FINALLY FINISHED: FLOWERS & TUMBLERS (part 4)

This quilt started out as…well, not what it ended up. It is sections made of left-over parts from other quilts. However, it is finally finished: Flowers & Tumblers !!!!

FINALLY FINISHED: FLOWERS & TUMBLERS (part 4)

The machine quilting has been done for a couple months, but I couldn’t decide what color or fabric to bind it in. I finally decided to continue the left-over idea and go with making a binding of pieces of other bindings that there is not enough of to do any complete quilt.

Waste not, want not as the saying goes.

This quilt was machine quilted in a “meandering” or stipple design. Thread is a variegated gray.

Batting: 80/20 poly and cotton mix.

Finished size: 102″ square.

To see the progression of this quilt, please look at these posts:

Part 1:

There is also a PDF of the hexie and the tumbler for your use.

https://indianaquilter40.com/flowers-tumblers-or-scraps-are-taking-over-my-world-part-1/

Part 2:

https://indianaquilter40.com/flowers-tumblers-or-scraps-are-taking-over-my-world-part-2

Part 3:

https://indianaquilter40.com/flowers-tumblers-or-scraps-are-taking-over-my-world-part-3

This quilt was done in sections: the tumblers, the English paper pieced hexies, and finally the flying geese borders.

Close up of tumbler section of quilt
Close up of tumbler section – there is a total chaos of various scraps.

Tumblers:

Looking at the above photo of part of a tumbler section – there certainly is no rhyme or reason to the fabric scraps. This is what happens when a person just buys and uses fabric they like. If it is any comfort, my stash has the same kind of wide variety of fabric designs and colors too.

Don’t be afraid to follow your heart with colors, and designs of fabrics. Make every quilt you make so that you are satisfied and happy with it.

English paper pieced flowers using hexagons made of fabric scraps.
English paper pieced hexies “blooming” on a rick-rack “vine”.

English Paper Pieced Hexagons:

The above hexies are hand sewn and appliqued along the “vine”. I intended to add leaves but actually forgot about adding them until after I had already moved on to another project.

I made the “executive” decision to not add the leaves or stress about it. This quilt grew and changed as it was worked on.

Have fun with your quilts. If the direction of the quilt changes as you “birth” it that is just fine.

FINALLY FINISHED: FLOWERS & TUMBLERS
Flying Geese border. Notice the different fabrics that make up the binding.

Flying Geese borders:

So I decided to make the final border out of Flying Geese. Wow, did I mess up on the math! But rather than start over, or whine about it, I came up with a quick fix.

I sewed as many geese together as possible to make a “almost” complete border on each side. At that point my choice was sew another goose on and have to cut part of it off. Or I could add a piece of white backing to fit. The geese do not completely go around, but the solution looks like it was planned.

I tend to not ask other quilters about solutions to fix quilts. Why ?? Because once I come up with something, other folks generally think that was my intended design in the first place. They don’t see the mistake and that is a nice boost after a struggle to fix an issue.

The beauty of making quilts from simple shapes and patterns is that mistakes can be generally easy to fix. Put the quilt top where you can look at it for a few minutes or hours (or days). What fabric or design element can be added to fix the problem?

Get out magazine or quilt books for ideas. Look at Pintrest. Look at your stash. Think outside the usual box for this pattern. Ask other quilters or FB groups. You can do this.

Pieced together backing of this quilt,
The pieced together backing of this quilt.

Backing:

Because I made math errors, I had to add fabric to the backing. The small strips of toile fabrics at the ends are left-overs from other backings.

After piecing together this backing, I have seriously given some thought to doing at least one reversible quilt. After all, why should the front be the only pretty part of the quilt….

Thankfully this quilt is finally finished: Flowers & Tumblers (part 4). It is time to move onto the next quilt adventure.

Call to Arms:

I hope you will use the Flowers & Tumblers quilt to inspire you to make a quilt from fabrics or patterns you have never combined together into one quilt before.

Think outside the box, have fun, and enjoy the journey as your quilt comes together.

Some ideas for tumblers and hexies:

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pdox/tumbler-quilts/

https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2017/07/tumblers-galore.html

https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2019/07/colonial-times-2.html

https://www.mybluprint.com/article/what-is-english-paper-piecing

Clip art of pieced block

SCRAP BONANZA #1

Scrap Bonanza #1 completed quilt top

Scrap Bonanza #1 (AKA a quarantine quilt) top is done !!! And I managed to go from 4 scrap bins to 3 after completing this top !!!!!! Yippee……

This top started two or three years ago with sewing together scrap Birds in the Air blocks from 3″ squares sewn into HST. A complete block took 16 HST. See https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2017/12/birds-in-air.html

1 Bird in the Air block made of 16 HST

The Bird in the Air quilt that I had given me the idea had lots of blocks all set together in rows with narrow sashing and posts. There is nothing wrong with that, but once I had enough blocks made to start playing with how I would set them together that “look” just did not inspire me. Um….now what?

