Frankenstein’d Fabric

13 02 2013

As predicted, it’s been a slow month for sewing. My mother-in-law is back home following her knee replacement, but she’s still not up to several hours of kid-sitting. Nor will she be for a while – she’s also prepping for a move to rent-controlled apartments for seniors. This is very good for her, as she’ll have discretionary income for the first time in ages.

Anyway, this week I’m on vacation, so I’ve stolen some quality time with my rotary cutter and sewing machine. The former far more than the latter right now, but that’s because I’ve been attacking my scraps again.

Scrap Attack, Step 1

On Monday and Tuesday, I sat down and started going through my scraps. This is my second concentrated effort to control my scrap bins. Anything that can be cut into squares of three different sizes is cut down. I start with 5″ squares, then move to 3″ squares and finish up with 2.5″ squares.

Scrap Attack, Step 2

Anything that can’t be cut into squares, as long as it’s at least 1″ X 5″, goes into my strip bin, so that I can piece string blocks later. I was just throwing these into a Ziploc bag, but quickly realized that I had to spend time ironing the strips flat before stitching them down onto their foundations. Thus, a mostly flat storage solution had to be found. Everything in the bin pictured, is just from my Monday and Tuesday.

Scrap Attack, Step 3

When I’ve cut my squares and strips, I’m often left with incy wincy little scraps. These usually measure less than 2″ X 3″. I could throw them away at this point, but my miserly side just yells at me, loudly. So I sat down and started piecing:

Scrap Attack, Step 4

I’ve got one 12.5″ square done, and another half done, with another couple bits started. I need to cut down more scraps before I can really move forward with this, but I’m all right with that. I don’t mind having a more relaxing bit of piecing that can be done whenever I’ve a hankering to just do, with no real plan in sight. I think these will end up being alternated with blocks of solid fabric, to make a very simple utility quilt.

It’s a little OCD, I know, but at least now I won’t feel guilty for wasting perfectly good fabric. And, with a little more perseverance, I’ll have squares of all sizes coming out my ears, so I can just make some really scrappy projects when I feel like it.


A Completed Quilt Top

20 07 2012

I’ve been sewing like a woman possessed.

I make no apologies, except to my lower back.

Regardless, I persevered and thirteen days after first posting about my free-piecing efforts, I have a completed quilt top.

I think I might have broken land speed records. I’m pretty sure Bessie is smoking. Poor machine needs a good cleaning after this.

Fun with Free Piecing Top Completed

The quilt top measures 72″ x 72″. There are eighy-one 8″ square blocks. I burned through twenty-four loaded bobbins. There are about 4.25 yards of Kona Coal there, along with an indeterminate yardage of various scraps. This is definitely not a scrap buster by any means, however. I estimate that that there’s less than a yard of prints in this top.

Now I just need to figure out the backing. I wonder what I have a lot of that I don’t particularly care to cut up into smaller bits… Oooo… I bought some solid yardages for an Asian-inspired project that’s just never going to happen. Perfect!

I could be quilting this beast this weekend! I think I might even have the perfect fabric for binding this.

Goodies and Fun with Free Piecing

7 07 2012

Back in April, I donated to the Generation Q Kickstarter project to issue a print magazine. Yesterday, I got my ‘thank you’ package. Included were:
Generation Q Kickstarter Package

A signed copy of Jake Finch’s book, and a copy  of the first issue of the magazine.

Generation Q Kickstarter Package

I also received a fat quarter bundle of Dear Stella fabrics. The prints are very girly, but I like the colors. I’m going to have to set these to the side and let them percolate. I’m not sure what I want to do with them, especially since I’ve started yet another project.

And that project would be ‘Fun with Free Piecing’. At least, that’s  what I’m calling it for now…

I wanted to make signature blocks for the Scrappy? Sew Bee It! Swap, but I fail utterly at making simple things. I seriously could not write a few words on plain white fabric and be happy with its appearance. My hand-writing, normally neat and upright, Frankensteined into jagged half-shapes that bore  a passing resemblance to letters. I gave up. I’m cross-stitching my info.

However, I started playing with how to actually make the blocks. I started with the idea that I’d just make some scrappy string blocks:
Fun with Free Piecing, 1

Fun with Free Piecing, 2

These all measure 2.5″ X 6.5″. I figured these would be the top and bottom thirds of each signature block. And that’s still what I want to do with these. But others became these:
Fun with Free Piecing, 3
Fun with Free Piecing, 4
Fun with Free Piecing, 5
Fun with Free Piecing, 6

I think I like the effect so far. We’ll see how long this goes.  I bought two yards of Kona Charcoal Gray, and when it’s gone, this project is done. Bonus – I’m burning through some scraps.