Friday, January 25, 2019

Rainbow Scrap Challenge

For a number of years now, Angela of soscrappy has hosted what she calls the "Rainbow Scrap Challenge".  The idea is to use up your scraps, one month at a time, one color at a time. (not that I could ever really use up all my scraps! 😏)   I have decided to give it a try this year.  The color for January is RED.

The first decision, of course, is what pattern to use?  I decided that this was (finally!) the right time to use Eleanor Burns' book "Birds in the Air".

I bought this book back in 2001 when it was  first published.  Eleanor's sister, Pat Knoechel, came to our guild and demonstrated the technique.  I thought it was genius and bought the book but had yet to make the quilt.  Some other quilt project always seemed to come first.  Well, at last,  it is time for these birds to take flight.

I went through my stash and pulled out an assortment of red scraps:

The Eleanor Burns method for making Birds in the Air blocks makes two blocks at the same time.  You start with something that looks like this:

You draw a couple of sewing lines on the back like this:

Then you pair it with a larger rectangle of the red fabric, sew on the lines, cut it in half, and you get these:
As I said, it's GENIUS!

BUT, after cutting my "scraps" into units for the blocks, I had created  more scraps.

These were too big to just toss.  I decided that while I was making the Half square triangle units I needed for my blocks, that I would also create a solid red block made up of just scraps, also known as a "crumb" block.  Eventually, I had this:
which turned into this after trimming:

Now, the only scraps I had left over were these:
 Now that's a pile of scraps I can bear to toss!

Here is my first month's Rainbow Scrap Challenge result:  6 Birds and 1 Crumb.  Birds and crumbs make a good pair, no?

I'm thinking that I'll make additional Bird blocks each month in the chosen color and eventually put them together something like this:

I expect there will be more crumb blocks, too.  Those will have to sort themselves out later.

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Sunday, January 20, 2019

Snow days are great for catching up

I had fallen a bit behind on my quilt guild's Block of the Month. ( In my defense, we are actually getting two blocks a month. 😄 )  Here are blocks 5 and 6:

All the blocks in this sampler are made up of only Half Square Triangles, and I have chosen to reduce my block size to 6 inches instead of 12.  One fun thing about using such small pieces is that I can get two separate looks from the same fabric.  For example, these charm squares

produced both of these squares:

This month we were given three blocks to make.  I got them finished today as part of the great Snow and Sew event happening in my sewing room:

It's fun to see how many designs you can get using only Half Square Triangles, but the downside is that sometimes it would be easier to make a larger unit such as a Flying Geese unit for some of the parts.  In this case, I got the stripes to line up pretty perfectly:

But as far as lining up these white rectangular boxes well....I didn't even try, other than getting them all in the same direction.

In the overall scheme of things, I know it won't matter.  It's just my observation.

Here is what the first 9 blocks look like.  Only 3 more to go!

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Monday, January 14, 2019

Painted ladies uphill and down

Once the Christmas sewing was over, I had a list of quilts on my to-do list, and a wall hanging of little houses was not even on my radar.  However...

I have always loved house quilts, so when I saw this pattern, "Fierce Ladies"  by Eye Candy Quilts,  I just had to purchase it.

I started pulling fabrics almost as soon as I got home, but which fabrics to choose?  I have a drawer where I toss any fabrics that look like they might have been designed by Bonnie and Camille of Thimbleblossoms.  I love their cheerful color palette, and this house pattern seemed the right place to use them.

Having decided on the fabrics, I starting putting together combinations for building houses.

The piecing went fairly quickly and I soon had about a dozen houses ready to rise up my little  hill:

I was loving the color combinations, but something about the quilt just didn't set right with me.  Maybe it's because I am left handed, but I just felt that the houses should start at the top left and go down the hill instead of starting at the bottom and going up.   My husband voted to keep the houses as they were, but it just kept nagging at me to change them.

After much thought, I remade the door units to go in the other direction, and soon I had my little rows of houses going down the hill rather than up.

This orientation just seemed to settle more naturally for me, and I decided to go with it and finish the rest of the houses:

Before sewing the units together, I added some rick rack trim to the roof lines:

Adding the rick rack was as easy as just sewing a piece of rick rack to the top of the house block before adding the peaked roof unit.

The finished quilt top looks like this:

I may be teaching this pattern sometime soon at a guild workshop.  I will be sure to provide the directions for both uphill and downhill houses and let the quiltmaker decide.
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Thursday, January 3, 2019

1 week and 1000 pieces later...

1000 quilt pieces?  No, I'm talking about 1000 puzzle pieces.  I got the puzzle as a gift for Christmas.  We started it on Christmas Day after the food and dishes had been cleared away.

 Separated the pieces by color:

Wait!  Is that a quilt pattern on those pieces?

Why yes it was!  The whole puzzle was a wonderfully inviting quilt shop:

Lots of fun to put together.  Too pretty to disturb and put back in the box.

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