Days Gone By: done deal

‘Tis finished, people.

Last night I set the last stitch in the binding and the label. It’s finally finished and ready to be handed over to Days for Girls next weekend, when our Saturday morning stitching sessions begin again after the summer break.

A couple of weeks ago, I handed the completed top and back and a large piece of batting over to a very kind lady called Judith, who is a long-arm quilter and who had graciously agreed to quilt it for free. On Thursday I got it back, beautifully stipple quilted, plus all the offcuts. For those not in the know, when a quilt is long-arm quilted you need to make the backing and batting at least 5 or 6 inches larger all round than the quilt top. I had been generous with both batting and backing, and I got one substantial piece and several smaller pieces of both back. Enough, in fact, to do the batting and backing for my table runner, also for Days for Girls.

I made binding from a number of partial or discarded jelly roll strips from other projects. I have some left over, but not, I think, enough to bind the table runner, so I’ll need to dig out more scraps for that.

So, without further ado, the photos. Appreciation to the Husband, who did the holding up.

front

Back

And the label:

A final summary for anyone not already familiar with this lengthy project: the quilt front is made from scraps left over after cutting out the pieces that go into the Days for Girls kits. When I joined the group, I was horrified to see usable pieces being simply thrown away. It meant that all the donated money and fabric was being partly wasted, so I determined that I’d find a way to rectify this. Days Gone By is the result. The backing and binding are made from scrap fabric from my own stash, which had not yet found another purpose. The only new parts of this quilt are the batting and thread, without which it would not be a quilt at all. It’s a truly scrappy, minimal-waste quilt.

It has been a very long pull. Some of you may recall that a large piece of assembled hexies was lost at the end of September 2019, and I had to start again. It was hard, but start again I did, and finally we’re across the line. This quilt, the table runner still in progress and the cushion cover I’ve shown earlier will all be raffled to raise funds to purchase fabric and other supplies for more Days for Girls kits. Although we have been unable to distribute the kits we make because of Covid-19, we haven’t stopped making them, and when travel restrictions are finally lifted they will once again go to the women and girls whose lives are changed and improve by them.

On to the next DfG quilt. This time I think I’ll go for something a bit quicker to make!

Super-scrappy stash-slashing

Definitely not a title to attempt after any kind of alcohol…

And it isn’t even a ScrapHappy Day… Back to the point. I’m talking about the back for my Days Gone By quilt, the one I’ve made from scraps generated by the local Days for Girls sewing chapter. A reminder of what this looks like, hanging on my design wall:

And this is the almost complete back, on the same design wall.

Just two long seams to go and it’s assembled, ready to trim out. The eagle-eyed will have noted that it’s a lot larger than the front. This is because we have located an extremely kind local Long-Arm Lady*, who has agreed to quilt it without charge so that I don’t have to struggle with the beast. Batting has been donated – polyester, not my favourite, but it will make a nice lofty quilt when all is done. However, we still needed a back. Having already donated over a year of work myself, and the group not being in a position to buy the fabric needed because this whole project is designed to raise funds to buy supplies for the DfG kits, I had to improvise.

I went shopping in my stash. I rootled about until I’d brought out all the larger scrap pieces I didn’t love or felt I could spare, or had always wondered What Was I Thinking? I sacrificed a few bits I still liked but could live without. They are all, without exception, scrap fabric, left over from other projects. There is no particular logic to the layout apart from ending up with something that didn’t actually make my eyes bleed to look at it…  It is, after all, the back. The bit you don’t look at if you can help it. Two more long seams, and it’s done and I can forget about it until the New Year, when it has its January appointment with edge-to-edge quilting and a moment of fame in March at a fundraiser.

It would have been easier if I hadn’t had to make the thing 6 inches larger than the front in all directions; a requirement of long-arm quilting to assist with loading it on the rollers. So this monstrosity is W82 inches x H87 inches.

Which is a very good thing, because there’s now 7,134 square inches less of unloved fabric in my stash!

 

* For the non-quilters among you, this is not an unfortunate disability, but the ownership of a long-arm quilting machine, an object often 12ft long, which makes light work of quilting large pieces if you know what you’re doing, and is an enviable piece of kit.

ScrapHappy October: A hexie cushion

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.

I needed a handwork project to take on holiday with me. I had quite a bundle of hexie flowers left from the Days Gone By quilt top, so I’ve separated them into to projects: a cushion cover and a table runner. When Days Gone By is finished and goes into the prize draw, I wanted to have a second and third prize to go with it. The cushion cover will be third and the table runner second, being larger.

And here’s the finished cushion front, all the hexies stitched together. It’s not stylish or carefully considered, but it is very scrappy and cheerful. I need to tone down the pale yellow and pink ones in the middle which jump out too much, and I’ll straighten the outer edges, sandwich and quilt it. After that, I’ll add a backing in a nice colour. Next month, I hope to have the table runner top ready to show you.

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. Joanne has asked to be removed from the list due to time constraints, and we have a new member this month, so say hello to Ann and hop over to look at her work in the galleries on her website.

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

See you next time for more scrappy loveliness.

Days Gone By: the gap is closed!

I’ve finished all the border cutting and piecing!

Now I have to stitch the seams joining all the border sections together: the top is done, but I have the side and bottom strips to put together, which is why it still looks a bit wonky. I’m really pleased that paying close attention when I was cutting and stitching has meant there are very few places where the seams don’t line up despite the widely varying fabrics used.

