ScrapHappy July

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

This month, we’re welcoming more new members to the ScrapHappy group. Last month, Jon joined us with a scrappy electronics project, and now, Joanne, Johanna and Dawn – who is bringing us some jewellery she’s made from scrap silver from other projects. I’m loving that the scope and range of scrappiness is growing beyond the fabric/ yarn format!

This month is our ScrapHappyversary. The first ever ScrapHappy post went up in July 2015, and since then, there has been a scrappy post from Gun and myself on the 15th of every month come rain or shine, with more and more people joining us as time went on. Go scraps!

Here’s my offering this month. You may recall that when I was making the original $11 Rainbow scrappy quilt I had a number of much paler blocks, pastel shades that didn’t work with the strong brights I ended up using. I’ve pulled the paler red, blue, pink, teal and green blocks out of the cupboard, and added pale yellow, grey, beige/brown and lilac to join them. You guessed it. There’s another rainbow quilt on the way…

That’s a dapple of sunlight making the pale patch on the design wall, not a really strange effect of the colours I used!

At this stage, I’m not at all sure I’ll have enough of the pale scraps to complete a pastel rainbow quilt the same size as the other one. I have a whole range of colour ideas for the sashing, but whether I can find any of them in a shade I like and a price I can afford (I have a nasty habit of falling in love with expensive shot colours…) is the question. For now, I’m thinking a cool grey instead of dark blue, and scrappy joining strips as before, but I’ll wait till the quilt decides and lets me know. Or how about a very low value, small scale print that unifies all the colours? That might look a bit busy, but it could work… If I don’t make more blocks, this version might also end up with much wider sashing to compensate for the lack of another row in each direction, or I could set them on point, then I just have to do triangular setting blocks? Tell me what you think 🙂

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 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).

Kate (me!)Gun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, JanKaren,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean, Johanna,
Joanne, Jon, Hayley and Dawn

See you again, same time next month!

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$11R: quilting done

This is where QAYG really shines.

I’ve not had much time to devote to sewing in the last week or so, but quilting one block at a time, rather than having the whole thing under the machine, has meant I could make small chunks of progress whenever I had a spare half hour. And the quilting’s done! Sadly, so is my reel of thread, which needs replacing urgently; it’s the colour I also use for repairing the Husband’s work pants, and there are two pairs of those awaiting attention too.

I’ve also trimmed down my leftover jelly roll strips for the back sashing; they were 2½ inches wide and needed to be 1¾ instead. I’ve also trialled stabilising the edges of the scrappy till roll sashing for the front, as the stitching is coming apart here and there. It does make the strips slightly bendy, but prevents unravelling completely, so I think I’ll do it for all of them. A simple line of stitches down each edge is all it takes, but it has to be done after the paper backing has been torn away. Fiddly, but necessary. I’m going to join the blocks into 4 sets of 4 squares, join two of those side to side, and then have one large seam across the middle. The picture also shows front and back sashing strips cut ready to join the top 8 blocks.

Next time you see this, I hope it’ll be looking a bit more finished. Maybe not done, but with good progress.

$11R: back to the scraps…

… for scrappy backs.

Sorry the focus is a bit varied, but I had to stand on a stool to get all them all in the shot, and the ones running off to the right have lost their sharpness.

These aren’t as pretty or varied or intricate as the fronts, but I’m pleased to say I’ve fairly quickly achieved backs for all 20 blocks out of my larger scraps. By which I mean pieces a fair bit smaller than a fat quarter, many with chunks cut out of them or wonky edges, or several smaller pieces of the same fabric, and all left over from prior projects. And I definitely haven’t been precious about how I mixed them up. Many of the scraps were unlikely to find a home in other quilts: a too-large or bold pattern, a not quite right colour balance, a fabric I no longer liked or had grown tired of, or which was too specific to a particular project. This way, they have a valuable role as part of this rainbow-hued quilt rather than leading “lives of quiet desperation”* in the back of my cupboard.

I’ve made the same number of blocks of each colour for the backs as I have for the fronts. Effectively, the quilt will be virtually reversible, but complex and bright on the front and simple and blocky on the back. I’m going to have a rootle through my scrap jelly roll strips for sashing for the back. The selection will be heavy on the blues, as I eliminated a lot that were the wrong hue from the selection for the Bonnard quilt, but it should still be interesting to look at.

So, nearly ready to start sandwiching and quilting. I reckon it’ll be ready in time for the show… 🙂

*Walden, by Henry David Thoreau

ST&D: all quilted!

Phew!  That’s a relief….

I have all 30 blocks of Signed, Tealed & Delivered quilted at last.

I was getting nervous about getting it done in time, but now I only have the standing-up jobs of cutting the sashing strips and trimming out the blocks to finish in the next few days, and the mostly sitting-down job of assembling it all to worry about. The outside binding strips are all cut already, and I think I’ll try and get the label done in the next couple of days too, so adding that when I stitch down the binding will be easy. Luckily that final stage is something I can do sitting down quite easily 🙂

I’m happy with the quilting. Wavy lines are not something to get too precious about so it’s pretty quick, the design really suits the nature and theme of the quilt, and I really like the texture you get from alternating directions.

