Friday, April 26, 2013

Let's Talk about Scraps

I love scraps...well some of them.   I mean, I still don't understand how folks can save the little dog ears cut from triangle squares or the real tiny pieces that are sized an inch or less.  I like scraps that are functional and that are big enough to cut into.  I enjoy making scrappy quilts. Putting one together stretches my imagination.   I am a huge Bonnie Hunter devotee.  I don't always complete her quilts, but I love them all anyway.  I don't really have a scrap stash.  I usually cut from yardage or use the fqs, jelly rolls and charm squares.  So when someone says use your scrap stash, I can't because I don't have one.   And, however much I enjoy scrappy quilts, I am not the dig in the bag and sew together whatever comes out type of scrappy quilter.  I have purchased bags of scraps.  Many of them have nice-sized pieces of fabric in them.  And my generous friends usually gift me with fabric scraps, but most are at least 5 inches or bigger.   So, the little pieces are not for me. They make me crazy!  I catch myself sometimes holding onto them because I feel guilty throwing them away.   But I am not going to do that any more.  On the other hand,  I am a very "controlled-scrappy" quilter.  What does that mean?  Well I like using lots of different fabrics in my quilts.  But I kinda control the color combinations, the placement, and types of fabrics used.  Does that still qualify me as a scrappy quilter?   I hope so...I have used as many as 100 different fabrics in one quilt.  I think that is pretty scrappy.  I like a lot of variation and texture and using multiple fabrics helps me to accomplish that quality and look.  I purchased this of bag scraps at the Mid-Atlantic Quilt show this past February.  Aren't the colors wonderful and the pieces are pretty sizable?

So for the last 3 weeks, I have been piecing a quilt made with four patches.  The four patches are made with African fabrics, batiks and some coordinating fabrics, many of them made with scraps.  It is very scrappy and colourful, but I also made sure the blocks were placed in a recognizable pattern throughout the quilt top. I have 2 more rows to add.  I love how it is coming together and I think I have enough four patch blocks as a result of this block swap, to make another top. This one is not destined to be a flimsy for long.

By the way, I found some scraps in a few bins that are going to a good and loving home.  Linda, they will be on their way soon.  I have photos of a few more "modern" quilt top flimsies to share with you.  I am still trying to work my way through this phenomenon :0). 

Thanks for stopping by!!!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Checking in....

Time really flies when you have so much to do.  I have had a full plate at work since February and the arrival of our new CEO.  And things are changing...a lot of which I have been tasked to be involved in.  We even had a week long staff retreat in Monterey, California at Asilomar.   But, I have been sewing and trying new techniques.   I have always considered myself a traditional quilter with a slant toward using non-traditional fabrics. I like reproduction fabrics and the 1930s fabrics, but I enjoy using batiks, Aboriginal and African fabrics more. I also love the Japanese taupe fabrics. But lately I have become fascinated with the modern quilt craze. I can't even remember where it started... Most of the colors are so basic, grays, whites, blacks, lots of solids and bright color patterns - all of which I love and use a lot. I am not sure I want to be categorized as a modern quilter, but I have to admit that I am kinda liking some of their stuff. I have been flipping through a few books (I know I shouldn't be doing that, but hang in there with me) and I have noticed that a lot of their patterns use big blocks. Big blocks are great for fabrics with large prints and for those fabrics that you just hate to cut. So, I am thinking that maybe I could convert the fabrics that I love over to the more modern genre to see how they will look. Well, I have been experimenting a little to see what I could come up with. Here are a few photos of a series of quilt tops (soon to be flimsies) that I have completed over the last couple of months. The first one is a flimsy from several years ago and the other 2 are my interpretation of modern quilts.   I am not in a rush to quilt them. I just wanted to see how they would turn out and to experience the "modern quilt-making craze" a little. I did enjoy the almost instant gratification and fun of making them so quickly (3 in one week -- that is a record for me) but I am definitely going back to what I love with some modifications.

This one is called Tropical Vacation.  Started it about 3 years ago.  Made with batiks and I
free-hand cut the curvy blocks.  It is now a flimsy.

I made this top with a variety of Aborignal prints. Lots of bold color. After taking the picture,
I realized that I need to add another border on the left side.  I don't know how I missed that.  It will be a flimsy too.

Is it obvious that I am a lover of all things lime green?  I named this one "Everything Looks Better with Lime Green."
 It too will become a flimsy until I find the right backing and time to get it quilted.

I took the last 2 pictures at Asilomar in Monterey, CA.  I wanted to pitch a tent with a sign saying I will work for food.  The first photo was taken at Point Lobos Natural Reserve in Monterey.
The 2nd photo was snapped at Asilomar Beach.   This is why I Live Blue...