Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Handkerchief Quilt

I think I should call it Houses made of sticks and stones.
It is truly made out of what I would have otherwise discarded in a heartbeat if it wasn't for Bonnie Hunter's lecture at our guild couple of weeks ago.
I was so impressed by her quilts, all traditional and made from scraps cut in itty-bitty pieces and strings.
I bought one of her books for some inspirations. I was already feeling as if she was speaking my language. I have hard time throwing away scraps but I end up making mostly improv string quilts with them. So after hearing her talk, I came home and decided to organize my scraps the way she explained and give a traditional quilt a try.

Well, that didn't go as well as I imagined. Few squares cut out of scraps and I was done with that "cutting up my scraps and putting them away for later use" method.
I had to make something right away. So I started this project by cutting them up into 1 1/2" strings.


The only problem, I had mix of all kinds of scraps, dull and brights. To make things easier and since I had vowed to not take contents of the scrap bins back into the sewing room, I decided to make two of the same quilts at a time. A woman's handkerchief quilt and a man's handkerchief quilt.

My husband loves the version below.
 

Current size: 22"X 45"

Needless to say, I had more of dull and old looking strings from forever ago! These blocks are the same size as the bright ones. I like the contrast and real handkerchief look of these blocks. And, in a way they are made out of sticks and stones. Almost insignificant prints and colors compare to my current taste in fabrics. I wouldn't have given them a second look. But yet, here they are... Sitting pretty next to each other.At least that's what I think.

I can easily see these quilts as an ongoing project. I am not going to rush this one. I will make these blocks as I gather scraps from my other quilts. That way I will keep my bins under control and will know exactly which quilt they will go to.

I think it's great idea! Don't you? Choose a block or a pattern, and keep cutting away pieces for that quilt.Thanks, Bonnie!

Finished block 7.5" X 7.5"

Here is how the block is made.

Start with a 3" square. The numbers in the picture represent the cut size.
The strings are 1 1/2" wide. When I cut them from leftover scraps, tried to get two strings from the same piece. For example, 3 and 4 inch and paired them up. Longer strings were cut out of longer chunks. Little ones from the smaller pieces.

You get the idea.

No rhyme or reason where they all go as long as there is some what contrast in the piecing.
That's all!

Want to make one? It goes really fast once you have cut strings. Since I am not preplanning the quilts, it will be itneresting to see how the colors and prints of the blocks evolve with time and with scraps at hand.

I guess we all will have to wait and see!

I also cut more of my red and yellow hsts.


Keeping busy while not sewing with yummy food and company of friends.
Life is good!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Quilting Retreat in Poconos

Every year my friend Cheryl hosts a retreat at her mountain home in Poconos. This was my first time up there. I can't tell you how great it was to hang out with my friends and sew around the kitchen table for a few days.

I worked on hsts and came home with plenty of colorful scraps.


Kelly worked on her mostly blue quilt and I came home with her scraps too.  I am strangely fascinated by these two pictures above. The bowl sits pretty and makes me smile every time I look at it.


We went on a walk and this is where I took extra deep breaths. Lilies were all gone but floating carpet of it's foliage was pretty interesting.


Cheryl's dog Bailey was leading the way. I guess she knows her way around there very well. 


This was the views from my chair the whole time I was sewing and talking up a storm.


In her neighborhood, someone had this awesome driftwood sitting in their yard. Settled in it's spot, it fit right in as if it was meant to be there.


I came back home to this view from my front door.


I got really inspired and started working on not one, but three different projects. 


I started cleaning my scraps bins and decided it was time to make few mini four patches. This project may turn into an ongoing scrap buster project.The green background is my yoga mat. Hmmm.. I wonder if I should use green for the back ground! What do you think?


An old favorite pattern was perfect to use up those leftover strings. This too will be an ongoing project. These blocks are inspired from a picture of an old handkerchief quilt.

It is fall. I should be inspired by the colors of outdoors. But I rather work with what's in front of me.

My scraps!