Friday, 31 March 2017

Improv Chinese Coins

Ann and Kaya who host the Ad Hoc Improv Quilters (AHIQ) suggested making improvised Chinese Coins this quarter. My Chinese Coins have looked like this for about two weeks now: the coins (that I showed last month) and a tree,

inserted tree: bias cut fabric would have been better; fitting the branches in distorted the background.
and some double-sided leaves to attach once I've quilted it.

Double-sided leaves: some finished, others simply fused and waiting to be zig-zagged together. More needed.
"Once I've quilted it" being an important phrase here - for me, deciding on a quilting motif is always a challenge and inevitably leads to procrastination.
It's completely put together from scraps. Not only the top, but also the wadding:
 and the backing are pieced:

The leaves are strengthened with double-sided fusible interfacing, so I'll be able to attach them along the central nerve or at one end allowing the underside to be partly visible. I'm hoping they will appear to "float" but it's important I think to get the rest quilted first.

The strata in the background, the "coins", are from a 2.5 inch fabric roll. Having joined them together I cut them in half intending to turn one half upside down and go from there. However that didn't work because with an uneven number of strata the middle one stayed in the middle, and didn't look good. Here followed some pondering and turning pieces round, trying more fabrics before I decided to leave the orientaion af the strata as it was and insert a strip. This became the trunk of the tree, but only after I had inserted branches into the two panels. The trunk and branches are made from a 2.5 inch strip cut longways freehand. Using a "jelly roll" meant I couldn't cut the strip on the bias which would have been easier to insert; it was quite a struggle forcing the straight fabric into the cuts I had made.

While thinking about quilting this mini I also made a few more coin blocks on a different scale. (I needed a rest from all that thinking!)

These strings are six inches long, and of varying width. I've decided to make a rainbow collection of them, following the Rainbow Scrap Challenge colour each month; although this month's colour has been red and not yellow/orange! Even choosing the colour was ad hoc! The number I make each month will depend on how many scraps I have in the colour of the month that are at least six inches long. In my view a piece of fabric is only a scrap if it is really really small. I've no idea how they will all come together over the year.

There isn't really much to show here for two whole months' work, is there? Still, I'm working on it and have learnt plenty. I'm looking forward to next quarter's invitation, and hoping I can push my limits even fuurther.

I'm linking up to
Click on the button to see some improv masterpieces.

Happy sewing


Saturday, 11 March 2017

RSC 17 Looking for red

Angela at Soscrappy has given red as the colour for this month's scraps. Time to look out red scraps.

I have a bucket under my cutting table for the bits I don't want on the table. This bucket

was full, that is piled up and overflowing, of pieces of assorted colours and sizes. I spent a couple of hours yesterday evening separating


from crumbs

from larger pieces

but hardly made a difference to the bucket.

Unfortunately I didn't find any red strings, just a couple of strips from which I could cut 2" squares
However, I found a few red triangles, probably the cut off corners of stitch and flip blocks, and some extremely odd shapes from which I cut the jagged edges.

Now I'm off to make crumb blocks from this treasure trove!

That was yesterday, ... and here they are!

These crumb blocks are destined to go onto a QAYG  basket for red scraps, but more about that later.
My plan is to make a basket each month and put that bucket back to its original use: hand laundry!

Last week I showed my outsize Jacob's Ladder blocks and now I have made three from the "other" Jacob's Ladder pattern that I had drawn from a photo by Sharon Mck Mason at 24 Quilts and which originated in "Better Homes and Gardens" but I don't know when. Incidentally I don't think it bears much resemblance to the original Jacob's Ladder, except for the diagonal line of squares; if anyone knows this block by another name please let me know.

For size comparison here are the blocks together:

I'm linking this to 

grab button for SoScrappy       

 Click on the button to see more photos of scrappy patchwork.

Happy sewing


Saturday, 4 March 2017

RSC 17 February aqua

Angela at soscrappy gave aqua as the colour for February and this week I made a few more 9-patches and some half hour-glass blocks as leaders and enders
Leaders and Enders!
and a couple of Jacob's Ladder blocks.

12" Jacob's Ladder blocks, pattern from Quilter's Cache

I'm not really happy with these for my rainbow project this year because the blocks are too big and the pieces are too big: 4.5" strips don't count as scraps in my book, at least not in the length they need to be here. Bad choice!

However I did find a photo on Internet, labelled Jacob's Ladder, but a 4-patch variation with small triangles and lending itself much better to using scraps. I have drawn the pattern,

and shall be making it each month using either 2" or 2.5" strips in the month's colour for the "ladder" and another for the corner squares. Nothing to show yet but let's hope that this works!

The two blocks I have just made are going into the orphan box, but I plan on using them in a blue/teal/green and white quilt, and that won't come from my scrap box!

I'm looking forward to March's colour which is still a mystery now RED.

Linking on Saturday to
Click on the button to see more scrap fun.

Happy sewing