Saturday, November 7, 2015

Use Those Scraps and AHIQ #2 Wrap Up

Did you read the links in AHIQ #2? Such variety of techniques and processes! Everyone presented their work much more confidently. We are all embracing our path and our discoveries. Modern utility quilts are an official movement. Hooray for us!

After these last few quilts, the scrap bag is overflowing. Even though I want to work on the selvedge strings, the bag demanded my attention. (Weird. Sometimes all the leftovers must be dealt with before I can make myself cut new material. Note to self: consider donating the scraps.) What a jumble of wrinkled fabrics.

First they were divided into three groups: strings, hunks, itty-bitties. The hunks were cut into 3-4" squares without a ruler, paired and cut into HSTs.  If four are alike, they form improv pinwheels. If not, they are just HSTs. As the day wore on the starting squares became larger and more random. However, you can see I need practice making the center points NOT match up.

Random Units Created to Empty the Scrap Bag
Strings go to spiderweb quilt that I've been sadly neglecting.

Itty-bitties are paired up and sewn into slightly larger units. I'm not sure what to do with these; I'm just making a pile for now.

Eventually I found some large hunks that I rough cut into 4x5" rectangles to make Housetops (or half log cabins.) These are interesting. I'm going to leave them on the design wall while I think.

Improv Housetops or Half Log Cabins
Because they are rectangles, it's important to determine which quadrant they occupy. Compare the quartet on the bottom left and right. Oops, on the right. And the sawtooth triangles were made for the New York Beauties. But I forgot to scale the paper correctly when printing. Oops, again. They look good here, though. Nice recovery.

Lots of little bits will make a large stack and perhaps a quilt someday. AND my ability to cut straighter without a ruler is improving by leaps and bounds.

Enjoy the day,

18 comments:

  1. very interesting post Ann. You have found a way to master the scraps but I say just let them pile up into critical mass. With mine, I like the odd edge, the curve the random lengths I end up with, so I don't cut them until they are needed as I might like the odd shape. I know I am different than most people in that. LeeAnna

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    1. Your method sounds better but my bag couldn't be closed. I had to use some or dump some. This is an attempt to just play... except I got bored with the 'no plan' ittie-bitties and didn't want to make square string blocks right now.

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  2. Nice work Ann! I need to attack my scrap bag too, though I've got a lot of small pieces--ugh. Maybe I'll just start cutting into the ugly stash to at least get big pieces, and then I can get rid of that too.

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    1. It can only get so big. When it starts overflowing, I can't ignore it any longer. I save the uglies for the backs, especially if they are larger pieces.

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  3. Very interesting way of working with your scraps. Now you have several quilts in the work all the time! Will cutting straight without a ruler be a problem for you at times, perhaps when you want a more rounded edge? Or will it just give you more control overall?

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    1. The idea came from the comment about Anna Williams and her "stacks for small units, medium units, large units." I wondered what it would be like to have some random units around. Still not sure. :-)
      Cutting without a ruler is harder than I thought. Curves have been pretty easy but deliberately cutting straight and even is more difficult for me. I like that I'm gaining control of the cutter.

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  4. Another great post Ann and it's so good to see how you've used your scraps - food for thought to work my way through mine!

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    1. Thanks, Maureen. Housetops and triangles are interesting from this batch. As you say, food for thought.

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  5. What a good idea - clears out the scraps and gives you some units for future use, plus maybe the starting point for a couple of interesting quilts. I cut without a ruler all the time but still don't get it straight most of the time. When it really matters I use the lines on my mat - sort of eyeball the line at the top of the fabric and then look at the same line where it comes out the bottom as I cut - that works pretty well.

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    1. Thanks, Kaja. That's what I thought. The first time I cut without a ruler, it was basically a triangle - wide a one end to a point at the other. Then I got bumps where the fabric tucked. It's good to improve. Good suggestion on the mat lines. These scraps are a great place to practice.

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  6. I had to giggle as I cut too straight without a ruler when I want not to cut straight! I have to work at cutting a curved line!

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    1. That's funny! There are lots of skills involved, aren't there?

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  7. This is a great approach to scrap overabundance Ann. You made some wonderful blocks with them and had fun playing and built up a stash of fun block for later projects. Spider webs use some of the smallest pieces. That is going to be one gorgeous quilt! Love the Housetops blocks with their strong accents of black an red!

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    1. It was fun to play. I didn't mind messing up these fabrics. I keep trying to use up scraps and finish old tops/blocks but more seem to appear weekly. How does that happen?

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  8. I love these Ann, they're so exciting! How wonderful to be able to open a few scrap bags and come up with these - they're just fantastic and so you. The housetop block with the NYB triangles is perfect. Oh, I have another tip for you, if you haven't remembered already... To cut a square without a ruler: cut two sides as close to a right angle as you can, fold in half diagonally and cut the other two sides to match (probably teaching you to suck eggs I'm sure!).

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    1. Thanks, Stephie. I've used that folding technique with paper but never with fabric. Right now I'm trying to get the rotary to cut as I envision without a ruler.

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  9. I also have a lot of itty bitties, lately I've been sewing them all up together until I have enough for a 9" block...then what am I going to do? Dunno yet 😁

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    1. I'm not sure what I'll do with mine either. I might use some on the Quilty 365 but for now they are bigger bitties. 😄

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