Saturday, August 27, 2022

Scrappy Triangles Quilt

Ta Da! I have a finish! 

I've been working on this quilt since the beginning of 2021. My plan for that year was to follow the Rainbow Scrap Challenge colors by dipping into my multicolored scraps instead of the more solid-ish bins. Each week I used a pattern from Leila Gardunia's 52 Weeks of Scrappy Triangles, or Year of Scrappy Triangles (I've seen it titled both ways). My "rule" for constructing the scrappy parts of the blocks was to make sure each multicolored fabric had at least a little bit of the color of the month in it. Because this was going to result in a real mishmash of pattern and color, after a few months of piecing I chose a mottled navy for the other half of the block. I like how it both calmed the chaos and kept the colors vibrant. At the end of 2021, I knew that I wanted to keep making blocks to make a bigger quilt, so this year, I have sort of followed the RSC guides for colors but also veered off, just making blocks of whatever colors and whatever patterns of the original blocks struck my fancy. I sort of ran out of multi-colored bits of the sizes I needed, so more and more, I dipped into my other scrap bins, and that's okay. It was a fun project. But you know what? That multi-colored scrap bin is still overflowing. I'll have to come up with another idea to use it all up. If you have any desire to see any of the blocks more close up, I tried to remember to label the posts as I made them with Year of Scrappy Triangles. You can click on either the side bar or the label at the bottom of this post to see them. 

While working on the blocks I was pretty certain I wanted to arrange them in a version of a pattern that I've seen as Around and Around by Joanne Designs. (Not sure if that is the originator.) I laid them out that way. 

But then I wondered if staggering the middle part of the pattern a bit might be preferable for me. All I had to do was move the bottom three blocks to the top and shift everything down. 

As soon as I did it, I knew that that was my layout. I probably moved a few blocks around to distribute colors and patterns more evenly, but I didn't spend a lot of time on it. I'm not sure of the origin of this layout. Sometimes that information gets lost as it finds its way around social media. Some of the names I've seen are Pole Twist, Ribbon Twist, Twisted Ribbon, Ribbon Pole, DNA. I'll leave it to you to do the research if you are interested. Or if you know the origin, please let me know.

I was planning to buy a single cut of fabric for the back, but then a wander through my leftovers of other quilt back projects revealed that I had five pretty large pieces of small floral prints with lots of colors (and all of them had some turquoise in them to meld them all together). 

Two of the prints were the same print, but different dye lots. By cutting each in half and positioning them in diagonal positions, the difference was minimized. The backing is sort of, but not quite, symmetrical. It's happy and crazy though like the front, and little pieces of all but one of the fabrics is also on the front. So the back really used up a big amount of multi-colored prints! Here's a close-up of some of the prints.

With my wonky-ish vision, I knew that I could not quilt this quilt with navy thread. I found a variegated thread called Gumballs (Coats and Clark), that seemed like it was made for this quilt. 

I used it with my walking foot for casually spaced lines down the streak-of-lightning and pole patterns formed by the navy half triangles. I used off-white with a free motion meander on the colorful fabrics, because I knew that anything more detailed would be lost. I willed myself to keep the meanders fairly widely spaced so they would be about the same density as the walking foot lines. I'm really pleased with how it all turned out. 


Block Pattern: Year of Scrappy Triangles or 52 Weeks of Scrappy Triangles by Leila Gardunia  Blocks finish at 6 inches.

Fabrics: Years of scraps; a mottled wide-back navy fabric for the background. Could be Moda, but I really can't remember.

Batting: Fairfield 80/20.

Thread: Superior Masterpiece in Granite for piecing; Gumballs cotton machine quilting thread 30 weight, I think, by Coats and Clark for quilting on navy background and for hand-sewing the binding. Superior King Tut Cotton quilting thread in White Linen for quilting on multi-colored fabrics.

Size: Pieced 54 1/2 by 60 1/2 inches
         After quilting: 53 1/4 inches by 59 inches.
         Washed: 51 inches by 56 1/2 inches

Machines: Singer Featherweight for piecing; Singer Treadle 115 for walking foot and free motion quilting and for machine work on the binding.

After my garage photos, it was time to take the quilt into the wild for some glamour shots. I grabbed it along a couple of weeks ago when we went to visit my Dad and found a lovely little area by a goldfish pond on the property of his assisted living home. What a delightful place to show off this colorful quilt. 

