DD and the Grandboys spent a little over a week here at the beginning of July. DD was in the mood to sew, and sew is just what we did… twenty blocks later (with a bit of help from the Grandboys, especially Older Grandson; and even Grandad sewed a little) we had enough for the central part of a new quilt.
We also sewed the equivalent of seven yards of 4.5-5.5″ strips together to make a border.
In the week after they left, I sewed the blocks into rows, and the rows into a flimsy. I then added a solid inner border and the pieced outer border. Because I had learnt to do Y seams while making Attic Window blocks, I was very brave and decided to mitre the corners of the border! It turned out quite well, if I do say so myself! (No the strips aren’t meant to match at the seams — we used strips of varying widths randomly)
So, may I present, for your viewing pleasure, our team effort — the flimsy that will soon become our Spider Web Quilt.
Sarah, of Confessions of a Fabric Addict, didn’t run the “I May Have a Scrap Problem” challenge this month but I’m still pleased with our response to the challenge I set myself. My goal, at the beginning of July, was to use scraps instead of storing them — the container has gone from filled almost to overflowing, to looking quite bare! All the strips that remain are under 5″ so I will have think of a different project for them!
How about you? What have you been doing with your scraps?
See you soon with a knitting-based post (shock!)
In the meantime, may your stitches bring you much joy.
This month I would like to focus my scrap goals on actually using some of my scraps rather than storing them. DD and the Grandsons are here with us for ten days (school holidays) which has helped me focus my attention.
Last time they were here, I promised the boys we would make ‘spider web’ blocks. The blocks looked complicated so I read several tutorials online and have modified what I learnt to suit my needs.
My plastic shoe box of these scraps was neatly packed with piles of ironed strips but we’ve already started on the blocks so the container has been tumbled a few times. This is what it looks like after two days of sewing. We’ve made seven and a half blocks so far; with twelve and a half to go.
Sarah, of Confessions of a Fabric Addict blog, is not running the scrap challenge this month due to her commitments with the “12 Days of Christmas” blog hop but I want to stay in the groove, so to speak. It may be summer in the northern hemisphere but it’s a cold, wet winter (so far) here in NSW (Australia) — perfect weather for staying inside and sewing.
What about you? Are you taking a summer break from sewing or are you pressing on, regardless of the weather?
Whatever the temperature, may your stitches bring you much joy.
to press, cut and store the mound of scraps currently on the spare ironing board
to deal with the box of long strips — find a new home for them, press them, roll or fold them and store them
to press and cut (if necessary) then store the scraps given to me yesterday
Let’s take a look at my progress:
the scraps on the spare ironing board (goal #1) and the scraps given to me the previous day (goal #3)
Most of the scraps from the ironing board and some of the donated scraps have been cut into the sizes used in my scrap storage system.
Here’s a photo of my cutting table after the job was done and before I put them all away.
First, the scraps that got cut into squares: 4.5”, 4”, 3.5” 2.5” and 2”. the scraps that were cut into 3” squares were added to the container that holds my leader/ender project-in-progress (not seen here).
Scraps that were strips sorted into two piles: those under 6”, those between 6” and 12”; plus some scraps that are small triangles (less that 3.5”).
Finally the crumbs sorted by colour: these are less than 2” in one or both directions.
the box of long strips (goal #2)
This was the first pile I tackled so it seems a long time since I dealt with all these. They are now stored in a drawer in four piles: cool colours, warm colours, light neutrals, and blacks. a few more have been added since that photo was taken on 8 June.
In the same drawer are the ‘brown’ strips I made in February for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge then abandoned my original idea. I am still trying to decide how to use these strips but they are now easy to find and not being constantly moved from one point of my sewing room to another.
So, not all goals have been achieved but it’s not too bad an effort considering that WM has been home on annual leave since 17 June and we’ve spent a lot of time together, mostly working in the garden (despite the cold winter weather).
Now I need to look around my sewing room and see what goals I want to set for July – it’s time to turn the ‘scrap storage system’ into a system for using (not storing) scraps! DD and the grandsons arrive next Wednesday (8 July) so we’ll be using strips to make spider-webs, that’s a good start…
How about you? Are you finding ways to store and use your scraps?
Until next time, may your stitches bring you much joy.
In November last year, I began strip-piecing monochrome 8.5″ blocks in preparation for our grandsons arrival at Christmas time. They like to sew (for short periods of time) and strips are more forgiving than squares! I had intended to make spider-webs, knowing that they would appeal, but mistakenly cut 60° triangles instead of 45° triangles — ending up with hexagons!
Our grandsons were not really impressed but we sewed anyway.
DD and I, inspired by Emily Cier’s pattern, Slices, in her book “Scrap Republic” chose to make our version of the pattern without the use of the lighter coloured blocks.
When the family visited for the April school holidays, we sewed some more. By the time they left, there were only a few blocks needing completion, so I finished them.
