Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Third Quilt Top from More Orphans

Yes, I am still playing around with my orphan blocks.  So far, I have explored three different approaches to sewing these blocks up.  First, I did a medallion style quilt.  Then I went on to finish a top done improve style - which I hope to share as a finish this Friday.


Now I can share using a third technique - which is just setting the blocks into a background.




I started this quilt top with these four blocks.



 I had a number of 12 1/2" blocks (or blocks that could easily be made into that size by framing) so I started filling up my design wall.  I had two groups of three blocks that I used for the top and bottom row.  I also pulled out some four patches I made from some strip sets and created some fun details to keep this quilt more rectangular.



 I had some colorwash cuttings I had saved and used them to frame some of the blocks in the middle section.  I also used a leftover strip set from a finished quilt to make this block a bit taller.  I thought the purple and blue balanced out the heart block really well.


Then it was just a matter of filling in the background.    I broke up the quilt into six horizontal sections, which made assembly pretty easy.  I used mostly 2.5 and 1.5" wide strips to separate the blocks and the rows.  I did use a directionally striped fabric for my background, which made the finishing a lot harder than it needed to be. (That seems to be how I roll!) 

I tried to focus on using my brightly colored and novelty scraps on this one. 

Yahoo...48 more orphan blocks found a home!
(I think 5 different quilters will see some of their handiwork included in this one.)

The top is now sewn, the backing is together, so all I need to do now is get it quilted up!






Linking Up:

Freemotion by the River (Linky Tuesday)

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Oh Scrap! : A Day with Scraps

Last Saturday I had the pleasure of teaching my Geese Migration quilt to the Emerald Valley Quilters.
Oh what fun we had!



I love to see a table full of scraps!



In no time at all, beautiful blocks were getting finished.  It was so rewarding to see other quilters applying some of my tricks and tips for using scraps to their blocks.  I wanted to steal them all!



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I is now your turn to share what you are making with scraps.  Here are the details for linking up:
  • This linky party is for any scrappy project - It can be in-process or a finished piece.
  • You can link up your blog post (not your homepage please) or Instagram photo from the past week that features your use of scraps.
  • If you are linking to a blog post, I ask that you link back to my blog somewhere in your post. So if you are writing about scraps, just get into the habit of including a link as there will be a linky party available every week!
  • If you are using Instagram, please use the hashtag #ohscrap.
  • This is a party so remember to socialize and comment on the posts of others.
  • Following my blog is not necessary but it sure would be great if you do!
Quilting is more fun than Housework
<a href="http://quiltingismorefunthanhousework.blogspot.com/" target="_blank"><img src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-XTyeCeIcFJ8/VJSHulTzvkI/AAAAAAAAGCc/O_OPzksuV2s/s1600/Oh%2BScrap%2BButton.jpg" alt="Quilting is more fun than Housework" width="125" height="125" /></a>

So if you love scrappy projects, feel free to grab my button for your sidebar or posts and get ready to share all your wonderful projects from scraps.  And if you have a great idea for using scraps and would like to be featured, feel free to contact me!






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Linking Up:

Love Laugh Quilt (Monday Making)
Patchwork Times (Design Wall Monday)
Cooking Up Quilts (Main Crush Mondays)
Em's ScrapBag (Moving it Forward)

Friday, January 27, 2017

A Very Scrappy Finish

I have something to share today which will hopefully inspire you to save a few more "scraps" from the trash bin.  I am ready to share the first finish from my series of quilts made from orphan blocks.



There is so much scrappy goodness in this one!
The finished size is about 58" square.  The only fabrics I added are the orange/green narrow borders, the dotted purple/green background and some black/white frames.  The rest all came out of my little suitcase of orphan blocks.




It all started with that big center block.  A friend gave me that block quite some time ago.  I think it was one she made in a class on sewing curves and then decided she didn't really want to make an entire quilt using that method.  She knew I would eventually find the perfect home for it!





 If you are interested in how this top was constructed, you can read more about that here.  There are very few blocks made by me in this top.  I do see some blocks and components from about 4 different quilters who would have otherwise tossed these in the trash.



I love that there are very few solids in this quilt - so many great prints to look at.  Even small bits like these HRTs found a home.




I added a black and white print to the back.  The piece I had was not quite wide enough so I found a bright yellow fabric to pull some of the bright colors from the front.


