This post is actually a continuation of my ongoing series “What’son the Design Wall”, featuring my latest project up on either the small design wall in my studio or the large design wall my hallway.
Obviously I have been influenced by my fellow blogger buddy Melanie at Catbird Studio (see post The Six-Pointed Star and per page Medallion Lessons) but I have a burning need to make a Medallion Quilt.
I am also influenced by this page I tore from a Keepsake Quilting catalog for a medallion style Block of the Month (BOM) sampler. The only problem is that monthly participation in this BOM is $42.99 plus shipping! As lovely as this quilt is that would not be in my budget, so I just added the image to my magnet inspiration board on my studio closet door:
Rummaging Through the “Challenge Bags”
For the 4th of July, we were “bunkered” in our house with loud movies or music playing in the background, all the windows shut and the air conditioner (actually we have 2 evaporative or “swamp” coolers) to try to keep our extremely fireworks terrified dogs calm. Each year we plan to get from the vet some anti-anxiety medications for them but we forget, so instead we distract them with other sounds. This works most of 4th while neighborhood kids are playing with their fireworks. It only stops working in the evening when there is a VERY LOUD fireworks display at local attraction near our house.
Since I was “bunkering” on the 4th, I decided to spend some time in my studio looking through my collection of “Challenge Bags” (see post Basket of Challenges). Inside one of the bags I found an old felt and tweed Schoolhouse block pillow top I had purchased 14 years ago for $1 in a clearance sale at the back of a quilt shop. Tucked in with the Schoolhouse block were several strips of “Pyramid” borders that another quilter gave me.
With Medallion Quilts floating around in the back of my mind, I started playing with the pieces on the design wall:
I had just enough of the Pyramid pieced strips to border the Schoolhouse block twice on each side and ended up with the beginning of a scrappy improvisational medallion quilt!
My very first Medallion Quilt in progress. I plan to make it using only fabric scraps and recycled pieced items from my challenge bags. I am going to read through Melanie at Catbird Studio’s lessons on for making Medallion quilts as inspiration and then let myself get all improvisational once I understand any helpful concepts.
What Comes Next?
I pulled from my “Basket of Challenges” (my stash of challenge bags) a bag of scrap squares and a bag of scrap triangles. I am going to just keep this piece up on my design wall and slowly add to it as I am inspired.
In my 11/6/16 post Pinwheel Piecing Party, I shared how I started making small pinwheels from a friend’s collection of trimmed triangles, that have otherwise been destined for the trash.
Here was my first load of pinwheels:
For the past week, as a way to escape from all the hate and unhappiness that seems to be seeping out of every corner of my country, I have been focusing on, during any spare moments, making more scrappy pinwheels.
In order to distract myself for awhile, I created a goal that I had to empty out the bag of pieced triangle scraps my friend gave me.
So I was busy at work “chain” sewing, or “chaining” little half square triangle blocks together. I was quite meditative.
As a result, I now have approximately (I counted quickly) – 72 pinwheel blocks, each measuring approximately 2.5 inches x 2.5 inches!
Also have two “oops” blocks, which I guess you might call – pieced “square within a square” blocks. My “pinwheeling” went awry during my piecing of these blocks!
So what am I going to do with 72 (or more) 2.5 inch x 2.5 inch pinwheel blocks? Well your guess is as good as mine!
For now I am going to put them into my new “Parts Department” I created in my stash after seeing a trunk show and presentation by the Australian quilt designer, Jen Kingwell (see my post Revisiting Traditional Piecing). During her trunk show presentation she talked about using blocks from her “Parts Department” (leftover blocks from other projects, etc.).
Another project I worked on this past week was to go through my stash of fabric scraps and pull out all the scrap triangles and scrap small squares. I put them in separate bags to use for future improvisational quilting projects.
Yes, this blog is called “tierneycreates” and Tierney should probably discuss…well…doing some creating…instead of her random rambles about her Minimalism Journey (Part II of her ramble will continue in the next post).