Sewing the triangles into rows was fairly easy, once I realised I had to match the points that extended beyond the seams. Joining the rows was more complicated. I tried really hard but some are not good. However, as my mum used to say, “a blind man on a galloping horse wouldn’t notice!” Oddly enough, the more seams I sewed, the better my point matching got! 🙂
Seriously, getting the quilt finished was more important that perfectly matched points, although I would really like those. The quilt is not going to an exhibition; otherwise I would take it apart and start again. The truth is, most of the points are pretty good and a few of them are perfect. The recipient, probably a patient in the palliative care unit of the local hospital, is probably not going to be studying the points — they’ll be glad to have something bright and cheerful on the bed to keep them warm.
I love this quilt, it’s so much more exciting to me than the previous two finished quilts — more my style really in that it’s bright and a little less traditional.
I decided to strip piece a panel for the backing — there are enough matching points where six blocks meet on the front of the quilt without adding more bulk in the backing.
I wanted to quilt along the diamond lines with a row of double stitching but I didn’t want any other quilting to show so I decided to do horizontal in-the-ditch stitching. That was fine where the rows met but because the individual triangles were made of various width strips, it just didn’t work. I bit the bullet and did diagonal quilting across the diamonds using a clear monofilament thread.
This was the first time I have used invisible thread and I was surprised that I found the right tension straight away! I had read some web pages about using invisible thread and they all suggested lowering the tension to 2 and working from there to get the correct tension. My biggest problem is that the very fine thread kept slipping out of the thread guides and, one time, it tangled so badly that I had to unthread the machine and cut off a huge knot. But the quilting was done and, like most learning experiences, the more I did the more I remembered to keep an eye on the thread guides!
Of course, then I had to remember to return the machine to ‘standard’ tension settings to put the binding on!
In the winter school holidays, which begin on 1 July, DD, the boys and I will probably make spider webs!
Hi (if there’s still anyone out there reading my blog) — long time, no post!
Life has been busy and eventful. On March 17, WM took two weeks long service leave — we just needed to get away. We put mum into residential respite for two weeks then went to the state of Victoria for the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show. We had forgotten just how far it was to Melbourne and how long it would take us to drive the 880 kilometres (550 miles)! Just as well we had allowed two days for the journeys there and back.
We were home for 36 hours, then we caught a train north to spend the Easter weekend with DD and the family.
We picked mum up from respite on 31 March — she was very unhappy and had all sorts of tales of woe to share. Despite having DD and the Grandboys here to visit for ten days from 10 April, she never got any better. It was with a thankful heart that I received the offer of a room in a dementia-specific facility nearby on 13 April. Mum went to live there permanently on 21 April; WM and I have spent the last four weeks getting to know each other again and work out our life as “Darby and Joan“! Mum was with us for a bit over thirteen months; caring for her was one of the hardest things that we have ever had to do!
While mum was still living here and after she left, I continued to sew quilts for the Caring Hearts Community Quilters group; we make quilts that mostly go to the palliative care wards of local hospitals. I will write a separate post about those because I have too much to say here!
Since mum left, I have had time to knit something other than ‘her’ blankets, so I have been making hats for the under-privileged. The opportunity to donate the hats came sooner than I was expecting so I didn’t end up taking photos of any of them! The last collaborative blanket that mum and I made is in her room at the aged care home but sadly she never uses it!
I plan to be back soon with more photos of our trips to Melbourne. I also have at least two posts planned to talk about my quilting.
I leave you with Older Grandson’s first school photo: he looks much older than six (although those baby teeth give it away)! Most schools in Australia have a school uniform — that shirt almost gets lost against the background which makes his face the focal point (as it should be)!
Until my next post, may your stitches bring you much joy.
A few night’s ago, despite the warm, humid weather we’re having, I finally finished sewing in all the ends of mum’s latest blanket. I chose to knit the sashing and borders in yellow instead of white for a change and I think it looks quite effective.
As for the participation mentioned in my title, I was reading a post by The Joyful Quilter (alos mentioned in my last post): it contained information about a quilt-along at Justquilting with Denise Russart. This “Barn Dance” quilt looked so pretty and so right for scrap-busting that I can hardly resist it! You just might find me sewing some “Hole in the Barn Door” blocks (aka “Churn Dash”, “Monkey Wrench” , “Puss in the Corner”, etc) in the near future!
I don’t need to make such a large quilt but it’ll be fun to join in and figure out how to use the blocks in a single (twin) bed sized later! Plus, I thought it would be great for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge which I join every now and then (I’m trying to be more consistent this year but don’t hold me to it!).
Most scraps were sorted by size and shape but a couple of strong gusts of wind when I wasn’t home put paid to that: my friend, who was keeping mum company, picked them up off the floor and put them randomly on the table. My fault for not putting scraps away as I go!
green scraps awaiting cutting & storing
What about you?
Are there any challenges, quilt-alongs or scrap-alongs you’re involved with?
Do you think you might join either of these?