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Posts Tagged ‘scrap quilts

Just like a snowball rolling down a hill, this quilt got bigger and bigger.

You may reading the adventures of the snowball quilt.  At that time, I was trying to decide on border options.  As per usual, a different idea developed on its own.

With a snowball block, you end up with half square triangle bits left over.  Instead of having to deal with these triangles, I decided at the time of making the snowball blocks to stitch to seam lines, and save the remaining pieces for something.

That something developed into an idea for a border.  I have always wanted to do a pieced border, and this seemed as good an opportunity as any.

I have the top completely done.  I stitched the HSTs into pairs, and then stitched the pairs into long strips.  I had no idea how long I needed them, so I just stitched until it seemed right, and I had four borders ready.

For the two dark red borders, I cut strips 2′, and strip pieced them together.  I had three different dark red fabrics, and randomly stitched the strips together.  Some were 4, 5 or 6 strips wide.  I then sub-cut these to 2″.  And randomly grabbed from different piles and stiched them together.  I continued stitching them until I had four borders.  Oh oh… I forgot I wanted a second border, so more stitching went on.

I then measured the quilt and found my first border length.  Cut, pinned, stiched, and did the same with the other borders.  One thing I realized when I was partially through the first borders, that I would have cut them to fit differently.  Of course when you are working with 1½” finished pieces, they do not adjust very well to the size of my quilt.  (This is one of those ideas, that squaring up the blocks as you go, would have been a very good idea – one I didn’t follow).  I trimmed the last unit of the strips to fit.  Next time, I think I would like to measure from the center of each border, to the end, and cut off each end to fit the size I needed.  This quilt was a learning experience!  What better way to experiment, than with scraps!

In my mind, I think if I had measured from the center point, then all the seams for the three borders would have lined up.  As it is, one half of each border lines up, the other half does not.  But shhh… if no one looks really close, maybe they won’t notice.  🙂

It was a nice day outside, so I hung the quilt top on the line, and took a photo.  The sun is kind of shining behind it, giving it some interesting shadows.  The next step is to get this quilt, sandwiched, quilted and finished.

I don’t quite have enough energy to get that far, yet.

The fabrics for this quilt came from my stash, and my scraps.  Some of the pieces, are from cotton shirts I purhcased at the local thrift store, and cut up.  I wanted to make a quilt with a more masculine feel to it, and one way of doing that, was by buying the shirts!  Insted of just using blues, browns, greens.  Why are those colours more often used to represent male?

I am happy that this one is done.  I think I started it three years ago (practically to the month!).  I started making the snowballs as a leader/ender and then earlier this year, I thought enough was enough, it was time to get it finished.


Food for thought:   Have you ever “shopped” your stash to make  a quilt?  Do you have bits and pieces of fabric left over from projects, and they are odd shaped and sizes?  Take 15-20 minutes and start cutting them into useable pieces.  You don’t have to do it for long, and you’ll be surprised how quickly those messy scraps can be made.   You can even make a “free” quilt by using up your scraps.  Don’t put a time frame on it.  Just take a light and a dark piece, stitch them together, each time you are working on a quilt, at the begining and end of each strip you piece.  Once they are stitched, press, and place in a bin.  Before long you will have enough pieces for a 4-patch, 9-patch or any other block you desire.  For more great scrap busting ideas, be sure to check out Bonnie K. Hunter’s blog and website.




I decided to make a quilt from some of the blocks. You can get an amazing amount of scrappy blocks in no time at all, then the fun part is putting them together. I decided to put the blocks on point, and to add sashings and cornerstones. To be honest, piecing all those odd seams together in one big piece was a bit overwhelming. Although, I may just have to try that anyway, just to see what kind of a quilt it would become!

So onto the sashings and borders… and colour choices. When fabric is cut into smaller pieces it is amazing what goes together. I think that is the charm of scrappy quilts. What colour or colours was I going to choose for the sashings and borders. Why not black and red? And a vibrant red at that! Remember, this is a learning experience.

So I started cutting the black into 2½” strips, and then cutting pieces 2½” x 8½”.. I used two different black fabrics, to encourage the scrappy look. I also cut 2½” squares from the red fabric. I decided to make the setting triangles and corner triangles the black fabric as well. Cutting those blocks didn’t appeal to me either. And I’m thinking, that perhaps this will encourage the blocks to float… something I had only just read/heard about.

Here is a photo of the blocks hung on my design wall, with the sashing, cornerstones, and setting triangles.


I also added a small black border.


This is the top so far all pieced together.  Notice how somebody got herself in the photo!  That Tazzie!

