Friday, March 25, 2011

Got Scraps - update

When you work full time, it’s a very slow process to complete quilts.  There are just no all day quilting days even if you have a day off.  Most of my quilts are made not only with scraps of fabric, but with scraps of time.

What?  You never heard of a scrap of time?  It is the few minutes it takes for the iron to heat up or the computer to boot up that you spend at the sewing machine with a couple of pieces of fabric to stitch.  It is using parts from a second quilt as your leader and ender to keep the bobbin thread from making a nest on the back as you stitch the current quilt pieces together.  The bonus of that is, not only parts of a second quilt are completed while you are working on the current one, but it also saves on thread.  It is also laying out the precut strips that will make up the pieces of a quilt on the cutting board so that when you have a scrap of time you can quickly cut a few pieces for another quilt.

Here are a couple of pictures of Jeff’s scrap quilt that I told you about a couple of weeks ago.  Here the blocks of the first two rows and part of the third row are stitched together.  As of yesterday another row is also complete.

As I sew the pieces of the blocks together, these are the pieces of the next quilt that I’m using as leaders and enders.  They are for a quilt called stacked bricks.  I have quite a stack of these. 

I alternate the two angles so I’ll have the correct number of each of the rows completed by the time I finish the top I’m currently working on.  Cool, huh? 

 If you want to know more about leaders and enders, Bonnie Hunter of  has a book with quilts made from her leaders and enders.  See her blog for more information.

What do you do with your scraps of fabric and time?

Here's to using those scraps to make something beautiful!

Until next time,


Monday, March 14, 2011

Fractured Flowers

Fractured Flowers

On another blog, Quilting on the Edge, Chris was working on a piece that she was mounting on canvas.  After a nice conversation with her via e-mail, I thought you might like to see the rose that I made several years ago.  This was made as part of a group project while we lived in Alabama.  Studio 222 which meets in Auburn, AL was a big part of my life there.  Someone suggested that we make large flowers, but divide them onto 4 canvases.  We could do almost anything we wanted as long as we kept to that format.  Some of the artists in the group painted their canvases and some stretched fabric over them.  They were all very different, varied in technique and made for a wonderful group art show.  We were fortunate enough to have them hung in a number of galleries around the state and the response was great.  In the shows, the 4 parts of each artists flower were mixed up so that it made for a wonderful, colorful exhibit that we called Garden Party.

As part of the project, the 4 parts of each flower were captured in photos and applied to magnets so that those viewing the show could mix the parts of the flowers to make different configurations on a metal board.  The children especially enjoyed making their own arrangement of the parts.  Some people wanted to see what each flower looked like when the 4 parts were together, as well.  It was a fun project and a colorful exhibit.

My flower hangs like this in the foyer of our home right now.

The fabric I used for the flower was hand painted which was a lot of fun!  Then the petals were appliqu├ęd to the background with batting only where the petals are.  The petals were quilted on the machine for dimension.  The center of the flower has beads and French knots to give it the texture found in the center of a rose.  I laid a rose from my garden on my scanner rather than taking a photo of the rose and printed it on a transparency so I could make it whatever size I wanted and divide the flower wherever I wanted for the 4 quadrants.

Here are a few photos of the group as we were working on how to exhibit the pieces.  We toyed with hanging them close together, far apart and with hanging all 4 parts of each flower together.

You can see why I loved being a part of that group.  Now I only receive the e-mails about what they are doing as it was difficult to be a member and live across the country from the rest.  I really miss our last Friday of the month meetings!  I miss the spontaneity of the group and the encouragement to push the limits of creativity to the fullest.

Are you a part of a group that encourages you to grow in your quilt making?  I hope so.  I sure miss being a part of a group that meets on a regular basis.  However, I have found encouragement from being able to read other quilt and quilt art blogs and being a part of the quilt world through the wonderful Internet as well as enjoying being with my quilting sisters in person.  Find a group whether or not you can meet in person to encourage you and for you to encourage.  It’s a lot of fun!  If we are not having fun, why bother, right?

Until next time -- keep stretching!


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Got Scraps?

It has been a long time since I made a quilt for our son.  I made a quilt for HIS son when he was born.  In fact I made it from quilt blocks I had embroidered for our son when he was a baby.  I hadn’t really started quilting then and it just didn’t get done.  By the time I started really making quilts, well….. he was a teenager!  He was about 15 the last time I made him a quilt.  That quilt was used and abused and is long gone.  It was an Amish style quilt.  I’m sure in my pre-digital photos there is a photo of that quilt.  If I find it, I will post it in a later post on this quilt.

In the in between time, I have built up a HUGE stash of fabrics both yardage and scraps.  After moving cross country twice in the fast few years with literally TONS of boxes of fabric, I stopped buying fabric unless I knew exactly what the fabric was for.  Well, with the exception of yellow fabrics.  When you see a yellow you like, you’d better buy it.  However, where I used to by a minimum of 3 yards, 7 if I thought it might be a back for a quilt.  Since I fell in love with scrap quilts, I rarely by anything larger than a fat quarter unless the store doesn’t have what I want except on the bolt OR if I know I’ll need more for a particular quilt.

If you are familiar with Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville and her Scrap Users System, you night recognize this pattern as Bricks and Stepping Stones.  However, I’ve used 2-1/2” squares for the 4-patch blocks and 4-1/2” x 8-1/2” for the bricks.  Actually I started using this size squares as leaders and enders (see Bonnie’s website ) making random 4-patch blocks.  When there were a large number of these in a basket, I had to figure out what to do with them.  That’s how this quilt got its start.

There will be follow-up posts on this quilt as it progresses.  So far it is just pieces on the design wall as I am now making specific colors of 4-patch blocks to fill in.  Even with what I thought was a large number of these blocks, I was short some colors to complete the quilt. though some of the bricks look like they are navy, they are really black or at least I thought they were.  Looking at the pictures, I'm going to have to check that out.  Some of the black prints did have blue prints in them so it may be those that appear to be navy in the photo.

If you have made a scrap quilt, please feel free to share a picture of it with me or just post a comment about it.  If you have a burgeoning scrap collection, start thinking scrap quilt and use those scraps.  You paid as much for the left over fabrics from quilts as you did for what you used, so use them for a unique scrap quilt of your own.

If you “got scraps” make a quilt!

Until next time,