I am participating in Sherri Lynn Wood’s (author of The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters) recycled quilt challenge: Make Do Quilt Challenge – #makedoquilt. You can read about this challenge on Sherri Lynn’s blog – dainty time.net; or you can read a wonderful post by Kris R. about this challenge and “the skinny on trashing textiles” on one of the wonderful blogs I follow, Coloring Outside the Lines:
The Made Do Quilt Challenge asks you make a quilt out of recycled textiles using one of the “Scores” that Sherri Lynn Wood discusses in her book The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters (for more about this book, see my postCreative Inspiration: Books I Own).
In her book, she helps guide the quilter, new to improvisational piecing, by providing “scores” to suggest the creation of an improv quilt. Ms. Wood likens these score to “musical scores” and shares the following:
In creating a musical score, a composer is making a record of how the music is to be performed. Yet each performance of the score will be unique. – Sherri Lynn Wood
For my challenge quilt, I am using the “Score” called Floating Squares. The score suggests to limit yourself to three fabrics (two used in small amounts and one used to “float” the improv squares). I am using 5 fabrics but treating four of the fabrics as pairs as they are loosely (very loosely) in the sort of same color way.
My fabrics are:
A recycled table runner from a thrift shop that is in stripped orange, greens, reds and purples.
Recycled orange corduroy pants (I only have a tiny bit left and it is the companion fabric to the #1 fabric above)
A recycled tweed jumper
Gold-ish recycled home decor fabric scraps (this is the companion fabric paired with the tweed in #3 – yes of course brown tweed and deep gold lame-ish fabric are in the same color way – ha!)
I began with cutting up squares with scissors (Sherri Lynn Wood is all about ruler free design) and ended up with these squares on my design wall:
Here is my “pile-o-denim” scraps on the floor to float my squares in:
And here is where I am with the piece so far:
I am very interested to see how it comes out. I am just making sections and when I feel I am ready, I will figure out the layout (the initial layout you see above may have nothing to do with the final piece).
So that is my current Tierney-creating!
Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer has taken a short hiatus from her SchnauzerSnips blog page but she will return soon with her story of “The Herd” (recently we babysat two other schnauzers for 5 days).
In my post,Seattle Public Utilities’ Portable Works Collection, I shared my elation of the piece Abandoned Water Structure (designed and pieced by myself and quilted by Guadalupe Designs) being purchased by the City of Seattle for its Seattle Public Utilities Portable Art Collection. Yesterday I mailed it off the framer in Seattle and I wanted to share the custom label I made for the back of the piece – I included the photo of the structure that inspired my creation of the piece:
I of course have more random rambles, but I am trying not to make my posts too long (so you do not fall asleep while reading!). More next time!
Feature image photo credit: Charles Novaes, free images.com
Have you ever just randomly cracked yourself up laughing? Maybe it is a joke no one would understand but you?
Well I was cleaning up my quilt studio and rearranging it to make it more cozy and less cluttered feeling, and I found this in a corner under a table:
What is this? Well if you refer to my post, We Will Not Be Discarded’s Debut, you will see it is a leftover scrap from another quilters project (their discard, headed for the trash) that I trimmed into a triangle. It’s other “friends” became the piece We Will Not Be Discarded! (that I sold at the Twigs Gallery Show in March – April 2016).
I began laughing at this sly piece hidden away that did not make it into the art quilt. I now have to make a tiny art quilt called – I Will Not Be Discarded!– or maybe just a potholder with it. I cannot bring myself to throw it away.
I got rid of one of the tables in my studio, even though I will have to now iron and cut on the same table (I have a removable wide ironing top). It felt like the room was way too clutter.
Instead of the table, I moved a comfy old chair into the room and I can sit and watch TV in the room while sewing down binding if I like. My TV is both a computer monitor and TV (so I can also watch “Tiny House Living” videos – my secret obsession).
I am headed off to the Stitchin’ Post in Sisters, Oregon this am for a day long class on appliqué.
