Did Someone Say Scrap Quilt?

I modified this from multiple quilts I have seen because I liked the idea of turning squares into those elongated hexagons as well as the idea of pointing everything toward the center.

Not incidentally, it also used some more of my (many, many) 5″ squares.

It’s sometimes important for Elvis to make an appearance 🙂

I wasn’t sure about this binding, but I think it worked out OK. That’s not my usual type of backing, but it was available on short notice!

Quilt Stats

Name: Really? Another Scrap Quilt?

Finished size: 65″ x 65″

Designed and made by: me, with inspiration from multiple other quilts I’ve seen

Quilted by: Linda Nichols

The Smallest Scraps?

Wordspress claims to have published this, but nobody got it, so I’m trying a workaround. I have left out some of the pictures hoping that will help. Computers!*%$***

What to do with the scraps that are really, really too small to sew into a quilt? Options include:

Put them in the compost pile. I haven’t tried this, but they are 100% cotton, so I think they should compost just fine. And most of us should be composting anyway, so why not!

I have a couple of friends who say they make dog beds for the animal shelter and stuff them with the tiny scraps. You might think that would take a while, but if it does so what, and I think I might be surprised with how fast the dog bed fills. I wasn’t sure about whether the shelters take these, but a friend in one of my guilds assures me that the shelters here not only take them, but wash them and re-use them. She says she makes the “shell” out of upholstery fabric, which I can often find at thrift shops for almost nothing, so the bed really wouldn’t cost much to make. If you’re interested, there are nice instructions at National Quilters Circle, here.

One of my quilt groups is making blocks by putting the tiny scraps on a fabric base and then sewing over them to hold them in place. They’re holding the scraps with glue (from the ubiquitous glue stick) until they sew. After the pieces are stitched down, the block is trimmed to size. They plan to piece these blocks together for a donation quilt.

I made one of these blocks (above) with the assistance of one of my grandsons. Instead of just stitching the fabric to the backing, I layered and quilted the block, then cut it to size as a resting pad for our crystal bell. The grandsons like to ring all the bells, and I thought this might remind them to put the crystal one down gently.

And then there is the actual confetti quilt option. These usually are art quilts, not meant to be washed. The tiny pieces are placed on a background fabric and the whole covered with mesh, such as tulle. Some people attach the tulle with a very light weight fusible, some rely on quilting over the tulle to hold everything in place. There’s an example here, with details on how it was done.

So what do you do with tiny scraps? Any other ideas?

Floral Lattice and a Fun Addition

The fun addition first: I found these little “PS I love you” tags at Studio Stitch and bought a bunch of them to add to quilts I’ve made for our daughter’s family. After some debate about how to attach them, I decided on having them stick out a little over the binding, like this.

I love these tags! Now I’m going to attach them as I put on the binding when I make quilts for special people.

I seem unable to resist floral print fabric, so in a recent attempt to use some of it I made another floral lattice quilt. You can find my instructions here if you want the pattern.

One of the fun things about this iteration of the quilt is that the cream-background fabric shown below is scrap from a dress I made for myself years ago. That dress, along with several others, was given to a visiting psychologist from Russia whom I met at a conference. Again, many years ago. I like to think of those dresses travelling to another country and being enjoyed there.

Quilt Stats

Name: Floral Lattice

Finished size: 57″ x 73″

Designed and made by: me

Quilted by: Elisabeth Pugh

 

What I’ll Be Teaching

In the first quarter of 2023, I’m teaching a scrap quilt, a beginning quilting class, a special binding class, and Quilt As You Go. All classes are through Studio Stitch, and you can get sign-up information here if interested. Meanwhile, here are my notes on each class.

Superfans!

Yes, I’ve shown this quilt recently, and I’m teaching it in a two-part class on January 27 and 28. That’s a Friday afternoon and a Saturday morning. This means everyone can leave a sewing machine set up between classes but have a night of rest half way through.

