Monday, May 20, 2013

strips and squares

How timely - yet again! I'm now linked up to Kim's Scrap Basket Sunday.

In an attempt to clear out some of the mess and organize my sewing room recently, I cut a whole bin worth of scraps into strips and squares - mostly 2 1/2" and 1 1/2". And because I also just recently acquired some new fabric, after washing but before folding and putting it away, I went ahead and cut some strips out of it as well. There went that empty bin, now full of 2 1/2" strips. Plus now I have to purchase some smaller boxes for the smaller strips and squares. So much for freeing up space. 

So what does one do with all those strips and squares? I've looked at lots of jelly roll books, and frankly, I'm underwhelmed by the patterns they offer. I even googled jelly roll quilts, and still didn't see anything that particularly piqued my interest. I finally sat down with some graph paper, drew up a few blocks, and attempted to design - if you can call it that - my own "jelly roll" quilt.

I chose to work with four blocks: a simple nine-patch - two versions; a shoo-fly, and an Ohio star. All of which can be made from 2 1/2" squares. Most of mine are from Judie's 25th anniversary, and Moda's Collection for a Cause - Friendship. The rest are previously mentioned scraps.

I made a bunch of blocks - they go pretty fast - then auditioned a couple ideas:

off-set with blue sashing
on point
 As much as I like them on the denim, I'm thinking I want 
something more scrappy and random looking. 
I want it to look "old" and like it was made from leftovers.

This actually has a subtle pattern to it, with similar blocks running on the diagonal. I have to admit, I'm sorta liking it.

This is what I got done over the weekend. Maybe you can sort of see the pattern better with more blocks? Am I on the right track here, or should I go back to the blue? Or.... ?? Maybe incorporate a center medallion of some sort? I welcome any and all thoughts.

Now, for a tip:

Although I certainly didn't come up with this idea. In fact, after over twenty years of quilting - and probably a hundred or more quilts - I only recently learned to clip the intersections and fan them out. This greatly reduces bulk, and also allows you to switch the seam when connecting it to another block. Invaluable!

Now I've carried it a step further and am starting to actually split some of the seams themselves. Am I crazy?? I would only do this on small and/or more intricate blocks. Matching seams hasn't been a problem, but a smaller stitch length is probably a good idea. Quilting in the ditch might be problematic in a split seam, so take that under consideration as well.

I would love to hear others opinions on this. Has this worked for you? or is splitting seams "committing a sin" as I've thought for the past twenty + years?



  1. I love the scrappy look of the mixed blocks--it DOES look like it's from back in the day when our great grandmothers used leftovers and old clothing to make beautiful quilts!

    I wanted to write back to you but you're "no-reply." I post sign ups for Scrap Basket Sunday each week, on Saturday, so those who have something to show can add a link, and those who need a "day off" can pass that week. I'll look forward to seeing more of your blocks!

    1. I'm not sure what the no reply thing is all about, but then I'm new to this bloggy thing. So.. do I sign up each week? I guess I'll check back next Saturday!
      Thanks for the comment, Kim.