Monday, May 11, 2015

Audition time

The Leaders and Enders project is coming together nicely.  It is on my design wall while I consider borders.

blog audition border

The original plan was to add the strip-pieced triangles in the corners, like those on the top right.  But I also like the way that the plain corner emphasizes the “on-point-ness” of the blocks.  Decisions, decisions.  Luckily, there are no wrong answers, just different ones.  At some point I will choose pieced corners or plain corners and get those borders sewn in place.

It was fun to watch the fabrics come together.  There are some very old fabrics.  The spool print in this block is from the 1950s.  The sweet pink beside it was used in a baby quilt for a child who is now in university. 

blog spool fabric

 

On the other hand, the black swirl was a fabric I purchased last year for a Scrap Squad quilt.

 

blog fabrics

 

With this quilt top nearly ready for the to-be-quilted pile, it is time to decide on another project for leaders-and-enders.  A bin of two-inch squares is at hand…..

Monday, April 6, 2015

The other side of the quilt

blog flannel strips
Many of our donation quilts are backed with flannel. The trimmings from the edges of the quilts accumulate and a person really should do something with them!  The pieces are mostly strips several inches wide, sometimes wider.





I try to make use of these for the backs of small baby quilts.  Sewing strips together is a fairly efficient use of time and materials.    Sewing strips together uses materials -- and time -- fairly efficiently.











 


But even when the pieces are too small to sew together quickly it can be hard to simply discard them.  A few hours of one’s time can produce a backing like this:
blog flannel pieced blocks
Composing the individual blocks and watching them take shape can be great fun!  Of course, one might wonder how practical it is to devote time to constructing the equivalent of a yard of fabric that could be purchased for just a few dollars! 
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Saturday, March 21, 2015

More preemie quilts

It makes a quilter feel good to use some of her scraps and make them into something useful!  Quilters in our community regularly send quilts to the NICU of the regional hospital.  That’s where these two scrappy heart quilts are headed.
18_Louisa Checkerboard heart preemie quilt18_Louisa heart preemie 2
I am always amazed at how little fabric is required to make a quilt 36” square, but some scraps did get used – a pile of squares of bright kids’ prints is smaller than it was before, and the yellow and blue fabric samples did actually get USED UP – a good accomplishment. 

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Sunday, February 15, 2015

A humble plaid quilt

A finish this week – the binding was completed on this plaid Scrappy Bargello.
Of course, the binding would have been finished a little sooner if I hadn’t done this:
plaid bargello binding oops
Very annoying to have come out short after all that measuring and calculating!   But it didn’t really take long to add in the extra strip.

plaid bargello on chair2









It is not a  grand quilt.  The fabrics are mostly plaids and shirtings, the piecing is simple, and the colours are arranged in no particular order, but as I finished up the last few stitches and draped the quilt over a chair I realized just how much I like this one!














True, it is very gratifying to complete a more elaborate quilt, one with the fabrics placed perfectly and a quilting design that beautifully complements the piecing.  Yet there is also a great deal of pleasure in this simpler quilt.  I enjoy the way one square plays against another, the way the curves of the quilting lines cut across the patches and highlight the combinations of fabrics.  I can imagine this quilt wrapped around someone and providing comfort.  It will soon be on its way to a new home, a donation to a local good cause.  I hope the recipient of the quilt enjoys using it as much as I enjoyed the making.
Plaid bargello
Scrappy Bargello is a free pattern from Bonnie Hunter’s Quiltville site

Monday, February 2, 2015

Scottie dogs – a UFO no longer

While searching for something else in the sewing room I came across the blocks left over from last year’s experiments with Scottie Dogs.   It was time that they became a quilt!

I handed the pile to my friend Donna who worked her magic and combined them into a 36” square top for a preemie quilt.  When the Scrappy Club members saw the results they decided that the big block was too “pixel-ly” – so Ellen took the top home and did some remedial piecing to make Big Scottie look more like a dog. 

Here is the result, all quilted and bound and ready for donation to the NICU at the regional hospital.

Scotties preemie quilt

Here is a peek at the back – isn’t that the perfect flannel for this quilt!!  (You can’t see it in the picture, but the binding fabric has Scottie Dogs has well.)

Scottie quilt back
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Monday, January 19, 2015

Hexagon blocks

Couldn’t show these before Christmas because they were to be a surprise, but they have gone to their new homes and I can share them now.

I was involved in a project to make quilts for some special people.  We used stacking methods to cut large-scale prints into triangles or diamonds and added other fabrics to make 60 degree designs, with inspiration from Sara Nephew’s book Serendipity Quilts.

Here are our three quilts.  In each case the fabric that was cut up in the blocks is also used for the border.

Christmas quilt 1

The feature fabric here is an older Jinny Beyer print full of paisleys and wonderful shapes.  The triangles were pieced into hexagons which were set into rectangular blocks.  Setting fabrics pick up the aqua and purple.  The finished quilt is not as dark as the photo suggests.

Christmas quilt 2

This quilt uses a bright large-scale floral fabric.  Diamonds cut from the feature fabric are pieced into hexagons and arranged into columns.  The columns are separated with checkerboards.

Christmas quilt 3

A softer palette for this one. White and pastel blues and greens turn the diamonds into hexagons.  More diamonds form the dividing columns. 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Looking back at a year of Scrap Squad

 

Scrap Squad quilts

I have completed my year as a member of Quiltmaker Magazine’s Scrap Squad for 2014 --  and I have the stack of quilts to prove it!  (Only five quilts are pictured here  – the other one is travelling at the moment.) 

From learning that I was part of the team, through getting to know the other Squad members and working on our six assignments it was a wonderful experience.  It has been an honour to work with the talented people on the Scrap Squad and at Quiltmaker magazine. 

With each assignment it was exciting to see the lovely quilts that emerged.  I was amazed each time at how different our results were even though we began at the same place!  Each quilter brought her unique sense of colour and design and all the quilts were wonderful.

As a rule I am more interested in the process than in the final product –my UFO collection certainly demonstrates that!.  But Scrap Squad members need to FINISH their quilts and there are deadlines to meet, so I couldn’t simply put a project aside and start a new one when, inevitably, a piece of fabric wouldn’t yield as many triangles or squares as was needed,  colours didn’t play together nicely, or a layout idea didn’t come together as expected,  Each time I took a deep breath, and managed to come up with a solution. 

As a result I have made quilts from patterns that I probably would not have selected on my own, and I am thrilled with every one of them. 

My last project was based on the quilt Spinning Stars that is featured on the cover of the December issue.  See the Scrap Squad post on Quilty Pleasures blog for the details.