Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Scraptastic Tuesday - September Winners!

Before I award the September Scraptastic Tuesday prizes I have the start of a new project.

playing with improv circles

I don't much scrappy work to share today but I did start playing with some scrappy improv circles. I think I might make a bunch more.

It is interesting because I see these as scrappy because they are different colours and I can use some of my solid scraps when making them. But since this block is about 20" square, I am mostly using large chunks cut from large 1 yard or more pieces of solids which were purchased for making large improv solid stuff. So are they scrappy? I still think so.

Before we award the prizes, first, our fantastic sponsors:

A huge thank you to our generous sponsors for providing the following prizes which have been awarded randomly among those of you who linked up as follows:
If you are a winner, congratulations, and watch for an email from me today or tomorrow to get you connected to your prize.

Please join Nicky from Mrs. Sew and Sow and I next month to link up your scrappy project or thoughts on taming your scrap mountain on the second Tuesday - October 11, 2016.

And if you are looking for some scrappy inspiration, visit the September links, they are awesome.


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Scraptastic Tuesday - the September link is open

It's the second Tuesday of September, and the Scraptastic Tuesday monthly link is open.

First, I am going to share a bit of the behind the scenes from making Rainbow Breeze, the quilt using the Fat Quarter Shop Summer Breeze Pattern that I shared last week. If you watch the short video, you will see that the instructions for the quilt create a lot of scraps.

Cutting fabrics

This pattern's clever approach to the traditional kaleidoscope pattern also is designed to use fat quarters. Following the cutting instructions will mean you use up the entire fat quarter of each piece with the exception of a left over strip of about 2".  When you cut the triangles from the pieced strips, the pattern does not encourage you to cut two extra triangles in the spaces. But there is more than sufficient fabric to do that, so that is what I did. I figured that out by measuring the first cut and when that seemed fine, I made the first cuts and it worked out, so I carried on.

You can see those left over triangles in the background. I have been playing with them and soon will figure out a way to use them. Since I really do not enjoy cutting all the fabric for a quilt before I get started, knowing that I would have all these left over useful triangles for another quilt make it so much easier.

Using the scraps

The pattern uses a single block which you trim with the 8.5" ruler. This makes the blocks less fussy than the method I used for my last kaleidoscope quilt but it also means that you have a lot of little scrappy bits. After consulting all of you, I decided to keep those little bits so I have been playing with them. They come together, for me, as sort of stretched out rosettes.

Scrappy rosettes?

I lowered my ironing board and pieced, trimmed, and ironed as I went. Now I just need to decide how to use these. With some background or mushed together or maybe strung along into a long row or a border? Then, for a quilt or maybe just a pillow? I have to say that these little scraps are fun to play with for a while and then I get tired of them. So I am keeping them handy for a sort of leader or ender type project, or when I just have a few minutes to sew.

By the way, if you have not been following Nicky's 2016 Scraptastic Sampler, you should. I am hoping to make one too, I love all the stars.

So, now is the part where you share your scrappy projects, plans and ideas. First, our fantastic sponsors:

A huge thank you to our generous sponsors for providing the following prizes which will be awarded randomly among those of you who link up.
  • Massdrop - Fabric Bundle to be announced

        Please join Nicky from Mrs. Sew and Sow and I by linking up a blog post or flickr or instagram photo sharing a scrappy project, in progress or finished, or your thoughts on dealing with your scrap mountain:
        • You don't have to have joined us before, everyone is welcome.
        • One link per person, and it will be your entry into the random draw for the prizes. It is the same link up here and at Nicky's blog - Mrs. Sew and Sow - so you only need to link up on one of our blogs.
        • This link is to share with our community about using your scraps, please don't use it to advertise your own products or events.
        • You can link up from your blog, instagram or flickr, but you have to link up to be entered in the prize draw.
        • Please visit at least a few of the links, they are very inspiring, and leave comments too as everyone loves to connect. 
        • Use the Scraptastic Tuesday button and invite your friends to join us too. Please share our button, or a link or the hashtag #scraptastictuesday in your linked post or photo. 
        • The link is open until next Monday night at 10:00 pm MST. We will announce the winners next Tuesday. 
        • If you have trouble linking up, let me or Nicky know and we will get you sorted.


        Tuesday, September 6, 2016

        Summer Breeze Quilt - Ta Da!

        Summer Breeze Quilt

        Today I get to share my version of the Fat Quarter Shop's  Summer Breeze Quilt Pattern. I named my quilt Rainbow Breeze. It's been hard working on this quilt in secret for much of the summer.

        This clever kaleidoscope pattern is designed to use fat quarters, and the Fat Quarter Shop encouraged the choice of Moda Fabrics. I saw this as an excellent opportunity to finally try a bunch of Moda Bella Solids. To give me a nice rainbow of solids, I chose four different bundles: the Mumbai Solid Bundle, the Sew Sampler Solid Bundle, the Me and My Sisters Designs Bundle and the Blues Bella Solids Bundle, together with Bella Solids Ivory and a couple of extra Bella Solids oranges and yellows.