In my post, Creative Inspiration: Stories My Father Told Me, I share how I would like to do a series of art quilts based on stories my father told me growing up. Well I want to brush up my appliqué skills (okay I want to obtain some decent appliqué skills) so that I have more options in creating these quilts which would lend themselves to appliqué.
In the March 2016 post BLOG TOUR DAY 4: Unlikely Materials I shared a work in progress called Recycled Door. This art quilt is part of the Central Oregon SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) group exhibit “Doors” that will debut at the 2016 Sisters Outdoor Quilt show.
We were challenged with making an 18″ x 40″ art quilt/wallhanging that represented our interpretation of a door. I found a door image I liked on Australian door and window manufacturer’s website Brisbane Timber . I created my interpretation of one of their doors, using recycled materials: jeans, corduroy shirts, a tweed jumper, and home decor fabric.
I just got this piece back from Betty Anne Guadalupe, my long-arm quilter and collaborative partner in The Wardrobe Meets the Wall Collection. She quilted it to represent the texture/grain of an wooden door.
Now I need put finish the facing for the back (finishing off an art quilt with a smooth edge instead of binding the edge) and it is ready for the July 2016 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show!
As it was made with recycled materials, it will become part of The Wardrobe Meets the Wall Collection.
I am listening to a new non-fiction audiobook, The Examined Life: How We Lose and Find Ourselves by Grosz, Stephen.
It is pretty DEEP. The author is a British psychoanalyst who shares 25 years of his client’s stories (confidentiality maintained of course!) in relation to baffling behavior based on hidden feelings.
The narrator also is British and I am enjoying the British English pronunciation of words such as “schedule” and “garage”!
One of the most interesting parts of the book so far, besides all the interesting stories, is the author sharing a very profound interpretation of Charles Dickens’ famous story, A Christmas Carol. He delves deep into what actually made Ebenezer Scrooge change his ways!
Check out Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer’s page Schnauzer Snips for her latest musings (and a new homemade dog biscuit recipe!)
This is an update to my 04/07/16 post, What’s on the…Table. I am making progress with my piece “Ohio” and still using the table to design it rather than the design wall (the mini recycled silk log cabin blocks were not sticking well on the design wall).
I have sewn all the 2.5″ x 2.5″ recycled silk blocks together. I decided to “float” them in a piece of taupe/tweed looking recycled silk (it has a beautiful texture, it is a tweed like woven silk).
I am still deciding what I want to do with the little 2″ x 2″ blocks I made; and how I want to float the blocks in the lovely tweed-like recycled silk.
I cannot wait to complete the piece and give it to Betty Anne to work her quilting magic/artistry!
I have some scraps left over, and we’ll see if Betty Anne is up to the challenge to try and make a third small piece from the tiny scraps! (My piece in progress, Ohio, is made from her scraps from Ohio Star, which was made from my original piecing disaster Ohio Star!)
Congratulations to Beth T. who won the free copy of Creative Quilt Challenges from the random drawing of names from those who left comments on my Creative Quilt Challenges Blog Tour post – BLOG TOUR DAY 4: Unlikely Materials. Thank you to every who visited the tierneycreates blog for Day 4 of the tour and thank you to those who commented. I so enjoyed reading the comments and they got me inspired to keep experimenting with “unlikely materials”!
What’s on the…Table: “Ohio”
This post is a continuation of my ongoing series: What’s on the Design Wall.
However, this time I am going to share what is laid out on the table in my Studio, instead of up on my Design Wall. This post also demonstrates another example of using “Unlikely Materials” (recycled silk garment scraps) discussed in my Blog Tour post on 03/31/16.
Here is the piece in progress, I am going to name it “Ohio“:
What do a bunch of miniature log cabin style patches (2″x2″ and 2.5″ x 2.5″) have to do with the State of Ohio? Absolutely nothing, but they are part of a story. An ongoing story. Here is a visual summary of that story:
1) The piece started out as my attempt to create an Ohio Star (a traditional quilt block) from recycled silk
2) I was very unhappy with the accuracy of the points on the star (although I interfaced the back of the silks, I had some challenges with accurately piecing the points). So I attempted to save the piece by reimagining the piece, slicing up the Ohio Star and sewing it into a new configuration. I was still not pleased with it.