Close-up of cute little rock

I'll be donating this quilt somewhere soon. I'm glad to have found a use for all of these scrappy bits. There are still more to use up...always, right? But I needed something fresh to work on, so I've just cut into some of the yummy fabrics I collected last year to make a new scrappy quilt. Bigger pieces than I usually work with, so I think it will go pretty fast. Fast finishes can be rejuvenating, I think. 

I'm linking up this week with Angela from So Scrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday and with Cynthia at Quilting is more fun than Housework for Oh Scrap. 
I hope you are having a good quilty month whether you are working on a long-term project or a fast finish.
Washed and spun

(Just a reminder: I'm not affiliated with any company, so when I mention products, services, or stores I'm just documenting what I used or liked.) 

Bits of Orange

Just a quick Rainbow Scrap Challenge orange post this month. I really didn't have all that many orange scraps compared to some of my other colors--especially strings. Only enough of those for one Meals on Wheels quilt-as-you-go placemat. 

14 by 18 inches

I used a single piece of tone-on-tone this time for the back. Those creases are just from folds in the fabric from who knows how many years in a drawer. They don't really show as much as in the photo, but I should have pressed before sewing. A quick press later will remove them. Don't you love the binding? Yummy stripe leftover from the baby quilt for one of my grandsons more than 7 1/2 years ago. 

I had about 18 feet of adding machine tape scraps this month. 

And then there were more Bear Paws with orange.

I have quite a few of these Bear Paws now. I will have to count them and figure out whether I need to make more from the last two colors of the year. If I lay them all out, I'll be able to see what might still be needed. I'm thinking I might want a bit of sashing, in which case I may have enough blocks for a decent sized quilt. I have an idea for the sashing, but it needs to percolate. 

So that's the orange scrap bin pretty much emptied except for a few odds and ends. My big RSC project for the month is the completion of the RSC quilt I've been working on since the beginning of 2021. I think that deserves its own post don't you? Check it out. Yup! Two posts today.

I'm linking up this week with Angela at So Scrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday and with Cynthia at Quilting is more fun than Housework for Oh Scrap. 

I hope you've had a month of bits and finishes, too!

Friday, July 29, 2022

Blues and Purples

Bit by bit, I've been catching up on my Rainbow Scrap Challenge blues and making my purple projects. This whole summer has been bit by bit, but it is adding up. 

I have lots of blue scraps--enough to be overwhelming. So I'm glad that we could focus on just the brights and darks for June. I'm sure some lighter blues sneaked in there, but that's okay because when I get to the light blues there will probably be some decidedly darker ones. It's all relative, right?

I started, as usual, with the string-pieced placemats. I made two blue ones and then decided that I had enough strings to make a third one. Because some of my scraps were fairly big, I pieced all the backs, too. My purple scrap collection is smaller, so I eked out one placemat with those strings. Here they are all together, and then we'll take a quick look at each front and back.

As usual, all of the placemats are 14 by 18 inches, made quilt-as-you-go with pieced batting scraps. They will all be headed to Meals on Wheels in next spring's collection. I am always surprised by how well these motley scraps turn out. I mostly prefer bluish purples, but the grayish and even the reddist ones worked out fine. And I am really enjoying making the backs of these placemats. 

The rest of the scraps filled up more adding machine tape. I think the blues filled about 17 1/2 feet and the purples about 13 feet.

I added 17 Bear Paws with my solid fabrics this month, 8 with blue and 9 with purple. 

The other thing I did was finish the last 10 blocks of my 90 blocks for the 52 weeks of scrappy triangles

As you are reading this, I have sewn the blocks into a top, basted it, picked my quilting thread, and (I hope) started the quilting. Woohoo!! (When it's all done, it will get its own post.)

During the summer, we spend an evening a week picnicking on the lawn at MSU for carillon concerts. Lately, I've been taking my hand sewing along. It's so relaxing taking slow stitches while listening to a wide variety of music from guest carillonneurs. This past week the program included Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody and Ralph Vaughn Williams' King's Weston. Something for everyone! Here's how things looked from my chair.

Summer bliss. 