Finally after some time of playing around with different settings, I came up with this by putting four blocks together:

4 Birds in the Air blocks sewn into one "Scrap Bonanza" block.
The grand daughter likes it too and started laying out her own quilt.

So I made a total of 16 large blocks (each made with 4 of the original Birds in the Air blocks). At this point I did not want to make anymore of these blocks. I sewed the 16 large blocks into four rows of four large blocks. The top of Scrap Bonanza #1 was about 60″ square.

Scrap Bonanza #1 before borders

It is really cheerful and bright and busy at this point. I love it but wow, I need somewhere to rest my eyes. So I will add a solid border – I still have lots of 2.5″ strips. Just FYI, the brown border is linen left over from another project.

I added a thin medium brown border around the blocks.

Now What To Do?

So I have the center done and one border added. Now what?? It is totally the wrong size at this point for anything I wanted to do. It’s too late to go smaller, so that means bigger, right? I get to use more scraps, right? See https://indianaquilter40.com/are-you-drowning-in-scraps-too/

I have two plastic containers of 2.5″ strips for log cabin blocks. What if I made a piano key border to complete this quilt? Can I be honest – I am not a fan of piano key borders. They are time consuming to make and right at this point, I just wanted this quilt top done.

So I looked around at my stash of UFOs – was there other blocks that could be used as a border? Not that I wanted to use for this. How about just a plain old solid border? That would be quick and easy. None of the fabrics I auditioned for an outer border looked right.

Yep, back to my first idea – make a piano key border. So I just started pulling strips out of the container. No rhyme to the colors I just sew the strips end to end into a long, long, long strip.

Cut the strips into 15″ lengths. Sew those lengths together in pairs down the long sides. Make enough to add to sides of top so this border goes all the way around.

First side of piano key border.
Piano key border done on one side of quilt.


Close up of piano key border and the triangle blocks of the Scrap Bonanza #1 quilt top
Close up of section of top.

I added the border to one side, then opposite side. Made a lot more border which I added to the remaining two sides. It was time consuming, but really easy. This quilt top “Scrap Bonanza #1” is done and I am really happy with it.

I also did not stress that all my points were not perfect. The “quilt police” are not coming after this quilt (I would not listen to them anyway). It was fun to make and really made a dent in the scrap problem I am trying to conquer.

Your Mission

Your mission should you decide to accept is to make a dent in your scrap bin. Step out of your comfort zone, do something fun (and maybe a little wild) with all those scraps you have been holding onto because they are just too nice to throw away. Have fun. Be creative. Enjoy the quilt journey you are on.

Challenge to myself

When I made up my list of projects to do for 2020, cornovirus was not on the radar. My time is usually limited with my job, and travel for my job so the list was what I knew I could do in a “normal” year. See https://indianaquilter40.com/quilting-goals-for-2020/

Now I am confined to working from home until further notice. It is so much easier to be productive on my quilts when I am right here at home. So I am challenging myself to see how many “quarantine” quilts I can make during this time.

Feel free to join me in this if you want. We can always give the tops or quilts away to friends or family. Or we can donate them to a worthy cause.

Other ideas for scrap quilts:

https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2018/10/little-gems.html

https://tallgrassprairiestudio.blogspot.com/2009/10/this-post-is-brought-to-you-byscraps.html

https://dordognequilter.blogspot.com/2011/10/first-there-were-scraps.html

https://cedarfork.blogspot.com/2015/02/scraps-be-gone.html

QUILTING BOOKS FOR TINY SCRAPS

Quilting Books for Tiny Scraps – I am not really sure how it happens, but I start with one shelf for quilting books and pretty soon they have taken over two. I recently decided that some weeding and/or organizing of these books was necessary. Doing this actually forces me to really look at the books – which can be a distraction because then I start thinking “I could do this quilt, or this one…….” And sometimes I even wonder what in the world I was thinking when I brought a book home.

Over the past 2 or 3 years, I have been trying to use up my scraps and also my stash.  These two books have wonderful patterns or ideas that I have based a couple scrap quilts on. They have patterns from easy to expert.  They are “keepers” for my personal library.

