Wednesday, August 14, 2013

What to do with of all these scraps

My recent flurry of activity is slowing down. I still have some threads to deal with on the green hexi quilt (I'm calling it Hexi-bee now). This is not a very inspiring task, so I thought it was time to find some creative ways to deal to my stash.

One of the problems that I have (I am not alone) is that because I don't use patterns and tend to make things up as I go I never know how much fabric to buy. Add to this my need to have a wide variety of fabric mixed into every quilt. The end result is that I always buy too much fabric. Way too much.

When I first started playing Block Lotto a few years ago, I had to go out and buy fabric to make many of the blocks - "oh no, I don't have any blue fabric, I'll have to buy some." This is no longer a problem.

On the weekend I stopped in to a quilt show called Road to Colour. It was very inspiring - the hall was filled with bright colours, many courtesy of Kaffe Fassett. The quilts gave me a lot of ideas about using up my stash. So many of the quilts used lots of different fabrics all mixed together without looking old fashioned scrappy. Let's call it new fashioned scrappy.

One particular quilt caught my eye. (I don't remember who made it, sorry.) It was made up of string-pieced diamonds using dark and light fabrics. I've started my own version using warm and cool colours.

The size of the block was determined by the size of my phone book which I am using to foundation piece the strips so that they don't get too wavy.

Each string rectangle is trimmed down to 7" x 9-1/2" and then cut along the diagonal. I do this in sets of 4 with two rectangles of each colour. I stack one warm and one cool rectangle face up and cut from corner to corner (for example, upper left to lower right). I then repeat the process cutting the second pair on the other diagonal (for example, upper right to lower left).

Match the left warm triangle with the right cool triangle (and so on) to make 4 sets. Sew them together. I've been pressing the centre seams open to reduce the bulk. These 4 rectangles can be arranged to make a diamond (either ward in the middle or cool in the middle).

Half-rectangle triangles do not behave nicely like half-square triangles. They need to be cut, rotated, and matched in pairs. I tried sewing either side of the diagonal like I normally do with a HST and I made two kites (now I know how to do that if the need arises).

I can't complain though, they are going together quickly. I am debating if I should just use the warm and cool diamonds or if I should make a border with neutral darks and lights (I have lots of blacks, greys, and beiges). I will need to do a few to see how it looks - maybe that will end up being the start of a second quilt.

No specific plan for this one. Maybe it's time to give a few away.

Linking up with Freshly Pieced WIP Wednesday


  1. this looks lovely!

    Stopping by from the WIP hop

  2. Very visually striking! And of course a great use of scraps :)

  3. Love the concept - looks cool! Thanks for the tutorial.

  4. Oh but what a pretty quilt! Once of these days I will try out half rectangle triangles!

  5. I love this idea! I think it looks terrific and I love the idea of using the phone book pages! I am a new follower!
    xo jan@sewandsowfarm

  6. Very nice! I am always looking for new ways to use scraps. Love the colors.

  7. This is so much fun! Love the phone book pages as foundations....
    Your paragraph about making it up as you go, wanting lots of fabric variety leads to too much fabric buying? Yeah, that's me too!