ScrapHappy October: A fresh start

Welcome once again to ScrapHappy Day!

It’s the day my friend Gun in Sweden and I host ScrapHappy, a day for showing something made from scraps.

Days Gone By. Now gracing someone else’s home without my consent, or worse still, decorating the council dump. Grrrr.

You will recall from a recent post that this lovely went missing, and it has not been recovered despite all efforts.

It took a day of misery, some tears and a very large bar of chocolate to bring me to my senses. It was a scrappy quilt. Those pieces would normally have been thrown away. All that was lost was my time and some bits of paper.

So, well, I started again.

I still had the photo of the arrangement of hexies I wanted to add to the bottom of DGB#1. So I just took that as my start point and cracked on. In the unlikely and miraculous event that DGB#1 turns up, I can just add this piece as originally planned. If not, well, it becomes the top of DGB#2. Simple!

ScrapHappy is open to anyone using up scraps of anything – no new materials. It can be a quilt block, pincushion, bag or hat, socks or a sculpture. Anything made of genuine scraps is eligible. If your scrap collection is out of control and you’d like to turn them into something beautiful or useful instead of leaving them to collect dust in the cupboard, why not join us on the 15th of each month? Either email me at the address on my Contact Me page, or leave a comment below. You can also contact Gun via her blog to join. We welcome new members. You don’t have to worry about making a long term commitment or even join in every month, just let either of us know a day or so in advance if you’re new and you’ll have something to show, so we can add your link. Regular contributors will receive an email reminder three days before the event.

Here are the links for everyone who joins ScrapHappy from time to time (they may not post every time, but their blogs are still worth looking at). If you’ve copied this list from previous posts, please use the one below as it’s the most up to date 🙂

Kate (me!)Gun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean,
Joanne, Jon, HayleyDawn, Gwen, Connie, Bekki, Pauline and Sue L.

See you again, same time next month


A small detour

I’ve said it before. I have a hard time saying no.

This time, I failed to say no to my neighbour, whose daughter is having a baby shower this coming weekend. You know what’s coming, don’t you? Yup. On Tuesday last week, the neighbour stood on my doorstep and asked if I’d make her a baby quilt. For a week on Saturday. She didn’t know what she wanted, she had no fabric, I could make what I liked for the baby girl.

You’ve heard that one before too, haven’t you? We went to my cupboard and pulled anything vaguely suitable. There was one baby-friendly fabric, a pattern of sheep on a white background. The sheep were shades of pale pink, mint, grey and orange sherbet. This was our fabric story. I had suitable fat quarters of everything except the orange sherbet shade, so I asked her to buy me enough in that colour to back the quilt, make sashing strips for front and back and bind it, and I’d make the blocks out of the other colours. At this point, the plan was to make and quilt each block individually.

Oh dear. The neighbour couldn’t get to the shops until Thursday… OK, I’d start making the blocks for the front. I made six by the end of Tuesday, and sent the neighbour a photo so she could see I was getting on with it. Silence. On Thursday morning, I got a text back to say she preferred the sheep print to all the other fabrics, she was going to buy more like it, sorry to be a pain. Oh… drat. I stopped sewing. On Thursday afternoon, she arrived with a paper bag, and tipped out the contents. Oh….dratter.

We had a selection of fat quarters in bright green, bright orange, bright purple, bright pink, pale grey with tiny white spots, brown, dark purple and a navy with massive dirty pink spots. We also had 5 baby prints, one of which was totally unusable, 3 of which were mostly bright primaries, and one which was just usable with the colour scheme we already had going. No orange sherbet. I asked about the orange. Apparently the lady in the shop had told her that the amount I’d requested was far too much (she’d know best, of course), and instead, she’d chosen a selection of alternative prints. So now I had nothing for backing, binding or sashing. I think my horror showed a bit, despite my best efforts.

