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Posts Tagged ‘scrappy

Do you recall – hmm, seems I have been revisiting several past blog entries.  *giggle*.  I have been wanting to make a quilt using the 3-D NIne Patch blocks as mentioned in this blog entry.  I’ve been working on it, as a leader/ender project, and have now more than enough 3 patch units to start making the 9-patch units.

I don’t know if many of you have organized your scraps… or do you even keep them?  Well, I’ve been making a dent in the 1½” strips and bits I had… err, well, I though it was a dent, but I think they reproduce when we are not looking!

I decided that I was going to count the dark and light 3 patch units I have made thus far.  Are you ready for this. Here are some statistics of this quilt.. even before I have started making the blocks!

  • Size of block 8″
  • Number of blocks in quilt 80 ( 8 x 10)
  • Number of pieces per block 45
  • Number of 9-patches required – 240
  • Number of dark 3 patch units required – 480
  • Number of light 3 patch units required – 240
  • Size of each 9-patch unit – 3″
  • Size of each 9 patch square – 1″
  • Number of pieces for quilt before borders – 3600
  • Number of unfinished light and dark 3 patch units – haven’t counted
  • Nmber of 1½” strips and bits – too many – hmm… maybe a log-cabin quilt in the future

Sure is a lot of stats for a quilt that has only just begun taking shape!  LOL.  Oh, and before you ask… no I have not kept track of the hours, now wouldn’t that have been an interesting statistic!

I had cut some fabric to make a mock-up of the block, to see how it would look, and possibly to figure out how to put it together.  Okay, the putting it together part didn’t happen at that time.  Here are a few ideas for the mock-up.

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And just in case I included the black and white of the above photo:

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After I had started piecing light and dark pieces together, the idea occurred to me, that going completely scrappy for each part of the 9patch may be a bit much, so I played with the idea of scrappy, but each block would have all the same dark patches, and all the same light patches.  I did like it, but I liked the scrappiness better!  Who knows, maybe a smaller more planned scrappy quilt may come later. – I don’t think so!  LOL

 

When I was getting close, or at least my zipper plastic bags were getting somewhat fuller, I thought I would stitch up the mock-up, and figure out how to put the thing together.  Little did I know how many set-in seams there were going to be!!!  OH WAIT… another statistic

  • Set-in seams per block – 12 (I think)
  • Set-in seams for the quilt – 960!! (I must be crazy!)

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Don’t look to closely, the small setting triangles are not put on properly.  Something I am going to have to work out!  The set-in seams for the mock-up are far from perfect, but I did figure out how to construct these blocks.  I’m a bit aways before I will be constructing the whole block, but who knows, I may get tired after stitching several hundred 3patch units together, and I may get some blocks going after I have a pile of 9-patch units ready.

You know, I probably should take a break from all this piecing and get some quilts finished, or I’m going to be buried by quilt tops!  To be honest, last week I decided I was going to take a quilt that has been sandwiched for 18 months, and quilt it today at my quilting group.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t very well prepared, and I just grabbed the two totes for the 3D 9-patch quilt.  Okay, I totally forgot about the quilting!  That’s okay, because if I hadn’t taken the 3D 9-patch with me today, I wouldn’t have come up with all those statistcs.  OH!  I may have miscalculated or miscounted, and I’m okay with that.  Maybe I should edit the above statistics to read “Approximate”!  HA!  I’ve just written it here, so if you have read this far, you found a surprise!  *giggle*

-Alice

Food for thought –  Have you changed or updated your blog recently or at any time?  I’ve been wanting to, and well, today I did it.  I’m not sure about the theme I have chosen, but it is good for now.  I’m not too keen, that I cannot include a photo of some of my work in the background.  My DD#2 suggested I should learn JAVA so I can write/design my own page.  If I had the time, to sit down, I could figure it out. (I do have a computer programming background)  Its just having the gumption to do so, and the time to do so.  Tell me your thoughts on this new layout.

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.

-Alice

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.

 

 

It started about two years ago, a challenge among quilting friends (sadly, I don’t even recall what the challenge was).  It was also a good opportunity to try the leaders and enders that Bonnie K. Hunter recommends.  If you haven’t heard about leaders and enders, I recommend you read Bonnie’s blog on the subject.

