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.

A handwork dilemma

Not a very serious one, mind you.

The Days Gone By quilt top is in the home stretch. I have two more square blocks to make and then it’ll be time to assemble the border. A few quick seams and that will be done too. After that, I need to hem the hexies down onto the border, but that will be a large piece of work and needs a table and plenty of space, so it’s not handwork I can take on our travels with me.

We’re off again in two weeks for another couple of weeks in Far North Queensland, so clearly, I’m going to need plenty to do with my hands while I sit in the sun drinking coffee and eating cake!

When we have the raffle for the quilt, it would be nice also to have second and third prizes. So I’ve taken the leftover hexie flowers that were too pastel for the look of the quilt or were duplicates, or just didn’t make it into the mix, and I’ve laid them out into a table runner and a cushion cover. That yellow hexie in the middle really stands out, but I’ll probably do something about it after I’ve assembled the whole thing. Also, the table runner may need lengthening and widening with square borders, like the quilt. I’ll see what it needs once I’ve assembled what I have.

They’re in a couple of project bags, together with printouts of the photos I took of the layouts, ready for me to start assembling them. Handwork sorted, leftovers used up, two more prizes in hand.

Dilemma resolved. That was easy! 🙂

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.

ScrapHappy July: Sugar sprinkles 2

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.

You’ve seen the first Sugar Sprinkles pillowcase quilted in my post about the Anemone quilt facing.

It was time to finish #2. First for the batting. I have a large box full of scraps of batting too large to be just thrown away. It was easy enough to piece together a panel large enough to back the pillowcase front. I had to buy another roll of batting tape to complete the job, but I find the tape is the quickest, easiest and most satisfactory way of joining straight edges of batting.

A quick squirt of basting spray (thank heavens for 505), and it was ready to start quilting. I wanted something different from the other pillowcase, which is angular and wonky. Here, despite the straight lines of the piecing, I wanted softer quilting and it wasn’t a huge jump to my old favourite: wavy lines.

Done, and I like the effect. Now to make a back and pocket for the pillow and put the whole lot together with a scrappy binding. But that’s for another day…

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 and Vera

See you next time for more scrappy loveliness.

ScrapHappy June: Sugar sprinkles

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 don’t really enjoy improv. It’s too…. disorganised. But sometimes, what you have in front of you cries out for some serious improvisation. Later this year, it’s going to be my turn to receive F2F blocks (Footsquare Freestyle, for those who don’t follow regularly). My chosen colour theme is light and mid greys, whites and brights (except yellow, I’m not a big fan and I’m a bit picky, so I’ll be supplying my own yellow blocks!). Well, I thought I’d warm up to making my own blocks by using some of my scraps.

The F2F blocks will certainly become a quilt, and this being the case, I decided to make a quilted pillowcase (or maybe two) to go with it. And this is the first stage, the pieced front (still to be quilted).

I’ve used some fairly tiny scraps and quite a lot of scrappy grey, many of the darker pieces turned back to front to allow them to blend in. I haven’t allowed myself to get all agitated about wonky seams or strange angles. I think it works…. There’ll be another one in the pipeline at some stage. As I said, I don’t really enjoy the process, although I do like the outcome! If the blocks I receive have the same sort of colour balance (ie, more grey than colour) I’ll probably end up calling the quilt Sugar Sprinkles.

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 and Vera

See you next time for more scrappy loveliness.

ScrapHappy May: not even $11!

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.

Those of you who’ve been around this blog a while will remember my scrappy quilt The $11 Rainbow, so called because that’s all it cost to make. A few months ago, the Dowager (aka my MIL), asked if I’d give it to her, as she really liked it. Despite the fact that it’s one of my favourites, I did. On the very day we were first allowed to visit each other again with a slight easing of restrictions, she came by for coffee and home made bickies. During the visit, she asked if I’d make her a cushion cover to match it. She has a memory-foam pillow in her chair, and wanted a cover that matches the quilt, also quilted and ideally with a zipper. Certainly, ma’am.

Scrappy colour selection in progress

$11R was made from my brightest scraps, bordered with an inky dark blue. She didn’t want the dark blue, though. So I made the entire front from bright scraps, shading from blue through purple, red, pink, orange and yellow. I wasn’t even going to try hiding the joins between the colour strips – for this application, life was definitely just too short!

The colours actually blend a little better in real life; that hard line down the centre doesn’t show so much

The back itself is a little more conservative in colour scheme, using some of my pretty red and green scraps in a larger size than on the front. Because this is wrapping an actual bed pillow rather than a cushion form, I needed to put the zip at one end so it could be put on like a pillowcase, instead of my preferred position across the centre back. The zipper is also a scrap, recycled from an old work jacket of the Husband’s. It was too long, so I shortened it by cutting the end off and wrapping the cut end with a strip of fabric.

