Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Scrap Vomit #1, Though It Should Be #2

 Here's the quilt top I finished this week.

The original pattern was called Scrap Vomit, and it used to be a free online pattern, but the site it was on is no longer valid, so I can't link to directions. The pattern called for those bullseye type blocks to alternate with the neutral blocks. I was originally going to make one big quilt, but decided to make two throws instead, they will both be the same size. The thing is, I only had enough squares of the bullseye colors I'm using to make 29 bullseye blocks. I'll do the next one the way the pattern said, alternating the blocks, but for this one I opted to just use all neutral blocks on the sides, so I could make the number of blocks I could make work for two throw sized quilts. This quilt top used 1,715 squares, which brings my total 2" squares sewn into quilt tops up to 5,251 in March. I'm currently working on the blocks for the other Scrap Vomit quilt, as well as working on blocks for other quilts using 2" squares.

The pile on the left has over 1,000 squares in it, sewn into nine patches, the pile on the right has 1,200 squares sewn into both four patches and 16 patches. I'm done the orange/yellow units now, and I cut the background fabric for that quilt today. I'm not done making the nine patches on the left. You might notice a few four patches between those two stacks, and that's for yet another quilt. I also have a big stack of 16 patches I sewed up this month that isn't in this pic. I don't plan on using them in a quilt just yet, so they are just in a container waiting. 

I would probably feel a sense of accomplishment if I didn't have so many 2" squares still left. Even though it will be April, next week I'm still planning to work with 2" squares, and I might even use them the week after, but after that I'm going to need a break. The good thing about drowning in squares is they make great leader/ender projects, so I can just keep busting them the slow and steady way after this. 

Tomorrow is our anniversary, and DH surprised me by asking for the day off of work. No sewing for me tomorrow, I've got some celebrating to do! Thirty-nine years has sure gone by quickly! 

Friday, March 24, 2023

More Squares and a Detour

 I did indeed assemble the Buckeye Beauty quilt as planned!

I'm really happy with how it came out. If I add borders, I could use it on my bed, or I could just add a green binding after quilting and call it done. I'm still debating. When I get a chance to audition a few fabrics for borders, I'll be able to decide. 

I also got the March "block" done for the Viking murder mystery.

I'm not completely satisfied with it, but I'm not thinking I have enough extra fabric to redo the bottom setting triangles. I think it will be close enough to fudge on the final quilt. 

This is the quilt DH will be raffling off at Amerivespa. It was a quick quilt top to make, just two easy sewing days. I'm glad I cut out two of these, because DH likes giving away my quilts, and this is an easy way to get ahead of some scooter quilts. I won't be sewing the second one right away, but I know it will be fast when I do. I'm not sure if you can see it in the photo or not, but both the blues used in the attic window blocks have a woodgrain design on them. I cut the fabric so all the dark blue had the woodgrain going vertically, and all the light blue has the grain going horizontally. I thought it was fun to bring that detail out into the border. 

As far as my March of the 2" squares goes, the only quilt top I finished this week using them is the Buckeye Beauty, which used 896 of the scrap squares. I'm not counting the squares made from background, because those weren't scraps. That brings my total use of 2" scrap squares to 3,536. I've been working with other 2" squares for other projects, but I decided to only count them as used once they are in a completed top. Hopefully I'll be able to add to my total next week with a couple more quilt tops. 

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Two Quilt Tops

 I may not have any real finishes to talk about, but sometimes a finished top is still a win!

I've never used sashing so wide before, but I didn't want it to look like sashing with a border. I wanted it to look like the blocks were pieced into a single fabric. I'm pretty happy with the end result. 

I busted some autumn colored squares, and more 3.5" strips. I had several matching 3.5" strips, so all the hourglass blocks came from those thanks to my companion angle ruler. 

In the 64 patch quilt, I used 1,920 squares. In the other I used 720, so a total of 2,640 squares busted so far. Based on how many squares I still have left, I'm guessing I probably have 20,000 squares 😱 Yeah, no way I can bust them all this month, but if I make a good dent, it's a win. 

I got my Buckeye Beauty blocks sewn into sets of four now. This quilt will bust another 896 squares, and busted a bunch of green 3.5" strips thanks to the EZ angle ruler. Setting the blocks this way is often called the Jewel Box. 

The Buckeye Beauty and the second quilt were the only ones I was planning to bust 2" squares with an autumn palette, so I sorted the rest of the 2" squares I had put aside for those into colors, and they are with their respective color families now. 

I'm hoping to get the Buckeye Beauty quilt assembled tomorrow. 

Next on the 2" square bust is an orange/yellow project I'm just starting, and I'm hoping to get back to Scrap Vomit which is already started. I think I'm going to turn Scrap Vomit into two throw sized quilts rather than one big one. 

I think next week I'm only going to use 2" squares as my leader/enders, while I take a break from that, and work on the Amerivespa quilt, and the March "block" for my Viking Murder Mystery quilt. This month the "block" is actually an entire row, and it may take me a day just to get it all cut. I love the look of the row, and I'm excited to do it. 

I hope you all get some scraps busted in March too!

Thursday, March 9, 2023

So What Exactly is a Buckeye Beauty Block?