I looked at the bright prints, at the bright orange and green, and decided I could make a back out of them. There was the usable baby print and the pale grey. I could just about use the bright pink for binding if I made the binding narrow. Everything else would have to go back. My work had just doubled, and I’d have to quilt the bloody thing all in one piece. Oh, and I had four appointments in the next 5 days, and we were going on holiday on the Thursday before she needed it, and I still had to pack the caravan. Nose down, bum up, get stitching.

I got it done and handed it over today. The quilting is not my best, but she doesn’t know the difference. Some of the seams don’t line up. She doesn’t care. She has a double-sided quilt in double-quick time. She’s a neighbour, I wanted to help, and I only asked for enough to replace my fabric and batting, so she got it for a very good price. She petted Mouse on the way out and asked if he was going on holiday with us. He is, of course, but she said “Oh, so I don’t need to baby sit him”. Not this time, my dear, but you owe me. Big time… Mwahahaha!

I don’t actually like it much, I had a much nicer and less bland and boring version in mind. So it doesn’t get a name, and I’m not too upset about the defects that I can see so easily. Sorry about the rather dark and hurried photos. They do at least give you an idea of what I’m talking about…

So that’s why it’s been very quiet on the blog for a few days.

90° thinking…

I’ve been a bit unsettled in my mind the last couple of days.

Not without reason, I’d stipulate. Losing months of work is one cause. The dog behaving as if I’d started maltreating him because I had to take him to the vet for his annual shots is another. Thinking out a big forthcoming project is a third.

So I slowly started assembling the Opal scrappy quilt. It looks lovely. The lilacy-blue sashing works particularly well. The top half is almost done, one seam to go. I was just sitting there a bit vacantly staring at it, when the whole thing just rotated 90° in my head, the two halves side by side. Like this:

And there it was, a potential solution. Let me explain.

Ever since we moved into this house, I’ve been looking for the perfect thing, or things, to hang on the wall above our bed. There is one obstacle, which is a wall light bang slap in the middle of the space, or I’d have whipped a quilt up there pronto. There is also – now – a solution.

I will finish Opal in two halves, and hang the two quilts on the wall above the bed, one on either side of the wall light. The height from the top of the bedhead to the ceiling is almost exactly right, and they will stick out a little on either side, which I don’t mind. They will look great with my hexie quilt on the bed, and against the very soft pale green of the wall. What do you think? I love the idea!

I feel much better now.

I’ve started sewing together a new piece for Days Gone By. The dog can just get over it: he’s had a cheesy treat and two bones, and that’s all that he’s going to blackmail out of me with the mournful, reproachful looks. And I have just had a brainwave about dealing with the Big Project I have coming up.

Things are looking up!

By the way, there has been no news, no calls and no joy at the police station about the missing DGB hexie quilt. So I’ve said goodbye to it, and am moving on. If it turns up, I’ll be stunned and overjoyed, but I don’t expect it. Thanks to all of you for your good ideas, suggestions and great support.


I’m absolutely miserable.

My beautiful ScrapHappy project, the hexie quilt I’m hand stitching for Days for Girls, is lost. Gone.

Last weekend I worked on it at the sewing group as usual, planning new sections to be added. At the end of the session, as always, I folded and rolled it up and put it in my work basket, and carried it around the corner to where I’d parked my car. I had burned myself badly on a mug of boiling hot tea, and was distracted and in pain. I put the basket away in its usual place when I got home and dealt with the burn.

This morning, when I got the basket out, the rolled up work wasn’t there. I searched around the house, I searched the car, and concluded I’d left it at the sewing group after all. I was wrong. It wasn’t there, no-one had seen it. Everyone there knows I’m making it and would have got in touch if they’d found it.

The Husband is posting a photo on his FaceBook account and asking for information. The ladies at Days for Girls will also post about it on FB. I’m not on FB myself, so I’ll have to rely on them. Does anyone know, is there a way to see if anyone’s put up a photo of it if they found it? I’ve no idea how FB works, but if anyone has a suggestion, do get in touch.

