Archive for category Patchwork and Quilting Projects – General
When the new session of the F2F block swap started (details here), I decided to make a scrappy block every month in the colours each participant had chosen – partly so I’d have something to show on Scraphappy day if I’m honest – which I always try to be with you dear readers. I made a couple of blocks with random scraps then changed my mind and decided to make the same paper pieced block for each person plus one for myself using the remains of the fabric used for them or similar colours from my scrap bin. I confess the scraps are quite big scraps (more like small remnants ) as anything too small wouldn’t work for the design I’m using. I’m still putting it forward for ScrapHappy day this month though because the fabric was all leftovers and because I haven’t had time to make anything with smaller scraps as I’ve been in a bit of a dressmaking frenzy which will be the subject of a future post. I hope Kate and Gun will forgive me for using biggish scraps instead of littleish scraps. (‘Littleish’ – now there’s a word you can really get your tongue around. Is it even a word? If not, it should be.)
On a side note, if you think paper piecing is wasteful of fabric – what about dressmaking? I can’t believe how much goes in the bin and most of it’s no good for scrappy stuff being too thick or thin or whatever.
Anyway, I have adopted a paper piecing pattern called Zeppelin which you can find on Craftsy here as a free downloadable PDF. It doesn’t have too many pieces which is good when you have to make quite a few of them and I like the clean lines and contemporary look of it.
I started in July with Claire’s colours of turquoise, grey, black and white.
Then, in September, Nanette’s colour choices were blue and blush pink.
I parted with some of my precious ombre fabric for this one.
Moira chose browns and creams with duck egg blue as a highlight in October.
Earlier on in the swap, I was ‘Miss June’ and later made one in my own neutral(ish) palette of greys, creams, and vintage pink.
I still need to make one in Sue’s colours – I missed making a ‘Sue Zeppelin’ in July. Her choices were similar to Nanette’s but with white instead of blush pink to go with the blues but, eventually, once I have a Zeppelin in all nine participants’ colours, they will make a small quilt or throw which will be quite a nice souvenir of the 2018/2019 block swap.
The four scrappyish Zeppelin blocks so far flung against my design wall. I say, ‘design wall’ though it is just a flannelette sheet held in place by books on my bookshelf – but you get my drift.
Wondering what ScrapHappy is? Have a look on Kate’s blog here and join us once a month – or less if you can’t come up with a duplicitous way round it like me – well, let’s call it a ‘compromise’.
Do you ever have those times when you’ve not even thought about a a new project but, all of a sudden, something pops into your head and you have to start on it there and then despite having numerous others on the go? Of course you do.
Ages ago, I kept spending loads of money with a company called Massdrop (are they still going?) until I realised the error of my ways and unsubscribed. However, I will always be grateful to them for my stack of beautiful ombre fabrics
and my thick felted wool ironing pad thingy which is in constant use.
Anyway, one of my impulse purchases from them was a stack of fabrics from Tim Holtz called ‘Eclectic Elements’ which has languished in my stash ever since as I couldn’t imagine any of them in a quilt and keep forgetting about them when I need something a bit ‘quirky’ in a craft project.
I decided (all of a sudden as previously mentioned) I needed a table runner for the coffee table in the living room.
My décor – such as it is – in there is not really something calling out for my usual selection of quilting fabrics so I thought these would work being more subdued in tone.
I took out the blues as they definitely don’t ‘go’ with anything in the room and added a couple of toning fabrics from elsewhere in my stash.
The ‘Suchard Chocolat’ piece was in the original Eclectic stack but I had already sewn it in to the runner by the time I’d thought to take a photo because it’s my favourite piece and I used quite a bit of it as the central strip. My second favourite is the butterflies which might be moths – must put my specs on to read the teensy writing, something I’m finding myself saying more and more often these days.
I was intrigued by a method I saw here where you cut out the backing and batting to size, cut your strips of fabric and lay one centrally, right side up, across the backing and batting. Then, you lay the next strip right side down on top of the first and sew a quarter inch seam, then press seam open. On the other side of the first strip, repeat with another strip and carry on like that, alternately in each direction, until you reach the ends of the runner.