        The Fat Quarter Shop's  Summer Breeze Quilt Pattern uses a really easy approach to piecing and trimming this traditional kaleidoscope pattern. To make it, the Fat Quarter Shop also supplied me with two rulers for making this quilt, the Creative Grids 45 degree kaleidoscope ruler and 8.5" square ruler.

        Here is the Fat Quarter Shop's video tutorial, which shows how to make this lovely and clever pattern:

        Summer Breeze Quilt

        I had fun quilting this quilt. I first quilted horizontal lines from 1/2" to about 1" apart. Then I turned the quilt a quarter turn, reloaded it on my long arm frame and quilted a second set of horizontal lines. The resulting effect of having squares that are not quite even is lovely.

        Summer Breeze Quilt

        I used a Wonderfil 50wt variegated grey and ivory thread for the quilting. The thread worked perfectly, no thread breaks and very even tension, and the colour added just the right touch to the quilt.

        Summer Breeze Quilt - detail

        These detail shots were taken of the quilt after it had been washed and dried. I used a cotton batting which shrinks just a little to give the quilt a soft, puckered look.

        Summer Breeze Quilt

        I had a lot of fun deciding on the colour placement for the blocks on this quilt. I wanted the rainbow to have enough distinction to be noticed, while still having the sparkle of mixing up the colours a fair bit.

        Summer Breeze Quilt - back

        I used a Tula Pink wide back fabric for the back and more of the Bella Ivory for the binding.

        Again, you can find the Fat Quarter Shop's  Summer Breeze Quilt Pattern here.

        Summer Breeze Quilt

        There is Rainbow Breeze one more time - she is about 56" square, which is a slightly smaller quilt than the pattern calls for. I love the rainbow and the way that, if you just move back from the quilt a little bit, the kaleidoscope circles peek out from this approach to the colour placement.

        Be sure to check out the other versions of this lovely pattern created by these lovely bloggers:

        Melissa from Happy Quilting
        Nicole from Modern Handcraft
        Sherri N. from Rebecca Mae Designs
        Sherri M. from A Quilting Life
        Jessica from Quilty Habit
        Afton from Quilting Mod
        Kathryn from Kathryn Jones Quilts
        Stephanie from The Modern Sewciety



        Monday, August 22, 2016

        Even more scraps and a question

        New scraps

        I shared this photo on instagram last night of some scraps of Moda Bella Solids left over from a fun and clever project I am working on for the Fat Quarter Shop, and which I can share with you in early September.

        It was late and on my instagram photo I said I was trying to decide if I should toss or keep them. And the response I woke up to was to keep them or rehome them, with volunteers offering to send me their address.

        Now I have been thinking of a project for them, and my decision for today is that if that project gets started I will keep them and if not, since folks have asked, I will rehome them - offer to give them away. But this left me wondering about one thing.

        I have not, to date, offered to de-stash my fabrics or scraps for cash or to give away for free. The reason why is simple - I am dedicated pre-washer.

        Please note - I DO NOT want to start a discussion on the appropriateness of pre-washing. I know that there are very strong views among quilters, and I don't care to change anyone else's approach - what you do is the right decision for you.

        Only for those of you who are curious about my choice, I wash my fabrics as they arrive at my house. I do it for two reasons, to get rid of all the chemicals on them, including the sizing that many folks like because it makes the fabrics a little stiffer to handle when sewing; and so that I can get to know the fabric and in doing so correct any stretching it might have suffered on the bolt, this last reason ingrained on my soul from years of garment sewing.

        I can say that in all my years of being in bees, no one has complained of any problem using my blocks along with the others received. The pre-washing really makes very little difference in the interaction of quilt blocks made of not washed quilting fabrics, which I also know because I use the bee blocks I receive, many of which are not pre-washed, without issue.

        What I do want to know is this: Would you be interested in buying fabrics that were pre-washed in a destash? And would you be interested in pre-washed scraps?

        Edited to add: Another question raised by Jennifer in the comments is what about pets? While I keep my fabric generally away from my cats, they sometimes lie near it - especially the scraps that are left out on my cutting table. Would this matter to you on a destash of fabric or scraps, knowing that I would first ensure that all cat hair was removed, and if need be, that it had been rewashed?



        Tuesday, August 16, 2016

        Scraptastic Tuesday - August Winners!

        I am rushing today to get the August Scraptastic Tuesday winners posted before I am off to a day of work at my day job and so I will have to wait and share some quilting or knitting tomorrow, thank you for your patience with me. 

        It's time to announce the August Scraptastic Tuesday winners of the randomly drawn prizes given by our fantastic sponsors:

        Congratulations to the lucky winners, who are:

        If you are a winner, congratulations, and watch for an email from me today to get you connected to your prize, but please note I will not be able to send them until this evening as I have to rush off now for a day of working at my day job.

        Please join Nicky from Mrs. Sew and Sow and I next month to link up your scrappy project or thoughts on taming your scrap mountain on the second Tuesday - September 13.

        And if you are looking for some scrappy inspiration, visit the August links, they are awesome.