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

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

 

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

 

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?

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?

 

Scraps Galore

For a couple of years I made scrap blocks whenever I was between projects. The method was to combine any bright scraps of whatever size/shape, then trim the block to 6.5″ unfinished. When I had 88 blocks I decided it was time to quit playing around and make them into a quilt, so here it is.

Quilt Stats

Name: 616 Scraps

Designed and made by: me

Finished size; 48″ x 66″

Quilted by: Linda Nichols

Of course the scrap pile has only grown larger, so I’m off to start another round of scrap blocks.

Orphan Blocks–A New Use!

Most of us have a good pile of orphan blocks left over from various projects. Here’s the box with most of mine–there are a few in other locations 😀

Typically, I use mine for donation quilts. I’ve used the Circle of Nine idea.

Sometimes I  have just arranged them on the design wall then filled in around them with background fabric.

Splendid Stars, 51″ x 53″

Sometimes I’ve even cut them into circles to applique onto a quilted background.

Donation Quilts for Ronald McDonald House

But still, there’s a big box full of them.

Then my friend Jerri told me she had made some of her orphan blocks into a quilt back! Great idea!

The next time I had a quilt needing a back, I took the blocks from the top of the pile and sewed them together. Then I surrounded them with pieces of quilt backing left from other projects.

Quilt back with a center of orphan blocks

Voila! It may be more “interesting” than beautiful, but it used up a lot of orphans and scraps. And it’s done!

Scrap HSTs

HSTs (half square triangles) are the basis of lots of dynamic quilt designs, so of course they’re even better if they’re scrappy. For those who may not know, here’s a half-square triangle block. Each half of the square is a triangle, and of course it helps that they contrast.

Block drawn in EQ8

So after I had made a whole bunch of scrappy squares, I decided to cut them in half diagonally to make scrappy HSTs. I had the perfect white fabric with metallic gold oriental writing to use as contrast.

Of course I tried numerous layouts for the blocks and consulted friends about which to use.

This arrangement was voted out

Eventually I chose the arrangement below because I like the “double twist” effect you get in the center if you look from a distance.

The finished quilt

Quilt Stats

Name: Ziggy Scraps

Designed and made by me

Finished size: 58″ x 78″

Quilted by: Linda

I’m developing a talk about making successful scrap quilts. If you have any ideas I should include, let me know!

Why Does This New Quilt Count as Finishing a UFO?

I hate the recursive nature of most social media, including Pinterest. You don’t dare click on what looks like a good pie recipe, because you’ll be fed pie recipes for at least 6 months, probably longer. HOWEVER, I do remain a fan of Pinterest, where I still find a lot of fun quilt ideas. Recently I found this pattern via Pinterest and just had to have it:

The pattern is available on Etsy, here.

I had just the place for the quilt, having decided a while back I wanted to make a “summer rain” quilt to go over the stairs. We’ve had this lovely Japanese silk scarf over the stairs, but it was time for a change.

I got the blocks made. Oops, I got the blocks made following her directions and then made a number of my own design. Anyway, I liked the way they all looked together.

This is a small quilt, so I decided to use a sort of baste-as-you-go construction by sewing rows down to the batting and backing, sort of like you’d do if you were making a QAYG place mat using strips. Then I quilted it in vertical lines. Not my favorite thing to do, but it worked fine.

I think you can see the vertical quilting here. The lines were marked with blue painter’s tape, and are at pseudo-random distances apart.

Oh, and why does it count as finishing a UFO? Because I had started an improv quilt with this in mind but never finished it! I got out the blocks I had completed for that and combined them with blocks made using Maryline’s pattern, and got rid of another UFO 😀

Quilt Stats

Name: Summer Rain

Pattern: City Quilt by Maryline Collioud-Robert, plus some blocks I improvised

Made and quilted by me

Finished size: 39″ x 50″

And BTW, I recommend this pattern. It was a lot of fun!

 

Tossed 9 Patch

The other day I considered what to do with my large stash of 5″ squares.

Bin of 5″ squares from a variety of sources

It occurred to me that I might be the only quilter in the world who hadn’t yet made a tossed 9 patch quilt.

Just on the off chance you haven’t made one yet, here’s the drill.

The 9-patch block was 15.5″ with raw edges. Drawing done with Electric Quilt 8.

Start by making a 9 patch (duh). I cut a bunch of light colored 5″ patches and enough red 5″ patches for 22 nine-patch blocks, then used various 5″ squares from my bin for the four corners.  (Yes, that only got rid of 88 5″ squares. Still…)

I included some old favorites from the 5″ bin:

Blueberry fabric bought in Maine, one of the Moda wildflower fabrics, the fruit ladies from Elizabeth’s Studio, and some of my favorite metallic dot fabric.

After assembling the 9 patch blocks, I cut them in quarters, resulting in 88 blocks like this:

This is one quarter of the original 9-patch block. Drawing done with Electric Quilt 8.

When all my 88 blocks were made, I played with layouts until I had one I liked. There are a lot of different ways to cut the 9 patch block, and even more ways to lay out the resulting blocks, so it took a while.

After it was quilted, I decided on a blue and white striped border, which I cut on the bias.

And here’s the finish:

Quilt Stats:

Name: Tossed 9-patch

Designed and made by: me, though of course there is nothing new under the sun, This idea has been around forever.

Finished size: 51″ x 71″

Quilted by: Linda