Tuesday, May 19, 2020

If At First You Don't Suceed

I've been putting the finishing touches on several quilts of late. I think you've seen nearly all of them. I haven't been particularly motivated to begin anything new up 'til now either. Even though I'm stuck at home most of the time anyway the pandemic seems to have taken its' toll on me like everyone else. Happily, it feels like at least some degree of patchwork mojo has returned.

I'd run out of the parts for the scrappy blocks I generally sew between seams or when I need to jump start the process again. I do have a basket of 2" (raw) scrap strips that I sew end-to-end to make the rows for Lego blocks though. I sewed up a few of those to make the blocks you saw in the previous post for Scrap Happy Day. A comment Kate made on that post prompted me to dig out other completed Lego blocks to see how many there were altogether. Seventeen. More than enough for some applications, not quite enough for others. My first inclination was to see what I could do with just four of them. I decided to use them as the starting point for another medallion style quilt top.

The little Ship blocks add such wonderful life to a composition; they were the first thing that came to mind to surround the Lego blocks. And Shoofly blocks for cornerstones. It's okay, but I was pretty sure I could do better.

There was some internal debate over whether to put sashing between the Lego blocks and the ships. I opted to leave it out at this stage. Adding sashing would alter the math. For the time being I want to keep it simple. The shoofly blocks were the biggest problem in my eyes. They're too big relative to the more delicate ships. So I tried out another block pattern.

My thinking with these was that I could use them to sort of frame the medallion.

Nope. Still too big and visually heavy. They steal the attention from the ships. Time for a complete change of pace.

I happened to read Cathy's post about clearing off her cutting mat Sunday evening. I have a growing pile of scraps that need to be cut into useable patches but I wasn't that inspired. Instead, I gave some thought to what I already have cut and ready to use and decided to do a bit of organizing. I have a box that is comprised of a stack of three trays in which I keep different lengths of 1.5" strips. They've just been tossed in there willy nilly according to length. I've gone through and sorted them into color families within their separate lengths.

The idea was to make some log cabin style blocks, 6" finished, to maybe use between Shoofly or other blocks eventually.

This is what I have so far. Two inch squares framed up to four inches (finished). Another round of one inch strips will bring them up to six inches, the same size as most of the scrap blocks I make. They could go even bigger of course, but I doubt they will. (Now watch me make a liar out of myself!) I'm hoping these will lead to cutting up the scraps in that pile I mentioned so I have more to work with, which will hopefully lead to something else. As for the medallion I started... Only time will tell what will happen to that. 😉


  1. lovely to have those strips ready, and the colours look great. I am slowly getting back to thinking About what to do next, after being confined to home for many weeks, freedom seems to be very strange. I, too, lacked any motivation at all, but have been to a fabric shop yesterday. I called the visit, some " Post Lockdown Stress Relief" and came home with some new batiks that are not usually in our local area fabric shops.

  2. That last photo looks like the start of a rainbow scrappy quilt! I've never been able to corral and organise my scraps to that extent; the best I can do is sort by colour and decide at what size a piece of fabric becomes a scrap rather than a useful size. Where your process wins out is the ability to quickly whip up a load of colourful blocks, rather than having to spend ages sorting and pressing before I can even measure and cut!

  3. I quite like your second go at framing the medallion. Would the same design work but in a calmer colour or using a lighter colour or neutral in the centre square? Just thinking out loud really.

  4. Cathy's post made me stop and think about how I can coordinate my cutting to encompass multiple projects while handling each scrap fewer times. LOVE those colorful scrap blocks (and I agree, you haven't hit on the right corner block for your ships border on that medallion - never fear, you will!)

  5. I agree with Lynn on the block style. What about turning them 90 degrees? I think a softer palette would probably still work better than these, but turning them might create more of a ray effect? Love those ship blocks.


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