Tag Archives: leftover blocks

2016-1 Colourwash Table Runner


This runner started from a group of leftover strip sets I found in my scrap bin.  I played around with them to create a pleasing layout of colour and then assembled.  I pulled two coordinating fabrics from my stash to add as inner and outer border.  It was custom quilted in a feather design with a muted rose thread.  I entered it in a few fall fairs this year and it won first prize most of the time.  A very pleasing result from a bunch of scraps!



2014-21 Autumn Rail Fence

Autumn Rail Fence

This project began when I decided to use up the leftover strips from my Autumn Prairie Braid quilt (2011-51).  I don’t like to throw out left-overs so they sit around taking up space and clouding my creativity.  So now as a matter of habit, I try to use up the left-overs without purchasing any new fabrics.    These light and dark blocks were created by joining the leftover of similar value together and setting them out in a rail fence pattern.  It was quilted with a digital design called Maple Sugar from Lorien Quilting.  It makes a great snuggle quilt at the cottage.

2013-30: Xmas Stocking

Christmas Stocking

On December 24th, inspired by my friend Amy, who made a Christmas stocking for her son’s girlfriend (who is also my niece), I decided to make a new Christmas stocking for my son.

Several years ago, I made matching cotton velveteen stockings for my son and daughter.  He did not like the stockings and although he is normally quite accepting of whatever I make, he gently complained about the new stocking.  A few days before Christmas, my daughter announced she would be bringing her  boyfriend for Christmas, so I needed an extra stocking.  Hence the impetus to make a new stocking.  She and her boyfriend got the matching velveteen stockings and my son got the new quilted stocking.  He was thrilled.

It was fairly simple to make.  I simply joined leftover blocks and patches to the approximate size and then cut out a stocking, using the velveteen one as a pattern.  I added poly batting, a bit of leftover sheeting for the backing and quilted it with freehand doodling using a thin gold Bottom Line thread.  The fuzzy cuff on the stocking is a piece of white sweatshirt fleece with the fuzzy side out.  Start to finish, it took about an hour.

Everyone admired the stocking and my daughter has put in a request for two stockings for next year.  She would like a maroon one for herself and a green one for her boyfriend.  I found myself looking over potential fabrics for these stockings, so I’m sure I will be inspired to make them!

2013-18: Holiday Squares

Scrappy Blue QuiltThis scrap quilt was made with left-over 2.5 inch squares from several other projects.  Early on, I decided the size of the blocks would be 5 squares across by 7 down.  I simply made up the blocks as I collected the squares.  It took several years before the blocks were finished,

Then, of course, it took a few more years until I was inspired to add sashing and borders .  I had originally intended to put yellow sashing with the blue, but when it was on the design wall, I felt the yellow was too overpowering.  I substituted this blue pinstripe.  It is definitely softer, although I find the quilt a bit gloomy for my tastes.

The finished quilt is 80″ by 96″ and is densely quilted with the pantograph called Red Oak by Nancy Haacke.  The thread is Superior So Fine on top and Superior Bottom Line in the bobbin.  The binding is applied by machine to the front and invisibly stitched on the back with Superior MonoPoly.

The two thumbs in the photo belong to my 6’2″ husband and 6’3″ son who were pressed into quilt-holding duties!

2013-16: Double Pinwheel Quilt


This quilt is made from left-over blocks from the second set of blocks I ever made.  That was back in 1997, before I knew about points and matching seams and squaring up blocks!   I took the best of the lot and made the first quilt  http://wp.me/p1RFMf-4s in 2011.  These Double Pinwheel blocks were the left-over blocks.  I could not bear to throw them out, so I added coping strips of yellow print and then squared them up to the same size.

Then I added a blue striped sashing and a yellow and blue sashing block for the corners.  The border is a tiny blue shirting check.  The quilt design, Anne’s Garden by Anne Bright, is quilted with a Superior light blue So Fine on top and Bottom Line in the bobbin.

Even though the blocks are not as accurate as my current quilting standards would want, I am still very pleased with this quilt and look on it fondly as a statement of where I was when I started quilting.  Not perfect, but a great testimony as to how much I have learned since 1997 when I started quilting.

