Friday, November 18, 2011

Piece by Peace

Sometimes scraps happen. Well, if you are a quilter they happen a lot! I have several baskets for scraps and this particular one is all strip scraps - you know, the kind that happen when you are cutting strips and you make an oops and it's not exactly straight, or the kind that happen when you don't have enough fabric left to cut the exact size you want for a certain project, and of course, there's those strips that come from trimming the over sized backing off a completed quilt that's been done on the longarm.

Strip scraps. Strip therapy. Yep. That's what I needed recently..so I took photos to share my therapy journey with you...

I didn't really have a plan when I started. Truly I just needed to hear the hum of my sewing machine to make me happy. I've done foundation flip and sew type string quilts but that's not what I wanted to do. That requires a lot of pressing, generally with each added strip and who wants to do that when all I wanted to do was sew!

So sew I did! It didn't matter what width the strips were or even if they were a tad wonky, I just wanted to sew. I discovered that most of my strips were full width of fabric, with a few odd sizes mixed in, hum...perhaps by cutting them in half and making them 20 something inches instead of 40 something inches I'd be able to vary the placement better... It was then that I came up with an idea to us my Go Cutter, but I'm getting ahead of myself...

I don't think you can really see it in the above photo, but under the first strip there is a neat little gadget called The Strip Stick that I highly recommend! I purchased this tool at a local quilt show and have found it most useful in my pressing - it's got a raised surface that makes it easy to press the seams open and flat! You owe it to yourself to view their video (but it can wait until after you finish reading the blog - smile). One thing I liked about it was I could save pressing until the end of the strip strata...a bonus on a day I just wanted to sit and sew with little interruptions.

I hinted above that I had a design inspiration while sewing to use my Go!Cutter - I decided on which die to use and determined that I needed my strip set to be at least 9 inches wide and 18 inches long...this also would work well with the smaller strips in the scrap basket, the strips didn't have to be only vertical or only horizontal, just 9 x 18... so the first set was sewn, pressed and loaded into the Go!Cutter...

And this is what came out the other side! (minus the trimmings of course)

Instant gratification! Well, almost, it's still got to be put together - but it was pretty exciting! So I tried out another strip set (notice that the strips truly weren't even, which adds to the charm wouldn't you say?)

And yes, all the trimming away with the Go!Cutter left me with still more scraps...but I determined that I'd be able to "let go" and recycle these to the studio trash can with little or no guilt. Some of the bigger scraps I've kept for future projects.




Keep in mind, Pixxie, my professional quilt model is only 6 pounds 6 ounces so that's not too much guilt in the collection of scraps next to her...

As I was merrily sewing and cutting away my mind was busy thinking of the background fabric I would need to complete my little therapy quilt....every now and then I'd hop up from the machine and go audition a fabric...there were lots of colors to choose from and I knew from previous experiences that I could make this quilt be whatever color I wanted. If I chose a yellow background it would read yellow no matter that there were multicolored scraps.... It wasn't an easy choice as I did have a lot to choose from in my stash...hum...it's been a while since I've made a purple quilt so I began to look on the purple shelf for possibilities...

It may be hard to see unless you click on the photo to enlarge - but I chose what I like to call a "dizzy print". You have to admit, it does have lots of movement!



Not only that, but it sorta fit with my therapy....seems I needed peace in my life because things do have a way of getting dizzy and stressful. The dizzy fabric represented my mood at the time and the peace came from being frugal with my strip scraps and the peacefulness of the hum of my machine while listening to my praise and worship music on the iPod....

This quilt isn't a quilt yet, only a few of the blocks are actually pieced, but it's on the design wall with the goal of piecing a little here and there as I need more "sew therapy" during this busy time in my life.

Piecefully yours,
karen o

You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You. Isaiah 26:3

4 comments:

Laurie said...

It's beautiful! Great idea using your cutter and turning them into Drunkard's Path blocks.

Vicki said...

OHoo!! I love it. another project to add to the "to do list".

Ulla's Quilt World said...

Hi! Greetings from Finland! Your quilts are so fantastic! It's so nice to find other quilters all around the world!

Karen E. Overton said...

Thanks for stopping by - always a blessing to know that others are reading and hopefully enjoying my ramblings