Making the most of the past

When I was growing up, there was one quilt that I absolutely LOVED!! I could remember cuddling up under it and was enamored with the fabric that was used on the back and in the binding…..

The colors just spoke to me!!!

As I looked at this photo, I realized that there is a feed sack used in the top left corner….that is so cool!!

I have no idea who made this quilt, although I am pretty sure that it was “Granny” (my Mom’s Mom). The quilt started to fall apart under constant use and parts of it were completely threadbare.

Years later, after I had been married for 10+ years, Mom showed up at the house with this in tow…..

She had taken the only surviving section of the quilt, cut it down, and then gave it to me to be used as a “car” quilt… know….one that sits in the trunk of the car and is used in emergencies!!

Well, I had NO intentions of putting it there so it became a permanent part of my quilt collection.

As I now examine the block with a “quilter’s eye”, I can see that it is a simple strip pieced block….

Something like this……

Now that I am exploring this block more, I think that it would be a FUN quilt to replicate using scraps.

Yikes….there is another project added to my “want to do” list!!!

How long is your “want-to-do” list????

A change in design

Yesterday, I posted about the start of a scrappy Quilt of Valor and left you with this design plan…..

I began auditioning fabric strips and quickly came up with this arrangement…..

Next I sewed each of the strips together so that the new strip set equaled the size of one of the blocks.

As I sewed, I started thinking…..and that always causes problems!!

Instead of having the blocks hover at the left side of the quilt, why not space them out across the quilt? GOOD IDEA FRANCES!!!

Once the strip sets were sewn, I trimmed them to the shortest length….

….and measured to see how much fabric I had to work with….

Now it was time to do the math!! My first pass ended up with different widths of fabric on each side of the outside squares…..

That won’t do!!! Let’s split the difference…..

That will work!!

After a little bit of trimming to make the sides perfect, I added borders…..

….and called it done!!

Now, because I like to learn something from each project, I can look at this quilt top and say that I wish I had put less fabric on the outside of the blocks and, instead, spaced them out better!!

Linda….please make more blocks that I can play with!!!!

Oh no!!!

Don’t you hate it when you only need inches of fabric, but all you have are slivers?

Let me tell you how I ended up there……

At our last guild retreat, my friend Linda made amazing blocks for a Quilt of Valor project…..

After making 5 of these intricate blocks, she decided that she would turn them over to the local QOV committee here and let them plan a quilt around them. I asked if I could take them instead!!

My original plan was to line them up along one side of the quilt, but first to border them with gold fabric to make them shine.

I pulled out one piece of fabric and roughly calculated that there was enough to add a 1-inch border around all of the blocks.

I added the borders to the top and bottom of each block and then pieced the remaining fabric together and started cutting the right and left borders. That is when it happened…..

I needed ONE more strip the size of the ones at the top, but I couldn’t quite get it!!!

AND, all I had left was this small pile…..

While I stood there, chastising myself for not calculating more accurately in the first place, I started wondering what would happen if I made it more scrappy in nature.

So, I pulled out my 1.5-inch scrap bag and found several gold fabrics that would work equally as well!!

In a short time, I had the blocks bordered and on the design wall…..

…and I really like the scrappy values!!

Now it was time to figure out the quilt design. Normally I would pull out a scrap of paper and doodle my design, but today I had the idea to use a whiteboard and it worked SO well.

I was pretty sure that I wanted to surround the blocks with strips of red, white, and blue fabric. The first design used 2-inch strips, meaning that there would be SIX strips per block. I was afraid that it would be too fussy…..

Next, I planned with 3-inch strips, so only 4 per block…..

….but that might be too plain!!

So, how about if I split the difference and make most of them 3-inch but add some 1-inch white accents along the way…..


Come back tomorrow for the finish!!

Getting Scrappy at IQF

If you have read this blog for any time at all, you will know that I LOVE scrappy quilts and there were several at the International Quilt Festival that caught my eye and my camera!!

There was a large exhibit of “Dear Jane” quilts and most were a cacophony of colors, but this one had a lower volume feel and I LOVED it. I mean, how can you not love something named “Chocolate Bar with Creamy Filling”!!!

“Chocolate Bar with Creamy Filling” by Lunmila Samoylik

This one is a super simple pattern….

but evokes memories of quilts piled on top of a tall, fluffy bed……

These next two quilts were unbelievable!!

The blocks in this blue wonder were about 6-inches in size…..

….and pulled together to make this amazing quilt…..

“Impermanence” by Allison McCathren

And in the “how small can you go”, we have this quilt with 1.5 inch blocks…..

“Pure Velvet” by Amy Pabst

Each pineapple block had 49 pieces for a total of 21,609 individual pieces in the quilt.

In particular, I loved the little bits of color that were strewn thru the quilt…..

Now from the miniature to the gigantic…..

“My Lifetime Quilt” by Barbara Black

She completed it as a leader/ender project and it contains 12,800 triangles that are 1.25 inches each. The most interesting thing about this quilt was the way that the quilting changed its look. The quilting was simple……

…but the way the lights shown on it, each of the triangles looked like they were made from two different fabrics. It was an unexpected look!!

When we looked at these quilts with SO MANY small pieces, we all wondered which Insane Asylum the quilter is now checked into!!

This “Sunshine and Shadow” quilt was from the 1890’s…..

It was a fun layout with the blocks being divided into different color sections.

This quilt was not only beautifully pieced…..

“Ruby Halo” by Karen Lambdin

….but the quilting was amazing and added so much to the design…..

The same goes for this quilt…..

“Rock Star” by Gail Stepanek & Jan Hutchison

The other amazing part of this quilt was the threadwork that was done to change the fabrics and make it look MUCH more complicated (not that it wasn’t already complicated enough)……

Look at the purple point in the middle of the photo above. There are two strips that have been thread-painted to add much more dimension!!

Finally, there was a special exhibit called “The Noble Menagerie” that featured quilts from Timna Tarr. She did a wonderful job of portraying her animals using pieced squares as the basis for the quilts…..

Come back tomorrow for a look at the STITCHING of IQF… is truly astounding!!!

The Flying Geese are airborne…

Over the last two days, I have been walking thru the process of designing a quilt using leftover scraps. Here is the third….and final….. installment!!

As I continued thinking about the outside border, I remembered some other, smaller blocks that were in the stash…..

At some point, I had sewn them together to make Half-Square Triangle blocks.

And, if I put TWO of them together, I get another flying geese…..

….Sort of…..

So now I could use these pieced Flying Geese to finish the side border…..

….keeping the triangles with green outlines for the top and bottom.

The geese on the outside are a bit abstract and only a few of them actually show up as geese, but I think that it is working okay…..

So, let’s add one more border to tie it all together…..

I am pleased with the result and really had fun playing with the Flying Geese designs.

Oh no…..

There are still some leftovers!!!

I guess that they will become seeds for the next time Alice and I have a tea party “Down the Rabbit Hole”.

Now if I can just remember what I was working on before I found these scraps???

Does anyone remember????