I had this red and cream floral fabric in my stash which I think coordinates well with the other fabrics and also with the room it will be used in which has a red theme going on but not a bright red.
So you have, effectively, sandwiched and quilted the layers at the same time – a sort of alternative ‘quilt as you go’. You can leave it like this or add some further quilting – which I did, using a very French makeshift template.
I bound it the traditional way with a double fold binding and some plain red from my stash.
I’m surprised how much the quilting pattern showed up once the runner was in position – especially here where the sun was shining right across it.
Oh look, there’s blue in my rug – I could have left the blue fabrics in after all.
I would be drummed out of Instagram for not plumping up my sofa cushions before a photography session. Still, let’s call it ‘keeping it real’ this time and be amazed there’s not a dog or three draped across it.
So, not a ‘pretty, pretty’ table runner one often associates with quilting projects but I don’t think that would have worked in this room so I’m quite pleased with it.
Now to get back to whatever it was I was supposed to be doing when this popped into my head.
Can a person get addicted to a crochet pattern? If so, I’m on my way to rehab. Remember these two Little River Blankets? (pattern designed by Emma Varnam )
The one on the right is made with Scheepjes yarn from the original kit and, to be honest, is still my favourite due to the softer feel of the cotton/acrylic mix and the more carefully planned out colour scheme which the pattern provides. The one on the left is made with 100% cotton yarn and I made the colours up as I went along.
All the yarn came in cute little 10g balls and, in the original, only one row is crocheted with each ball. Even so, I still had some leftovers from both projects
Perfect for yet another version using the scraps and enabling me to participate in ScrapHappy day this month.
I am breaking the rules with this one due to the limitations of using scraps and am having to change colour part way through a lot of the rows. I’m just trying to keep some sort of blending going.
This is it so far, unwoven in ends and all. The blue I’m using to create the unifying ripple every 7th row and the eventual edging is the only new yarn I bought for this version. The 7th row should have been the 5th row but I forgot and didn’t want to frog it so decided to keep it at every 7th – who will know? Or care?
I think the reason I’m addicted is the pattern is easy, though not totally mindless, so perfect for getting something useful done when I’m Netflix bingeing in the evening. It also keeps me from having a glass of wine or falling asleep – the two usually go together.
A double whammy from the scrap department this month. I made these two blocks for Kate’s newest quilt project for Ovarian Cancer Australia. Their colours are teal and cream and Kate likes to indulge her love of puns when naming the quilts. We’ve had ‘Tealed With A Kiss’, ‘Signed, Tealed, Delivered’ amongst others in the past and this one will be called ‘Go Teal It On The Mountains’. So, Kate and some of her readers of the patchwork persuasion are making blocks with a mountain theme. For some time now I’ve had a stash of of teal blues (and similar) kept specially for these projects. The blocks are assembled, quilted and finished by Kate and then auctioned to raise funds. You can read a bit more about it on Kate’s blog here.
This first block of mine was just a case of joining strips really.
I found the original idea online here
My second block was foundation paper pieced, a method I have come to love.
Free pattern found on Craftsy here
Kate asks for 12 inch finished blocks and this one was only 7 inches but I found this useful guide on how to enlarge and reduce paper pieced patterns here
Here’s another little scrap
Joining in this month with Kate and Gun’s Scraphappy Day for some inventive uses of scraps and interesting blogs. If you want to use up some scraps and show what you’ve done with them – could be paper, yarn, fabric, leather, wood, whatever, just let Kate know here and she can add you to the list of participants even if you don’t want to do something every month. Find more details on Kate’s blog here
Inspired by Cathy’s big, beautiful hexie quilt top in progress she showed us recently, I ferretted around in my workroom and unearthed my box of hexies started a few years ago. I had bought some thin card pre-cut hexies along with some fabric ones and, filled with the enthusiasm that is always evident at the start of a project, I started making them.