So, tomorrow’s job is cutting 1 inch sashing strips in teal for the front and 1¼ inch sashing strips in cream for the back. If I get time, I’ll print out the label transfer, and iron it down onto cream cotton. Normally I apply the label at the bottom left hand corner, but I might put this one in the centre of the big ‘O’ on the back. I’ll see how it looks once the quilt’s assembled.

Incidentally, today is our 5th wedding anniversary. I looked back at the day’s post this time last year. Oh yes…. Cyclone Debbie had just passed by and we celebrated by cleaning mud off our floors, cutting up fallen trees and washing filthy wet towels. Things should be a lot more civilised this year. Except… I’m carefully watching that huge low pressure system wandering up and down our coastline. Just now, it looks like Townsville may be the favoured spot where it makes landfall, but you never know.

And it’s Good Friday, too. Hurray, Hot Cross Buns for breakfast, my favourite! 

 

Signed, Tealed & Delivered: Ready, set…. go!

And here we are again. Time for another Ovarian Cancer donation quilt.

Signed, Tealed & Delivered has a postal theme, as you can see from the original sketch I showed some months ago. The response to my call for block contributors has been outstanding, and I will be emailing everyone who volunteered with confirmation of what they’re making, attaching a pattern if necessary.

As always, the colour scheme is based around various shades of teal and cream, in 100% cotton quilting weight fabrics. However, with this quilt, I’m encouraging the use of other colours in the envelope linings and postcard fronts, to ensure this quilt is lively, colourful and varied. Pink, apricot, orange, emerald, dark blue and lilac are all possible additions.

As you know, there’s a paper piecing pattern for the ‘lined envelope’ blocks, and it’s pretty simple, so shouldn’t present too many difficulties. The ‘postcard’ blocks can be pieced or appliqué (personally, I’ll be using appliqué), and as you can see, there’s a postcard front and a back on each block. I think it would be a lovely idea to put your name on the address portion of the postcard back but not, of course, your address! It could be permanent marker, embroidery, etc. If anyone would prefer not to do this, let me know and I’ll let the others know that it’s not happening, so the blocks are all consistent. How you achieve the postcard is completely up to you, but if you need ideas, I’m happy to offer suggestions. Email me!

The four large envelope blocks in the corners can be achieved with simple piecing of triangles. Finally, there are the centre blocks, the stamp, the frank and the OCA ribbon. I have a brave volunteer for embroidering the frank, and I’ll be doing the stamp and ribbon blocks myself. The binding will be in the ‘airmail’ stripe fabric I sourced previously. I’m not sure what colour the sashing will be this time; I’ll wait to see what the block layout looks like so I can check what colour the quilt is ‘asking’ for.

The sizing follows the previous quilts. The blocks will finish at 12 inches square, and I’d ask you to give me an unfinished block of AT LEAST 12½ inches square, preferably a bit larger if possible. This will ensure that when the blocks are quilted I still have plenty of leeway for trimming out.

Ideally, I’ll have all the blocks in by the end of January, to give me plenty of time to quilt and assemble (I think I need to do something a bit more elaborate than quilted wiggly lines this time!), so hopefully that’s enough time for everyone to get their block or two sorted out. I’ll be posting the incoming blocks as they arrive, to keep everyone’s creativity flowing.

So here we go. Time to start sorting out your teal-ish fabrics, fabulous OCA Quilt Volunteers 🙂

Gallimaufry: one more step to go

Sorry, I’ve been off the radar for a week, and scarcely realised it.

All sorts of not very blog-worthy stuff has been going on which has kept me busy. Not so busy, however that I was completely unable to sew.

A pretty bit of dappled late afternoon sun illuminating those central blocks. A very satisfying end to the day!

The light was going so it’s not a great shot, but you do get some idea of how the quilting looks.

We’re in the final straight with this one. Just the binding to go on and the label to sew in and then Gallimaufry will be ready to go in the washing machine and then onto my caravan bunk 🙂  The binding is made and the sewing machine is threaded with the right colour and fitted with the walking foot. We’re good to go. I know, I know, I said it would be ready by the weekend.

However, I very foolishly picked up the Anemone quilt to do some stitching in of hexie flowers while I watched the last few episodes of Masterchef. Net result, two lots of addictions: the series and the hand stitching. I’ll show you the sewing results another time, and I’m glad to report that the right person won the competition – by a single point!

Tomorrow I’ll sew the binding on, and then spend some contented hours hand stitching it down, one of my favourite parts of quilt-making.

More soon – or at least, sooner than last time, I promise!

Gallimaufry: two thirds joined up

It’s almost done. I have 60% of it joined up.

I really, really like that narrow dark blue sashing between the squares. It puts a nice crisp edge on them, lines everything up, and is dark enough to throw everything else into contrast. Give me to the end of the week and I’ll have the joining up done and be ready to get the binding on.

There was a point halfway through making the blocks when I had a moment of doubt. Would it clash with the bird/seashell fabric for Miz Lizzie’s curtains?  I don’t think so, on reflection. What do you think? Even if it’s a little bit off, I love this quilt. Can’t wait to use it for the first time on our next trip. Sadly that’ll probably not be till October :-/

Hope the good weather holds so I can take the final photos outside. Then you’ll see what it really looks like…