And just three more photos for your viewing pleasure. We've been frequently traveling to my dad's home this summer, taking the back roads to avoid highway congestion and construction and just enjoying watching the landscape change as the crops grow. We drive through a little intersection each time that has this little old schoolhouse with a two-sided quilt. I missed taking photos when the daylilies were all in bloom, but this view is pretty, too, I think.

And because July has been a purple month for RSC (not my garden, but a simple pleasure on a walk)...

I'm linking up this week with Angela at So Scrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday and with Cynthia at Quilting is more fun than Housework for Oh Scrap

I hope you are enjoying bits of summer sewing (if you are in my hemisphere; if you are farther south, have fun with cozier winter sewing) and the simple joys of music, nature and country byways.

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Phone Sleeve

Oh, my. I have done no sewing since the last part of May. Family matters have taken top priority this month, and setting aside usual daily activities is necessary and desirable to stay focused on what's most important and reduce stress.  But yesterday, I bought a new phone, and it is just a smidge bigger than my old one so it does not fit comfortably in my old phone sleeve. Needless to say, I woke up this morning with a squirrel on my mind. Yes, I chased it and now have a nice (clean, non-shredding) new sleeve for my new phone.

Here are my old phone sleeve and my new one side by side. 

I'm going to miss the old one--that Amy Butler fabric was one of my favorites. But the new one is nice, too, and it is from a fat quarter that never seemed to fit into a quilt project. I thought I had written up the guidelines for the old one when I made it six years ago. I have lots of in-process photos, but apparently they never became a blog post. I have a few photos of the new one, but because I was so busy chasing, I didn't document the process well. I'll try to explain...

I took my phone and measured out two rectangles of fabric about an inch or so bigger than the phone. I paired them with batting scraps, and did some tiny stipple quilting to add some body. 

Here they are with one turned over so you can see the quilting better.

I put the pieces right sides together and then basted around the two long sides and the bottom short side, leaving an opening of about an inch and a quarter in the middle of the bottom. I'll explain why in a minute. I eyeballed the seam allowance to figure a fairly snug, but not binding, fit. I ended up having to take out the basting and sew again to leave just a bit more room. But that was why I basted first--to make it easy to alter it if needed. To make things extra easy, I rounded the seam at the corners.

I made a lining from two similar pieces of fabric in a solid burgundy, but I kept the long sides extra long to fold over later for a bound edge, maybe 1 1/2 inches longer? I don't know. I didn't really measure. I sewed them with the same seam allowance as the outer sleeve. 

I tested the fit by putting the lining into the sleeve wrong sides together, and shoving the phone in to get it in place. 

Then it was time to make the strap. I cut it maybe four inches longer than the main part of the phone sleeve and 3 inches wide. I made a quarter inch hem at one end. Then folded the sides in and overlapped them to make a strap about 1 inch wide. I stitched down the middle of the length of the strap to secure it and then did some stipple over the whole thing. I took the lining back out of the sleeve, inserted the raw edge end of the strap into the bottom opening of the sleeve, sewed the final seam over the basting and completed the bottom seam. I turned the sleeve right side out, reinserted the lining (wrong sides together) using the phone to get things in place, then folded over the lining twice to the outside of the sleeve. Then I hand stitched it down for a binding. Too fiddly to try to sew on the machine.) I sewed the strap to the top of the sleeve just below the binding. 

Here's how the phone sleeves (old and new) look from the back. 

They look similar here, but the strap on the new sleeve actually extends about three inches or so beyond the top edge of the sleeve.

That's because I decided to make a closure on the new sleeve to prevent the phone from accidentally sliding out, something that happened a few times with the old one. 

I found a big green and a smaller black button in my button jar, and stacked them for the closure and hand stitched them to the front of the sleeve. I folded and hemmed the end of the strap about 3/4 inch because it was longer than I wanted. Then I sewed a bit of elastic to it to close around the buttons.

Here's what it looked like from the underside.

Here's how the sleeve fits on my hand when I'm walking.

And a close up of the closure.

And the finished project.

It fills good to have a quick finish after a long sewing break. My sewing may continue to be sporadic for awhile, but I will still try to sew some blue scraps this month if I can. 

I hope you have had a good month--and I hope your squirrels make you happy.

I'm linking up this squirrely finish with Sandra at mmmquilts for DrEAMi (Drop Everything and Make it).