Monday, January 25, 2016

Working from the Junk Drawer

What do you do with those odd triangles?  I don’t like to mix them with my cut strips and squares.  For years I have ignored colour or size and tossed them all together into a drawer.  When I noticed that the drawer would no longer close easily I decided it was time to USE THEM! 

I proceeded to stitch triangles together into light/dark pairs and trim them to a common size.  As the stack of units grew I decided to make them into Friendship Star blocks.  Each block makes use of 8 units plus a square, and the top will be a sample for an upcoming class.

Original plan was to use ALL the colours, but as the blocks gathered on the wall I started to reject those that didn’t fit in – out went the solid white, the black, the bright yellow.  I can’t say that the final choices of colours actually “blend” in any way, but the top has more unity than I expected it would!
Very Scrappy Friendship Star quilt.

Everything from calicos and vintage prints to florals and metallics in this block.  And there is a repeated fabric in spite of my best efforts to avoid it.
The scrappy border also used up odd bits.
The only part of this top that is not scrappy is the final brown border.

Final tally: 

  • triangle drawer -- slightly less full
  • bin of “bits” -- not noticeably decreased 
  • my level of satisfaction -- quite enhanced by the experience 
 And I have a useful quilt top.

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Monday, January 4, 2016

It's all about the fabric

About a week before Christmas I was feeling overwhelmed with my list of things to do.  There were not only Christmas preparations but quilting obligations for a variety of commitments coming up quickly in the New Year. 

My solution – start something new!  I found myself deciding that it would be helpful to make an attempt to use some of the “bottom of the barrel” bits and pieces that had been kicking around the sewing room shunted from one type of accommodation to another, for who know how many years (or decades).

 Out came pieces from the drawer labelled Blue Scraps.  From these I was able to cut (or piece, as needed) an assortment of 3.5” by 6.5” rectangles.  And from other drawers – Lights, Two-inch Strips, even Pieces Too Small to Use – I found scraps to cut a mound of 2” squares.  I set to work composing my version of Bonnie Hunter’s Narragansett Blues quilt.

Once I had those blues and 4-patches up on the wall I decided to make it larger, so there was another foray into the bins. When the piece was on the wall and arranged to my satisfaction I realized it must be sewn together working from the wall as there was no simple way to label and stack those bits in hopes of recreating this particular layout later. The wall was needed for other things, so there would be no putting the job off.  I joined  units, made rows, finally actually stitched the rows together.

And I love it!  Every odd, decades-old little scrap of it.  There are calicoes in there.  Bits of recycled shirts.  Fabrics that were gifts from special people.  There’s a novelty fabric with half a chicken on it.  Celestials.  Batiks.

 I know I'm not the only quilter still finding bits of Year 2000 fabric in Deep Stash.

Some of the matching pieces ended up next to each other in spite of all my efforts to to have a random look – I see these and hear my son’s voice
 – “Random does NOT mean evenly distributed, Mum!”

Now what?  Who knows?  I guess it might need a border.  And a destination.

Did I manage to get all those other important things done?   Christmas came and it went and we had a good family time with plenty of love, laughter and food to eat.  And there are samples ready for the quilting class tomorrow.  All is good.

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