3) I gave the piece and the coordinated recycled silk pieces I have selected to a friend. She reimagined it into a completely new piece, while integrating all the elements from the original Ohio Star into the piece.
4) My friend gave me the leftover scraps from this piece which included scraps from my original piecing and new scraps from additional recycled silks she used in the piece. She challenged me to make something from those scraps!
5) So, I started working on this piece over a month ago, and I am calling it “Ohio”
Right now I am just continuing to make tiny blocks (2″ x 2″ and 2.5″ x 2.5″) and enjoying the challenging of using up small pieces of recycled silk. I find it to be meditative to quietly work on small slow piecing.
Will post about this piece again when it is nearly complete.
At the end of this post I will pose a discussion question, please post a comment to automatically enter a drawing for a copy of Creative Quilt Challenges. The random winner will be selected and notified around 04/07/16.
CHALLENGE #3 – UNLIKELY MATERIALS
In Creative Challenges, Pat Pease and Wendy Hill invite readers to flex their quilt-making creative muscles by experimenting with different “Challenges”. In Challenge #3 – Unlikely Materials, Pat and Wendy invite readers to stretch their creative muscles by working with materials other than traditional quilting cottons!
Transitioning from Cotton Material to “Unlikely Materials”
Four years ago, I would have looked at you as if you were insane if you suggested I use anything other than high quality quilting cottons, purchased from a quilt shop, for my quilt-making. Then in 2012 my friend and mentor, Betty Anne Guadalupe of Guadalupe Designs invited me to work on a collaborative project involving making art quilts out of recycled silks and linen samples from garment manufacturing. These samples had been saved from the trash heap by someone working for an Italian silk manufacturer in the 1990s and stored away since then.
At first I was terrified of working with anything but cotton for quilting. Cotton is so crisp and stable. Silk is slippery, delicate, and…well…terrifying!
One of the first skills I learned when working with silk was how to back delicate silks with interfacing. The best interfacing I have used for backing silk is “French-Fuse“. I learned about French-Fuse from Betty Anne, who learned about it from another art quilter, Grace. This interfacing provides much needed stability to delicate silks and makes them easier to rotary cut and to piece.
Here is one of the early pieces I made with recycled silks – Silk Landscape:
The Wardrobe Meets the Wall
Betty Anne and I both became hooked on using the recycled silks and linens to create art quilts. We formed a collaboration which eventually became The Wardrobe Meets the Wall: A collection of art quilts created from recycled garments, manufacturing remnants, and samples.
We have a blog, The Wardrobe Meets the Wall (we are working on evolving this into a a website, “Art Quilts by Guadalupe & Hogan”). See our page The Collection if you would like to see a samples of art quilts all made with “Unlikely Materials”.
Our collection includes quilts made from mens ties, recycled silk and linen samples, scrap wool from clothing or blanket manufacturing, recycled denim, and general recycled clothing.
Once You Start Experimenting with Unlikely Materials, You Might Get Hooked!
Betty Anne already had many years experience working with “Unlikely Materials” and before I knew it, she had me experimenting with using recycled wools and denims to create art quilts.
Here is my first experiment with working with recycled wools (from wool mens suiting manufacturing scraps and wool blanket manufacturing scraps) and denims (recycled jeans) – He Dresses Up, He Dresses Down:
Basically – if you can sew with it, we will now try and make an art quilt with it. There are so many unlikely materials we have yet to try out. We enjoy recycling.
I was intrigued that in the Creative Quilt Challenge book, Pat Pease makes an adventurous art quilt with “hair canvas interfacing“. I bow my head to that level of creativity with “unlikely materials”!
(Disclaimer: We still love and support our local quilt shops and still make many quilts with traditional cottons. There are so many beautiful fabric collections to choose from and our new fabric stashes mysteriously continue to grow despite our obsession with recycled materials.)
