$11R: Just what it needed

I’m loving how this looks!

Yes, OK, it is a lot more fiddly than cutting simple 1 inch strips of one fabric. But I totally love the effect, and I love even more the way these scrappy sashing strips gobble up my fabric crumbs. It’s a whole extra dimension of colour and texture.

One quarter of the quilt assembled. I’ve managed to keep the sashing nice and narrow on the front and pretty narrow on the back. It’s resulted in having to redo a couple of sections of stitching where the sewn line just missed the fold-over on the back. Luckily it doesn’t show at all, being in dark blue thread on dark blue fabric on the back and dark blue on really dark blue on the front. At this rate I’ll get it done in plenty of time to enter it in the show. I must remember it still needs a  two-part hanging pocket… and a label… and a statement of intent.

I wonder if I have the patience time to make a fully scrappy binding…?


$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: front blocks assembled

Well, I have all the borders attached.

If anything, the colours are brighter and stronger than what you see here, especially on the paler blocks.

I love how the dark blue frames the colourful centres. I also have a lot of the scrappy joining strips made, probably enough to finish the quilt if I stick with my usual narrower version, so that’s what I’m going to do, rather than fiddling about to make a slightly wider version. Soon, I must take a look at the backing fabrics I’ve pulled together. There’s a bit of piecing to be done, and I think if I can make it work, I’d like the backing to colour match to the front, so a scrappy green front will have a green back, and so on. I’m not sure I have enough larger scraps in all the colours, though, so I’ll have to wait and see. All the pieces are pressed and ready for cutting. In case you’re wondering, it’s going to finish at about 60 inches (1.52m) square. I’m still to decide whether this becomes a ‘working’ quilt, or if I’ll hang it on the wall in our rather dark upstairs corridor, to inject some colour. What do you think?

My nephew from Melbourne is visiting us this week; he arrives this afternoon and will stay until Sunday, which is going to be lots of fun, as we can take him round all our favourite places, show him the sights and have the perfect excuse to eat out a bit more than usual. We don’t get a lot of visitors – most people think we’re too far away – so it’s a huge treat for us to have his company.

Time for some more cutting and piecing 🙂

ScrapHappy December

Good heavens, only 10 days to go till Christmas. Where on earth has the year gone?

Today’s the 15th of the month, the day my friend Gun in Sweden and I host  ScrapHappy, a day for showing something made from scraps.

I took another look at this photo, and I wasn’t really happy with it. I’m not liking some of the blocks in this arrangement, particularly the pale ones. It’s not that they’re not pretty blocks, they are, but they lack punch compared with the brighter ones. I’m thinking there may actually be two quilts happening here, one bright and one pale. So I’ve decided to make some more of the brighter ones to fill the gaps.

Obviously I’ve got plenty of teal scraps, so….

And this block took care of most of my darker orange bits.

I’ve had a lot of fun with the till roll strip piecing. I have a 60 inch strip now, too long to show you the whole thing. I still have innumerable small bits to make plenty more for sashing. I think this lot will be for the bright version scrappy quilt, and I’ll think again for the pale one. I’ve experimented, and the thermal paper tears off the back really easily, so that’s all good too.

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 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, NormaLynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, JanKaren,
Moira, SandraLindaChris and  Nancy

See you again, same time next month!



ROYGBIV and a couple more

…. I don’t think the rainbow normally features teal, pink, black, white, beige, grey or brown.

The scrap tangle is conquered! We are down to manageable proportions, and the boxes, baskets and buckets are all sorted. I had to add a box for brown (a colour that does not generally please me much) because I had an unaccountably large number of brown scraps. Who knew? I shall have to find a way to use these not so lovely fragments. The beiges and greys, cream, black and white in another box, and then finally, the rampant individualists, who refuse to be categorised and are too multicoloured to go anywhere else.

After the browns, that last box is going to the most challenging to use up, the special needs scraps which won’t fit just anywhere, being too quirky, too bright, too complex. There aren’t too many scraps that defied sorting, luckily. I shall try and regard them as the leaven in my scrappy dough, the ping of colour that lifts what might otherwise be just… OK.

A rainbow scrappy quilt is now on the horizon. A scrappy block a month isn’t a big ask, and I’ll just let it grow till I think it’s time to stop or I start repeating myself – or indeed, I run out of scraps in that colour. Grab a box, sew some pieces together, trim to size, job done. And then we’ll see how many scraps are left! It’ll have the virtue of dealing with the very smallest bits (because obviously I’ll make a point of using those), leaving me with the more versatile larger pieces which almost attain the status of ‘fabric’ rather than ‘scrap’. I’m not abandoning the Anemone scrappy quilt, but it’s a different kind of project, and doesn’t eat up these smaller scraps.

Not looking forward one little bit to the pressing and trimming bit that comes next, no sir… On the upside, the Bird finger is on the mend 🙂