The splodge block…

November is once again my turn to set a block for Do Good Stitches Hope circle. As always I procrastinated and pontificated and finally landed on this block….

I decided to call it the Splodge block. It is an improv log cabin…with most of the precision coming from choosing your fabrics carefully and not from cutting. Here are the steps to making this block…

STEP ONE:

Pull out all your blue, grey and white scraps.

STEP TWO:

Sort your colored scraps. This is a really important step in all scrap quilts and I am going to give you some guidelines for these blocks. This quilt is based on a cool palette and to make the block work you need to weed out some of your scrap because they will muddy the block.

BLUES: For the blues you are going to need dark, medium and light scraps… but in fabrics that are blenders, tone on tones or solids. Any fabric that has colors other than blue needs to go. That means…

You can see from my test block that I still used novelty prints, it is just they were cool prints with no extraneous colors.

GREYS: For your grey you are going to use the same principle as blue – tone on tone or blenders and no extra colors. But with grey there is one extra step.

Did you know that not all grey are the same and that grey fabrics have an undertone to them? This is a color cast that makes grey take on the hue of another color.

Grey can have a blue, green, orange or purple undertone. For this project we want to have cool greys in our block… we want to avoid using the warmer grey because it will muddy the block. A piece or two of the warm grey will not hurt but we want to mainly use the cool grey – the ones with a green, blue or purple undertone.

WHITE: The final pile of scraps to sort is your whites. We are looking for bright whites – solid or prints. In my blocks I have used a few white fabrics that have a bright white background with a cream print on them which have worked well… but we want to avoid cream fabrics if we can. Cream is a warm version of white and can again add warmth to a block if too much of it is used. A random piece is okay though.

You should end up with a curated pile of scraps that you can work with to make these blocks.

STEP THREE:

Start making your improv log cabins. The center of your log cabin is going to be your darkest navy blue fabric.

You can tell from this photo that I do not pretrim anything…. if I need to cut a piece of fabric smaller I use my scissors.

STEP FOUR:

Keep building outward using lighter blues and greys as you move out from the center. Once the log cabin has started I do press as I add new pieces and I do trim the block….

…and when I say trim I mean I use a rotary blade and ruler to get a straight edge but I do not square anything up or check that anything is even. I just want a straight edge to sew my next strip too.

As you progress, I encourage you to make “logs” for your log cabin by sewing smaller pieces of fabric together to make your own strips.

These custom made strips are a great way to break up the traditional log cabin structure and give the block a more improv feel. They are also how the block becomes a splodge of color and not just a square of color.

STEP FIVE:

Keep building your log cabin out until you have a piece that is just larger than 12 1/2 inches square. You want to make sure the your last logs are white and/or light grey…you need a white frame around your splodge.

Once you have a large enough improv log cabin give it a final press and if you have starch (eg. Best Press) use it liberally at this stage to get your block to lay as flat as you can.

STEP SIX:

Using your 12 1/2 inch ruler trim your block to it’s finished size.

Note your splodge does not need to big. In my first block the blue splodge took up most of the block…while in this block there is a smaller lot of blue. You can make your splodge as big as you want….have fun….let go….play.

FINALLY:

When I go to put this quilt together I decided I wanted to use filler blocks to give the splodges room to breath. These filler blocks are being made using just light grey and white fabric with the occasional blue or darker grey spot.

They are 12 1/2 inch by 6 1/2 inches unfinished and will allow me to layout the finished quilt in a irregular pattern…. the splodges will not all be neatly lined up but rather scattered around the quilt.

So there you have it… the splodge block. I am looking forward to seeing how my fellow DGS peeps interpret the splodge…and really looking forward to putting this quilt together.

More improv…

So this week’s quilt uses a technique similar to last weeks but gets a very different looking quilt… which I love.

Like last week this quilt uses a foundation, this time a navy blue 5 inch square, and uses scrap strips…. but this time I used just warm solids and a band of white.

Also this block’s component adds fabric to two opposite sides of the foundation…last weeks only added fabric to one side of the foundation. The result is a tighter collection of diamonds on the quilt and the navy foundation feels more like sashing.

As you can tell I used a variety of different shades of blue for the foundations…mainly because I was using up scraps… but I love how the variety gives the quilt some depth and interest.

The backing of this quilt was one of my favorite sheet – a London themed Whim sheet. I have been using sheets for a few years to back quilts and love Martha Stewarts “Whim” line that Macy’s stocks. I actually bought two of the London sets and are hoarding the last of it for a special quilt that I have planned.

This quilt has also already headed out to Dornbecher PICU… I will eventually catch up and be showing quilts before they head out into the world, I promise!

The pinkies will, of course, have the final word…..

Quilt Details:

Blocks: Improv diamond using 5 inch foundation

Fabric: Variety of Kona solid scraps

Size: 54 x 63 inches

Another old quilt share….