Tips for Working with Unlikely Materials
I will not deny it – working with “unlikely materials” for the first time is scary. Here are some tips I have learned over the past 4 years. I am still learning and growing in my knowledge and comfort with using “unlikely materials”.
Do not be afraid to experiment and play: You do not have to create a great work of quilting art your first time working with a new “unlikely material”. I played with silk for a while before piecing it into an art quilt.
Check your sewing machine manufacturer’s website for tips on working with various materials and fibers.
Search for YouTube videos on working with a particular fabric and sewing tips on handling that type of fabric in your machine.
Network with other crafters that have experience working with a particular textile you are interested in trying. For example if you know a seamstress who has worked a lot with silk, you could ask her/him for tips.
Determine if a fabric/material needs to be interfaced in order to stabilize it for sewing. As I mentioned earlier, French-Fuse (which can be purchased at sites such as Annie’s Craft Store) is wonderful for backing delicate silks. It makes them so much easier to cut and piece. There are also YouTube videos on using French-Fuse.
If you are using heavy weight materials such as denim and some wools, consider pressing open your seams, and using 1/2 inch seams (like in making garments) as opposed to 1/4 inch seams. A trick that my mentor Betty Anne taught me is to run a tiny (1/8″ inch or less) seam along the front of the seams (front of your piece) to hold down the pressed down seams. This will be helpful if you have your piece professionally long-arm quilted so that the thick seams do not flip and catch the needle when being quilted.
If at first you don’t succeed, don’t give up! I have had several “unlikely materials” piecing/sewing disasters (bad words were said, not suitable for repeating). Some disasters were so bad I had to put them in the trash, I could not even recycle them into another project. Speaking of recycling a disaster into another project, see the post A Very Successful Rescue! about a piece made with recycled silk that was destined for the trash but was recycled by another quilter into a wonderful piece!
Warning – your other quilter friends who only enjoy using cottons, may at first give you a lukewarm response on your pieces made with “unlikely materials”. Do not be discouraged – art is a private and personal thing and you cannot control others reactions. (I love the saying: “It’s not my business what others think of me”…or my art!). I am sure I have quilter friends who thought at first I had lost my mind working with recycled silks and linens. As you grow in your experience with working with “unlikely materials”, your confidence will grow as will your adventurous spirit.
Working on My Latest Piece with Unlikely Materials
The timing of this blog tour post is great, as I am currently working on a new piece for a group exhibit I am participating in, called “Doors” for the local SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) group I belong.
Designing the piece: Selecting the “Unlikely Materials”
I decided to use a photo of a door for inspiration, and located a wonderful collection of unique door photos on an Australian door and window manufacturer’s website Brisbane Timber .
I wanted to created a semi-realistic version of one of their doors, using recycled textiles (“unlikely materials”) and name the piece Recycled Door.
Here are the materials I selected:
Recycled Corduroy Shirt
Recycled Corduroy Pants
Recycled Tweed Wool Jumper
Bag of Recycled Jeans
Shiny Gold Home Decor Fabric
(List clockwise from top)
Recycled Corduroy Shirt
Recycled Corduroy Pants
Recycled Tweed Jumper
Unusual shiny gold home decor fabric (this fabric was given to me by the very talented art quilter, Dianne Browning, who primarily uses the unlikely materials of home decor fabrics and decorator samples in her art – you can check out her incredible art at her website Art Quilts by Dianne Browning)
Recycled Denim (from my bag of recycled jean sections)
The Piece in Progress
Below is a photo of Recycled Door in progress. If you like, for fun, you can go to the Australian door and window manufacturer’s website Brisbane Timber and see if you can figure out which door inspired this piece.
Are You Ready to Experiment or Have You Already Experimented?
Now it is time for you to weigh in on your experience with using “Unlikely Materials” or whether you are interested in experimenting with “Unlikely Materials” in the future in your quilting projects.
This post is a follow up to my February 2016 post Surrendering My Piece to “Rescue” in which I shared my frustration with an “Ohio Star” type block I was piecing with recycled silks. I abandoned the piece due to “major creative blockage” and my friend adopted it.
