BCQuilter's Weblog

Posts Tagged ‘scraps

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.




What a fun day, at the Saturday workshop our Guild held.  There were scrap strips flying and machines a whirring.  Several times, participants commented on how quiet it was (no murmurming, no chatting).

Our instructor displayed several design options for us.  They can be viewed at the guilds blog. So where does one begin? We were given a supply list, and were told to bring our strips.

After the presentation, and the wonderful variety of design options… how does one choose which way to go!  Squares?  Diagonals?  Double Diagonal (Split Diagonal)?  Rectangles?  Diagonal Rectangle (4 blocks make a diamond)? Spider Web?  X’s and O’s? Fans?  Equilateral Triangles?   I chose not to go the “easy” way.  If I had, maybe I would have left with more than four blocks done… but that’s okay.  I am sticking with my choice.  I chose the Double Diagonal.   If you select a design option that requires just straight stitching with all the strips going in the same direction, these options lend themselves to chain piecing, which will make things go a lot faster.

Now the next choice was colour.  Now, you don’t have to have a colour option in mind, as I soon found out, I didn’t have a lot of certain colours.   You could use all one colour, and select darks, lights and mediums.  Make one block all darks, one all lights, and alternate, and rotate to give a really neat basket weave effect.  The possibilities are endless!  Okay… back to what I decided to do.

I chose two colour options… blue and yellow.   I had brought all my strips with me… from 1″ right up to 6″.  I only used up to the 3″ strips.   (PAUSE:   My mind is wandering all over the place here, so bear with me, I’ll eventually get on track.  I’m getting excited about all the different options that are buzzing around in my head!  But first things first, I need to get back on track and tell and show you what I did).

I didn’t have any old sheets laying about, so I had picked up some very inexpensive muslin.  I first cut the muslin into squares of 9″.  I started with just 4.  To make things go smoother, I think I would have cut them all.  Working at home, I will definitely cut them all up, and then they are ready.  I prefer my cutting table, it does not cause any back pain, from being hunched over!

To begin the Double Diagonal, you need to draw a line from one corner to the other, and use this as a guide.  You then start adding your strips.  Strip 1 – wrong side to muslin.  Strip 2, right side to right side of Strip 1.  Stitch and finger press open.  Oh Yeah!  Remember I said no rules!  No pressing with a hot iron required!

Click on the photo to read the descriptors.

This is another block with three strips added.  You work from the centre… but not quite the centre, and move out towards one corner.  Then you continue in the other direction from the centre piece.  Over extend the end of your strips at least 1/4″ for when you add the second diagonal piecing.

I used the pencil line as a guide, but actually I ignored it.  Some of my blue pieces did not quite reach over, so I lined up the yellow, allowing at least 1/4″ or so to the blue ends.  Stitched.  Trimmed to at least 1/4″… some of those pieces were long!  Then pressed.  I have to confess, I did press the yellow strip with an iron.

And more yellow strips (strings) being added.

Yellow strip added, right sides together, just before being stitched

It was much easier chain piecing the yellow strips.  This part of the blocks went by much quicker.

You may recall, that I mentioned I cut the foundation fabric to be 9″.  This is NOT the unfinished block size.  Our Instructor suggested cutting the foundation piece a bit larger than your planned unfinished block size.  I then trimmed to 8 ½”.  What a difference trimming makes!

This is the four blocks completed, and laid out, with a yellow centre.  If you look closely, you’ll notice that some of the strings are a bit “wonky”.  You can precut your strips to be wedges, and stitched, or stitch them so they are a little off.

Isn’t it amazing how changing the orientation of the blocks, gives this quilt a different feel.    Warm colours have a tendency to advance, or come towards you, while cool colours will recede, or move away from you.

I haven’t decided if I’m going to make pillows, or make a quilt from them.  I do have 4 more blocks on the go, and will be using this quilt as a fill-in between finishing up some of my UFOs!  Photos of the other participants will be posted on the Guild blog within the next few days.  Be sure to check them out, for some other design and colour options!

And now for the remainder of my Saturday.   The Robbie Burns dinner was a very neat affair.  A beautiful Prime Rib dinner, with some haggis.  What a tradition.

The Head Table

The Noble Pudding

Piping it in, and presentation to the Head Table.  After this point there was the toast, and the subsequent cutting into the Haggis.

The evening would not be complete without some entertainment.

And that sums up my Saturday activities.  I did try the Haggis, and unfortunately, there wasn’t enough gravy.  I can’t say I liked it, but I can’t say I disliked it either.  I found there was way too much Sage.  But I’ll keep my options open.

OOOh… and today is Robbie Burn’s Birthday.   I just remembered that!


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July 2018
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