And it means another UFO done and one more quilt that goes into my wedding gift stash!

2012-26: Blue Block Orphans

Blue OrphansThis quilt is a compilation of the orphan blocks of about 8 people.  The only thing these blocks had in common was the color blue.  I pulled all of these blocks out of the many that have been donated to our guild outreach committee and put them on the design wall to play with.

DSC00351At one point, this is what the design wall looked like.  Even though I really liked that cute little house block, it did not belong here.  Not enough blue! Once I  had a general layout with the desired blocks, I started assembling and adding coping strips of a blue flowered fabric that gave me the spacers need to make it all fit.

The quilt finished at 40″ x 45″ and I really like the look of it!  I think what appeals to me is the challenge of making something nice out of found fabrics and blocks. It was donated to Victim Services, since they prefer to have small quilts.

Project 2011-30: Double Pinwheel Xmas Table Runner

About 13 years ago, as part of  my Toastmaster training, I was completing an advanced manual on sales presentations.  I had to sell my audience on an idea.  I figured that it would be a tougher challenge to actually sell something.  Since I rarely take the easy road, I set myself a goal to sell a physical product to the club members.    So the evening before my speech,  I made about 20 sets of potholders.  My speech was just before Thanksgiving, so I described the perfectly set table, the gleaming china and crystal, the perfectly cooked turkey and the proud hostess bringing the food to the table with …Yikes…Old ratty potholders..one of the most used and abused items in the kitchen.  I had brought my own horrible potholders to demonstrate the ugly horror of old potholders.  Then I painted the picture of how much better Thanksgiving would feel with new potholders.  In addition, they would have the personal satisfaction of helping their club, as 100% of the proceeds from each pair purchased for $8.00 would go directly to the Waterloo Silver Tongues Toastmaster Club.    I did sell them all and the club treasurer was delighted!  (So was I!)

I don’t recall why I had three blocks left over.  But being neat and tidy, I packaged up the three blocks, the prepared backings and the left-over binding and they have lived in a UFO pizza-style box ever since.

This weekend, I am visiting my cousin  in Michigan and Thursday  is her birthday.  Stephanie, from Grawn, Michigan,  is warmth and generosity personified and is exactly the kind of person I like to shower with gifts.  Although not a quilter, but she loves all things quilted and is always raves about anything I make.  She is great for my ego!

I decided to make Stephanie a Christmas table runner, but did not have a lot of extra time today.  Looking through my UFOs, I found these blocks ready made and perfect for a table runner.  There was enough fabric in the box for the setting triangles and enough matching binding to finish it off.    I’m delighted to have a finished project with what felt like only a small investment of time.

I quilted the runner with a thread called Heavy Metal – a burnished gold colour and used Bottom Line in the bobbin.  Metallic threads are fussy to get the tension balanced, so I suffered a lot of breaking top thread and snarls on the backing of my test strips until I got it to a happy place.  I rarely touch my bobbin tension, but I had to tighten the bobbin tension because too much top tension simply snapped the thread.  However, once the tension was balanced, it quilted up very quickly.

I feathered the border and blocks and did a feathered arc in the setting triangles.  This would be called custom quilting, but because the project is so small, it did not take much time.  There is a lot of gold in the red and green print, so the thread blends well and adds a bit of sparkly. I figure a table runner gets a lot of close, although unconscious examination.   When sit at my table, having tea and conversation with a friend, my eyes roam over my table toppers, mostly with a warm feeling of pride, but sometimes more like a quilt judge.  Hopefully, my guests’ eyes are not as analytical as mine.  When I see the minor flaws, my mind starts thinking,  “How can I do that better next time?”   With this one, I like how it turned out!

I attached the binding on the back and top-stitched on the front.  It looks good and I am happy to have another project complete.

Status:  30 done and 22 more projects to complete by December 31st!  To celebrate, I tossed the pizza box into the recycle bin.  I aim to have my UFOs down to a much more manageable level, without the need for a stack of pizza boxes hiding UFOs.