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.
As I said back in my March post about this linky party, my scrap problem is not organisational, it’s disciplinary! That is: I have an organised system for storing my scraps, but sometimes I am not self-disciplined enough to put them away! Like most quilters, I prefer the making part to the tidying part!
But, there comes a point where my sewing room looks like a tornado swept through! And that point has been reached. Right now there is a project which is the process of being quilted on the back of the lounge (sofa). There’s a UFO on the floor — it’s there because it was on top of the box of wadding/batting pieces and I needed to access the box from one side of the cutting table and it fell off on the other side of the table where I can’t quite reach it. There’s a flimsy and it’s associated too-small backing waiting for me to enlarge the back. There’s a donated quilt top on another piece of furniture — the blocks don’t line up properly (which is probably why it was donated) and it’s waiting for me to take it apart and put it back together again.
There’s a too-wrinkled-to-wear tee-shirt on the ironing board — it fell off the hanger onto the floor of the wardrobe (closet) so needs pressing but I haven’t been in the sewing room since I found it, therefore the iron hasn’t been switched on in days! (Just so you know, I spend weekends with WM and I’m in class on Mondays so I generally don’t spend time in my sewing room between Friday and Tuesday).
There’s a second ironing board, used to hold WiP trays and (sometimes) scrap containers, near my cutting table. At the moment it has project trays but there is also a growing pile of scraps which need pressing, cutting and/or storing.
On the floor, near my sewing table, there’s a cardboard box containing long strips — those pieces of various widths which are longer than 12″. Up until recently that box hasn’t really bothered me but now it’s overflowing onto the floor.
And yesterday, I came home from class with a small bag of scraps donated by one of the owners of my LQS — I haven’t even looked at the scraps themselves yet!
I guess you get the picture — even without more photographs!
So, my “scrap solutions” for this month are:
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
The colour for June for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2016 is aquamarine and related colours. I don’t know if I have many scraps in those colours but I know I have lots of green scraps. Green was the colour for last month but I missed it so I may find myself making some green blocks instead.
When Mum came to live with us in March last year, I inherited her one UFO! However, her knitting during the thirteen months she lived here gave me plenty of work as I tried to keep up with her output (see these posts here, here and here). But it must have sparked something in me because I’m trying very hard to work only on my UFOs; and I have chosen one project at a time and seen it through to completion — not bounced around from project to project!
The green blocks I mentioned for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge would be used to complete one of my most recently started projects: in March, I began the blocks for Oklahoma Shoo Fly, a quilt I designed while playing around on EQ7. I made the units for the ‘Shoo Fly’ blocks from the colour of the month (brown) and had always planned to make the ‘Road to Oklahoma’ blocks in green.
The ‘Shoo Fly’ blocks are not finished; the ‘Road to Oklahoma’ blocks are not even started but, you never know, there’s still three weeks of June left and maybe this UFO will get it’s turn this month! Then again, I already have a UFO/WiP plan for this month, so perhaps not!
What about you? Do you have a scrap problem? Why not take a look at this month’s post over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict? There are some great inspirational ideas there – even if you’re taking a month or two off to enjoy summer! For we folks down-under, winter has just begun with some horrific weather here on the east coast; but it’s a great season for stitch-based projects: the perfect time for curling up under quilts and hand-stitching that binding; or for joining strips of knitted fabric together into blankets!
Until next time, may your stitches bring you much joy.
In response to a comment left on my last post, I was exploring The Joyful Quilter‘s blog, where I found a link to a blog called Confessions of a Fabric Addict. Sarah, the owner of the blog, has started a new linky party, encouraging us all to deal with our scraps:
Now, my scrap problem is not quite the same as most other quilters: my problem is that the quilters I know keep giving me their scraps because they don’t want to use them nor do they want to throw them away. Here in Australia, quilting fabric starts at $24 a metre at my LQS (yes, you read that right; although it is between $12 and $20 a metre at the Big Box Store), so I can’t understand why anyone would want to throw away any potentially-useful fabric! I can’t predict when scraps will come my way, so just when I think I have the scraps under control, along comes another bag or two and there’s more pressing, cutting, sorting and storing to do. This organising of scraps can eat into my sewing time in a big way so I’m happy to join in this scrap-along which basically involves setting a monthly challenge for the scraps (posted first Wednesday of the month) and sharing my success (or otherwise) on the last Wednesday of the month).
