Sunday, 1 February 2015

blue, blue, blue

RSC 15
No, I’m not suffering from depression; I have three projects to talk about and they’re all blue.
The first is my blue scraps project, Crumbed Churn Dash, for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge over at SoScrappy blog.

In this post, I talked about the twenty-two 4” crumb blocks I made on 3 January.
22 crumb centres for Churn Dash

Before I could proceed, I had to choose the fabric for the churn dash motif. I had thought I would use solid black but, in my eyes, it didn’t enhance the colours in the crumb blocks, and I thought it made the blocks seem flat and lifeless. (I’ve changed my opinion now that it’s too late!)
black background

Then I thought I’d try a pale blue background, even though I was pretty sure I knew what the outcome would be!
pale background

I needed quite a large amount of a darkish fabric to make those medium blues stand out. This was the only blue I could find that served my purposes (I tried others but they really didn’t work!). 
blue background
I thought it looked good and I had an adequate amount of fabric but I just wasn’t sure… working with checks can be a problem – one needs to keep them straight to look good and there 160 units in the quilt!

I wonder what you would have chosen? I had decided to go with the solid black but was still restless – I have a philosophy that I live by: “if in doubt, don’t!” I really didn’t want to use the black but what could I do? Then I had a brain-wave!

Brown, being a shade of orange, adds some warmth to the quilt and I quite like the combination of chocolate brown and medium blue so I went with that. Of course, I wasn’t going to cut 160 pieces in case it didn’t work so I did four of each unit to begin with; enough to make one block! (The brown is actually much darker than this photo shows)
first block completed
I was hoping that I’d be able to tell you today that I had finished making all 160 sub-units for twenty churn dash blocks.

But, I was wrong.

On Friday, I finished all twenty blocks! I started the day with eight done, worked consistently all day, and finished all twenty around 4pm.
20 blocks finished
I love how the brown churn dashes make a grid for the large blue diamonds to hang off!

As you can see, it’s planned scrappiness. I spent quite a bit of time determining the placement of each piece of ‘rag’ (as my teacher calls them)! I’m looking forward to having a ‘proper’ design wall soon so I don’t have to keep working on the floor in another room.

I pressed away from the centre but I think I’ll have to go back and press all the seams joining the top and bottom rows to the centre rows of each block; in this way, I’m hoping I’ll avoid the problems of too much bulk where the blocks meet. It’s a hassle but better than the alternative!

Yesterday, WM and I discussed possibilities for basting. We have carpet throughout the house. I’ve tried basting on carpet and usually end up pinning my project to it! Besides, it’s too hard on my knees and back. Our dining table is timber so I can’t use that for fear of scratching the surface with pins. WM told me that I could use the kitchen bench/breakfast bar  so I tried it out with the Bargello table runner. The bench-top is Caesar-stone so it will be interesting to see how it stands up whilst having pins pushed against it. When I removed the table runner, the bench-top didn’t seem any worse for wear – I was very careful not to push the pins too hard! The only marks I can see are from the masking tape and I’m assuming they will wash off.

Not only did I get the table runner basted, I also got it quilted, trimmed and bound. Woo-hoo! This is the fifth finish of 2015 and the first of five of my own projects that I had waiting to baste, quilt and finish.
2014 Blue Bargello finished
There will probably be another post for this project: I wanted to say more but this post is already quite long enough!
With all those to-be-quilted projects, I need another scrap piecing project so I’m joining Sharon’s Let’s Book It challenge this month. 
Dust Off Those BooksWhile I had my blue scraps out, I started a quilt based on a pattern called “Slices” from the book Scrap Republic by Emily Cier. That quilt is only 30” square; I need to make mine 48” x 64” so there’ll be twelve triangles of most colours not the four shown here.
scrap republic 2 inspiration from Emily Cier book Scrap Republic

It’s a new project but it will take me all year to complete given that the Rainbow Scrap Challenge is one colour a month. Interestingly, Emily Cier recommends making one triangle at a time; I’m thinking it might be easier to sew a whole lot of scraps together then cut the triangles from the resulting fabric. Of course, doing it Ms Cier’s way means that every scrap is followed by a different scrap; doing it my way, while possibly faster and with less wastage, will result in the same scrap combination over and over. I’ll have to think on it some more. Here is the first ‘triangle’ I made. I’m not cutting the triangle properly until I have all the triangles for a row – bias edges are tricky things!
first blue triangle
If you’ve got a few minutes, why not drop into Angela’s blog to see what people have been doing with their blue scraps; and/or Sharon’s blog to see what projects people are making from the long neglected patterns in the books on their shelves?

Also, I’ve now edited my previous post and linked it to JulieK’s Binding Blitz link-up. Please check out that link too; and if you’ve bound a quilt this month, add yours to the party! You know what they say, ‘the more the merrier’!

Time for pink – the colour of February… stay tuned! ;-)


  1. Love the crumb Churns - a lot of work there, but just a wonderful result. Congratulations on finishing the runner, it looks fabulous. And I think you are on to a much easier approach to the scrappy triangles - use lots of starch.

  2. love your crumb churn blocks. and twenty of them! oh my! that is a lot of sewing my friend. love the runner too. now I may have to make one. I am trying to not start much new unless I finish TWO ufos. that way I still decrease the number of UFOs in my room. we will see how far in the year I get with that LOL

  3. Five finishes already this year? That's great going Lynn. Love the photos in this post :-)

  4. Great color the brown with the blue. this one is a winner! Ror the scrappy triangles.....why not do some both ways. That way you will get a variety of combos of scraps.
    Pinning....I can't do the floor anymore either. I pin on the kitchen island which is 4' by 6'. So for a larger quilt I have to work in sections, but it works. I no longer use husband got me a selection of hands clamps from the tool store. They work great and are easy to use and move around when I want to progress to another section to pin.
    And the runner is wonderful....good job.

  5. Love the quilt! I'm lucky enough to have a long arm so I don't have to baste, but I just saw something on Pinterest that you might like. It uses a couple of 1"x3"x6' pieces of wood to roll the top, batting and backing together for basting. Apparently it works really well.

  6. Excellent decision to add the brown for the churn dash blocks! It's very exciting to see the roll you are on for your quilt work!

  7. I think the brown works perfectly. Lovely quilt.

  8. If in doubt, don't. Love it! I would never have thought of brown but it looks great. So glad you have a place to baste now too.

  9. Those churn dash blocks are AWESOME!!!!!!!!!

  10. You've been busy,busy, busy with your blue, blue, blue. I love the table runner.

  11. The churn dash crumbs blocks turned out great. I would never have thought of brown. You go girl!

  12. Hey, I *like* the chocolate brown in there! I wouldn't have thought of it on my own. I'll have to remember that one. And I really love the crumbs patches - this is going to be a really cool quilt.

  13. The Churn Dash blocks are wonderful. The chocolate brown works really well.

  14. The choice of brown for the churn dash blocks was perfect, they look great. Looking forward to seeing your new Rainbow Scrap project come together.

  15. Great idea, I love your 'crumb' churn blocks! and the brown was a perfect choice! Linda


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