I think probably only someone who sews or quilts would appreciate what it was worth, so my great fear is that it’s ended up in a dustbin somewhere. I asked around in the nearby shops, but no joy.

All I can do is cross my fingers, wipe my eyes, blow my nose and hope.

Opal 3: change of plan

The blocks are all quilted.

I went with the wavy lines, surprise surprise…

I made the lines a little further apart than usual; despite the slight extra firmness this pattern creates, it’s still my favourite freehand quilting design, and I’m hoping the extra spacing will still allow it to drape nicely. Once they were all done, I offered up a sample strip of the black/ grey/ white floral print to see how it would look as sashing.

Um, nope.

I just didn’t like it.

It seemed to fracture the soft, gentle waves of colour which were unified by the grey, rather than separated. Too hard, too sudden. The back of the quilt is a mixture of pale pinkish-lilac-berry shot cotton and the same sort of blue as the back of the hatbox quilt, but a flat colour rather than a shot cotton. I have enough of the blue, I think, to do the sashing strips on the front. I did a test, and it’s much better. It blends with the grey, it’s the same tonal value and the overall effect is unified.

The next step is to join it all up. Not a very fascinating thing to post about, so I’ll hold off till it’s done. Another UFO approaching completion!  What’ll I do when they’re all done…? Not to worry, I don’t think that’s going to happen any time soon…

Back soon 🙂



BM&I #41: Parterre Blocks 6 and 7

And here are the next couple.

This is Block 6:

And this is Block 7:

You’ll recognise at least one of the fabrics and possibly a couple of them. Block 6 is made from my recent linen top fabric, plus a lawn I used to make a second version, simpler and sleeveless. They work rather well together, I think. Block 7 is made from a paisley fat quarter I love, plus a piece of no-longer-available Phillip Jacobs Geranium Leaf fabric for Westminster Fibers I’ve been hoarding for at least 8 or 9 years! You’ll also see I’ve decided to go with the larger 3.5 blanket stitch width; I think it holds up a little better when I’m removing the tear-away stabiliser from the back..

Bee, Myself and I is a forum for ‘selfish sewing’; any stitchery which is purely for pleasure and not to a deadline or for anyone else. The original concept belongs to Carla of Granny Maud’s Girl. To find out more, you can click through on either her blog link, or using the button a fair way down in the left hand column of this blog.

More next month!

Opal 2: framing

So, here’s where I’m up to.

In my stash there were oddments of grey and white Christmas fabrics. Now, I never use seasonal fabrics as a rule, but I bought them as a stack of eight FQs, having only seen the top spotty one clearly and the other patterns as little snippets on the edge of each folded fat quarter. At the time, I had visions of starting a grey and white quilt, but realising what the designs looked like, I abandoned it, using only bits and pieces where the cutting made the designs disappear. To me, those remainders are scraps, since I’ll never make anything from them, but they’re useful…

I think they work pretty well as the frames for the pastel scrappy blocks of Opal. The busy randomness of the scrappy blocks distracts from the Christmasy themes, and that particular shade of warm grey is muted enough not to distract too much from all the lovely colour.

Sandwiching each block and then quilting comes next. So, wiggly lines or cross-hatching? Wiggly lines make the quilt a bit stiffer, because the quilting’s denser. On the other hand, while cross-hatching is softer and less dense, it does need to be marked, but wiggly lines can be done freehand. Oh, the decisions. Still, there’s time.

Sandwiching will take a couple of days for cutting the backing and batting and then putting everything together. Must check I have enough 505 basting spray. How terrible to have to visit my LQS…

And for the joining strips/sashing, I’ll be using a black, dark grey and white splashy floral print left over from making the Lime & Soda porch curtain. It’s not a design I’ll want to use in a quilt, I think, but it will make a great narrow sashing for this quilt, or that’s what I’m thinking right now.

I may change my mind later!