 I'm working on busting my 3.5" wide scraps at the same time I bust 2" squares because they play so nicely together. I figured one way to do that was to make a Buckeye Beauty quilt. I've made a Buckeye Beauty quilt before but I did a google image search to refresh my memory. Well, from what I can see, the only consistent ingredients are two four patches with two HST's.

Some patterns call for blocks to be assembled like this.

Others call for this

And others like this. All of those also had versions where the four patches were turned and the light squares chained instead of the darks. Two simple units and so many options. 

The last Buckeye Beauty quilt I made I used option 3. This time I'm using option two. I've seen that block called Jewel Box too. It cracks me up how many times you'll see the same quilt block called by several different names, and also the name applied to different blocks. It's definitely a sign that quilting was spread by word of mouth and it was regional so different areas called things by different names. If you were a pioneer woman, and you knew the Buckeye Beauty block had two HST's and two four patches, but you had never seen one, which one do you think you'd have come up with?

For this quilt all my HST's are scrappy greens with that tan background, and the four patches are the background with autumn inspired colored squares. I've got all the sub-units done, and now I'm assembling blocks. 

I've got all thirty 64 patches done now. I was originally thinking red sashing, but when I put some of the blocks on red I didn't like it. I have a blue that looked better, so I'll use it instead. I'm using just one fabric as sashing, cornerstones and borders. 

I'll be working on finishing up these two quilt tops, and when I need leader/enders, I'm making scrappy 16 patches out of the autumn colored squares I had left. Once I get 45 of those made, I can work on assembling another quilt top, because I already have the alternate blocks for it made. I'd like to get those 3 quilt tops together before I get into another project. 

One thing I can say about sewing up so many small squares, I've gone through a LOT of thread! I'm working on partial spools first, and I've already emptied three that were at least 1/3 full when I started. 

Thursday, March 2, 2023

March of the Two Inch Squares

 I don't think I've actually spelled it out, but for at least the beginning of 2023, I'm concentrating on one main task per month. That doesn't mean I'll actually finish that task in that month, nor that I'll only be working on one thing. It just means my focus will be on one thing. 

For January, my focus was making the memory projects. I had hoped to finish in January, but it actually took until mid-February to finish and I'm OK with that.

February was two fold, get some quilt tops made from existing blocks, and work on tidying my sewing area. I showed pics of my tidying progress last week, and I've showed some of the quilt tops I finished. Here are some more

This is now a completed quilt top...

...and so it this.

I got the two borders on this quilt that had been hanging around my fabric room way too long.

The Ruby Jubilee mystery that I made from men's shirts is now a quilt top too! 

I got as far as I could on this green/cream scrap quilt. I plan on adding a green string border, but I've decided June is String Piecing month.

I wanted to feel like I got something actually finished, so I made up four pillow shams for DH to use as giveaways. What? You say there's only three on the photo? That's because DH already took one of them to his office! It was another with the four scooters on it.

It's March now! I just finished the February column of my temperature quilt, and there's nothing like seeing time go by like making one quilt unit per day and watching the project grow.

For March, my focus is sewing up 2" squares. These are 2" cut squares, so they'll finish at 1.5" in a quilt. I have a LOT of 2" squares. When my 2" strip drawer was overflowing, and I started sewing it down, as I was cutting projects for that, if I only had a bit of fabric left, I cut it into squares. I busted almost all of my 2" strips, they now fit in a container smaller than a shoebox, but my squares? Well, they are out of hand and it's time to fix that. 

A few months ago I started making 16 patches from 2" squares, and I've got a big pile of those done, and more matched up ready to sew. I've been using those as my leader/ender projects. Now that I'm making 2" squares my focus, I'll be using all the 3.5" strips I cut up as my leader/enders, and some of those units will end up paired with units I make from my 2" squares.

I find when busting scraps, starting out by looking at what I have a lot of a good place to start. After all, if I only have one square of a fabric, it's going to be used in a very scrappy project. If  have a lot of one fabric, I can make it a focus, or a lot of one color, I can do color controlled. As I was sorting my 2" squares, I realized some of the fabrics I had cut a lot of squares from. I put the ones I had a lot of the same together, then matched them in pairs. After counting a few stacks, I decided I could probably make a quilt using 64 patches. 

This week I started sewing those 64 patches.

I have all the squares set aside to make thirty 64 patches. That's 1,920 squares accounted for. You'd think that would make a dent, wouldn't you?

I still have all of these 2" squares, which are partially divided into projects.

And as if that weren't enough...

I also have all of these. I'm not showing the squares I've already used in blocks, or the ones set aside for the 64 patches. Suffice it to say, I have THOUSANDS of 2" squares! 

March may have 31 days, but I can tell you now, there is no way I can get all these squares sewn up in March. What can I do? Sew them down, get them into larger units so I can make quilts out of them. Even if I only sew up half of them, that's a LOT of squares into blocks. Some of these, I hope to assemble into quilts right away, others, I'm OK with a stack of quilt blocks. At least if I drop a stack of quilt blocks it's easy to pick up, if I drop one of these bins of squares??? Yeah, let's try to avoid that. 

Anyone have anything they want to tackle this month? Maybe you don't have a zillion 2" squares like I do, but hey, if you want to join me in challenging yourself to sew something up that's bugging you, let me know!