I will continue to share more quilts made from my orphan blocks.  Each is very unique and constructed in a different methods.  I hope I am inspiring you so save those bits!







Linking Up:

My Quilt Infatuation (Needle & Thread)
Craftsy

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Quilt #2 from Orphan Blocks

I am still playing around with my orphan blocks.  My second quilts looks very different than the first one I created.  For this one, I pulled my orphan blocks that were in shades of brown.





I decided to start my quilt with these large improve slabs that were abandoned from a long ago project.



These will help to set both the color and the theme for the quilt top.  Now I just need to build off from here.



















As I lay blocks out on my design wall, I look for pairs or colors of blocks to balance out the quilt top a bit.


I also start with the larger blocks first.  Not only does this make laying out the blocks easier, but it also fills up the real estate faster!



















Then it is just a matter of filling in the open spaces with smaller blocks.  Half square triangles and four patches are usually last.















You can see I gave those peach blocks a facelift by cutting them in quarters and creating a better block. 

I also started sewing up the blocks into larger components - using fabrics from my scrap bin to keep the improv feel to the quilt top.




Some blocks are trimmed smaller while others are added to or framed to make them the size I need.











You can see the components all forming better in this photo.  I am working on the last section there toward the bottom left.













And here it is all put together.  A total of 62 orphan blocks and components found a home in this quilt top.


Once I get it quilted up, I will get some better photos of it.  The colors are really rich and warm - and the hints of pink and turquoise really add some zing!



A crazy quilt for sure!









And over on my other design wall, these orphan blocks started quilt #3.  Time to make a quilt top that makes my heart jump!  :)


The center medallion orphan block quilt is all quilted and getting the binding attached so I hope to share it this Friday.

Hope you all are having a great week!





Linking Up:

Sew Fresh Quilts (Bee Social)


Sunday, January 22, 2017

Oh Scrap! : Easy Make Blocks

I am still working on my orphan block quilt tops and hope to write more about them in a few days.  But today, I wanted to share with you some easy make blocks for your own orphan block quilt.




Many of today's quilt designs include some strip piecing.  Once you cut the chunks required, you are often left with some end bits.  Rather than toss these or rip them apart for scraps, I like to make them into some easy blocks.

I had a whole bunch of leftovers made with 2.5" strips.




Just look at all these cute little four patches I made!



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I is now your turn to share what you are making with scraps.  Here are the details for linking up:
  • This linky party is for any scrappy project - It can be in-process or a finished piece.
  • You can link up your blog post (not your homepage please) or Instagram photo from the past week that features your use of scraps.
  • If you are linking to a blog post, I ask that you link back to my blog somewhere in your post. So if you are writing about scraps, just get into the habit of including a link as there will be a linky party available every week!
  • If you are using Instagram, please use the hashtag #ohscrap.
  • This is a party so remember to socialize and comment on the posts of others.
  • Following my blog is not necessary but it sure would be great if you do!
Quilting is more fun than Housework
<a href="http://quiltingismorefunthanhousework.blogspot.com/" target="_blank"><img src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-XTyeCeIcFJ8/VJSHulTzvkI/AAAAAAAAGCc/O_OPzksuV2s/s1600/Oh%2BScrap%2BButton.jpg" alt="Quilting is more fun than Housework" width="125" height="125" /></a>

So if you love scrappy projects, feel free to grab my button for your sidebar or posts and get ready to share all your wonderful projects from scraps.  And if you have a great idea for using scraps and would like to be featured, feel free to contact me!








Friday, January 20, 2017

January = Purple

I love participating in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge with SoScrappy and I love the color Purple.  So I am one happy camper with all the purple projects out there right now.

I decided to make string blocks this year for my RSC quilt.  My color bins all have varying amounts of strings in them so each month I am just making whatever string blocks I can. 

Well, my purple bin was overflowing!


Because I had so many strings, I ended up with more than enough blocks to make a lap sized quilt.  I pulled 22 of the 10" blocks and put together this purpliscious scrap quilt.




I found a yard of this blue/purple fabric to use for an inner border and the binding.  I even got fancy and mitered the corners!



I found a big piece of Jen Kingwell's Gardenvale in my backing stash and thought it was perfect.


 I still have some purple blocks left but I just added them to my collection of string blocks.  I am sure they will become something in the future!

I warned you there will probably be a number of string quilts produced this year.  I can't wait for February's color to be announced!





Linking Up:

Quilt Infatuation (Needle & Thread)

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Scrap-A-Palooza! Sewing a Quilt Top from Orphan Blocks

Are you ready to sew those Orphan Blocks into a quilt top?  Get ready for a picture heavy post!

In one of my last posts, we talked about organizing your orphan blocks so they can be sewn into a quilt top.  Now it is time for me to share the process of how my top came together.



I decided to start with this huge 18" block. 








In my mind, I wanted this quilt to be rectangular so I started with the starter block toward a corner.  I then started adding blocks with no final design in mind.  I just tried to balance colors.















I got to this point and hated it! It was fighting me and just not coming together.  So I pulled all the blocks off my wall and started again.  I realized my starter block really wanted center stage so I decided let the quilt blocks "speak" to me and put it right in the center of my quilt.











I started again throwing blocks up around the center block - this time creating a medallion quilt design.  When I got to this point, I liked the design but those red blocks just seemed a bit too strong. 



You can also see I was still trying to be a bit asymmetrical...












I finally landed on this very symmetrical design.  Everything on the wall at this point is an orphan block or leftover component from previous quilts.  A total of 42 pieces!


Now it is time to sew it together!








I really did not spend much more than a half hour setting up this second design.  I think once you get headed in a good direction, the design comes together pretty quickly. 
And remember, you can always adjust as you go!










For the first step, I needed to add a small frame to the purple and yellow stars to bring them up to the same size as those inner patchwork pieces.  I went with a black and white stripe for a bit of "pow". 


Once I had those finished, I could start sewing together the center portion.











.



I added a small border to the center block in an orange print to bring it up to the size I needed to attach the next pieced borders.  I could then completely sew up the center part.



Did you notice the change to the blocks I had in the four outer corners?  Sometimes I find a block is the correct colors but it just isn't working.  I like to give these blocks a "facelift".










Here is what the original blocks looked like.
...some orphans do not need to be explained  :)


I simply sliced the block down the center both horizontally and vertically.  I then re-laid out the pieces and sewed it back up.  So. Much. Better.






I then started working on the outer section.  I found some of the same fabrics from the center block that were in the scrap bin or stash.  I used them to frame up the larger blocks to a uniform size.  On the corners, I decided to twist the blocks a bit to add a little character.


I realized at this point that I needed another orange border around the center section.  I did not like the black blocks up against the patchwork sections.  I also decided to use that same orange border print to add to the sides of the Half Square Rectangle areas on the side to give them a bit more width.












Then it was just a matter of finding a light background print from my older stash to frame in the rest of the outer section.  Remember, if you don't like doing all the quilt math, you can always cut pieces to a larger size and trim them down to fit.




So this is Orphan Block quilt top number one! 
It will hopefully get quilted up soon so I can share better pictures of the quilt.  I am really pleased with how it turned out.

It is about 60" square.





And did you catch that I called this quilt number one?  I am nowhere near being able to close my little orphan block suitcase so I have already started quilt top number two.  For this second one, I grabbed the brown stack of blocks.

So stay tuned.... that one is coming together quickly too.  
And I can tell you it looks nothing like the first one! 






Linking Up:


Sunday, January 15, 2017

Oh Scrap! : Starting a Quilt from Orphan Blocks

In a recent post, I shared what sorts of items I save in my Orphan Block Suitcase.  So today, I thought I would share a bit about how I get started on an Orphan Block quilt.  I don't want this post to get to long so I will share later the steps to actually putting together a quilt top.

In case you want to get started on one of your own, I will share how I initially get inspired.




I usually start the process by sorting my quilt blocks (not the other bits you might save) so I can see exactly what I have.  I think this will helps to determine how you want to approach your quilt.




First I sort by block size.  If you have blocks that are slightly bigger, consider if they can be trimmed to work in a smaller size stack.  Depending on the type of quilts you generally make, you might find you have a large portion of blocks that are all one size and putting together a quilt with just some simple sashing will be really easy. 





You might also find that you have blocks in sizes that fit together easily (e.g, 4", 8", and 12" or 3", 6" and 12").  You can simply put them together like I did my RSC16 sampler
They will fit together like one big puzzle!









While sorting your blocks you might decide to put together a "kitchen sink" orphan block quilt.  Jo shared with me her friend's "Blocks on Parade" quilt that she made with her blocks.  Anything goes in these quilts!













 But if you sort your blocks by size and are not inspired by anything you are seeing or...if you are like me, your block sizes are all over the place, think about sorting your blocks by color scheme.  I did that to mine and quickly saw I had three great options for putting together quilts.  On the top are blocks in warm browns, oranges and golds.  On the left, I stacked up any blocks that had a novelty theme or were more kid appropriate.  The stack on the bottom right is where I put all my blocks in bright colors.  Once I started sorting my blocks this way, I found myself really getting inspired.  It felt like putting together three fabric pulls!

Now that I have these blocks in defined stacks, I can sort all the rest of the bits in my suitcase into the appropriate pile.  Time to just grab a stack and start playing - So I thought I would start with the stack of brights!


For those who want to get started on your own orphan block quilt, I begin by looking for a focus block(s) to get me going.  This helps set the tone of the quilt.




Hmm...a star and some drunkard path blocks.









Maybe starting with these blocks and creating an asymmetrical design.  I can always trim these blocks to change their appearance slightly.  Maybe....







 A big giant 18" block.  Starting with this is a possibility too.

I am going to make you wait to see how I moved forward. (Sorry)  In a future post, I will share the entire progression of my quilt top so you can see it come alive. 

I know you will start saving those orphans  :)


******************************************


I look forward to seeing how you are using your scraps.  Here are the details for linking up:
  • This linky party is for any scrappy project - It can be in-process or a finished piece.
  • You can link up your blog post (not your homepage please) or Instagram photo from the past week that features your use of scraps.
  • If you are linking to a blog post, I ask that you link back to my blog somewhere in your post. So if you are writing about scraps, just get into the habit of including a link as there will be a linky party available every week!
  • If you are using Instagram, please use the hashtag #ohscrap.
  • This is a party so remember to socialize and comment on the posts of others.
  • Following my blog is not necessary but it sure would be great if you do!
Quilting is more fun than Housework
<a href="http://quiltingismorefunthanhousework.blogspot.com/" target="_blank"><img src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-XTyeCeIcFJ8/VJSHulTzvkI/AAAAAAAAGCc/O_OPzksuV2s/s1600/Oh%2BScrap%2BButton.jpg" alt="Quilting is more fun than Housework" width="125" height="125" /></a>

So if you love scrappy projects, feel free to grab my button for your sidebar or posts and get ready to share all your wonderful projects from scraps.  And if you have a great idea for using scraps and would like to be featured, feel free to contact me!











Linking Up:

Love Laugh Quilt (Monday Making)
Patchwork Times (Design Wall Monday)
Cooking Up Quilts (Main Crush Mondays)
Em's ScrapBag (Moving it Forward)

Friday, January 13, 2017

Neutrals Strata Quilt Finish

It is funny how setting a goal and having a plan really does help you get something finished!

Earlier this month I shared my plan to finish 12 older UFOs this year.  I numbered my list and will be working on one each month.



Quilt #6 was chosen for January which was a Strata quilt I have been working on for a few years.  The fabrics, I have been collecting for about a decade!

I am happy to report it is now a finished quilt!




With all the snow and rain we have been getting, an outdoor picture is not an option but this photo shows the lovely taupes, grays and browns in my fabrics.  I have been wanting to make myself a quilt in these colors for years and knew I really wanted the quilt to be just about the fabrics.




The fabrics were all cut in varying widths and then cut up into a handful of lengths.  I love the patterns that are created from the different sized strips and as fabrics and colors run together.




One of my all time favorite fabrics for the backing.  It is a Michael Miller print that I have been hoarding for years.  Knowing this quilt is for me, this was the perfect time to get it out and use it.




So I have already reached my goal of finishing a UFO for January!  I am feeling extremely good about the coming year already.  Maybe I really can get my UFO list down to single digits.   :)







I will also be sharing this finish with Elm Street Quilts for the One Monthly Goal Finish Along.





2017 is off to a great start!













Linking Up:

My Quilt Infatuation (Needle & Thread)