Quilting Up My Scraps

Quilting Up My Scraps

Do you, like me, have tons of scrap fabric you’ve been saving to use…someday?  I’m embarrassed (or proud?) to tell you that my stash of scraps takes up two bookshelves in my sewing studio.  They’re nicely sorted by color, and look very pretty, but one of my New Year’s Resolutions this year is to start using up my scraps.  Not that I won’t create more scraps that’ll grow yet again—but I need to use them up before they take over my studio!

I was watching a TV program on Sewing with Nancy—click here to view the episode  on PBS with Nancy Zieman that featured a guest speaker with great ideas for using up those scraps.  Lynn Harris has written a quilt book entitled, “Every Last Piece” (see Amazon here).   She suggests cutting your scraps into strips of various widths and sewing them together, and cutting them to size with a standard 6-1/2 inch square ruler.  These squares can be used in any traditional quilt pattern out there.  Genius!  I was completely enamored with the first quilt she showed on the program—The Garden Window Quilt.  But there were so many more possibilities!

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These are the smallest of the scraps I keep—they’re not even big enough to be sorted in my bins by color.

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They are spewing out of washed salad tubs where I store all the “orphan” bits and bobs.

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I spent an afternoon with my music blaring cutting all those scraps (every last piece) into various sizes—5 inch & 2-1/2 inch squares, & long 2-1/2 inch strips.  These were put away for another day.  But anything smaller was cut into strips of different widths (all under 2-1/2″) and at least 6-1/2″ long.

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Once sorted, I had four piles—a selection of Black & Whites, a pile of Christmas fabrics, a pile of baby/kid’s prints, and a pile of great “earthy” traditional/county colors.

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After sewing enough strips together, I cut them to a perfect 6-1/2” square with my rotary cutter and ruler.  Easy-peasy!

I found that I had quite a lot of back and white fabrics—stripes, polka dots, herringbone… so decided my first quilt would be black and white…

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Then I found it … some fabric panels in my stash that  I had purchased a long time ago (note big monitor & 3-1/2” drives).  I LOVED this panel, but I never found the right quilt pattern.  It features a black cat getting into “trouble”, as cats often do.  Sitting on the warm monitor, …

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or playing (and getting tangled) in the yarn.  I just HAD to use it.  It’s called “Kats by Kelly’” for Timeless Treasures (I found the title in the selvage, which I added to a block).

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The scrap blocks were arranged to surround each of the cut panels (which magically cut to the perfect 6-1/2” size! …It was meant to be!).

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Kitty in the yarn again!

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Here I’m auditioning different fabrics for an inner border & outer border — too much!

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Not bad…but I don’t have enough (and it’s still a bit loud).

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This is more like it…but not quite.

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In the end I went with a narrow black inner border and some cute (lighter) fabric for the larger border, which I’m using for the backing as well.

All that’s left is quilting & binding.

Three more scrappy quilts to go:  1) Christmas; 2) Baby/kids; & 3) traditional/country fabrics.

So what do you think?  Isn’t it a great way to use up scraps?  I’ll share a pic of the finished quilt with you in a week or so.

Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING!

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts

Shimmering Winter Stars Quilted Wall Hanging

Shimmering Winter Stars Quilted Wall Hanging

I’ve just finished my “Shimmering Winter Star” wall hanging.

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From a distance, doesn’t it look as if the pieced triangles are twinkling or shimmering?

I started the design on my Electric Quilt 7 software with some ideas I’ve seen on Pinterest and the internet.  The triangles intersect the colors so they co-mingle and create a secondary design.  I especially love the work of Jenny Bowker “Shimmering Triangles”.  If you’re interested, she has a pattern for purchase online through Craftsy here.

Here’s a photo of the squares of batik Christmas fabric up on my design wall that I cut out of a layer cake to create the color scheme.  You can see the EQ7 sketch in the lower right hand corner.  (Sorry—my design wall isn’t yellow, but a light cream–I can’t seem to correct the color cast.)

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After organizing the color scheme, I got to work making the half square triangles.  It’s so easy–simply match up two contrasting squares …

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Put them right sides together, and

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(using a ruler and a disappearing ink pen) mark lines corner to corner, then across left to right and north to south.