I decided for the challenge I wanted to make a scrappy masculine feeling snowball quilt.  I had lots of 3″ squares, I could use.  I then started scrounging for 7″ squares.  Cut down some of the 10″ squares to get a 7″ and a few 3″.   So as I worked on other projects, I would stitch one of the 3″ squares to the 7″, and away I went.

At some point, I figured I’d better count how many completed blocks I had, and how many more of each (needed alternating dark and light blocks), I needed to complete.   I wanted to get this quilt done, so it became a non-leader/ender project.

A few weeks ago, I was in a position to start stitching the blocks together.  I think it was an Eleanor Burn’s video I saw that described how to piece the blocks together by columns, instead of stitching each row together.   This method you do not trim the blocks apart.  As you stitch all the columns together, the rows are “attached”, and you just pin and stitch them together.  I found it worked very well.  I had to unstitch some of the chain stitching, as my first 2 rows got twisted somehow.  Was easier to snip the chain stitching, instead of trying to untangle them.  Stitching the blocks together in this fashion works very quickly.

As I was finishing up the blocks, I started to realize I did not have a plan for the borders.  I wanted to carry on with the scrappy theme, and use from my stash.  I don’t have enough yardage of any one fabric.  But an idea started to form.  When I was stitching the blocks I added another line of stitching 1/2″ (approximately), from the required stitching line, then trimmed the Half SquareTriangles, to create them.   I was sure I would use them somewhere, sometime down the road.    I can use the “leftovers”.

The last couple of days, I’ve been trimming and pressing all those leftover pieces.  The smallest piece was about 2″, and the largest about 2 1/2″.  I decided to trim down to 2″.

Now that I have done that, I have not measured the top as it is now.  To be honest, I didn’t even square up the blocks, and I realize now I probably should have, but it is a scrappy quilt, and I’m not overly concerned if the seams match up or not.  The concern is the actual size of the top as it is now, and if it is “square”.  I think I may have a couple of wobbles in it.  Ah well, it is going to be a utility quilt, I think.  Something I can practice my Free-motion quilting with.

I decided I wanted to do a “floating” type border.  Now that I decided I was going to use those leftover pieces, I thought it would be neat to float them.  To me this means having the same colour of fabric pieced around the scrappy blocks, to make them as if they are floating on the border fabric.  Opened the stash cupboard to see what I had that would be appropriate.  Again thinking scrappy.  I didn’t have enough of anything really to work.  I did have some fabric, three pieces of that were all the same shade.   I took them out, pressed and trimmed to 2″.  I then happily sat down at my sewing machine, and proceeded to stitch the HSTs to the strips of fabric.  I cross-cut, and came up with another idea.

Design 1 on the left, Design 2 on the right

I wasn’t so sure now about the floating squares.  I had only really seen them on black fabric, and typically bright fabric was used.

Then I thought about stitching four of the stitched squares to each other, putting all the lights in the center for one unit, and darks in the center for the other, with a spacer of the border fabric between each unit.  This pattern copies the patterns of the blocks.  I had every intention of following that idea.

Design 2 on the left, design 3 on the right.

Then another idea hit me (Design 3).  What if I was to create the same design of the small triangles from the snow ball blocks.  Alternate the dark and light to create the same design, and then drop the spacers completely.  I could then mix up the border fabric to make is scrappy.  Granted, cutting them into 2″ squares is going to make a lot of work, but I think it will continue with the scrappy theme of the quilt.

Deisgn 1, Design 2 and Design 3.

So this is where I’m at.  The more I look at Design 3, the more I like it.  I think it is also called “Broken Dishes” block.  I will use the dark red strips for the inner and outer border, maybe I will piece 4 of the triangle units together (4 patch), and then when I have a pile of them, stitch to the border strip (width of fabric), and then crosscut.  The border pieces will then be 3 1/2″ long, or 3″ long when finished.  That way, I don’t have to cut 2″ squares, and try to get them aligned nicely.

I may have to throw in some “spacers” to get the borders to fit the top.  Or, maybe I will just trim the blocks to make it fit.  If they don’t line up, I’m okay with that too!’