Then I stopped.
Although I did put one ‘flower’ together.
As you can see, this range of fabrics is very retro – it’s Chloe’s Closet for Moda called ’30s Playtime’ but there have been many variations of these so I don’t know which one this was. They are all along the same lines however.
Then, probably the year after or maybe later, I bought a jelly roll of ’30s Playtime’ which is a different variation but near enough to make no difference. I haven’t unwrapped it yet but I’m hoping there are more pups and bunnies.
I think I haven’t progressed much with the hexies because I have no clear idea what I’m going to do with them. I know, almost certainly, I will never have the patience to make a whole quilt with them. So, my question is, do you think I could join the ones I do make into a row – or however many rows I have enough hexies for – levelling that row (or rows) off to make straight lines – then make the rest of the quilt top with the jelly roll strips, inserting the hexie rows wherever they look right?
I also have some larger fabric hexies – just waiting for their paper/card inners – so the rows of hexies would be slightly different sizes.
Any ideas? Please! I have searched Pinterest without much joy as everybody else is obviously far more patient than I am and have mostly made quilts out of hundreds of little hexie flowers or similar.
Now for the second question.
Have you ever used double gauze fabric in quilting?
Double gauze has 2 layers of very thin gauze fabrics fused together, to create a soft, full bodied fabric. I have some in the perfect colour for backing my F2F blocks which are all in neutral colours with a sort of ‘dirty’ pink – let’s call it ‘vintage’ pink – as a highlight.
When I get around to putting the blocks together, I will be using the ‘quilt as you go’ method for construction which, for the non-quilters amongst you, who probably aren’t reading this anyway, means I will make a wadding sandwich with the top and backing squares and quilt them individually, then join with sashing.
So, as you can see, my hedgehog block is sitting nicely against the colour for display purposes but I just wondered if any of you have any experience of this fabric in quilt making or in any other sewing projects.
Thank you muchly for any ideas, suggestions or general comments. I know I can count on you.
Firstly, please accept my apologies if I haven’t commented on your blogs for the past week or so but we drove down into Spain/Catalonia for a break while my daughters house/dog/cat sat and, as one daughter doesn’t live here permanently, we’ve also been having some family time and I’ve been keeping off the screen and sewing machine as much as possible. Mlle. Tialys the Elder is here for another week but I just dropped in quickly with an update on the F2F third block swap organised by Kate.
During the 2016/2017 swap, I discovered the pattern for Elizabeth Hartman’s Fancy Forest quilt and made a couple of blocks featuring her foxes and also two hedgehogs because they were easily made into the correct size for the finished blocks (12 inches) that this block swap calls for simply by adding a border. It was interesting matching the colours they had chosen for their quilts to the pieces of hedgehog and each one is unique – I can guarantee you won’t see any of these in the wild.
So, in 2016, Susan over in Texas got this one –
and Claire in France got this one
I couldn’t resist revisiting this pattern for this year’s swap and – bearing in mind the participants who have already received one and the fact that not everybody might like a hedgehog in their quilt (although I can’t imagine why not 😉 ) – I made this blue and white one for Sue over in Washington as one of her three blocks for July.
I’d never made one for myself so, not to be left out, I made one in the neutral colour palette I’d selected as my colour choice this time round.
Plus, a paper pieced favourite of mine called ‘Banded Star’ – a pattern you can find free on Craftsy here.
With the receipt of these brilliantly executed (though not brilliantly photographed) blocks from Moira …….
and these lovelies from Nanette………
I now have all my blocks here and ready to be assembled into one big beautiful quilt or, quite possibly, two smaller fabulous throws. I chose a neutral palette so that I could display them in the living areas of the house more easily so two smaller ones would make sense.
As usual, with sampler quilts, I will probably QAYG (quilt as you go) and might even have a go at hand quilting this time so you probably won’t see the finished article any time soon but it’s time I tried to improve my quilting skills and this will be an ideal project to do so. Expect minimalism!