Surprisingly, given that the first Wednesday of March was a week ago, the link up for this scrap-along is still open: so that got me thinking about my scrap goals for what’s left of March, given that I won’t be here most of the last two weeks.
My scrap storage is organised; if you’re looking for how I do it, please refer to the scrap storage system tab at the top of my home page. Organisation is not the problem, getting the scraps into storage can be! They tend to accumulate along the edge of my cutting table as I cut both the scraps that are given to me and the pieces I need for particular projects. I just don’t stop long enough to put it all away! So my first goal is to cut what is necessary then store all these scraps.
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!
While tidying my sewing area (there comes a time when I just can’t stand the clutter any longer), I lifted a basket containing elements for two current works in progress, and found this:
These scraps were ironed and placed in this basket so long ago that I can’t remember when! So my second goal is to get all these scraps cut and stored.
I think, however, my greatest problem, is using the scraps. February was the month of brown over at the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. I started twelve “Shoo Fly” blocks but never finished any of them. I have the centres and the corners but still need all the ‘middles’! Goal #3 is to finish all 12 blocks.
So, that’s it for me for March:
Goal #1 cut and store all the scraps lying on the edge of my cutting table
Goal #2 cut and store all the green fabrics in the basket
Goal #3 finish the Shoo Fly blocks
What about you?
Do you have a scrap problem?
Do you want to join in the fun and whittle down your pile of scraps?
May your stitches (and scraps) bring you much joy
Although I started making these blocks in February 2015, so that I could learn the technique of sewing a Y-seam (in class), this project didn’t get its place in my sewing room until January 2016. At that stage, I had 40 x 6″ blocks made; 20 in blue and the other 20 in red or green. Some of the green blocks weren’t working well because of my choice of fabrics and needed to be ripped apart or replaced.
January was the month for blue on the Rainbow Scrap Challenge so I decided to make this project all in blue. Getting all the blocks done (I needed 80) took me into February. Here are some of them (pinned in groups of four).
In the last week of February, I turned the 6″ blocks in to 12″ blocks.
It was 29 February before I took it to class at my LQS to use the design wall. During class, I sewed the blocks together in rows which left me only four seams to go to complete the flimsy at home.
This is far from my most successful project: the pin-wheels don’t stand out as well as I had hoped but I’ve learnt how to make y-seams, vastly improved my technique in making attic window blocks, got ideas for a future quilt and, when it’s quilted, it will keep someone warm who would otherwise not have had a quilt. Better still, it’s my own design (with the help of EQ7) and one of my class mates wants to make a quilt like it from her scraps, so I’d call it a success.
This post has been linked with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge “Scrappy Saturday” post.
One good thing about being at home most days as a full-time carer is that I have plenty of time to do the things I enjoy doing. Afternoons, if it’s not too hot, are reserved for some light gardening with WM. If it is hot, we go for a ‘swim’; well, we get wet in the swimming pool, no one actually does much swimming.
In the evenings, I often do some knitting. As you would probably be aware, I rarely have time for my own knitted projects these days. Most days, except when it’s too hot to sit under a warm covering, I work on the sashing and borders of mum’s knitted blankets. This heap on the floor near my armchair is the one in progress. I am doing the sashing and borders in bright yellow (for a change from my usual white) and I’m liking the effect.
During the day, I am usually found in the sewing room. Sometimes I’m on the computer or piano but, more often than not, I’m doing something sewing related.
Last weekend I trimmed a large number of HST down to 2.5″ squares. Those little tags on top of each pile say “96”; saves me counting each time! I still have another 150 or so waiting to be trimmed and an unnumbered pile (no photo) waiting to be cut and/or pressed.
I’m not in a hurry with this project; it is my leader/ender project so it is moseying along and will get there eventually. It started because I had so many 3″ blocks in storage and thought it was better to use them than store them. I ‘designed’ the quilt for them on EQ7. The two colours in my design don’t mean anything; they just help me distinguish between the two different blocks; which are variations on Mosaic blocks in the EQ7 library. My quilt will be made of scraps so I just need to see where the lights and darks go!
