Friday, July 28, 2017

Patchwork and Quilting

This week I quilted this quilt made by a customer from the quilt shop. I haven't done that since my earliest days as a hand quilter, back in 1981. She made a beautiful top and said she 'didn't want to ruin it'. I was happy to help.

color blocks 1 by nancy crow - Google Search
And then I started a last top for my class, which was based on the layout of this early work by Nancy Crow, Color Blocks 1 . I have always loved this quilt and just recently looked at it again and saw that even tho it looks complicated, it is really only made from easy blocks, the four patch and nine patch. I CAN DO THAT! This is really a design in which the fabric does all the work.

 Here's my almost completed version. It still needs some borders, but it's close enough to finished for class today...

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Scrappy Guilt Trip Four Patch Top

 Scrappy Guilt Trip, 59x72", machine pieced top. A few weeks ago I got obsessed (guilt!) with using up my scraps and made a gazillion four patch blocks, in a willy-nilly fashion. 
I paid dearly for the thoughtless anti-design sewing. None of my ideas seemed to work to make these blocks into a quilt. Then today it hit me. I put all my four patches on the wall and saw that they could go together like this and in a few hours my design came to life. Hurray! What a relief!
 My long held background fabric is my design made by Springs Industries from my Hollyhocks II quilt. I have yardage in both navy and black and have never used it until now. 

The original quilt was quilted in my hand dyed pearl cotton #12 thread, which was copied and made into this fabric.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Sweet Baby Top

Sweet Baby unquilted top, 46x49", machine pieced. I have a sweet tooth for bright pastels and so my scrap collection features lots of those colors, and I grouped many of them into this piece and just love it! Too bad I don't have any babies in my realm to make this specifically for.

 Lots of half square triangles were joined to make diamonds, flying geese and pinwheels. What a versatile little patch.

 Some of my scrap triangles were a little wonky and so their points have disappeared when they were sewn together. Maybe the baby won't mind, hee hee.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Scrappy Nines

 In my quest to use all my scraps, these nine patch blocks helped decrease the mountain of 2.5" strips in my stash. I began sewing them together, willy nilly,  without a  plan or careful choosing and before long I had a bunch ready to make into a quilt. But they weren't nicely light and dark, and wouldn't fall into clear patterns. So there they sat. Finally I made the decision to use them as 'background' blocks against these red snowballs. 

The red fabrics are also getting used up, and three different ones were sewn into this top. Next time I do a ninepatch, I will plan my colors first. Dave likes this one and wants it for his bed. It's small (50x60") for a bed quilt, so I may have to add some to make it grow.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Pinwheel Geese Medallion

 Pinwheel Geese Medallion, top, 54" square, and possibly will grow, depending on finding the right fabrics. Machine pieced.
Medallion quilts are so easy and enjoyable to construct because you begin in the middle and grow it outward. First I made the flying geese blocks and carefully sewed them together, joining solid red along the sides. Then I used up the last of my red/orange dots for the outer triangles. A matching orange border followed and then...what?

 Since my geese were pinks and aquas I pulled out my lightest Kaffe fabrics in those colors, plus reds and darks, to use if I could figure out how. I never did. However I did use some hand dyed solids for the four patch bits.

 I love how nice the four patch gradate colors. Solids against the busy patterns is just a must. The main floral strips are just the width of fabric cut to match the finished four patch widths, 4 1/2". I had just enough, and no more! Since I am doing teaching demos at my sister's store, I want to keep reinforcing that even a simple two block quilt like this can be interesting and an easy way to get the most out of your precious fabrics.
 Update: I decided to enlarge the Scrappy Medallion with one more round of pink. It makes the center off center a bit but I don't mind it. If I do start to mind, I can always add another round of dark blue. We'll see.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Scrappy Medallion

This quilt, Garden Medallion had been on my Pinterest board for ages. I love the huge log cabin made with Kaffe Fassett fabrics and always hoped one day to make my own. Yesterday I did!
The idea to extend the length of the wide strips with patchwork was perfect for my scrapwork collection. I had flying geese, four patches, nine patches, and HSTs ready to use. I have been hoarding KF fabrics for a while and recently felt I needed to add a few more, eek! and start using them up. Some of these are new. 
Here's a hint. At Craftsy one can order kits of KF fabric and get lots of variety at a lower price. I did that with this kit.

Scrappy Medallion, 55" square, machine pieced top.

 I had to decide what to use as my center and chose a Bear's Paw block made from my charm squares and a Waverly dot. Then the fun began, choosing the lights and darks to build the Log Cabin.

 Here are some of my pieced scrap blocks. Their size determined the width of the strip I cut.

The whole thing just came together in no time, and I think I may have to do another with a different setting. I am having a blast!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Scrapwork Top Finish

 The top is completed, and now measures 53x64" with the additions of three borders. Using the flying geese in my blocks box, added length to the skimpy amount of aqua stripe.

 This was such a satisfying project, using up almost a whole box of strips. I will now be more conscious of where leftovers get stored. Somehow I have a lot of dark prints and solids and never imagine or think 'dark'. Perhaps my subconscious will work on that for the future.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Choosing a Setting

This was the way I set the scrappy blocks as I worked on them and didn't have to use my step stool to get them up on the wall. I've been considering ways to enlarge the piece from this point, as it is only 48x36", each block being 6.5" square.

 But if I put them on point, it suddenly grows to 45x55" (before seaming) and I need only to add two more squares, and border triangles, which will not be a problem. OK that makes the decision easy!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017


I've been working on reducing my scraps which have gotten totally out of hand. Trying to use the abundance of 2 1/2" strips packed into several stash boxes. I found a tutorial which made it simpler to get right down to business. Cut 9 strips 8 inches long. Sew three sets of three and then trim and cut into 2 1/2 pieces. Arrange and sew again and voila, three new nine patches to add to the wall.
Sometimes the strip I pull out of the box is slightly too narrow, or I have a wider one and need to trim it down to 2 1/2". These go into another pile and will become quarter log cabin blocks.

 These require a little more sewing and choosing, but the variety is worth the effort. Some of these strips are really narrow, but that makes nicer details and adds to the fun.