Two more scrappy blocks to show you this month.
I’ve decided to make them – or at least nine of them – using scraps left over from making the F2F blocks so, each month I’ll make three 12 inch blocks for that month’s participant and, with the scraps, make a block for my eventual scrappy quilt. That’s the plan anyway.
Confused? Join the club.
I was ‘Miss June’ and chose neutrals for my F2F colour palette so this is the scrappy block I made after making my own three blocks (well, I’m still part way through the third one but you get my drift).
Sue, from Washington, is ‘Miss July’ and her colour choices were different shades of blue with white. Some of these scraps don’t appear in the blocks I made for her – the butterflies wouldn’t have been right for instance – but it’s predominantly blue and white so will serve as a reminder of the blocks I made for her.
I have loads of yarn scraps left over from my Little River Blanket – remnants ranging from 3g to 5g – and I’m wondering what to make with those. Anybody got any experience using up such things? I’d be grateful for any ideas. As I’m making another of these blankets, I’ll have another 48 so the possibilities are endless – aren’t they?
If you want to make use of your own scraps – can be anything, fabric, yarn, paper, whatever – just contact Kate or Gun who organise ScrapHappy Day on the 15th of every month and, if you have something, Kate will link to your blog, if not, nobody will mind.
Here’s a link to Kate’s post this month where you will see a link to the other participants.
This was the draft for my next blog post. I was looking at it and thought it would be fun to show you what passes for my thought process. Lots of blah, blahs is how my posts always start and, some might say, how they generally carry on. So now you know.
I must just put in a bit of real blah though to say that all these gorgeous blocks – going towards my neutral palette F2F quilt – were received in the last few days from (in order of photos) Robin in Australia , Esther in the Netherlands and Kate, our esteemed leader, also in Australia. Those last two were ‘spares’ sent by Esther and Kate in case I wasn’t happy with one of the other three they sent me. As if! I don’t call them ‘spares’ I call them ‘bonuses’.
Normal blahing will be resumed as soon as possible.
You may remember – if not, I’m about to remind you – that I’m taking part in Kate’s Foot Square Freestyle block swap again this year.
This was one of my photos for colour inspiration and I apologise right now for causing the other participants problems with what, I suppose, is a fairly difficult colour palette to reproduce. I’ve even had trouble finding the right pinks myself so I sympathise.
My reasoning was that a neutral quilt would go with all different colour schemes and would fit in wherever I want to put it. Also, I have a few quilts for beds which I try to rotate and, this time, thought I might make a couple of smaller ones, or throws, to drape across a sofa back in an arty farty fashion.
Anyway, I was the first out of the hat to receive blocks from the other participants this year and three have been quick off the mark – probably to get my weird colours out of the way – and have sent me the three blocks each that we commit to every month for this swap.
Firstly I received these lovelies from Sue in Washington
Then these three beauties from Kathy in South Dakota
Then, from a little nearer home, this gorgeous group from Claire who is also in France
I try not to be too overawed by the excellence of everyone else’s piecing – it only makes me try harder with mine when I know the standard is this high and, although nobody is going to be the Quilt Police (at least I hope not) I don’t want to disappoint. Thank goodness it won’t be me that will be quilting their blocks – not my strong point!
I think they’ve all done a great job in interpreting my neutral vision and I’ve already started to think about the sort of thing I want to use for sashing and backing. I’m wondering about a darkish grey marbled with pink – if I can find such a beast.
I’ve only made one block for myself so far – I thought I’d wait until I see what everybody else makes first so I can go with the predominant flow at the end. I’ve been making Miss July’s blocks instead but I can’t show you those as it would spoil the surprise.
If anybody knows where I can get marbly grey and dirty pink fabric, please advise 🙂
Here are some of my cotton scraps. I say ‘some’ because there are quite a few more. I was industrious at some stage – can’t remember when – and cut some scraps into squares and strips so there’s a box of those somewhere and also a box totally dedicated to scraps of Liberty of London tana lawn which I get out and stroke now and again.