On Wednesday, I made twenty more Attic Window blocks. I now have the eighty blocks I need to make an all-blue pin-wheel quilt. Here are some of the blocks — these are 6.5″ square and will therefore make 12″ (finished) pin-wheels. What you can see here are five sets of four blocks pinned together. I refer you to this post to see what I’m planning. In that post, I had blocks of three different colours but half of them were blue. After writing that post, and spurred on by January being ‘blue’ on the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, it occurred to me that I had more than enough blue scraps to make the quilt entirely in blue. The left over blocks will either go on the back or will be the basis of another project!
All eighty of these blocks will go with me to class next week to be trimmed and joined into pin-wheels.
One of the advantages of being in a class at my LQS is access to a design wall. I took the 30 blocks for my Green Strips and Triangles quilt to class on Monday.
During class, I turned 30 blocks into six rows. Over the next couple of days, I joined those rows together (only the first seam had to be completely ripped out because the points were “right off”). I admit that I did spend some time watching YouTube clips and reading other web pages to find the trick to getting those pesky joins ‘right’ but I didn’t really find any information that I hadn’t heard/read before.
Anyway, the flimsy is finally done so this week has been a good stitching week.
Welcome to my new blog home. It’s fitting that this first post at my new address should be about a project that has moved from being an unfinished object to a work in progress (a bit like this new site).
In March last year, I decided I wanted to learn how to make Attic Window blocks — I was intrigued by the so-called “Y-seam”. It took several weeks before I became even remotely confident with the technique.
I started without a plan for a quilt in mind (I just wanted to practise the technique) but quickly realised that attic window blocks made interesting pin-wheels, so I began making four blocks with the same dark fabric but using different fabrics for the window pane and the lighter frame (scrap quilting is what I do).
Each pin-wheel, of course, takes four blocks. I have looked on my (old) blog and I don’t have any posts about these blocks — which is a shame; when I pulled the project from the UFO pile last week, I already had 32 blocks made. I told you it took a while for me to become confident with the technique!
Some of the blocks don’t work as well as they might — the fabrics I have chosen tend to blur part of the pin-wheel because the window pane is a similar tone to the pin-wheel ‘arm’. Look at the block on the bottom left in the photo below, the batik used on the window pane is too similar to the arm of the pin-wheel. The paisley print in the left top block is not much better!
Two of the blocks, perhaps two of my originals, would make the pin-wheel spin the wrong way so they have been relegated to the back of the quilt to be part of my signature block panel. Therefore, before I could go any further, I needed four more blocks; two for the back, and two to replace the odd-bods! I made the four ‘replacement’ blocks on Wednesday but it had been so long since I had visited the technique that only one of the four went well (the first one!).
Now I had 32 blocks for the front of the quilt and four blocks for the back. Each pin-wheel is 12″ square (finished) A quick calculation showed that and I would therefore need 20 pin-wheels, or eighty blocks, for the front and four pin-wheels for the back.
January is blue month over at the 2016 Rainbow Scrap Challenge so I pulled my blue scraps to make some more pin-wheels. I cut enough fabric for five more pin-wheels but I didn’t feel confident to go ahead. Hurrah for YouTube and the wonderful people who share their tutorials there for free! On Wednesday night, after WM and Mum had gone to bed, I watched a fantastically helpful video called “Mitred Corners in Attic Windows or Borders“. I tried using their technique on four blocks and it worked perfectly! Hurrah! Thank you, Ruth’s Stitchery! (I’d embed it here but I don’t think WordPress allows videos on their free site — at least, I can’t find a way to make it work! So, I’ve added the link so you can check the video for yourself if you’re interested).
On Thursday and Friday I churned out a total of twenty more blocks! My latest blocks are stacked in sets of four; there are actually twenty blocks here, not five: I don’t have a design wall top take photos of that many blocks at once!
Persistence and practice are, as always, the key to success!
This post is linked to the latest post for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge over at SoScrappy blog. Why not pop over there and see what others have been doing with their blue scraps?
In the meantime, may your stitches bring you much joy.