Posts Tagged ‘blocks’

A Game of Inches

May 27, 2015

This was the week to face the stacks of fabric I have been pushing aside for a long, long time. I started with the stack on the cutting table. Originally collected for one quilt, I finally admitted the quilt I started probably wouldn’t use all the fabric.

My row quilt

My row quilt

“Self,” I said, “do another row, maybe two, and call it good.” I made blocks for another row, but when I put them on the batting wall, I discovered another stack that needed immediate attention.

Playing peek-a-boo with my blocks

Playing peek-a-boo with my blocks

This is the stack I’ve been collecting for donation quilts. At least, I thought that’s what it was. Turned out I had some other things underneath the fabric, which I discovered when I started making 9-Patches.

Sheep and cow 9-Patches

Sheep and cow 9-Patches

The 9-Patches will take up less room than the scraps, so I’ll continue making them until the pile is gone. I put the books and beading supplies where they belonged, and now have a little more room to design the next part of the row quilt.

A game of inches, round 1

A game of inches, round 1

Yes, the shelf underneath the batting wall is still chock full of stuff, but that’s a project for another time. Clearing the stacks is a game of inches.

Luck and wisdom!

Habits and Patterns

January 16, 2013

You might have noticed that I collect things. I tell myself they are useful things, but we know that isn’t entirely true. There is one collection that should resonate with all of you, regardless of your craft of choice – the “someday I’ll do this” file.

idea collection

This is one of the piles of patterns, sketches, notes and scribbles for future quilts. Some of them are ideas for projects I can use in my prison quilting class. Some of them have been sitting in this pile – or one of the many other piles scattered around the sewing room – for a long, long time.

The good news is my class makes tops for community quilts, and they have asked for 48″ x 66″-72″ quilts. Now that I have a standard size, I’ve given myself permission to get rid of patterns that don’t fit (especially if I ripped the pattern from a magazine in the ’90s and haven’t touched it since). The bad news is old habits die hard and some of those patterns-notes-random scribblings are going into my personal “someday I’ll do this” file.

Then there’s the new project that came about – writing up my own patterns for blocks that are especially interesting in scraps and/or easy to cut. I know the best method for doing that would be to get software already designed to do just this, but my computer runs on Linux. I’ve seen software curl up its toes and dash screaming from the room when I’ve tried to install it on my computer. So, I am left to do my own designs with my drawing program, which is not as much fun as it sounds.

Then I made a mistake and had a revelation. I hit the wrong button on my camera and discovered it can do party tricks. In particular, it can turn a photo into a drawing.

This is the block in regular mode

This is the block in regular mode

- and this is the block in drawing mode

– and this is the block in drawing mode

“Self,” I said, “why don’t you just take a picture of the block you want and turn it into a drawing. Better yet, take a picture of the drawings you used in old patterns that you’ve already written on graph paper and use them.”

So I did:

Bordered 4-Patch - great in scraps

Bordered 4-Patch – great in scraps

An easy heart - also great in scraps

An easy heart – also great in scraps

Stone Mason's puzzle - good for using up strips

Stone Mason’s puzzle – good for using up strips

Now all I have to do is re-size and input the directions for these patterns – after I double-check the math – but that’s a project for another day.