Awesome August

Hello Everyone,
Today, I’m taking a break from customer quilting and quilting one of my MANY UFO’s.  It is a pattern called “Butterfly Kisses” by Nancy Davis Murty.  Her blog is located at http://nancymurty.typepad.com/ and this is the third of her quilts that I have pieced.  I’ve also done “Harvest Home” and “Harvest Spice”.  It is quilting out beautifully with a pattern called “Butterfly Fantasy”.  Pretty cool, eh?
As you may know, I finished the 256th block for my taupe quilt, “Blue Ridge Beauty” on August 8th.  What a great birthday gift…  On that day I turned 47 years old, and although I didn’t plan this out… my birthday was the 47th consecutive day I have worked on my quilting projects in a row.  I am amazed at the amount of work that I’ve been able to accomplish during this time.
After working so hard on those 256 blocks, I’m ready to give that project a break for a few days.  So, I decided to work on my “Scrappy Trip Around the World”.   This project is one that I’m making from my scrap bins, but cutting 2.5 inch strips from scraps, and some small pieces from my stash to round out the color selections.
ImageHere is a photo of one of my scrap bins.  I actually have about 5 of these.  One is for selvedges, another is for leftover binding strips, one is for small strips to use for locker hooking, and two others hold random pieces that are left over from various projects.  I try not to return odd size pieces to my main stash, which consists of 26 elfa drawers like the one in this picture.
My main stash is sorted by colors, and neatly folded, unlike the scrap bin.
In the class I recently took, I was reminded that the scraps are also worth $10/yard, so it got me set on a course to use some of them for something nice.  This scrappy quilt is super easy to make, and is a riot of color… which of course, I love.
ImageSo, probably the part I don’t want to do is to pull out the fabrics and iron them flat.
{Notice my cool iron…  It’s the Oliso Pro iron.  It has legs and stands up on it’s own.  I’ve always ended up dropping my iron off my table at some point until I discovered this brand.  What I like about the Pro model is it’s 30 minute shut-off time.  It stays hot while I piece and press, piece and press…  Awesome.  If you’d like one too, let me know.  I sell them at Fellow Quilter.}

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Next I stack up my pressed scraps.  I usually can cut 8 layers with my giganto 60mm rotary cutter… but you might want to try 4 to 6 layers.  I use this Charming Strip Buster ruler for this task.  It’s 5 inches wide, and marked only for 2.5 inch strips, and 5 inch squares.  (You know the ones… just like the popular charm packs put out by many fabric manufacturers these days.)  But today, I’m making strips, so that’s what I’ll show.

 

ImageSo this is how the strips look after you cut them.  They are random lengths.  But for this project, I only need 15 inches, but I’ll cut them 16″ to have a bit of wiggle room in my strip sets.  There is no need to waste much time sewing strip sets longer than I need.

 

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Now, I’ve got a huge pile of strips, ready to be sewn into sets of six.  No color planning is allowed.  If that is hard for you to do… you would need to put the strips in a brown bag, and pull them out as you sew.  The beauty of this block is the random aspect.Image

Sew them together into pairs, and press.  Sew two pairs together and press.  Sew a pair to that set, and you’ll have your six strip units.  Remember, they need to measure at least 15 inches!  They will look like this…  You’ll get one 12″ finished block from each strip set.  Make as many as you need.  Be careful, this is addictive!

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Well, that is where I’m at…  sewing strip sets, and quilting my own quilt.  WOO HOO!  Thanks for following my blog, and I hope my progress is inspiring you to try something new, or just work on one of your own UFO’s…  Leave a comment here, and tell me and my readers what you’ve been up to…

Have a great day!

Fellow Quilter,

Brian Clements

6 thoughts on “Awesome August

  1. You have been VERY productive my friend! I am extremely intrigued by the iron. I am working on a baby quilt for Sally (not the name, but we have called her that since we found out she was a “she”). I make a square and press. By the time I need to press, my Rowenta is cold. Frustrating – thus we will need to talk irons Brian. Going to Vegas this next weekend. There is a fabric store there that I understand is pretty fab. If my spousal unit gets involved in a table game, I might take a cab to check it out. Wish me luck and you, soldier on my friend, soldier on.

    1. Hey Chris… Thanks for commenting about my progress. I actually woke up early today… i.e. 4:20am, so I went out to watch for meteors, took some photos, and then sewed all morning and afternoon. I got all three rounds of borders on a king size quilt that I’m making for my bed. Now, I need to find some backing fabric, and find a spot in my line-up to get it quilted.
      In Vegas, I remember a store called the Fabric Boutique, and there’s one called Nancy’s Quilt Shop. I remember that Nancy’s Quilt Shop was in Quilt Sampler magazine a few years ago… and I’ve been to both shops. Maybe you can go to more than one…
      I really meant it, when I offered to mock up your bow-tie quilt on Electric Quilt software. Let me know if you want to do it. Also, come over and you can try out my iron, too!
      Have a great trip… See you when you return!
      Fellow Quilter,
      Brian

  2. So… I went looking online for Nancy’s Quilt Shop. Guess what, it has closed. I only went there once while in Vegas, but I remember it was pretty neat. It had a mix of quilting fabric and yarns. Boy, the quilt shop business is pretty tough, I guess. It made me go take a spin through my local fabric store, to look for some inspiration. I came away with two ideas for quilt backing… but I guess I had better take my fabric swatches there, before I decide. Don’t forget to support your local shop too!
    Fellow Quilter,
    Brian

  3. Hey there Brian….I have not been diligent in following your blog and am so glad AnnieB mentioned it on her most recent post. Now that I am signed up to receive your updates, I can keep up with your work too. Like all quilters, I also have a stack of 2-1/2 inch strips but just do not have the nerve to grab and sew without any kind of organization. Since I make numerous Project Linus quilts, it would be a fast way to make a quilt and get rid of good scraps. Do let us know when you get some blocks put together; will you be sashing them to give your eye a place to rest OR just sew together one horizontal and the next vertical?

  4. Do you have any leftover fabric from the three BOM by Nancy Murty….Harvest Spice, Harvest Home and Butterfly Kisses? I have lost a bunch of my fabric/block kits/patterns due to a disaster at my home….storm damage followed by foreclosure….I am try to replace this stuff so I can complete these three quilts…I lost nearly all the fabric on the Harvest Spice and have lost fabric and patterns on the other two. I know it is a long shot, but please let me know one way or the other.

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