Betty Anne Guadalupe, who adopted my abandoned piece, took it apart and completely reimagined it!
I gasped (and nearly fainted) when I saw the wonderful reinvention she did with my humble beginnings!
Here is what I gave her:
Here is what she created:
The piece measures 18” x 23” and is made with recycled silks and wools. If you look closely you can see sections of my original piecing. Betty Anne integrated all of my original piece in her piece! This piece will be in our show at Twigs Gallery this Friday (see my post The Collaboration for more details on this show).
My collaborative art quilt partner, Betty Anne Guadalupe and I will have a show, “The Collaboration”, opening at Twigs Gallery during the 4th Friday Art Walk, in Sisters, Oregon on Friday, March 25, 2016. The show will run through April 2016 and will feature art quilts we created from “rescued” quilt blocks (projects discarded by other quilters and reinvented/reimagined by us), and recycled materials.
Several of the pieces I have discussed on the tierneycreates blog, including We Will Not Be Discarded! and Tree Outside My Window, will debut at this show.
Below are images from the March 2016 issues of Cascade A&E Magazine (Central Oregon’s Arts & Entertainment Magazine):
Last month in the post What’s on the Design Wall: “We Will Not Be Discarded!” I shared a piece in progress made from discards (destined for the trash) from another quilter’s quilt. It was a fun challenge. I used nearly every trimmed section/discard in this piece, setting them in a solid copper cotton fabric.
The long arm quilter, Guadalupe Designs, has finished quilting the piece and it is awaiting facing (a type of finishing/binding for art quilts where the binding does not show on the front).
Here is a sneak peek of the piece (to follow up on the post from last month):
The piece measures 51″ x 17″ and will debut in March 2016 at the show at Twigs Gallery in Sisters, OR. The show opens on the Sisters 4th Friday Art Walk on 3/25/16 (After it debuts at the show I will post a photo of We Will Not Be Discarded!).
I will have 4 pieces in the show and all my pieces will feature “Recycled” Blocks, rescued from either discards of other quilters or donated abandoned projects. I love the idea of working to create something of beauty from something that was once abandoned. I love the idea of shared creative energy (see my post What’s on the Design Wall: “Ohio Star” (a taste of “Big Magic”) – “When an Idea is ready to be born, it will visit numerous people to find someone who going to bring it into existence” – Elizabeth Gilbert).
I am working on the hanging sleeves and labels for some of the piece which are unlabeled. I am feeling honored and excited about being in the show – more later!
Starting out with a strong idea and good intentions…
In this previous post, I shared my excitement over my sudden inspiration to create a traditional pattern quilt from nontraditional fabrics (recycled garment silks and linens). I knew it would be an experiment and in this first experiment, I created a traditional Ohio Star block from my collection of recycled silk and linen samples from garment manufacturing.
If you are not a quilter, an Ohio Star block is a “nine patch” block made from quarter square triangles around a central square. This block is a very traditional quilt block and was used in early pioneer and Amish quilts in the 19th century. The pattern I used was for a “Star-within-a-star” Ohio Star.
The plan was to make a small wallhanging. I pieced the Ohio Star block, and as I auditioned fabrics to use in the border, I grew more and more unhappy with the Ohio Star block.
At first I could not figure out what specifically was bothering me, as I was pleased with the color combinations/palette.
I realized what was bothering me – the piecing itself. My prior work with recycled silks involved intuitive free-form designs for art quilts. This was my first attempt at making a traditionally pieced structured quilt block from recycled garment silks and linens.
When I used to make traditional quilt pattern quilt blocks I would use crisp quilting cottons – this fabric was easier to manipulate to achieve accurate piecing and star points.
Working with silk and linen samples intended for garment making can be challenging, especially when attempting to accurately piece shapes such as star points. In order to work with the delicate silks, you need to put a backing/stabilizer material on the back of each silk section. Silk backed with a fusible stabilized can be cumbersome to cut into small accurate sections. Silk also frays.
