Wednesday, June 17, 2015

scrap vortex QAL week 3

We are on week 3 of the quilt along already! I hope you are having fun with it! I know I am!
This week is more of the same...sewing two pieces of patchwork that are about the same size together. See how the blocks are getting larger and larger? That's what you want. Don't worry about a specific block size at this point. I know that goes against the grain of what you may be used to, but it will all work out in the end! Trust me!

I'll give a specific example of block construction again this week, because I think seeing it step by step is helpful. At least I hope so!
Select two pieces of patchwork that look good together. See the piece on the left? It is shorter than the one on the right, so I decided to add an orange string to the bottom of the left hand side.
After adding and pressing the orange strip, the left side is still a little shorter. I could add another strip to the bottom to the same side, but the additional strip would be pretty skinny.
Instead, I sew the pieces together, but rather than aligning the top edges, I align the bottom edges. Why? Because the patchwork pieces on the top right hand side are taller and better for trimming in this case. If I trimmed off the bottom of the right hand piece, that cute little teal crosshatch fabric (on the bottom right) would have been just a sliver after trimming. Can't have that!!! :) Also, if you look along the center seam, you will notice that the seams are nicely staggered with this alignment. That's what you are after!
Trim up the block so it's a square or rectangle. I'm not super fussy about the sides being at a PRECISE 90 degree angle, but close is good! Isn't it amazing how much better the block looks after it's trimmed up? That never gets old!

There was a question last week about trimming. At this point in the block construction, I do trim the block after each addition with my rotary cutter and ruler. I try to keep the pieces relatively square or rectangular, because it makes the fitting the larger pieces together so much easier.
This week I felt like I was lacking variety (or getting sick of my scraps), so I scrounged (hahaha!) in my craft room to find some new things to add to the scrap basket. I had a bunch of bags of scraps that I had separated out for "someday" projects, (Heather Ross, Echino, Kaffe Fasset, some Anna Maria Horner and even a few of my own new fabrics) but liberating the scraps and adding them to my others will breath new life into the quilt. Plus, I have 3-5 fewer bags floating around the craft room. So, it's a win-WIN!

You may find that you have to go back to square one and start making new pairs for your quilt. I know I will need to!

That's all I have for today. I hope you have FUN sewing! Let me know if you have any questions!

36 comments:

Tracybug Creative said...

Love this! When is your fabric releasing again?

quilt^nurse said...

Your pictures definitely help! Thanks for taking the time to do and show them. I too was getting tired of sewing in pairs and week two seems be somewhat intense that I can only work on it for 1-1/2 hrs at a time. Stop and do something and come back. I think it is playing with the material. I do not spend time with seriously matching, as most fabrics really do play well together. It is just your perspective. Look forward to this week. I have a quarter of a box with scraps, but plan to jump into this week as we can always add more. Thanks for sharing this pattern! It defian will be something I do again and maybe with my Christmas fabric scraps.

Bees Knees Granny said...

Thanks, Amandajean, for the tutorial. This, plus your tips to separate the brights from the "muteds", and to start with trimmed rectangles, makes this project seem do-able for even this fainthearted soul. (I can hear my scraps, sorted by color and consigned to untouched shoeboxes, giving a resounding "YES!")

coastal gray said...

Yeah I think I missed the color selection part.... Use lights, mediums and darks, but remove the muted tones?

MaterialGirlQuilts said...

Yours is looking amazing so far! I think I will have to dip into more scraps as well to liven mine up. I don't have as many tiny scraps as you do, but it's still working out well. Thanks again for this great tutorial (and yes the photos help!).
Amanda

The Cozy Quilter said...

I am still on step one but I will eventually catch up. I just did a blogpost about my progress so far. Www.thecozyquilter.blogspot.com

Thanks for the quilt along !

Di~ said...

you are the bomb! :) and other mysteries! hey, would you like to exchange some scraps?
You could let me know what you'd want (I have all colors)...and I'd love some scraps of your
new fabric, plus others. We could weigh them and determine the same weight to send each other...
maybe just enough to fill a manilla envelope... whatever...and no pressure.

Marianne in MD said...

I would love to see what everyone is doing! So I posted photos of mine here: https://scrapquil.shutterfly.com/activityfeed/3

I didn't have a lot of scraps since I haven't made much in the last few years nor do I have many novelty prints to make it interesting. But I am trying to make it bright and add whites and darks for some punch.

Little Black Cat Quilting said...

Yay for another week of quilting along! I've been chugging along and have some bigger blocks to show for it! Thanks for hosting and posting advice/tutorials each week. :)

Rosa said...

Wow,another week of gorgeous blocks.Photos help.Which is the size of your blocks?

Lynn said...

I also need to go back to step one and make some more. What would you think about adding in orphan blocks? I have a basket of these too and wondered if some of them might find a home in this project.

Julie Bagamary said...

I already piece this way often nut it is so fun to piece along with you.

cathy said...

I'm a scrap quilter and am really enjoying sewing along with you and everyone. I do a lot of sewing/quilting with a quilt group at a nearby small Episcopal church. I do a lot of their baby and children's quilts for the group to donate and when this one grows up and gets quilted and finished, it will go with me to be donated.

I hope you will consider doing another sew-in after this one is finished. You all are giving me some added motivation!!