Another great book for small and tiny scraps.
QUILTING BOOKS FOR TINY SCRAPS

I was asked how I get books with spiral bindings.  After purchasing, I take the books to the local copy shop. There they cut off the binding and put on this spiral binding.  I like my quilt books this way because they lay flat when I am working on a project.  The cost is very reasonable – generally about $2-3 each book.

I truly encourage quilters to collect quilt books that are helpful to you, whether it is techniques, patterns, or inspiration. There are so many wonderful quilting books out there to choose from. We don’t need all the books, but building our own reference library of books that help us as quilters is a great boost to our quilting journey.

https://indianaquilter40.com/three-favorite-quilting-books/

https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2019/06/more-books.html

https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2019/05/favorite-quilting-books.html

THE GREAT MIGRATION QUILT

The Great Migration Quilt is simply a combination of two sizes of Flying Geese blocks. The blocks are left-overs from two previous projects.

The Great Migration Quilt
Completed top – trying to get a photo between rain storms…

The “geese” started out as 5″ squares and 8″ squares that were sewn diagonally through the center to make two half square triangles (HST).

I sewed 10 of the bigger “geese” into three rows.

The two rows of smaller “geese” have 20 blocks in each. They did not quite fit right so I ended up adding about an inch of muslin to the end of each. Use those creative skills…

The small interior borders are simply three strips 1.75″ wide sewn together.

The burgundy exterior borders are 4″ for top and bottom, and 6″ for the two sides.

The top went together quickly since the “geese” blocks were already together or mostly together. I think it took me longer to add the borders. Simple and quick quilt.

HST waiting to be sewn into geese.
5″ blocks sewn into HST – waiting to be sewn into “geese”.
Flying Geese blocks.
Sewn into geese.

I did not buy anything for The Great Migration Quilt but the batting (even used a coupon). The geese blocks were left-overs from other projects. The borders were fabrics in my stash. The backing was the extra wide backing fabric that was already in my stash. It is a very satisfying feeling to know that I am using what is on hand.

Please don’t feel like you have to go out and purchase fabric for every quilt you make. Beautiful quilts can be made from the scraps and stash you already have on hand.

Https://indianaquilter40.com/flowers-tumblers-or-scraps-are-taking-over-my-world-part-3/

Https://indianaquilter40.com/night-flight

https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2017/12/birds-in-air.html

ARE YOU DROWNING IN SCRAPS TOO?

Drowning in scraps - one bin of small scraps for crumb blocks
Just one tub of scraps

Are you drowning in scraps too?? For January, my goal was to totally clean and organize my sewing room… the cleaning is complete, but along with all the nice looking shelves is four (yep, really – sheesh) plastic tubs of scraps.

dumped out scrap bin

I took every single piece of fabric off the shelves, went through every drawer, looked in every project box……Scary stuff. Some of those things I hadn’t seen in years. So after the dust cleared I decided that even though I have a list of 12 UFOs I want to finish this year – I am going to stress using as many of the scraps in those projects as possible.

More scraps from the bins

Don’t get me wrong, I love all my fabric and that includes the scraps. While cleaning I went from two tubs to four because I added all the quarter yard or less from the shelves to the tubs. In my world, small fabric pieces (no matter how pretty) get lost among the bigger pieces of fabric.

I needed some inspiration on how to deal with the scraps. Guess what I saw? Others have too many scraps too and are trying to find a way to use them. Looking at Pintrest, Facebook, and other blogs has been fun and I have come up with some ideas to start with.

And more scraps

I don’t have a scrap organization system however. The scraps are simply thrown in the bins. I actually like this system for now because I am just taking out handfuls, ironing them, and cutting them into 3″ squares or tumbler shapes. I have progressed to 1 see through container for each shape.

Tumbler blocks from scraps
 3" squares

I am challenging myself to use as many of my scraps up in 2020 as possible. I made a list for myself of 12 UFOs that I wanted to complete this year. Hopefully I can actually push myself to make a few more than that out of the scrap bins. Come join me in this fun personal challenge – let’s use scraps. I know it is a year away, but let’s start 2021 not drowning in scraps.

So, here are some links to ideas. Please comment on your scrap issues and tell me what you are going to do about them. Send or post pics. Please, let’s use 2020 to use our scraps. Let’s encourage others too.

Ideas for using scraps:

https://www.redpepperquilts.com/2017/03/scrap-busting-irish-chain-quilt.html

https://www.redpepperquilts.com/2019/11/japanese-stash-buster-quilt.html

https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2019/07/windmill-blades-one-patch-quilt.html

https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2015/05/really-scrappy-quilt.html

https://suzyquilts.com/free-scrap-quilt-patterns/

Basket Weave 9 Patch
Using those scraps to make crazy or crumb blocks.
Drowning in Scraps? Combine two kinds of blocks.

