There could be multiple updates on this project since I’m just not feeling the overall design. Over the weekend I was prepared to add white around the blocks that I had already pieced. I was going to buzz right through them and then add a gray border.
Well I buzzed right through them and then went to press the seams. Reality set in.
The truth is I hate that white border now. I was only able to add to two sides and after pressing I stopped. The white is drowning out all the color in the tiny blocks. I wanted it to create a frame.
For now I have not ripped off the white strips, but it is very tempting. Another idea is floating around in my head that I may try.
Creating with no pattern
Since I like to freehand create quilts and let them develop organically, this happens quite frequently. Typically, I can work through the design and be happy with the results. When a quilt has no pattern, I get to stretch myself creatively. Improvising challenges me to work through the creative process. It can be frustrating to hit many roadblocks, but I’m not going to put out a quilt that I’m not pleased with.
I have been contemplating the next steps for a couple of days. One design that I keep envisioning is more simple. Rather than frame the little squares in white, let’s skip that portion and just frame in gray. From there I would float the framed squares around the quilt. Maybe this needs to be bigger than a baby size to play with scale more. Check back next week to see where I have taken this project.
Scrap management is topic of discussion for quilters. The smallest scrap I keep is 1.5 inch square. Some keep smaller and create wonderful pieces with these micro scraps. I just can’t fathom keeping them smaller than 1.5 inch square.
A request for a baby girl quilt came in recently. The customer asked for girly after I had found my forgotten stash of Amy Butler Cameo and some other scraps. These will do the job. However, they are 1.5 inch square scraps. Where do I go with these?
Right now, I’m not entirely sure what the overall design will end up being. The fabric and some coordinating solids will guide me in this process. Do you remember this quilt? As I’m designing I keep seeing something like this.
I’m truly at a loss for words to talk about this quilt. All I want to do is play this video when I think about it. This song will probably get stuck in your head.
Apparently, that is a dark song. I was just thinking more of the Sail Away with me part. A customer asked for a nautical themed baby quilt. The vision of the quilt immediately came to me. Deep in my scraps were some leftover triangles from a previous quilt in red, gray and navy.
My vision had these triangles looking like pendants or flags along with a minimal design. The design challenge came when trying to find the right background fabric. I wanted a light blue polka dot on white and just couldn’t find what I truly wanted. Do you ever have that challenge? Luckily, I did find a print that worked with my vision.
Laying out the fabrics beside the coordinating prints was really helpful. Plus, the ladies at the quilt store gave me some valuable feedback. The polka dot is great, but it would drown out the white prints sprinkled in. The lighter blue print still showed off the navy and the white prints. Done! Designing the rest of the top was pretty easy.
The backing is a Lotta Jansdotter print I stocked up on a few months ago. Doesn’t it look like fish scales?
Adding the sailboat was the customer’s idea and it really pulls simple quilt together. I was able to complete the top, put the sailboat on, press the back, baste the quilt, and start quilting quickly with this project. For the quilting I went with waves. I marked the quilt on the edges every couple of inches. This trick really helped keep my wavy lines straight across the quilt. Then I filled in more lines along the way.
The texture the wavy lines created is perfect. For the binding, I went with the remainder of the top print. Doesn’t provide a frame of the quilt, but gives and infinity edge.
My smaller Brother machine decided to have electrical issues right before making this quilt. The sailboat is just sewn on with straight stitches, I would have preferred zig zag. The quilt is currently at it’s new home enjoying snuggles.
Woodland animals have been a trend for some time in nursery decor. Amazingly, this is the first baby quilt I have made with that theme. My husband says it doesn’t look like woodland creatures and I’m okay with that. It’s there, but you have to look closely.
Scrap packs from Crimson Tate were purchased months ago. When my client suggested outdoors and animal for a boy, these fabrics immediately came to mind. I had envisioned a string quilt when I first picked up the bundles and the idea had not faded.
Posing on Point by MyTeaandBrie was quilt design inspiration. While I didn’t use her tutorial, I use more of the general layout. Note: the mailing list request is for My Tea & Brie, not my site.
I pressed and starched all my fabrics before cutting.
For my blocks I cut the following string sizes:
Center white strip: 2 inches
Grey strip: 3 inches
Other fabrics 1.5 or 2 inches in width
Chain piecing the blocks made it pretty easy to bust the top out. I worked in 30 minute chunks then took a break. Tip: keep the iron nearby to make chain piecing more efficient.
In laying out the quilt top I was not overly picky about where things went. An effort was made to keep too many colors from the same square. Overall, it turned out great.
After completing the top, it was time to rip off all the little papers from the back. My mother-in-law was in town for Fall Break. I asked if she wanted to help and she joined in. It was great to have someone help out, this part was going to take forever and I was on a deadline. If I could get it to the client by X date, they could hand deliver. Well, I had to get this sucker quilted and bound quickly to make that happen.
Quilting, Backing, and Binding
A couple of backing options were auditioned but this black and white dot ultimately won. Doesn’t it play well with the front?