Beginning Quilting

Probably not directly relevant to anybody reading this, but it will start February 11 and run for 6 Saturdays. For the first time we have a book to be used with the class so folks will have a reference at home.

Improve Your Binding

In this class we will explore several ways to improve binding techniques as well as some nice (easy) embellishments for binding. One of my friends calls this a “game changer” for binding.

Quilt As You Go (QAYG)

It seems that most quilters want to at least try QAYG. There are a number of ways to do it. I will teach the way I think is most effective and show some of the other techniques as well. As a bonus, we’ll be making the Bauhaus pattern by Zen Chic as we learn the techniques for QAYG.

I liked this pattern by Brigitte Heitland of Zen Chic so much that I made it twice

I’m sure most of my readers are nowhere near Greensboro (North Carolina, U.S.A.), so won’t be taking these classes. However, if you have related questions I’ll try to answer them. If you do live near Greensboro, join us and have fun! Further information is on the Studio Stitch site, here.

 

 

A Scrappy Finish

When the scrap bins get too full (or more too-full than usual!), I make a scrap quilt. This one was inspired by the wonderful Tim Holtz fabric shown in the center below, so was a green and gold quilt with some purple accents.

Yes, there were plenty of scraps in each of those colors! The back includes a few leftover blocks, since I am trying not to add to the orphan block collection.

And the wonderful quilting pattern is one of the “Aboriginal” designs from Nancy Haacke of Wasatch Quilting. The quilting was done by Linda Nichols, who is patient and helpful when I want to select particular quilting designs.

Quilt Stats

Name: Strips and Squares

Finished size: 60″ x 72″

Pattern: If this was a pattern, I can’t find it now! Perhaps I just got the idea on Pinterest. They’re surely all traditional blocks in any case.

Made by: me

Quilted by: Linda Nichols

 

A WOMBAT

According to a facetious list of quilting terms I have, a WOMBAT is a quilt that is a “Waste Of Money, Batting, And Time”. Which is why I’ve named this quilt WOMBAT.

The full sun on the west side of the house washed out the colors a bit

And here’s the backing!

This was one of the patterns provided by the Modern Quilt Guild. I usually ignore those, BUT in this case a blogging friend made one and it sounded interesting. In particular, she commented, “Who thinks like that?” with regard to the written instructions in the pattern. I like to find out how different designers think and plan, so I jumped in.

In fairness, I learned a couple of things, but I thought the written instructions wasted a lot of printer ink and time giving detailed instructions for things that were easily improvised. Anyway, it’s done. Finished in 2022, actually, but I have a backlog of quilts to bind and blog about, so here it is at the start of 2023. Happy new year to all!

Quilt Stats

Name: WOMBAT

Designed by: Charles Cameron, for the Modern Quilt Guild

Finished size: 63″ x 87″

Made by: me

Quilted by: Elisabeth Pugh

Did anyone else make this quilt? If so, what did you think?

 

 

2023 In Quilts

I’ve finished 32 quilts so far this year, and 8 additional non-quilt sewing projects. The good news is that I’m not going to show you all of that here. Rather, here are my 10 favorites in no particular order.

Dynamic Dresdens, made in class with Susan Cleveland

Bright Scraps, one of many scrap quilts made this year. And no, the scrap pile has NOT diminished!

It Takes A Village to Can Watermelon, started during the pandemic and finished this year. If only the pandemic were finished, too!

Wild Geese, from a pattern by Beyond the Reef

Arkansas Crossroads, a traditional pattern made from scraps 

Superfans, made from many scraps. Inspired by several quilts I saw on Pinterest, but no pattern

A Girl’s Best Friend–another scrap quilt!

I liked this pattern by Brigitte Heitland of Zen Chic so much that I made it twice

“Susan’s Head Explodes”, 12″ x 12″, a tribute to Susan Cleveland, made for the SAQA auction

My first bowl made with The Mountain Thread Company cord

What’s your favorite?

Night Sky Finished!