So…to shorten what could grow into a very long and tedious story of my explanation why the Ohio Star was not working for me (and to avoid putting my non quilter readers to sleep), let’s just say: I was quite unhappy with the imprecise piecing of the block.
For a moment, I started to – just throw it away (gasp) ! Then I thought: let me try reimagining it – into some sort of “fractured” Ohio Star, where the accuracy of the piecing would not be as much an issue.
I sliced up the Ohio Star and sewed it back together into a new configuration. I revisited my stash of recycled silks and linens to audition other combinations to try to build some sort of abstract wall hanging art quilt piece around the “fractured star”.
Frustrated and drained of inspiration, I put the piece and its potential coordinating fabric away. I did not know where to go next with them.
Time to let someone else “rescue” the piece
I have several previous posts about working with “rescued” and “recycled” quilt blocks. Another quilter started a piece/making quilt blocks and abandoned the project; I then “adopted” the project and created a new piece based on the original blocks and my imagination.
While sharing my dilemma with an art quilting friend (that I was going no where with my Ohio Star silk and linen experiment), my friend offered to “adopt” the piece and create an art quilt with it.
I was delighted! Not only was I delighted but I felt a great sense of relief! I realize a textile project is not a living being but I felt as if I had recklessly abandoned a piece in progress, filled with creative energy, to the lonely “Projects on Hold” box in the back of my closet.
My experiment is going to be adopted and go to a good and loving home, where it can grow into something wonderful!
(Yes I will share a photo when my friend completes the piece from wherever her imagination takes her!)
Life is a balance of holding on and letting go – Rumi
My collaborative partner on The Wardrobe Meets the Wall, Betty Anne Guadalupe and I have been fascinated with the idea of “Rescuing Blocks” that other quilters have discarded and we have an ongoing obsession with fabric scraps given to us by other quilters.
A quilting friend of ours (we think it was our friend Judy?) gave Betty Anne “Trimmed Block Discards” a while back (a couple years ago at a quilt retreat?).
What do I mean by by “Trimmed Block Discards”? I mean the ends of sections or blocks pieced for a quilt that trimmed off to make the quilt fit together. These are usually tossed in the trash by quilters (except those pathologically obsessed with scraps).
Betty Anne recently gave me these discards and challenged me to make an art quilt piece out of them. I could not turn down such a challenge: The ends of someone else’s blocks meant for the trash – recycled into a quilt!
I have already named the piece: “We Will Not Be Discarded!”
I started with figuring out a uniform way to make the discards work. I decided to float them in a coordinating solid:
Trimming the discards into triangle shapes:
The discards all trimmed into various sizes triangles and ready for the design wall:
On the Design Wall – waiting for what happens next…
To be continued…
Here are several other posts on playing with rescued blocks and discards from other quilters:
Usually I post about what’s on the design wall – what I am currently working on. I was looking through some digital photos and came across photos from when I was working on the 1930’s Block Quilt, made from rescued blocks. So this is sort of a “design wall retrospective” post!
I am fascinated with recycling fabric, especially fabric intended for other purposes (clothing, blankets, upholstery, etc.). I also enjoy finding abandoned blocks and rescuing them!
What are “abandoned blocks”? They are quilt blocks leftover from making a quilt (when too many blocks were made than needed), or when a quilt was started but not finished and the quilter just gave up on the blocks. You can rescue sets of abandoned blocks from thrift stores, friends, and even inside your own stash! Betty Anne had a friend who found a set of block from the 1930s in her attic and did not want them. Betty Anne rescued them and then let me adopt them!
Originally these rescued blocks did not fit together and were in a strange pattern (so strange that no matter what I did I could not make them fit together). So I redesigned the blocks, cutting off the left and right corners (which I recycled into the quilt’s border). After trimming down the blocks they fit well together into a small lap size quilt (41″ x 44 1/2″).
The abandon blocks are now rescued and part of a quilt (I bet they are a lot happier than they would be just sitting around an attic all alone!)
1930’s Block Quilt – pieced by Tierney Davis Hogan, quilted by Betty Anne Guadalupe