So what do you think?  Would you have stuck with your first idea, or would you have let the creative juices flow, until something else came up.

-Alice

PS – I bet you didn’t expect a second post from me so quickly!  Me neither, but I wanted to share.  I have been feeling really good the last few days.  I can only work an hour or two at a time, but it feels good.  So I stitch, press, trim for a bit, then when I start to feel “it”, I go and rest for a few hours.  Then I’m back at it.  This process is doing me good.  Although the brain is still doing the “GO GO GO”, at least now I’m listening to the body and when it starts going “NO NO NO”, I’m stopping!

Thank you all for your comments.  Your support has definitely raised my spirits up!

I was visiting Bonnie K. Hunter’s blog,  checking her posts, and someone had sent her a request on a particular block.  I decided I would thumb through my book of 5500 Quilt Blocks from Maggie Mahone, (if you visit the link, scroll down the page, you will see some of the actual pages from the book) when I discovered a few gems.  I should note, that every once in awhile, I look for something in the book, and see something that intrigues me.  If only I had really gotten into quilting 40 years ago, maybe I could make all the quilts I want to.  Um… wait a moment, it was about 38 years ago, I started my first patchwork quilt… which still remains unfinished!  Ohh… back on subject.

Well the block that really caught my eye today, is called 3D nine patch.   Now the thing with the book, is it gives you the name of the block, and shows you an image, but that is all you get.  The block has three 9-patch units with sashing, on point.

I decided I would draft out this block on 1/4″ graph paper.  It was going well, until I brought the wrong ruler (metric), which makes using accurate measurements a bit difficult.  It looked okay, but I knew that if I was to use the measurements from what I had drawn out, the block would not be very accurate.  DS#2, suggested I draw the 9patch units “square” to the paper, and then draw the setting triangles after.

Seemed like a reasonable plan.  I had an idea that the 9patch pieces would finish at 1″.  So I drew them at 1/2 scale into a 4″ block….   or so I thought.  Yes, the 9-patch units are 3″ finished… but… the block is now 4¼” instead of 4″.  Hmmm.

Next, I took two pieces of graph paper, laid them side by side, to make a larger piece.  If I was going to draw out an 8″ block, and draw the 9-patches first, I was going to need a much bigger piece of paper.

Off I started drawing again.  And it is looking pretty good.  Measured the block… 8½”… hmmm.  Apparently going to the size I want, is still not going to work.  One of things I forgot was that when things are on-point, their “dimensions” change, they are not the same size you expect.   A 1″ square is not 1″ across when you put it on its point. n (LOL I just checked… and it is 1 3/8″).   I looked at the block I had drawn out… how am I going to get it to be a finished 8″.  I wonder if EQ6 might be able to handle the job.  I draft out a  number of my quilts, primarily for yardage estimates, but occasionally, I will alter blocks, or create one if I can’t find what I’m looking for.

It took me a bit, to figure out how I was going to divide a 2″ space into 3 equal parts.  Drawing it wasn’t working, how do you measure 0.6667″.  I could guestimate, but it still wouldn’t be accurate enough.  I found I could change the “snap points” in EQ6, which means I could divide a 2″ space into 6 parts.  Woohoo!

I thought this block would be a good one to do scrappy, although the background and sashings would have to be purchased.

              

I then used EQ6 to play with layouts

then colours

as I was altering the quilt to be a bit more scrappy for the dark units, I discovered that the block if rotated a bit more, looks like a heart!

I am considering using Bonnie’s Leader and Ender method to create the 9patches, sewing them in strips, then cross-cutting to get the patches.  This would be a project that would fill in while working in other projects, that are less scrappy.  I think I just convinced myself this quilt is going to be started sooner than I anticipated.  What better way to get it going than using the Leader and Ender method.  And my scraps could always use a good clearing out!  I think they multiply when I’m not in the quilt-n room.  I guess I will need to start going through, and then cutting strips of 1½”!  These quilts are “small”, if the blocks are 8″, but I’m sure with the Leader and Ender method, I could have lots of 9patch units to create a much larger quilt, and use up more of the scraps!

-Alice


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