooke's #52tags project I've been starting new stitch wraps/scrolls. I'm not going to show you everything in this post but I will share the most recent start because it has been the catalyst for that change in perspective in the title of this post. 

I've been cutting 2.5" strips of scrap batting into 24 - 30" lengths, then laying my smallest scraps on top and stitching them in place by hand, mostly with size 12 Perle cotton threads and a small roster of embroidery stitches. In the section above I used some of the piecing leftover from the Ugly Fabric challenge (Scrap Happy Day post) in addition to leftover scrap bits. 

I'm learning to embrace raw edges. My new perspective is that this process is basically improvisational hand piecing and hand quilting. It's sort of a modern take on crazy quilting as well since my intention is to gussy up this foundation layer with embellishments later on. 

At the moment I have three of these scrolls started. I have to come up with a way to name them so I can refer to each one individually. So far none have much of a theme established. Well, one does. It's going to be a macabre bell pull. 😉 Do cross stitchers still make bell pulls? It was a popular project back in the day. I'm not sure what will become of these scrolls as I complete them. They won't be useful in the way a quilt is (or can be) but they are serving a definite purpose in my world right now!