As I have been going through all my old photos it has been interesting to see what I remembered to share and what I completely forgot about…. this weeks quilt is one I love and it was really fun to make, so I am not sure why I did not share it sooner….

The block is a really simple improv block, using a 5 inch white square as a starting foundation and then different strips of different solid strips of fabric to one corner of the foundation square…. four of these foundation blocks are then sewn together to make a 9 1/2 inch (unfinished) block.

This quilt was made as part of the PMQG Charity Sew Days we used to hold at Modern Domestic… so the blocks for this quilt were made an army of different people which adds to the improv fun….and of course it has already winged its way to someone through Dornbechers’ Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.

It was a great way to use up the tons of solid scraps I had gathered over the years… but as usual I swear we ended up with more fabric at the end of the day than what we started with…

When I was pulling the scraps to be used in this project I made sure that I had scraps of every colors and that I had a good variety of lights and darks. The contrast that the different values of the fabric have give this quilt its sparkle I think.

For the back of the quilt I used the last little piece of a treasured IKEA fabric I had been hoarding for years… I regret not buying yards and yards of that house fabric when I had a chance.

And of course it would not be a Wombat quilt without the pinkies… this time I opted for a closeup so you can really see Mr Wombat’s pinkie form. He practices that pose regularly… he takes his quilt holding duties very seriously.

QUILT DETAILS:

Block: 10 inch improv kite block

Fabric: Selection of Kona solids

Quilt size: 60 inches x 60 inches

Working through the backlog….

So I am slowly working through the backlog of photographs that I have taken but not processed and posted.  It is funny because I also have a backlog of quilts that need photographing too… all this means though I have not been posting, I have been creating.  So without further ado here is the latest belated share….

cotton steel trip around

This quilt combines two of my favorites – my favorite fabric line (original Cotton & Steel) and my favorite go to pattern “Scrappy Trip Around the World” by Bonnie Hunter.   This quilt was made during my 2018/2019 Cotton & Steel phase (you can see some of the other quilts here and here).

close up 2

For this quilt I used lots of 2/12 inch strips of a variety of different Cotton and Steel fabrics. One of the things I love about these lines and the subsequent Ruby Star lines is that all play so nicely together.  It takes the guess work out of scrap quilting because you know it will all work.

quilt close up

And this pattern is definitely a go to for me.  I actually have another version of the scrappy trip around in my “too be photographed” pile.  The pattern is easy but so effective and it is also fat quarter friendly (you do not need to do WOF).  Actually this version saw me cut 2 1/2 inch strips off a pile of my Cotton & Steel fat quarters (I used 2 1/2 x 18 inch strips).

quilting detail

This was the first time with this pattern that I consciously tried to keep the center of the block a light strip.  It adds a nice through line to the quilt blocks and this quilt’s layout does not feel as random as some of my previous versions.  It is definitely my favorite version so far.

quilt back

The quilt was expertly quilted by a wonderful PMQG volunteer and backed with some fabulous Elizabeth Hartman wideback.  I made the quilt because there was a need for some more teenage appropriate quilts from several of the charities we work with… and it was donated last year to Camp Erin.

pinky shot

We of course finish up with the pinky shot….

Quilt Details:

Block:  12 inch scrappy trip around the world by Bonnie Hunter
Fabric:  Cotton & Steel lines
Size:  60 x 72 inches

And back again… so soon….

Since I am on a roll I thought I would share another quilt from last years very productive PMQG Charity year….

This quilt was once again made at one of the monthly sew days we used to have at Modern Domestic…. and once again it is a simple patchwork block using 3 1/2 inch squares.

This time I gathered a rainbow of squares in a selection of specific colors. The block has a particular layout with to give the rainbow some uniformity. I first made this block years ago (2013) using a tutorial by Blue Elephant Quilts… and you can find the layout of the specific pieces on their original post…

It really is amazing what different things you can do with 3 1/2 inch squares. This quilt embraced the bright and the novelty prints which was so fun… and is always the case I swear we had more precut squares when we were finished this than when we started. Be warned do not leave precut squares unattended, they will breed.

To get the full impact of the rainbow splat we decided to do a layout with sashing. I do not usually sash quilts but this one really works with the black and white border. The sashing was expertly done by fellow PMQG charity volunteer Jenny McKee. Jenny has mad skills and was able to add a border without any sweat… were it would have taken me forever and lots of swear words to do it properly.

I did however make the back of the quilt which was equally rainbowy. The fabric for the back was part of a huge donation we received which was full of glorious black and white prints and two pieces of this wonderful print. It really was the perfect back for the top.

And as always we finish with the obligatory pinkies… no amount of begging will get him to hold a quilt like a normal person!

Quilt Details:

Block: 12 inch simple patchwork
Fabric: 3 1/2 inch scraps
Finished Size: 60 x 70 inches