BASKET WEAVE NINE PATCH

Scrap quilt - Basketweave Nine Patch with back sashing.

Waste not, want not or so we are told. The Basket Weave Nine Patch is a classic example of not wasting those pesky scraps that keep filling up a tub in my sewing room. This is a super easy pattern to do and can be adjusted for any size quilt. If you have not made a quilt from this pattern, let me encourage you to do so. It is easy to make and can be adjusted to any size strips you want to use.

I saw this pattern in some quilting magazine back in the mid to late 1980’s while living and working in West Germany. I thought yippee!! A great way to use up some of these scraps.

Obviously even then, I had a real problem with scraps!

Various colored fabric scraps in a pile.
Oh those scraps……..

I understand that rotary cutters were available by this time, but I had not seen one yet, so I actually cut all those pieces out by hand with scissors! It made for sore hands. Plus the issue of keeping those sharp scissors out of the little folks reach since I generally sat at on the floor to cut my fabric and they were playing around me.

clip art - bolts of fabric and scissors.

So I eventually cut enough rectangles out for four queen size Basket Weave Nine Patch quilts that were completed over several years. It’s ok, you can say and think that this poor woman had a serious problem with fabric addiction. You would be sooooo correct.

In the first photo, the quilt has blocks made of 9 “Roman Stripe” patches. I don’t remember the exact size but the three strips sewn together were the same length and width. Just alternate them as shown in the clip art below when sewing together.

Clip art - Roman Stripe quilt drawing.

The next step was simply adding solid black sashing between the Nine Patch blocks. The post was a square the same size as the width of the sashing. I believe the sashing was 4″ wide, which would mean the posts were 4″ square – obviously this was a personal choice size wise and could easily be adjusted to fit any size quilt.

The top was finally put together in early 2007 and machine quilted by RLM the same year. It was given to our son M. for Christmas.

The same pattern, but totally different fabric choices and way blocks are put together can be seen here: https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2009/10/roman-stripe-table-runner.html and https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2011/11/roman-stripe-charm-quilt.html

FLOWERS & TUMBLERS (or scraps are taking over my world) – Part 1

Colorful scrap quilt that has sections of tumblers, English paper pieced flowers, and flying geese blocks.

This Flowers & Tumblers quilt looks great, but it did not start as a cohesive quilt idea. It started out as an exercise in frustration because the scraps had gotten out of hand and were taking over my world. I absolutely had to do something to stop the flood of scrap piles on the floor, on the shelves, and generally in my way.

On Jan. 1, 2019 I went thru every single piece of fabric on the shelves and put anything a quarter yard or less in a box (ok, it turned out to be two). Then I started cutting 3″ blocks, 2.5″ strips, and hexagons in two sizes. Each type went in plastic storage totes.

The leftovers from this went in a “crumb” tub to make string or crumb blocks at some point in the future.

Large tub full of colorful strips and odd shaped scraps for making string or crumb quilts.
This tub stays below the cutting table – the odd shapes and too small stuff for the sizes I normally cut go to live in here until I get a chance to make “crazy” blocks.

The hexagons went in bags that I drug around on my job travels. The smaller size “flowers” are being appliqued to plain muslin blocks. The larger ones shown here got used in the strips in the photos – and yes, there are several more waiting for me to get back to them.

Am I the only one who comes out with leftovers from most of my quilts? Honestly, I never thought I was that bad at math….

One English paper pieced flower in blues.
Several English paper pieced flowers in various colors laying on grass.
Two muslin strips with vines and paper pieced flowers appliqued down.
The vine is left over rick-rack and bias tape. Photo taken on dock at lake in Maine.

So these two strips of English paper pieced flowers were the starting point for this quilt. I made the flowers while at a family reunion in July. I don’t sit well with nothing in my hands, so these were easy to pick up and put down with all the visiting and conversations.

PDF pattern for flowers and tumblers. These are the exact size off the plastic pattern pieces I used (print off on 8″ x 10″ paper). The flower will take 7 hexagons (1 center and 6 petals):

Here is a link to my previous blog about the quilt shown here, and it gives a basic idea of how to do English paper piecing. I will get back to giving more info and better directions in a later post here for Flowers & Tumblers.

https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2019/07/grandmas-flower-garden-or-take-along.html

In the meantime, have a great time on your quilt projects. You have got this……

Clip art of girl sewing red quilt top.

Please comment fellow quilters – do you like English paper piecing? If so, what is your most used shape?