Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Always Love to See Progress

I knew I wanted to add some more applique to my Geese Tracks & Improv. quilt but wasn't sure where that would be. A couple people had suggested that I needed to add a red basket but I just couldn't quite see it. Big? Little? Fat? Wonky? Until it managed to sneak into my quilt all on its on. (Absolutely no help from me at all.)*wink
More work on Geese Tracks & Improv.
One basket just doesn't look right though. I decided to give the red basket a supporting cast and make it the star. That is, if I can get this layout figured out to my satisfaction! I'm at the point where everything just needs to be transferred to my design 'floor' so there is room to spread out. And wowsers, could the color of my wall be any more terrible than it is for this particular project?
Trying to figure out the basket layout
Still working on my String Play blocks too. The are moving along at a whizzing pace. That's the lovely thing about working straight from the scrap bin you know!
String Play Blocks
After I get a nice stock of fabric scraps piled up right beside my chair, then all I have to do is reach over and grab what I need. I don't pre-iron or pre-cut my scraps. There's no need. The only thing I might do is whack off about 5 1/2" inches--for the length (roughly with my scissors) if I grab an overly large scrap.
String play blocks before ironing and trimming
Grab and sew, grab and sew until my blocks are the appropriate width (remember the length on these has to be min. of 5") and pretty soon I end up with a nice little stack of blocks. Yep, they're rumpled and thready, but all that can be taken care of very easily later on.
String Play goodness
See? Proof positive that scrap bin blocks can be tamed! I iron the seams in each block all one direction and then when I am finished with that step, I trim them all to 5". With these blocks I decided to go with variation #2 so I just have to trim the length of each block to 5" and then trim straight sides to the width. It shouldn't matter if the width is different block by block because I will be sewing them into horizontal rows and I can even up the rows later.

After doing some calculations, I decided I better do about 30 plus more blocks. That will give me about 225 blocks in all. Thank goodness I remembered my plaid strips tucked away separate from the other scraps and a couple shirts that could be up-cycled too. Two of them were actually my brothers shirts (he passed away about four years ago) that I haven't been able to even contemplate cutting up until now. It's a good time and a good quilt for this, esp. since I have already added in a bit of my grandma's fabrics. I really don't want to use all of any one shirt, but it will definitely add character and sweetness to my quilt.


  1. Audrey, this is just a stellar idea for the basket border! Although I didn't say, I was personally against the red basket idea. But what a brilliant way to tie it together and make it work! Now it looks like you planned it all along.

    I love to watch your creative process -- it's so different than mine, and I am definitely learning from you!

  2. I love how you've included a basket for your flowers! Making a whole border of them is a brilliant idea and looks so perfect!! Great to see those string blocks growing.

  3. I'm blown away by how the baskets have "jumped" into your blocks! Fabulous!
    Congrats on using your scraps and moving to that sweet place of being able to use your brothers shirts.

  4. las cestas en los bordes son genial !!!!
    me gusta.....
    utilizar las camisas de su hermano, es una idea llena de ternura y cariƱo

  5. I really enjoy following along with your design process!

  6. Lovin' that basket border!
    Have you posted about your string play blocks before? It will be fun to watch all of them come together in a quilt!

  7. Fun, that border! And I love your string play blocks (love scrappy quilts anyway), what a great idea. Wonderful you are using all those memories (shirts) in those blocks!

  8. Your basket border is perfect! I love the way you Sew/think.

  9. I'm really loving the red in your improv quilt! Everything about it is wonderful!
    And what's not to love about sting/scrappy quilts? That's great to have your grandma and brothers fabric in that quilt.

  10. Your improv baskets look very cool and modern I think. Great idea to add those in.

    Im watching your string project with interest- I've made quite a few quilts from scrappy strings and I think they always look fabulous. I love the surprise at the end when it all goes together. You never really know what they're going to look like until they're done. Great idea to add those special fabrics too!

  11. I love what's happening with the improv quilt. You have a great eye. Can't wait to see the strings take shape.

  12. Love how you explain what you are doing and why. Your string play quilt will be very special with fabrics from your brother and grandma. A great way to keep them in your thoughts.

  13. Basket genius! Geese Track Improv is coming along ever so nicely.

    Your strings are looking good; even better since they contain sweet memories.

  14. I really love the surprises you have in your quilts. I've got get some improv going thanks to you! Take care, Byrd

  15. Hi, Audrey. I just LUV that black/gray flower in the middle of the traditional blocks--soooooooo cool!
    best, nadia

  16. Love the basket border! It really works. I sorted out my scrap tub Tuesday, and pulled out all the strings and flung them in a light paper bag and a dark paper bag. I hope to get them sewn together as a leader ender project. Sometimes I love to sit and sew on my machine they will be perfect for that.


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