Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Taking a Hatchet to my Scraps

"The great thing in the world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving."
~Oliver Wendell Holmes


It's way past time to use up my remnants and scraps. I used the largest to make a simple four-patch called Hatchet that is often seen as a signature block. In fact, I used the block for my first guild name tag. My rule was that each fabric had to make between two and seven center squares cut 5.5" each with pairs of 3" cut squares for the triangle sides. Five inches is fairly wide for the scrap bag but I grabbed bits from previous projects that are less than a fat quarter and remnants from clothing construction. After marking the diagonal I sewed that line and cut off the extra.

The  blocks are sewn with two small squares in the corner of a larger square. The outer half of the small squares will be cut away to finish the design
Hatchet blocks sewn but not pressed

By the end of the week I had enough blocks for two tops which finished the widest pieces in the scrap bag. One of Fern Royce's scrap quilts reminded me of the ribbon border on my Strippy Nine Patch. A celebratory quilt of streamers seemed like the perfect plan.

Here's the original layout.

Hatchet blocks for the quilt as originally set on the design wall
Hatchet baby quilt 1
Designs can be tightened by moving the blocks. Extra blocks are so helpful I usually sew enough for a second quilt. {Baby quilts are great for this purpose.} The finished quilt has streamers of red, blue and light green replacing a cream streamer and some darker streamers.

Hatchet blocks form ribbons of color down a quilt
Hatchet 1 scrap quilt

The back of the quilt includes leftover blocks. These were duller blocks that were pulled from the front. They look well with this funny pink fabric.

The quilt back includes a row of extra hatchet blocks inserted in a pink plaid
Hatchet 1 baby quilt back

I used simple parallel quilting lines, one of my favorite ways to quilt. The binding is a yellowish fabric with green polka dots. That creamy yellow matches the plaid in the pink fabric.

Folded quilt shows detail of the front, back,,binding, and quilting design
Hatchet 1 baby quilt detail of quilting and binding

Quilt Specifics
Size: 45" x 45"
Design: Hatchet or Signature block
Batting: Mountain Mist Cream Rose cotton
Thread: Superior 50 wt grey cotton thread
Quilting: Parallel lines with walking foot
Approximate yardage: 5.625 yds


Still at home ourselves, Bill Bryson's book of the same name caught my eye. His premise was that every room in his Victorian Yorkshire parsonage could springboard to the history of domesticity along with the scientific inventions and etymology that define our current way of living. He sets the stage with the year his home was built, using it to discuss the Crystal Palace and the appointment of clergy in the Church of England.

Starting with the hall, which used to be the entire house, Bill discusses how each developed. The addition of fireplaces allowed floors to be built above the ground and promoted the idea of privacy. The kitchen explores gastronomy, nutrition, and the Spice Trade. The scullery leads to the fuse box which leads to a discussion of lighting - one of the points that interested me most. The refrigerator light is stronger than the total amount in most 18th century homes. Those pictures of families working a a table lit by one candle illuminate the utter darkness of night for most of history.

Of course, hygiene is discussed in the bathroom while sex, death and sleep inhabit the bedroom. The study reminds him of the mice, rats, bats, lice, bedbugs, and the many microbes that live on our bodies and in our homes. Why? Because that's the room where they catch most of their mice. Darwin, and the destruction of country homes, and the sale of parsonages by the church conclude the book in the attic where are the ephemera of past glories go to die.

This was an excellent reading choice for self-isolation or any other time.

Enjoy the day, Ann


EYSchmitt said...

Thank you for showing this happy cheerful quilt and its simple directions....I am going to start pulling pieces for this pattern this very day.....I LOVE your version!

Julierose said...

Really cute Baby quilts...I have a lot of charm packs that I should use up--nice job on these...
~ ~ ~ waving in the wind Julierose

Rose Marie said...

I've got one of these on the go .... love your version!

Nann said...

Wow! I've made dozens and dozens of hatchet or sloping star blocks -- most notably for many I-Spy quilts. But all of the settings were Xs and Os. It never occurred to me to set them the way you have and with the color/print continuity that you have. Simple block + unusual setting = spectacular design. I am inspired!

Cathy said...

Well, this post is timely! I love it. I was pondering what I should do with all those 5 inch scraps left over from making my recent Churn Dash top. They are still at the end of my sewing machine desk and I was just going to throw them in a box with other thirties repro scraps until I decided. Now I don't need to throw them anywhere. I just need to cut them. I've already figured out how many five inch squares I need!

That book sounds really interesting. I have researched past occupants of our house and thought it would be fun someday to write a historical fiction of a house and it's occupants! Someday has never arrived.

Janie said...

I like to call those blocks X's and O's, signature block is good too. Your scrappy prowess is great.
Congratulations on an excellent finish!
I looked at your Stroppy Nine Patch quilt, it's a beauty.
The book looks interesting, might I add that the bedroom was not only where deaths occured but also births. Funny how that works.
Your quote hits home with me now, thanks for sharing.

LA Paylor said...

the book sounds fascinating

Exuberantcolor/Wanda S Hanson said...

I love that quilt! I have the die for my Studio cutter for that block and have 2 quilts in progress. I need to start a scrappy one now!

patty a. said...

Such a cute quilt! I keep trying to get to my scrap bins, but there always seems to be a project that needs done so the scrap bins just sit.

Ann said...

I will enjoy seeing your version soon. Have fun.

Ann said...

Thanks, Julierose. Aren't we all having fun using what's on hand.

Ann said...

Oh, fun, Rose Marie. I hope to see yours soon.

Ann said...

I hadn't thought of them for I-Spy quilts but can see how it would be fun. This layout really made me think of those streamers that are tossed at New Year's but I've made Xs several times before. Thanks, Nann.

Ann said...

I just read your post and was interested to see how many scraps you have lying around right now. I'm trying to use up all the stuff I have on hand before purchasing anything else. It works much better when I use them up right away.
How interesting that you've researched the history of your house. If anyone will write a book, you will.

Ann said...

Thanks for writing, Janie. I'm glad you like the post. I hope you and your husband are doing better.

Ann said...

We certainly need more to read while we're at home.

Ann said...

A die would make it even easier. I will look forward to seeing all your versions. What fun for you to make controlled and scrappy.

Ann said...

OTOH I seem to go to my scrap bag first. It's been a struggle to use fabric from the stash while there's "perfectly good" stuff in the bag. Ha.

Mystic Quilter said...

Perfect quilt for a little one, so colourful and great block choice with the ribbon effect, I love this little quilt!!

Ann said...

Thanks, Maureen. I was pleased when I thought of the ribbons. Plus it helped use odd numbers of blocks. Yay.

Mel Beach said...

What a fantastic scrap busting quilt. The Zig Zag layout is fabulous!!

Ann said...

Thanks, Mel. I was delighted to find this quick and lively quilt to use up some of my larger remnant scraps that aren't in the scrap bin.