Now to decide on the next border. Remember, this is a learning experience, so I’m going to go outside of the typical (for me) straight borders. I’m going to try my hand at piecing something. But what. FLYING GEESE! Don’t know why, but it is something I wanted to try. I want to make the geese the vibrant red, and use the black. I don’t have enough of the red… but I’m sure I can find some vibrant red somewhere… and I did at Galena Bay Novelty Fabrics. Fortunately for me, she is local, and I made arrangements to go up and see what she has. She has really nice fabrics, do check out her online store!

In the meantime, my thinking is changing about this quilt. I’m starting to feel, that the geese in black and red will overpower the quilt. I still want to do the flying geese… hold your horses… why not make scrappy geese! And that is what I did.

I did go and see Lainey, and bought some oriental fabrics – for another project yet to be started. And I have decided on a colour scheme for my SIL and her husband for their 25th wedding anniversary. Although my plans to visit Lainey changed, it was still a good shopping trip.

I’m going to create another blog on the Flying Geese Border. There are many ways of creating flying geese, and as I had several 2½” strips of various scraps, I decided to use the more traditional way (I suppose its traditional).

What have you done lately to jazz up an experimental learning quilt? Have you made one? Share it with me!


Well, that may not be entirely true.  To be honest, I do not have a large scrap collection, at least I don’t think so.   I have them sorted as miscellaneous size and shape, strips (sorted again by width), squares (sorted by size), and pieced scraps (left overs from making blocks or trimmings of borders and such).  Each “category” fits into a bin which is about 17″x12″x6½”.  That is MY scraps.

My DD#2 on the other hand has been receiving bags of scraps from guild members.   To be honest, her scraps fit into a box that 10 reams of paper fit in.  But we haven’t completely sorted them yet.

How did I acquire these scraps?

It began with making quilts. A piece here, a piece there. Strip piecing leftovers. Trimming of half square triangles. All these bits of fabric, and haven’t even mentioned the strips and squares that have accumulated. What to do with them? Sort them of course. Strips sorted by side, 1”, 1½”, 2”, 2¼, 2½”, etc. Okay, now sort through the squares. Wow, still a lot of fabric bits. Okay, all the “dogs ears” and other various triangle bits. What am I going to do with the left over “pieced” bits, another bin for them.


Somehow, guild members thought DD#2 was into scraps (maybe she is, but you would never know it, trying to get her to do some quilting with me these days, is like pulling teeth, oh well, she’ll do it when she’s ready). So now, bags and bags of scraps!

One of the guild members suggested that DD#2 use the scraps using the mile-a-minute technique to make quilts. After a search on the internet, I found out how to make mile-a-minute quilts. The following are a couple of links that are “how-to’s” to make Mile-a-minute quilts.  Do a search on Google, and you can find photos and more.

They are sort of like log-cabins, but not really. I started off with some scraps, and started cutting and sewing strips. I soon realized some of my strips, were not in fact strips, but chunks. Smaller than 22” long. They still worked for the beginning of the mile-a-minute quilts.  I kept on sewing, and adding strips, in some cases sewing some of the chunks together (pieced on the diagonal for interest), and using them as strips. I kept sewing and pressing until the blocks were larger than 12” square, okay admittedly most were not square, but they were larger than 12” on either side.

blocks-under-construction-2 pieced-block

Then trimmed down to 8½”. I used my 12½” square ruler, and tilted it, to get some very interesting results.


These are some of the finished trimmed blocks.


Egad, I was running out of strips, I didn’t really want to cut into my stash, what was I to do. As I was trimming the blocks I noticed a new pile of scraps accumulating. I’ll never have enough strips to add to these new blocks. Wait a minute, hold on, what if I take this pieced scrap, and sewed it to this pieced scrap… Hey, look at this.


Now I know what to do with that bin of leftover pieced pieces. I’ll just add them to what I have here. As I started this, I took a break, and looked up scrappy quilts on the internet. Apparently all those itty bitty pieces, are called “crumbs”. Very cool! So now I’m making some really crumby quilts.

I haven’t started it yet, but I can sew some of those triangle bits together to make wonky half square triangles… doesn’t matter if they match or not, and then sew them together to make a 4-patch block. Ohhh, the possibilities are endless.

I’m planning to use the blocks to make some quilts for the house, and possibly even a few for charity. I know I’ll have lots of scraps to make lots of blocks to make lots of quilts.

I’ve been teaching a dear friend how to sew and quilt. I think I’ll get her going on sewing some of these pieces and blocks together, will give her great practice on working on her ¼” seam. OH!, Speaking of ¼” seams… I was using mine, but I’m thinking, you don’t need to. Who cares if the seam is a tad more here or there? And for thread… I have a few bobbins (correction, “had”) of thread that were left over from other projects, and well, I used them up. Now I’m going through my thread, and using up left-over spools that were for other sewing projects.

What do you do with your scraps?  Do you organize them?  Perhaps give the mile-a-minute or crumb blocks a try, its a great way to take a break from larger projects.


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July 2018
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