My trunk show “One Hundred Small Quilts” is popular with quilt groups. I’ve been giving it for six years and have added to the collection. I actually bring about 120 quilts with me. The quilts have lessons to teach us. This is Dresden Delight.
Posts Tagged ‘scrap quilts’
Whenever I finish a quilt, I put the leftover binding into a shoebox in my closet. When I’m ready to bind a scrap quilt, I start by checking in the shoebox. Last weekend I wanted to bind my scrappy green and teal Patchwork Forest quilt, which I’ve named Can’t See the Forest for the Trees.
I finished piecing my row quilt from Quiltmaker’s Bitty Blocks this week. We offered these small blocks as freebies when I was working for QM, and even though I made lots of blocks at that time, I had never finished my quilt.
When I pulled out this UFO to try again, I had stars, baskets, bow ties, hearts and houses. I made the triangle-squares at the bottom, above, as a quickie row to take up space and to warm up a little.
My friend Paula Stoddard made the quilt that QM published as Little Bitty Love in a newsstand-only special called Quiltmaker’s Row Quilts. I love her version, but I wanted to make it my own so I decided some creativity was in order.
I made a bunch of Flying Geese, a checkerboard, Housetops (third row from the bottom), and bricks (fourth row from the bottom).
I thought I had a pretty good handle on things, so I began sewing rows together. But when I looked again, everything felt very congested near the bottom. There wasn’t room to breathe. So much checkerboard going on and on and on. And the bottom row of Housetops just didn’t feel right.
This is often the price you pay for veering off in your own direction. It’s always easier and quicker to make your quilt look just like the one in the pattern, but for me, it’s more satisfying to add my own twist. That’s why I do it, in spite of the extra headaches.
In order to give it room to breathe, I wanted more background, so I made some improvisational trees using Amy Smart’s tutorial at Diary of a Quilter. I cut my patches 5″ x 6″ but pared them down a lot in the end. They’re the only wonky row in the quilt, and I worried that they’d look out of place, but I think they’re okay in the end.
As I stood back and looked again (always stand way back, across the room), something else was bothering me. I realized that the pinwheels would look a lot better below the trees than above them. More unsewing. Possibly bad words. Resewing. Good thing I was home alone!
I moved the trees up and I switched the triangle-squares with the row I call Dribble. Now Dribble is at the bottom. I also eliminated the Housetops—they seemed way too heavy for the quilt. Now we’re getting somewhere.
You can hardly see it here, but the horizontal aqua sashing is scrappy. I only had small pieces of aqua: fat quarters or less.
I wanted this to be stash sewing, so I found aqua prints that read about the same, pieced the length I needed and called it good. Some are brighter aqua prints but I used the back side—one of my favorite tricks!
For the side borders, I used up the leftover aqua strips. I think it looks fine.
I auditioned at least 10 fabrics for the final border. Nothing seemed to work. The idea is always to have something with interest that does not compete with the center. You don’t want to go to all that work in the middle only to have the border detract from it. I think this border works, and I had it in my stash!
Once it’s quilted, I may put a bright pink or red binding on it. It would be like an exclamation point!
To see what I’m working on from day to day, follow me on Instagram, where most of the magic happens: @stashbanditquilting
Links to QM Bitty Blocks
What’s not to love about Valentine’s Day? Just about everyone can get on board with loving and being loved. I designed an easy little heart quilt block and put it into a small quilt design just for the upcoming holiday. I’ve written the instructions and they’re a gift. This is “To You, with Love.”
You can make all the hearts in just one color, or you can make them scrappy. You can do a scrappy background, or use just one fabric. So many options! You can see them on my Instagram where I’m @stashbanditquilting.
I unearthed a corner of my studio last week and came across some treasures. Neatly stacked in a cardboard box were my QM Bitty Blocks from 2015. I and other QM staff members designed these little gems as freebies that we presented month by month on the Quiltmaker blog that year.
It was so much fun. I made blocks in about half of the months but as always, there were more ideas than hours in the day, so my sweet little piles were set aside without being finished into a quilt. Coming across them again was like rediscovering old friends and I think it’s time they became a quilt.
Today I’m sharing a quilt that’s a lesson in what not to do. I learned something the hard way on this quilt. I like the center part just fine, but that wide striped border? There is room for improvement.
I spent a lot of time on these scrappy string Spiderweb blocks, pulling brights from my scrap bin and not worrying too much about anything.
I walked into a quilt shop yesterday, and the owner asked me a question.
“What are you working on?”
I had to think hard.
I’ve been working on a lot of things, but I don’t have any big finishes to show for it. In this case it’s easy to feel like you’re not getting anything done. I think it helps to step back and give yourself credit for what you’ve accomplished. Here are some of my recent projects.
I made a quilt and everything went wrong.
Maybe you’ve done the same. It was an exercise in frustration but I learned some things, and some of the most egregious mistakes won’t be evident to others.
One of the hottest things among quilters online these days is swapping. People swap blocks, small quilts, particular fabrics and more. I thought it would be fun to show you some of the swap blocks I’ve made and talk about how a swap works. Of course there are endless variations, so this is just the tip of the iceberg!
A while back I had the idea of using the color windows on fabric selvages to decorate Christmas tree quilt blocks. I can’t be absolutely certain this was an original idea, but I think it might be. I worked out the kinks and today I’m going to show you how to make Christmas tree quilt blocks with selvage lights.