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.

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

Well things have got interesting…

It has been over a year since I have blogged and what a year it has been.  Like everyone else I have hunkered down in my house, venturing out only when absolutely necessary.  You would think this would mean a flurry of quilting activity but it has not.  Like so many I have found it hard to be creative in lockdown… and I have made a LOT of masks.

So to try and break out of this rut I thought I would share a few quilts with you that have been finished in the last year.  When I actually looked at what I had shared and what I had not I realized there was quite a bit of stuff that you have not seen… so we are going to start with this beauty…

finished aqua cross quilt

This quilt was made a one of the Portland Modern Quilt Guild (PMQG) charity sew days… back when we had charity sew days… oh I miss those days and that wonderful group of ladies.  Anyway I digress…

aqua close

The block was a simple nine patch block with an extra background row on two sides of the nine patch.  I love adding the background to the block as it allows for lots of fun negative space when you lay out the quilt.  If you are not sure what I mean look at my Bee Block post from May 2018.  I used the same technique when I made the wonky star blocks.

aqua closeup

I used a ton of pre-cut 3 1/2 inch squares… I have got in the habit of  “processing” my scraps through the Accuquilt die cut machine and so have boxes and boxes of squares.  3 1/2 are my favorite size and I have made lots of charity quilts with them.

closeup 2

For this quilt we wanted to be gender neutral and a little more teen than kids – so I picked a black/dark grey printed background with white and cream prints for the cross parts.  The center squares were all solid fabrics in shades of aqua.

aqua quilting detail

The quilting on the quilt added a wonderful layer to this design, echoing the squares of the quilt in the pattern of the quilting.  I am always in awe of the amazing group of long armers who help make these charity quilts.  Their talents always add so much to the finished product.   This quilt was donated to last years Camp Erin where I hope it gave comfort to a grieving camper.

pinkies

Of course I must finish up with a the obligatory shot of Mr Wombat’s pinkies.  These photos were taken last year before lock down and he was such a good sport as we drove around town looking for interesting walls to photograph things against.  I am hoping to convince him to come with me to photograph a new batch of quilts in the coming week – of course while we wear masks and social distance.

QUILT DETAILS:

Block:  12 inch Floating nine patch
Fabric:   Scraps and selection of Kona solids.
Quilt Size:  60 x 72 inches

Back for some fun little Bear Paws…

This month I am the setting the blocks for our Do Good Stitches Bee… and I find that it is easier for me to blog the block instructions that to try and do it all on Flickr….  Of all the social media platforms I use Flickr is really the one that constantly surprises me that it has not died yet.  It is so clunky and not at all very user friendly for some things.  Anyway rant over… here is the blocks.

color bear paw

I went with a simple Bear paw section… I have a ton of little scraps and this seemed like a great way to use some of my precious little bits… I have decided to do the block in two sizes – 6 inches and 9 inches…

finished blocks

And I worked out a way to make both sized blocks at the same time… so here goes….

fabric requirments

Cutting Instructions:

Background fabric (we are using low volume or white on white):
5 (five) x 3 1/2 inch squares
1 (one) x 2 1/2 inch square

Colored fabric (we are using bright primary colors):
8 (eight) x 3 1/2 inch squares of various prints
4 (four) x 2 1/2 inch squares of various prints

 

Step one:

Choose four of the 3 1/2 inch squares and four of the 2 1/2 inch squares for the center part of the block .  When I was choosing these fabrics I selected the more interesting fabrics for the center squares (ie. the ones with fussy cuts).

The remaining four 3 1/2 inch squares will make the half square triangles (HST).

Step two:  Make the HSTs.

mark fabric

 

Mark a line down the center of the back side of your background fabric, going corner to corner.

Then mark another line 1/2 inch from that line.  These two marks are your sew lines – you will be sewing directly down these lines.

 

 

cut hst

 

Cut down the middle of your sew lines… you are actually cutting 1/4 inch from the center line.  You now have your two HST components.

Press your HSTs (I usually press my seams open).

 

 

 

trim hst Trim each of the HST components .  

Your 3 1/2 inch HST will not need much trimming (it should be almost perfect).

There is a bit of wiggle room with your 2 1/2 inch HST so you will have a little bit to trim off.

 

Remember to use the center diagonal line of your ruler to make sure you are trimming straight.

Step Three:  Sew it all together.

rows

 

Sew your block sections together in rows.

With my blocks I have been ironing my seams open… but you can also nestle the seams.  It is up to you.

iron seams

 

Then sew your rows together to make your blocks… and trim as needed to the finished size.

Just for fun I have made a couple of tiny versions of this block…

3 inch bear paw. Scrap quilt block

This block finishes at 3 1/2 inches… all the bits are 1 1/2 inches which is a little crazy but also kind of fun.  I have been having a blast finding little bits to fussy cut at this size.

I am having a blast with this project.  I have actual work sewing to do and I do not want to do it… all I want to do is cut my scraps up into little bits and play.