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And sew  1/4 inch on either side of each line…

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Use a rotary cutter and ruler to cut them apart on the drawn lines…

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…open and press… and you have 8 half-square triangles!  Ta-da!

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If you line the 45 degree line on your ruler up with the seam line (corner to corner) on the half square triangle, it’s easy to trim each one down to size.

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After making dozens and dozens of them, I put them up on the design wall (to double check the placement) and then pieced them together into the blocks I needed.

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Here you can see how they’re coming together on the design wall…not yet pieced together.  (Sorry it’s a bit blurry)

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And here it is—all finished with a green batik border, quilted with a meandering star pattern, and ready to go!  I was so pleased to get it in my shop before December!!  Yippee.

Unfortunately, I have another project that won’t get done in time.  Oh well, there’s always next Christmas right?

Until next time,

HAPPY QUILTING!

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts

Mosaic Pixelated Quilted Wall Hanging

Mosaic Pixelated Quilted Wall Hanging

I found this photo of my dad (Harry Haverkate) that I  just love.  Isn’t he handsome?

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I’m not sure of the year, but It was probably taken around the time he was dating my mom (early 1930’s), when he was in his early 20’s.  Back in the time when men often wore suits and always wore a hat.  I thought dad looked so “dapper” with his hat tilted just right.  So I named this quilted wall hanging “Dapper Dad” to hang in our hall in his honor.

I found two websites that will make your jpeg photograph into a pixelated document for free:

One website is pic2pat:   http://www.pic2pat.com/index.en.html

The other is http://vam.demo.lemberg.co.uk/interactive/ppm/landing

I scanned the photo, cropped it, and then used the website to convert it into a document with numbered pixels (squares) that I could print out to use as a guide.  Next I drew a 1/4” grid (with my ruler and permanent marker) on a piece of light weight fusible interfacing, and placed it fusible side up on my portable ironing surface.  I cut strips of my hand dyed brown fabrics just a bit wider than 1/4”, and I sorted/numbered them light to dark.

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Using the numbered grid as my guide, I started choosing and cutting individual 1/4” squares and “tacking” them onto the fusible interfacing with my small iron.  In areas where more than one square was the same color, I used strips instead. And in large areas with the same number I simply cut squares or rectangles slightly larger than the section.

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It’s very much like putting a puzzle together, but you’ve got a guide to help you.  It’s very “mindless” and relaxing.  I love doing it.

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Here (above) are the strips in a bin helping me keep the numbers straight.

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You can’t see much of anything as you’re putting the puzzle together (see close-up shot above); you just have to trust that it’s going to work.

 

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But when you back up a few feet, you begin to see the photograph come to life!

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Then back up even further, and it really begins to look like something!

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After adding the batting (pellon fleece) and a backing fabric, I took the fusible interfacing with the squares completely cover it, to my Bernina and free-hand quilted using similar colors of variegated cotton thread.

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After adding a striped 3-D border, brown inner border, and paisley outer border and dark brown binding, it was ready to hang in my hallway.  (Sorry for the yellow tint.)

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From a distance, you can really see “Dapper Dad”.

Have you tried pixelating in your quilting?  If not, give it a try—it’s so rewarding.

Beagle1     MosaicCat1  pixelated Josh Rhi   Pixelated Pastor Brad

Hope you enjoyed reading about the process.

Have you tried pixelated quilts? I’d love to hear how your experience was.  Please post your comments below, and include a link to your photo if you can.

UPDATE:  I was so pleased to find out the photo quilt got an “honorable mention” ribbon at the Sun Prairie Quilt Show earlier this week!

  
Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING!

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts

Salvaging Your Selvages

Salvaging Your Selvages

Salvaging: (Verb) … the act of saving anything from fire, danger, etc.” (the trash)

Selvage:  (Noun) ..the edge of woven fabric finished so as to prevent raveling, often in a narrow tape effect, different from the body of the fabric.”

The selvage of the fabric is that little strip down the lengthwise edge of the yardage.  It gives you lots of information…the fabric company, the fabric line, the designer, and little test dots in various colors.  They’re usually white, but occasionally may be a pale color.

