Sunday, July 14, 2019

Scraps - Use'em Up

As we make quilts there are always scraps. Some of you, I have been told, throw them away (gasp!)  Some of you give them away. Some of you cut them neatly and store them various ways..

My scraps go in piles, bags or drawers. Sometimes I iron them and put them away neatly. Sometimes they just get stuffed into a bag.

When I get ready to use them, I almost always iron them again anyway.  And then I get out way more than I think I need for whatever I am working on.

This is a group of scrap blocks that I have been amassing. One day they will become a wildly scrappy quilt in the tradition of using every bit possible. As I look at these blocks, I see a few that are just......well, they are boring, static, DULL to me.  Which ones?


Lacking movement. 
So how do I fix them? One great way is to slash them and insert strips.
That looks a little better,  but I am still not happy with it.  You may be able to see that I have already slashed it again.  You will see how it came out in the final image.

Two that I slashed and inserted still didn't make me happy.  So I layered them, both face up, then I cut a curve through both of them.  I swapped the pieces and sewed them.
I may later add a strip to the one on the left and sew them in this configuration. (but not today.)Now they are far more interesting.

This piece is far from "squared"  Before I square it, I will add to it.
I like to add pieces that are larger than needed. Then I can trim with options.
The nice chunk of red hand dyed fabric certainly helps. But if I square it now, I will lose some of the fun smaller pieces.
So I added the blue hand dyed fabric and then a pieced strip.  How I have trimming options that make me happy.   I will place my ruler over it to help decide.
This will not be cut to a square but rather a rectangle.  I plan to preserve ALL of the small pieces.
Perfectly imperfect!
Surprise!  I took the other one that still didn't satisfy me and used the two orphan HST blocks across the corners.  I also saved the leftovers for "seeds" to start another block.
Here are all the blocks laid out quite randomly.
See in the upper right how I added a yellow strip in that one block?

When I put this all together I will probably use a unifying color as sashing/spacer strips. That way it will be "contained chaos."

Now, you go grab some scraps and PLAY!!!

Until Next Time,  
Stay Creative 

Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in comments will result in the entire comment being deleted.


Pamela said...

Gene, I think you may be tempting me little by little! I feel the urge to go play with some scraps and see what I can come up with - you make it look so easy and fun!

Lyndsey said...

Gene I love your totally scrappy blocks, they make me so happy.

Linda Swanekamp said...

Love your blocks. I just love cutting up and resewing and adding pieces. Not sure why it gives me such satisfaction.

tubakk said...

Thanks for great inspiration.

A Left-Handed Quilter said...

Haha - I'm always chasing THAT Squirrel - it's one of my favorites! My "Deep Red Crumb Squares" are made - just waiting to be made into blocks. I have the sashing strips cut and everything - but I can only chase one Squirrel at a time - she says as she counts the ones she's chasing now - and runs out of fingers - LOL - ;))

Barbara said...

Amazing what you think to do with, of all things, scraps. The allure for me is that it can’t be wrong!

Shasta Matova said...

When I first saw the first picture on my Bloglovin reader, I thought this was my post of my colorful rail fence, but now I see that those rails would be boring to you. I like all the fun changes you have made to these blocks. I am one of those people who save every little scrap - mostly I throw it into boxes.

Joyce Carter said...

I love all the colorful blocks Gene. I, too, love playing with scraps. There is something so satisfying about putting all the different pieces together and making something very pretty. I save every little scrap also.

Pamela Arbour said...

Thanks for the improv tutorial. I am looking forward to seeing this one complete!

Marlene said...

Even though I'm no longer a quilter i still enjoy seeing your creative process.