What can I say? I didn’t spend a cent, let alone $11!

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 a new member, welcome Vera.

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 and Vera

See you next time for more scrappy loveliness.

Playing with paper #3: paint and metal

The final stretch, then….

I tried to revive the dried-out little tablet of bole from my gilding kit, but it’s past hope, as is the size and sealer. I got it second hand, years ago, and it was already a few years old then. In case you’re wondering, bole is a sort of clay pigment you add to water and glue to make a coloured foundation onto which you apply your gold leaf. The terracotta colour of the bole enriches and intensifies the colour of the gold laid over it, as well as producing a flat, matt surface for the gold leaf. So, being impatient, unwilling to buy more bole and keen to use what I have, I’ve made my own equivalent with acrylic paint. It won’t be as good, but the colour will help even if the surface isn’t perfect.

I used Reeves® acrylic colours, equal quantities of burnt umber, crimson, brilliant red and flesh, which has produced a nice oxblood red. I wanted a darker shade than the classic bole terracotta because instead of gold leaf, I’m using copper, of which I have a far larger quantity. I bought it for a project over 10 years ago which never happened, and it’s perfect for this purpose. Knowing perfectly well that I won’t get an immaculately flat surface on the inside of the bowl, I’m going for a bumpy, worn and slightly more rustic look (might as well make a virtue of necessity, eh?).

I had to wait till the paint was perfectly dry before applying the school glue (again, an improvisation, but internet research seemed to show that it’s an acceptable hack). I quickly found that rather than waiting till the glue is just slightly tacky as suggested, I had to work very quickly and place the larger pieces over a thin coating while the glue was wet. I could then patch over missing or damaged areas using a small brush for the glue and cutting the foil into smaller pieces just slightly larger than the glued area.

The copper leaf comes in books, on backing sheets, so it’s easy enough to pick up and lay down, but you do need to press it gently into all the bumps, cracks and crevices. This is where the soft makeup brushes come in; if you use a harder bristle you run the risk of damaging the delicate foil. Once it’s all down and dry, you rub it very, very gently with the brush in a swirling motion to rub off any loose bits.

I’ve bound the edge with leftover bias binding, and am going to seal the whole thing with Mod Podge® (yes, I found that too), but for the purpose of posting that’ll be invisible and it takes a long time to dry between coats, so I leave you with the unsealed bowl as a final shot.

I must say, I’m slightly tempted to add a narrow black ribbon to conceal the edge of the pink binding. The only problem is, I’d have to buy it. What do you think? I just find the pink a bit, well, meh… Speak now, before I seal it!

And that’s it for the first, but certainly not the last scrappy bowl…

Playing with paper #2

Only, I suppose this time it’s been more playing with fabric…

What a surprise. This is me, after all.

Onwards. I decided I’d use scraps in pink, green, lilac, teal, blue and yellow, so I went hunting small but gorgeous snippets in my scrap boxes of those colours. Be warned, if you ever make a bowl like this, those tiny scraps generate an enormous amount of ironing… But it’s worth it. I also got a sharp pair of scissors and trimmed the hairiest pieces because lots of fraying is not a pretty look. There’s still some but really, life is too short to snip every frayed thread. So, the prep took some time.

And then it was time to dive in and start glueing. You glue the fabric, not the bowl; the pieces overlap so each piece needs its own thin but even coat of glue or there would be flappy edges. I was on my feet for about 2 hours, but I was really enjoying myself and not noticing the passage of time.

There are still flappy edges I need to seal down and stray threads and frayed bits I need to take the embroidery scissors to, but I’m pretty pleased with the overall effect. The next stage is to gold leaf the inside, finish the top edge with leftover pink bias binding, and then seal the lot with a top coat. That’ll be #3, to follow. Here are 4 views of the bowl from different sides.

What do you think?  I’m pretty pleased with it 🙂

As a side note to the creative stuff, Mouse was sulking today. He has found and torn into many, many pieces the greaseproof paper in which I’d made my lunchtime toastie, on account of the bits of melted cheese still stuck to it…. He’d been to the vet’s this morning to have his ears cleaned and a mani-pedi, since I’m not up for holding onto a very strong, 35kg/77 pound, wriggling greyhound with big white teeth while I swab out ears and cut overgrown nails. The Husband would help… but he’s always conveniently at work when I want to do it. Anyway, at the vets they take no nonsense and Mouse behaves very well once backed into a corner. We rewarded him for good behaviour with a nice lactose-free puppacino at his favourite café (which he adores) and beef & tomato doggy snacks afterwards, but clearly we/I in particular had not been forgiven.

I’ve cleared away all the sticky mess and washed my brush. Time for a cuppa and possibly a bickie.