Want to salvage your selvages?  Let’s get started!

Save your selvages.  I’ve learned to rotary cut at least 1-1/4” from the edge of the fabric so I can get a bit of the actual fabric along with the selvage edge.  That way I can decide later how much of the actual fabric I want exposed in my project.  I put the selvages in a container, one by one, and over time I accumulate a bunch of them.  You can see in the photo that I’ve got quite a pile.

Next you’ll need a foundation.  I used a piece of cotton muslin, but any cotton weight fabric will do—even that fabric you no longer like (it won’t show in the final project).  Then I cut the foundation fabric into the size square I wanted (5”).

Starting at one corner of the foundation square, lay down a small piece of fabric, then cover the raw edge with the outside edge of a selvage. Roughly cut off the ends—so it’s just a little larger than the foundation.  Next, pull another selvage from your pile and cover up the raw edge of the previous selvage with its outside edge.  Continue doing this until you have the entire foundation covered.   If you don’t like it, you can move them around at this point.

Once you’re happy with the arrangement, carefully set them next to your sewing machine in order and one by one top stitch each into place over the raw edge of the previous selvage and foundation piece.  You can choose to let a lot of the fabric show, or none at all—it’s up to you.  Continue sewing until the entire foundation is covered with your selvages.

I like to give it a good press with Best Press or other fabric sizing.

Then turn it over on your cutting mat and cut it to the size of your foundation piece, using your rotary cutter and ruler.

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And there you have it!  A beautiful block you can use any way you’d like.  Because these were done diagonally across the foundation block, they make a nice zig-zag pattern when two or more are put together.

You can make several and sew them into a quilt.  Or make just a few and sew them together to make a bag or pouch.  The possibilities are endless.

I chose to make four blocks (two for the front and two for the back),

…added a bright green lining & batting and did a little straight stitch machine quilting…added a zipper

and made mine into a cute little zippered bag.

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It’s the perfect size to carry a cell phone, sunglasses, keys, etc.…

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or for keeping small things in order inside your luggage bag for the next trip…

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My talented sister taught me how to do micro macramé while I visited her in Michigan (she makes amazing jewelry)—so I made a macramé zipper pull with a few beads just for fun.

What will you use your selvages for?  A quilt? …pillow? …vest? …purse?

Start saving them now, so you’ll have them when the creative urge strikes you!  ..so you can salvage your selvages!

(If you’re interested, the little zippered bag is for sale in my Etsy Shop HERE.)

Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING!

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts

Kaleidoscope 4-Patch Table Runner…the Process

Kaleidoscope 4-Patch Table Runner…the Process

One of the things I loved about taking the Quiltsy Kaleidoscope Workshop Online was a table runner pattern she shared.  I fell in love with this new Jasmine fabric from Timeless Treasures, and bought enough yardage for 4 repeats plus a little more.  Of course I couldn’t pass up getting some accent fabrics from their line.  The red and green really “popped” against the black floral print.

Here’s how I started.  First I cut 4 identical layers of the fabric into strips, and subcut them into squares.  It’s the same process as making a One Block Wonder, only using 4 layers instead of 6, and cutting squares instead of 60 degree triangles!

Then you simply arrange the four identical squares into 4-patches…  Because the floral print is so “tight”, the differences in the blocks are very subtle.

After piecing her pattern together, I decided to try free-hand quilting some feathers.  I thought feathers gave the table runner a more romantic feel…what do you think?

I used a stencil (see the light markings) to help guide my stitching—I’m not completely comfortable doing feathers without a little help!

Here’s the completed table runner…you can see the completed kaleidoscope 4-patches within the three large blocks, and as an accent in between.

Mulberry Patch Quilts Table Runner by Jane Weier

And here’s a close-up so you can see the feathers.

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I’ve just uploaded and listed the table runner at my Mulberry Patch Quilts Etsy Shop.  I’d love it if you’d stop by.

What’s next?  I think I’ll use the leftover Jasmine blocks to make a square table topper with some different accent fabrics…after that I’m going to continue exploring Kaleidoscopes…maybe a OBW (One Block Wonder). AND I’ll give you an update on little “Owlie”!

Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING!

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts

One Block Wonder Spin Off Quilts!

One Block Wonder Spin Off Quilts!

On page 56 of the “One-Block Wonders” book by Maxine Rosenthal, she talks about creating “Sensational Squares” from some of your layered fabric.  After I finished cutting the 60 degree triangles for the OBW in the “Samba” fabric (see last week’s blog), I decided to cut a few of these squares in case I wanted to use them as connectors in my quilt.  She has you cut a four-layer square, then cut it from corner to corner, and sew the triangles back together into a square with a new design…like this.

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I decided not to use them in my Samba Kaleidoscope quilt, and I didn’t want to waste them (of course!)…so I decided to challenge myself to come up with another way to use them!

First, I added a black border to each one:

First I laid them out on some blue fabric I happened to have in my stash, thinking an idea would come to me…but I couldn’t find a layout idea I liked…so

I got on my computer and used EQ7 (Electric Quilt) to try different designs until I finally decided on this star pattern, putting the squares in the center!

It took a little math to figure out what size to  make the squares to sew the easy-to-make triangle blocks the right size…

But I over-sized them, so it was easy to trim each one to the exact size I needed.

I had plenty of star blocks, so instead of one large quilt, I decided to make two baby quilts…

The first one has black sashing with an outer border of blue swirl from my Moda “Bungle Jungle” yardage:

Here’s my EQ7 rendering–

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And the final quilt top (yet to be quilted—I need to go shopping for a backing):

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And here’s Quilt #2 which started out with white sashing,

BUT I thought the white sashing just blended in too much with the star blocks.  So after trying a few different sashings, I finally decided that I liked the addition of a strip of black in each sashing strip:

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So here’s the finished top bordered with “Samba” fabric, ready to be quilted. (If I had to do it again, I would have made the cornerstones red.  I’ll use either a red or black binding.

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What’s next in my Kaleidoscope exploration?

Well, I’m taking an online class from “Craftsy called Quilted Kaleidoscopes with Marilyn Foreman. I love it.  I found a wonderful fabric at Mill House Quilts, (“Jasmine” by Timeless Treasures).  I’m planning to make a kaleidoscope table runner that the instructor shows as one of several class projects.  I think the fabric is going to work beautifully for it, and I can’t wait to stack it up into four layers for this technique, cut squares out, and see what kaleidoscope effects will happen!

I’ll be sure share the results (good or bad) with you next time!

Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING!

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts

My Second OBW (One Block Wonder)…Samba Fabric

My Second OBW (One Block Wonder)…Samba Fabric

I couldn’t wait to cut into my “Samba” fabric that I mentioned at the end of my last post.  When I saw it at Quilter’s Compass, I thought it would make a very interesting kaleidoscope effect.  It has so many colors and so much movement.  What a difference from my earlier, more subdued floral table runner!

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After tearing the fabric down the middle lengthwise (the scariest part), I layered six panels of fabric together and cut out strips—then subcut the strips into 60 degree triangles (6 of each).     

With each hexagon “kaleidoscope” there are three possibilities—because you can “turn” each triangle three times to create 3 different looks… Here’s an example of one set:

After sewing half-hexi’s (nicely pressed open), I arranged them into piles by color…

I tried to make some sense of the color scheme on my design wall before actually piecing the hexi’s all together… putting the reds off center and then blending them into the blues and yellows and greens.

Here’s the center of the finished quilt top.  A little “LOUD” isn’t it?  But it was fun!

I’m hoping the beautiful deep blue fabric (I went back to Quilter’s Compass to purchase) will calm it down a bit as an inner border.   I’ll add an outer border of the actual fabric yardage and then frame it with blue binding.  I’ll post a photo when it’s all done so you can see how it turns out.

I had a little bit of the fabric (in the 6-layer stack) left over…so I cut some of it into squares, and subcut them into triangles.  I pieced them together to make small kaleidoscope squares (about 4” each).  I want to “challenge” myself to design another quilt or two using these little squares in the center of some kind of blocks.  I’ll share with you what happens in the my blog post…

Until then, HAPPY QUILTING! and Happy Spring!

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts