Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Missing the Traces

Awhile back, I heard tell of people throwing leftover scraps, strips, and strings of fabric in bags and just pulling out pieces randomly and adding them to a project.  The stuff of legend!  Of fantasy!

I'm much more of a planner by nature, but it sounded like fun to be more spontaneous.

I had been wanting to try piecing a wonky log cabin, and I finally had a day free.  I pulled out my box of scraps and began.

At first it was a mix of fun and frustrating.  I wanted to make 12.5 inch squares, and it seemed to take longer than it ought, considering there was no pressing with the iron, no measuring, and I was being so random and supposedly carefree.

Alas, there were simply not enough pastels and neutrals to realize my vision, such as it was.  These two not-quite-squares are now in my "good heavens what shall I do with them?" box.

I then tried some wonky patriotic-colored log cabin blocks with the same planning-free approach, but it still took so long to put together a 12.5 inch square, I was beginning to get a little annoyed.

Kicking over the traces was not as much wonderful fun as it was made out to be.

It was good to get out of my comfort zone, but I soon headed back in.  At least partway.  More structured patterns for me!

These blocks were donated to the quilters' guild and became someone else's problem.

I did find that the random method works great when doing what are essentially half square triangles.

The deal is, you separate the different basic colors, tossing the scraps into separate bags, for example, the reds with the reds, the whites with the whites, and so on.  Then you sew them onto a muslin or paper backing.

I had started out by laying all the scraps out on a table, which gave me way too much opportunity to be picky.

With the bags of scraps, I couldn't really see everything that was available, so I learned how to grab strips randomly, telling myself frequently, "Don't think too much, don't try to organize."

This was much faster than making those log cabins.

These three--the two patriotic star quilts, and the "lightning" one--all went to veterans.

I have an idea, using different colors but the same technique, for a kid's quilt.  I'm building up a stash of different colored scraps before I begin.  Yes, true to my nature, I have a plan!

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