Once that’s done, I have to press the outer edge of the hexie section very well, remove the last of the papers, and pin it down onto the borders. Hand stitching the hexies down will take a fair time and requires a large flat surface to ensure that there’s no bubbling or buckling caused by the stitching.  I’ll also have to make a backing, which will, yes, also be scrappy but will be pulled from several sources, not just the DfG scraps. I need largish pieces or all the seams will make the quilting a bit arduous. I have a basket of pulled fabrics ready to go.

It’s so good to see real progress at last 🙂

ScrapHappy September: Days Gone By – border progress

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.

Last time, I’d just begun creating the border blocks to go around the hexie centre.

Cutting, arranging and stitching these 12 inch blocks gets addictive. Cutting and arranging I can do at my Saturday morning Days for Girls sewing group, and it’s an opportunity to collect yet more DfG scraps to be incorporated (as if I needed any more, what with the 80L (20 gallon) storage tub of them I already have).

Anyway…

I got a bit carried away with the stitching bit the past few weeks, and here’s where I am now:

Two sides of the border completed, another under way, and you can see now how I intend to use it against the hexies. I need to finish the right hand side, and start the bottom border. The zig zag edge of the hexie panel will be hand stitched down onto the border squares and I’ll finally be able to release the last papers from the hexie edge. As always, you can click to enlarge the image.

Mouse has also been the delighted recipient of a scrappy project this week. On a recent fabric shopping trip, I picked up a very long skinny remainder of polar fleece, about 60cm wide by 2 metres long (24×80 inches). I had been trying to find him a Cuddlepillar, but without success. Due to the obsession greyhounds have with these plush toys, it’s virtually impossible to buy one. So I decided I’d make him some-thing he could play with in the same way. Success!  He spends hours ‘killing’ it, shaking it, dragging it about, and when he has finally vanquished it, lying on it! It’s just the long piece of polar fleece sewn into a tube and stuffed with two tragic flat old bed pillows which had been on the point of going in the dustbin, rolled into sausages. The fact that the fleece is printed with cats is purely incidental….

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. We have two new members this month, Del and Nanette – Welcome, ladies!

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

See you next time for more scrappy loveliness.

ScrapHappy August: Days Gone By

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.

Last time, I’d finally completed the hexie part of the Days Gone By quilt. (It might still need some fillers on the left and right hand edges, but it’s otherwise substantially complete.) It was time to head into border country once again!

After some not entirely boring trimming work, I’d assembled 36 x 2½ inch squares which worked nicely as a 12 inch finished block. The first of many border pieces!  These will all be joined into an outer ‘frame’ onto which I will appliqué the hexie panel. I’m making an effort not to use duplicate fabrics within each block.

As you can see, I have the next one laid out ready to go, and yet another one trimmed out. It’s easy enough to take a pile of scraps, a small quilter’s ruler, a cutting mat and a rotary cutter along to the Days for Girls sessions instead of a large piece of hexie hand-stitching, and it sure does chew up the scraps nicely!

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, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean,
Joanne, Jon, HayleyDawn, Gwen, Connie, Bekki, Pauline,
Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin, Vera, Del and Nanette

See you next time for more scrappy loveliness.

The Travels of Mouse: north to the sun #6

Well, it rained off and on all day yesterday. I can’t imagine what the Staff were thinking.

I mean, the point of the holiday was winter sunshine, so rain was very inconvenient and not well arranged. Still, we did manage some enjoyment. I got a few walkies in, although no big runs in a dog park on account of “not getting himself completely muddied up”. I was a Very Good Boy and held still while Mum got an ouchie out of my eye, which was all mucky. And as a reward, we went back to Vines and I got another puppaccino – and it wasn’t even my birthday!

The Staff made a huge sacrifice and forced down some coffee and cake whilst we sat in the shade area outside, surrounded by enormous tropical stuff. It’s all leaves to me, but Mum made a big song and dance about the flowers, ooh, aaah. The little trickling fountain was nice, though, even if I wasn’t allowed to have a drink there…

I did a lot of snoozing. Dad stuck on some headphones and pawed at his black plank thing. Mum messed about with fabric and took me for walkies. And then the final outrage: she baked and there was None For Me. Apparently, she’d been inspired by the cake she had at Vines. She made cupcakes with pineapple and banana and chocolate chips. I offered to help lick the bowl and the spoons – you know, the Mouse Pre-Wash Cycle – but my helpful offer was refused. I also didn’t get any bits once they were baked. I just don’t understand… They had banana in them. Obviously they were for Me!

(Note from Mum: I had to make do with what I have in the caravan pantry: 2 cup self raising flour, 2 eggs, 1 small very ripe mashed banana, 1 cup dark brown sugar, 1 x 445g/15 or 16oz can crushed pineapple with the juice, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips. Mix it all just enough so there’s no visible flour left, dollop into a well-greased muffin pan – I use silicone in the caravan because you can roll it up to fit in a small space – and bake for 20 minutes at 160°C/325°C)

Mum says she’s assembled the two rows of hexies she committed to at the start of the trip, and now just has to sew them onto the main piece. Whatever. It all sounds like blah blah blah to me. OK, that’s mean, but sewing is time she could have spent stroking me… Anyway, she’s bustling about now opening and closing lockers, which can only mean one thing.

We’re on the move again.