Leanne said...

Thanks for sharing this Amanda, I'm having fun with my scraps :) I wonder if you ever use the printed selvages in your quilts? Or do you just save them for the knitted rugs?

amandajean said...

Tracybug Creative,

It's scheduled to release this fall. I'm SURE to keep you posted! ;)

AJ

amandajean said...

Coastal Gray,

Yes, use a variety of values; lights, mediums and darks. If you have drastic variety in tones (traditional colors vs candy colors) separating them is probably a good idea. It all depends on your comfort level when it comes to mixing scraps. Editing is good!

Hope that helps!

AJ

amandajean said...

Rosa,

The blocks are a variety of sizes....I really haven't measured them because it really doesn't matter at this point. :)

AJ

amandajean said...

Lynn,

Orphan blocks are a good idea! Use them up!

AJ

amandajean said...

Leanne,

I haven't used any selvages in quilts yet, but you certainly could. I just may add some to my quilt. Thanks for the great idea!

AJ

liniecat said...

Love this idea and such a perfect way to use up scraps too!

Shirley Elliott said...

I was instantly interested in your scrap vortex quilt along. This is my first quilt along but scrap quilts have been my favorite projects for several years. I have never assembled the quilt top this way. I always worked with an 8" or 10" square, making one and then another. Absolutely love the combinations I am getting using your method. These combinations would probably not happen using my previous method. Now, like several others, I am going back to step one because I will need many more blocks and I can add some additional fabrics. My plan is to make a small quilt (would look great on a wall) and spiral quilt it like your first scrap vortex. That was such an awesome quilt. I have been reading your blog regularly for several years but just don't comment. Thank you for all the wonderful information you share on your blog!

FlourishingPalms said...

I'm having a BLAST with this quilt, Amanda Jean! Honestly, I can't remember the last time when I felt such an urge to be in my sewing room! I want to work on this all the time, and I do for hours at a stretch. However, I'm glad you mentioned going back to "square one," as I have quickly seen that to make this quilt a substantial size, I'm going to need lots more pairs. My goal is to fill my 96" X 96" design wall with blocks. I'm about half way there. Thank you SO much for instigating this along. I'm having more fun than I imagined. But I also think I will blame you for not working on other projects that have deadlines! SV is just too darned tempting!

Karen said...

I'm also having great fun with this QAL. I'm doing the sewing, but my 7 year old is doing most of the pairing and designing of the blocks. But we're running out of cotton scraps, as she wanted it in mostly pinks. I was wondering what are your thoughts on using up non-quilting fabrics for this, such as heavier drapery fabrics and poly/cotton blends?

Marianne in MD said...

On some of my blocks, there are seams meeting. If I like the colors that come together, I am keeping them. But I wouldn't do it for more than the two patches. I was wondering, what is your reason for making sure the seams are staggered?
Thanks

Pam said...

This is the 9th scrap quilt that I will make using your method, I sort my scraps by size rather than colour to make it easier. I have 2 tops ready to go on the frame next week and hope to get them both quilted in the same week. Loving the quilt a long and try to fit in a little each day.

amandajean said...

Marianne in MD,

I like the look of the staggered seams because it adds to the randomness of the patchwork. When you look at the quilt overall, you lose the grid. It just makes it more interesting than a block layout. Does that make sense?

AJ

amandajean said...

Karen,

The fabric choice is totally up to you! If you want to mix in heavier weights, etc, you certainly can. It would make it a super authentic scrap quilt. :)

AJ

janequiltsslowly said...

I'm making progress on this every day. The blocks are growing. Thanks for the squaring up instruction and demo on piecing larger blocks.

leanne said...

my scraps really needed organising so your QAL has given me the push to finally organise them- so looking forward to making a quilt from my precious scraps ! thanks so much :)

rutigt said...

Just realized what you just mention :) Had to sew some new scraps together. Needed more scraps with new colours!

marciglenn.com said...

Thank you for the weekly nudge with lovely pictures and descriptions. I'm not quite a far along in creating the large slabs, but getting close. Yes, I was getting sick of seeing the same fabrics so I have added some new ones as well.

Marianne in MD said...

I'm sorting other scraps and my stash to do more blocks in a different fabric style and color scheme. It made me wonder at what size do quilters decide the fabric piece is a 'scrap'. I'd say at less than 1/8 of a yard or less than a 10 x 10" square. Anyone?

MarchAnn said...

Marianne for me here in FL. anything under 1 1/2 inches but bigger than 3/4 inch goes in to my strings and crumbs basket and the the bigger pieces get cut into uniform sizes and go in to a plastic shoe-boxs with other pieces the same size. I have been kind of using Bonnie Hunters scrap system. I am doing a Shakespeare in the Park quilt and this quilt alone and have not made a trip to the LQS for fabric. I also completed BK's Grand Illusions with just my fabric stash.

Pine Valley Quilts said...

A great way to use up all those lovely leftovers !

Quilter Kathy said...

Okay... I caved! I started a vortex... not nearly as pretty as yours, but it sure does clear out the scraps!

Maja said...

I Love your work!!!

This is how mine looks right now:
http://majasparadis.blogspot.se/2015/06/uppdatering.html
I have so many memories of friends in those fabrics!

Thanks for showing everybody that scraps is nice!!!