Whew! Night Sky, a Jaybird Quilts pattern, was what we politely call a “challenge”. A friend and I made it together and both used some naughty words.

But here it is, and it looks pretty good.

Night Sky from a pattern by Jaybird Quilts

Here’s a detail of one of the stars.

And the back, which is a leftover sheet from the 1990s! This is also a good place to see the lovely quilting. I think those swirls really add something nice to the quilt.

Quilt Stats

Name: Night Sky

Finished size: 56″ x 64″

Designer: Jaybird Quilts

Made by: me

Quilted by: Linda Nichols


P.S.: take a look at this wonderful pegboard my husband just made for hanging all my rulers, templates, etc, etc. The wood is quarter-sawn white oak, for those of you who care about such things 😉

Another One Bites the Dust

Like most quilters, I have more fabric than time, so I recently decided that I don’t need to finish everything! Much of what I do in my studio is experimental, and some of it “fails”. I put that in quotes because failure isn’t a bad thing, it’s just an indication that I’m trying new things. It’s natural that some experiments work out and some don’t.

I recently took a class in making map quilts (over here, at Creative Spark). My first attempt has gone out with the trash already, but the important thing is that I tried something and learned from it. The second attempt is going much better and I’ll eventually finish it and show you.

And here’s another experiment that’s working out pretty well. I pounded these leaves in a class years ago and finally dragged this out and quilted it both by machine and by hand. I’ll face it and show the finished product eventually…

My next experiment is the one that’s biting the dust today. I was inspired by this quilt (in part because it’s entitled “From Hell to Breakfast” and I haven’t heard that expression in years).

I started with orphan blocks and decided on a palette of turquoise, blue, and purple with lime accents. It started out pretty well, but after a couple of days it just looked entirely too random.

Choice: try to fix it or toss it. I left it overnight, then decided to toss it. Granted, it has some nice elements. However, I don’t think it will ever “gel” and I’m not one to throw more work into something that’s going sideways unless there’s a good reason. I made this to learn something, I enjoyed it, and I did try a few new things. Good enough. It has served its purpose and out it goes.

One of the things I learned was how to make this block, which was intended for use in this project but hadn’t made it in at the time the project was tossed. So you see, here is the start of another project! Ha!

And one little soap box moment, please: Some acquaintances say, “Just make it a donation quilt” when a design isn’t working out. I say, “If I don’t want it, why would I give it as a gift?”

What’s your opinion?

 

Dynamic Dresdens with Susan Cleveland

While in Paducah last spring I was able to take Susan Cleveland’s “intermediate to advanced” class called Dynamic Dresdens, and it did not disappoint.

I took a binding class with Susan several years ago and have greatly benefitted from what I learned, so when I heard she was teaching even more techniques I signed up. Not to mention that the class project is really really cute.

This was a two-day class prior to the AQS show. The first day covered Susan’s methods of layering, basting, quilting, binding, and making prairie points–whew! She had warned before class that students should have their materials ready as there would be no time in class for cutting, etc. That was no joke!

Here’s the corner of my project showing the binding and the prairie points done the first day

And speaking of being ready, after reading the materials list I decided to buy her prepared kit instead. It was SO worth it! She had starched the fabric that needed it, pre-shrunk the cording, and even cut the strips for the Dresdens! Score!

Here’s my final piece, which has some variation from Susan’s original design.

First, she did some fancy stitching inside the center circle. I pinned on a vintage button of Swarovski crystal. I think I’ll go back and make a hole for the shank so the button can lie flat, but anyway…

You can see some fancy stitching and wool felt balls in the detail view. Susan did the stitching by hand with Eleganza thread and a shashiko needle. I did it by machine. The wool felt balls are cut in half and the halves anchored with tiny buttons, another technique of Susan’s.

This was a wonderful class with a tremendous amount of information about how to do each technique accurately. I recommend Susan’s classes if you ever have a chance to take one!

Here’s a link to Susan’s website if you want more information.