Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Thing About Scrap Quilts

Is that by definition they involve lots of scraps -- or pieces. That is the good thing about them of course. But it does have it's down side. Lots and lots of sewing and sorting until you get to the good part -- seeing what the blocks, and then the quilt, looks like. And for a scrap quilt that is really, really the best part I think. Especially on this one since I decided to use lots of my older and just flat ugly fabrics.

You know I wonder how I got these ugly fabrics. I am not a frequent buyer of kits or bundles, although I recognize some of these as being parts of bundles from Connecting Threads long ago. I used to buy some of their fat quarter bundles that came with instructions on making small quilts and table toppers. Since they started making and promoting only their own fabrics I have just not seen anything I like well enough to buy.

I also recognize a few of these as coming from a pound of strips I bought one time from The Cotton Club. They are located in my city and used to be open once a month for First Thursday and since I could look at what the pound contained I bought one from time to time. I liked to buy things there because most of their fabrics were out of my comfort zone. So it makes sense that some of the "ounces" would not be to my liking.

And then again, I recognize some as being left overs from making quilts as gifts. But none of these explanations seems to be adequate to the quantity of ugly fabrics I seem to have acquired.

It's just a mystery, I guess!
I started in on this quilt because, 1) I fell in love with the picture on the cover of the magazine, and 2) because I was tired of making a bazillion half square triangles on the Miss Rosie's quilt I had been working on. BUT... this Miss Rosie's quilt requires -- wait for it -- a bazillion half square triangles. Just look at this stack ready to be pressed! Oh, well, these are bigger. And they are finished, too. Once sorted out and matched to 4 square blocks the quilt will start to take shape.

Yes, I said matched. Not just because this quilt calls for the lights in the 4 squares to be matched to the lights in the half square triangles, but because no matter how scrappy, I cannot resist doing at least some coordinating. I have tried the paper bag technique to stop myself from doing this but with little success. Cannot deal with totally random -- must have controlled random. That's just the way it is.

To change the subject, as promised, here is the watermelon display. I think the new watermelon table topper looks nice with it but am not so pleased with the entire thing. I think I am ready for something simpler and less cluttered. So this will not stay up for long.
Here a couple of favoured items in the display. I love the watermelon basket picture in its red frame. And the round watermelon bowl. The crow is painted both front and back. All came from the thrift store and I really wonder why someone made the crow reversible. That too will remain a mystery.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


Since I sew mostly on the weekends, and it takes a while to get my sewing machine serviced I ended up with a sewing machine-less weekend. Recently I joined Ravelry after seeing so many links on blogs of beautiful things others have made. I used to knit and crochet alot but it has been awhile so I thought I would break in gently. So, ta-da, here is a cotton dishcloth. Came out okay I think.

Even though I have lots of things already cut out and in progress, when I saw the new American Patchwork & Quilting I knew I had to make the cover quilt. I just love scrappy quilts (I know you already know that) and I also love Carrie Nelson patterns. So immediately (even though the machine is back now) I had to start pulling and cutting to make this quilt.

I decided to use alot of fabrics I usually pass by in my stash. You know the ones -- colours or styles that you liked once upon a time but now, not so much. So every time you pull fabric you pass them right by. Most of these pieces are bigger than scraps, and they will look just fine in a scrappy quilt. And some of them will get used up -- at last.

And now that Easter is over it's time to put the bunnies away and move on to something new. Over the last few months I have been collecting watermelons during our thrifting outings. So here are the makings of the next display. Doesn't look like much now but it is a nice collection, don't you think? I will show it again once it is all set up.

And since I guess I am just not really into all the half square triangles I need for the quilt I am supposed to be working on, I decided to make this little table runner from the BH&G web site. I am really, really happy with it. It will look great with the rest of the watermelons. I have a couple of other watermelon quilt patterns so it is likely I will get distracted by them soon now, too.

But before I go, here is the newest box lid. Since there is not quite a season going on right now and there is not a watermelon lid, I thought this more generic house lid would be good for a while. And I do like houses, and, of course hearts, so it will be nice to look at it for awhile.

And another thing-- I was asked in comments what I am going to do with the chain. I guess I forgot to mention that it goes on my Christmas tree. When we moved to this tall house we got a new 9 foot tree and the old chain just didn't go very far on that tree. This is probably still not enough but I won't really know that for another few months.

Gone missing

Well, it seems that way now, doesn't it? It's always nice when a work trip can turn into a vacation and that's exactly what happened. While I was gone I took my sewing machine to be oiled and tuned so I have been working on things that do not require sewing.

See what's in that box? That is a fabric chain I made many many years ago. For almost as many years I have been intending to make more of it. And now I have.

These were alot easier to make than the originals because now I own a pinking rotary cutter. I bought it a few years ago thinking of this particular project. Anyway, these are easy to make. Just fuse two layers of Christmas-sy fabric together with no sew fusible web and use the rotary cutter to make strips.

It does make a bit of a mess though. I have little triangular bits all over the sewing room now. And since they are seem to have a static charge they got all over the rest of the house too.

Anyway, look at this nice selection of assorted colours of pinked strips. Last step is to staple them together just like making a construction paper chain. The original was stapled together with a Little Tot stapler. Don't know where that little thing got to so I had to use regular size staples. That makes for a bit more overlap than the original so I should have cut these a bit longer than the originals. But no one will notice that these are a bit rounder and less oval than the original, will they?

So here is the original one next to the new one. The original is very green. That's because it was made in the '70's and there was not alot of cotton fabric, Christmas or otherwise, available. Remember the bad old days when you had to hunt and hunt for 100% small print fabrics? So next Christmas I will see if I have enough now or if making more will still be on my list of things to do. Oh, and this was a March finish, too, barely, but it was.