Monday, January 27, 2014

Scrappy Bargello experiment, continued

A few weeks ago I was playing with some old strips from my scrap collection.  See the post from January 13.

At that time I was wondering how these rather dated fabrics would work, especially since I did not take much time to blend them for a lovely colour run.


I now have them all cut and sewn together and I must admit to being rather surprised at how good those fabrics look together.  I chose a wave type of pattern as that would distribute the colours fairly evenly across the top.

The piece does have a definite “late twentieth century” look, perhaps.  Now it needs a border of some kind.  Let’s see what I can find …

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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Baby (quilt) Abandoned on Doorstep

Eleanor had been home all day and hadn’t noticed anyone coming or going but when she went outside she discovered a shoebox outside her door. Inside she found the makings of a baby quilt – our “It’s a Mystery, Baby” preemie quilt mystery from 2010.

I was called in to consult on the case. I picked up the box and my friend Donna and I spread out the contents – there was all the fabric including flannel for the backing, the fabric placement page with samples attached, strips already cut, a few 4-patches made, even the receipt from the fabric store at which the items were purchased.


We went into detective mode. We studied the list of guild members for the appropriate year narrowing in on a couple of possible suspects, but both have denied any knowledge of the affair. Clues:

  1. The shoebox has a picture and the size of the quilter’s shoes.
  2. We know where the quilter shopped – and we even have her store membership number!
  3. From the markings on the box it is possible that she might have had a child graduating from high school in the past few years.
  4. She has good taste in fabric!

I left the box with Donna. It turned up at my door a few days later. This time it contained a completed quilt top and the backing fabric prepared for quilting.

I did some quilting on my longarm then found an opportunity to drop off the box at Donna’s door.

It showed up at my door again one day when I returned home from shopping – there had been enough fabric to make a second top, this one a Disappearing Nine-Patch.

More quilting. Back it went to Donna.

When it arrived here the other day it was bulging and tape had been used to hold it shut.



Inside were the two preemie quilts, complete with binding.











There was also  a “memory quilt” made from the last scraps (these small quilts are given by the hospital to mothers whose babies do not survive).






Not a bad result from one box. But now we are obsessed with studying people’s feet looking for that elusive pair of size 8 ½ Dr. Scholl’s!


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Monday, January 13, 2014

Bargello experiment

I’ve long admired bargello type quilts with their lovely shadings and graceful lines.  I’ve even made a couple.  But I feel a compulsion to work with my scraps and I have trouble cutting strips of fabric from lots of stash fabrics.
So – can I make a bargello quilt using true scrap – as in, leftovers, what is already on hand?
I dug into my bin of 2 1/2” strips to see what I could find.  Not many fabrics in there that had two complete width-of-fabric strips, so I did some piecing, usually finding enough of the same fabric to make my two strips, occasionally subbing in something else that would read the same.  Then I turned to a box of “chunks” and made a few more strip pairs. 
When I laid them out looking for a pleasing combination I began to think I was making one of the world’s ugliest quilts!  There was probably a reason these strips were way down at the bottom of the bin, rejects from many previous projects.  Lots of them are OLD – from the era when all colours were grayed way down, teal blue was popular, and that peachy pink colour (grayed of course) was found with cute country motifs.  I didn’t try to blend colours much but looked at value and tried to imagine what the lines would do once my segments were “bargelloed”.
This is what my strata looked like:
I then proceeded to cut my segments, doing my best to dodge the worst of the seams.


Now that I have a few pieces up on the wall I’m beginning to think there is hope!  (But I admit I’m wondering where I might be able to donate the finished project – it might take some doing to find a home for this one.)

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Saturday, January 11, 2014

I’ve joined the Squad!



Quiltmaker’s Scrap Squad, that is! 

I was thrilled to receive an email this week that I have been accepted as part of the six-member Scrap Squad for 2014. 

This means I get to make scrappy quilts and blog about them.  Wait, don’t I do that already?  Yes, but these are extra special scrappy quilts.  One quilt pattern is selected from each issue of Quiltmaker magazine.  The Scrappy Squad members each make a scrappy quilt putting their individual scrappy spin on it.  It will be so exciting to see what happens, because the only thing better than a scrappy quilt is SIX scrappy quilts that began with the same pattern.

I’m hard at work cleaning my way down to the cutting board on my work surface and changing the blade in my rotary cutter.  Can’t wait for our first assignment!


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Monday, January 6, 2014

Mystery Quilt time again



January – time for a new preemie mystery quilt.  The quilts are sized at 36” and intended for the neonatal nursery at our regional hospital.  Instructions will be posted about every two weeks for the next couple of months.  You can find the instructions on the Preemie Mystery 2014 page – see the top right corner of the blog. 

You can get started choosing your fabrics by downloading descriptions and yardages here.

The piecing is simple.  If you would like to make a quilt for a baby in your life or to donate to someone else, please jump in and play along with us.

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Starting the new year

As January got underway I had an overwhelming urge to straighten, tidy, clean and organize.  So I set to and tidied away the Christmas things (most of them) and vacuumed the living room.  Then I bleached my dishcloths.  Fortunately by that time the cleaning urge had faded away and I was able to get back to important things.

This quilt top is a sample for the session of Scrappy Club that begins today.  I don’t know if the block has a “proper” name – I just call it Star in a Churn Dash.  I’m sure the club members will find all sorts of interesting things to do with it. 


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