In the effort to meet my looming deadline, free motion quilting with loops won for quilting. Seriously the quilting took an hour. My mother-in-law and husband were watching something while I knocked this out. They were surprised when I entered the room with the quilted piece. I was pretty proud of myself.
However, while I was quilting, I found an error in my quilt. Can you spot it? If you’re a quilter probably, but most didn’t notice it. There was a frantic post to my guild’s page and texts to a couple of friends. The consensus was it’s a design element. Ha! If I wasn’t almost done with the quilting when my eye caught it I would have fixed it. Sometimes you have to let the little things go and accept them. It wasn’t the way I envisioned the quilt turning out, but it works.
Deep in my stash was the gray houndstooth flannel. The piece I had was just enough to bind the quilt. Everything to make this quilt was scraps or stash fabric which is a positive in my book. Makes working against that looming deadline even better.
Pretty sure I want to remake this quilt in a bigger size to keep. The colors are lovely, I am digging the jade. Despite a tight deadline, the quilt made it to CA in time to be hand delivered. The precipitant loved it. Making a baby quilt that doesn’t scream baby is always nice too.
If you like the quilt, save it Pinterest for future reference. I have it under Scrap Busting Projects.
I truly appreciate when a customer asks me to make a quilt and gives me a general guideline. For this quilt, the only guideline was girly, more traditional girly than bright. I had an idea already in mind but not being as bright really made me re-think the design. There were some scraps of Marmalade buried in my bins and I thought they just work.
Looking back, I made these quilts five years ago. Goodness.
Five years these scraps have been hidden away in a green tub in my sewing room. No more. There were just enough to create a scrappy Irish Chain quilt.
It was therapeutic to chain piece the blocks while binge watching something on Netflix. It’s easy to get lost in a series when you blocks to piece. This stack is lovely.
If you haven’t made a scrappy Irish Chain quilt, add it to your list. With 2″ scraps, your block finishes at 5″. I tend to keep a stack of Kona White 5″ blocks around for just this situation.
The quilt top came together easily. I struggled to pick the right backing for this project. As I started this quilt I envision using Kona Robin’s Egg blue on the back. While digging around for another project’s scraps, I found a pink and green stripe that complimented the front. What to do? Thanks to Instagram and Facebook, my original idea won.
Kona Pomegranate was also found while digging around. It was perfect dark pink to coordinate with all the other colors.
Let me ask again, “Why did I wait so long to try free motion quilting?” Being able to quilt something in just a couple of hours is liberating. It’s not perfect and that is okay.
My original vision came together into this lovely quilt. Girly, colorful, and scrappy. There are now just tiny pieces left of Marmalade in my scrap tubs.
Are you looking for an easy scrap quilt? Don’t hesitate to look at a postage stamp quilt as an option. Since I keep my scraps cut into squares, making a postage stamp quilt is quick and easy. Let’s jump into how I make a scrappy baby postage stamp quilt.
Creating a color palette that works together with a good amount of variety is my first priority.
From my 2.5″ scrap bin I grabbed yellow, neutrals, green, aqua, navy, brown, orange, and gray. Mixing in prints, novelty, and solids. If I think they coordinate, they make the piles. As the colors and prints are spread out you may not notice that one that didn’t fit.
When working on a postage stamp quilt, I find that chain piecing is the best way to go. I’m striving for a random layout on the quilt top. Grab from yellow and gray, then brown and green, and just keep going around. Once I have 10 sets (20 squares) pieced I begin pairing them up yet again. Ultimately I’m just sewing one long strip of 20 squares. Repeat that 18-24 times for the top. 18 rows is a smaller baby quilt and 24 rows is a better size.
Pressing and Sewing Rows Together
I grab the starch and spray each row. Next I press all my seams the same direction and then flip one row to create nesting seams. Sew the nested rows together and repeat 3-4 times. From there begin flipping and turning rows to nest together and get to the desired length. Some colors and prints may line up next to each other over the rows and I think that is okay.
Once all the rows are sewn together, head back to the ironing board. Spray starch the entire top. At this step I like to press all my sewn rows the same direction on the back of the quilt top. Then, I turn it over and press again on the top. This helps to flatten the top and smooth things out.
Thank you for the comments when I posted the top. A comment was made about the concentration of brights in the middle. That’s what happens sometimes when I got for random. I didn’t really see it but I do now that it was mentioned.
Backing and Binding
Within my stash I found a green and blue variations on polka dots. Maybe they are circles, but does it really matter? They coordinated well and used some pieces I had leftover from other projects. The binding is a blue polka dot I have had stashed away. You’re going to see it again on an upcoming quilt. I thought why not just make up some binding with this. Done!
I prefer straight lines in a coordinating thread on the diagonal of each square. With this method I can keep quilting as I get to the end of a line, just flip around and start a new line all the way to back to the edge. Quilting takes no time, unless I run out of bobbin thread.
Since I love creating scrappy postage stamp quilts, I’m mulling the idea of hosting a QAL later this fall. Would you be interested? Let me know in the comments.