Anyway, I think it’s time something was done with all these bits of pretty floating around and, inspired by the beautiful quilt Kate has made entirely from scraps, which is so lovely she’s entering it into her local Quilt Show, and by the fact Kate and Gun host a Scraphappy Day once a month, I thought I’d throw design and colour coordination to the wind and make a scrappy quilt myself.
I’ll be making them all with a 12 inch finished size and using the QAYG (quilt as you go) method to join them all up.
I know I’m already starting on the F2F Block Swap that Kate organises but those blocks will be more complex and I’ll be strictly sticking to the chosen colours of the other participants whereas these ones will be put together in a vaguely random fashion – let’s call it ‘organic’.
My first block was put together on a whim and, if I’d had my head on, I would perhaps have chopped those large pieces up a bit more but, hey, it’s an organic process, remember.
The next one’s better and even has some yellow in it which I don’t usually countenance but I must have used it in something in order to have the scraps.
They probably won’t end up next to each other but, as I only have two at the moment, there is no option. I’ll think about sashing etc. further down the road.
If you want to see what can become of joining scraps together, you can see Kate’s beauty here – but don’t expect mine to be ‘show worthy’ necessarily. Although I might be able to show you a much emptier scrap box by the end of it.
Here are the others who take part in ScrapHappy Day every month or every now and again. If you fancy joining in – you can use any scraps you want to – fabric, yarn, paper, etc. – just contact Kate or Gun.
Kate , Gun,Titti, Heléne, Eva, Sue, Nanette, Lynn(me), Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan, Karen,
Moira, Sandra, Linda, Chris, Nancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean, Jon
No! Don’t be ridiculous, I’m not going to make inroads into the basket of long-forgotten shirts and rashly chosen clothes made from inconvenient fabric that has the nerve to crease. No – the Foot Square Freestyle Block Swap is back and I will be needing to press small pieces of delicious fabric on a regular basis.
Kate, over at Tall Tales from Chiconia has, once again, taken on the organisation of the third F2F worldwide block swap, bless her. I can only think she must enjoy herding cats as, whenever I have been rash enough to take on the role of an organiser, that’s what it seems to be like. Which is why I’m a team player rather than a team leader.
There are nine of us this year from all over the World and we will each make three blocks a month and send them to the person who has been drawn out of a hat to be the recipient that month. We can all choose what colours we want but the design is up to the person making the blocks so all skill levels are catered for. At the end of ‘our’ month, or shortly afterwards, we will have 27 blocks measuring 12 inches (finished size) – hence the ‘foot square’ of the title if you speak ‘imperial measurements’ – with which to make into a quilt.
If you have followed me for a while you will know that I have participated in both the previous swaps and, the first time, I ended up with all of these beauties-
I have missed the swap as I couldn’t find anything else like it when Kate took a year off from doing it last year and it was a very good exercise for improving patchwork skills, trying out some new ones (foundation paper piecing anyone?) plus working with colours you might not normally use yourself.
As last time, my name was drawn out of the hat first so I will be ‘Miss June’ (which is appropriate as it’s my birthday month) and will be receiving three blocks from all the other participants some time later in the month or early in July. Just wondering – why is it that my name never comes first out of the hat when there are big prizes to be won?
Anyway, these are some inspirations for my colour choices this time
Neutrals with shades of grey (although not as many as fifty) from pale to charcoal
some beige and cream
with vintage, faded rose pinks .
Why did my parents not provide me with such a bedroom when I was a child? Would I have appreciated it if they did? Probably not but I still feel slightly miffed.
So, I have made my first block just to get my hand in as I am severely out of practice and need to improve before I start sending out work to those who may or may not be more capable than me (but probably are).
A simple one to start but, even then, one of my points isn’t perfect. The further down the line the participant is the better off they’ll be as I probably won’t be fully up to speed again for a couple of months. Although, of course, I will be trying very hard. There’s nothing like sending off your work to others who do the same sort of work to inspire improvement.