Posts Tagged ‘scrap bag diving’

Deconstructed Circles For SAQA’s 2017 Online Auction

Friday, April 7th, 2017

The annual online auction to benefit SAQA, Studio Art Quilt Associates, comes up again, opening on September 15th and continuing through October 8th.  I’ll be reminding you closer to the time, of course.  For further information and updates including some of the works already received, go to SAQA’s website  Right now several hundred SAQA members including yours truly are preparing their 12″ x 12″ donations, and over the last few days I have almost finished mine – shown here with quilting in progress:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Excess fabric and batting will be trimmed off once the quilting is completed – and yes, I do darn in the ends as I go!  I may do a fine black binding, but will audition other coloured fabrics anyway, just in case one of them adds a bit more zing.  This is the third in a deconstructed circles theme that has emerged in the last few weeks, and I’m pondering a more meaningful title for what is clearly becoming a series – as ‘Deconstructed Circle #3’ is a bit unexciting.  I’ve started a list, with entries such as ‘Whirlwind’, ‘Cyclone’ and ‘Tornado’ under consideration.

 

 

‘Maelstrom’ 2009  was my first deconstructed circle design, to which I have turned again, and maybe it is now the first of a series of that name; meaning the one I’m nearly finished would be #4, but maybe I’ll come up with something else.

 

Scraps and Deconstructed Circles

Sunday, April 2nd, 2017

I’m still here and still working with the glorious coloured scrap collection I featured in my two previous posts:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contrary to my usual experience I am noticing that the volume of them on the table is actually decreasing. I and fellow users of small pieces of saved fabric have always believed that scraps have a secret reproductive life, as the pile or bag never seems to get smaller.  This time it is, because I am sticking to the chosen palette, and not augmenting it by further random scrap bag diving as I go.

I’m now using a black background for a 12″sample-sized piece which will probably be for SAQA’s annual online auction later in the year. If I can finish the remaining two blocks, assemble and quilt the piece without further procrastination, I might even be ready later today to paint the dots around some edges as I plan. For many months, since before last year’s illness, I’ve had some some new plastic bottles with nozzle tips to use painting dots as I did on some of the works in the recent Kimberley series, for which I used a sawn-off paint brush –

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I need to press on!

 

 

 

New Life From Scraps

Tuesday, March 7th, 2017

Somewhere the other day – and I’m sure it was Margaret Ramsay’s blog but of course can’t find it now 🙂  I found a comment about how liberating the artist found it to just use scraps and offcuts in her surface designs instead of cutting into pristine new yardage.  I totally agree.  I keep all reasonable sized off cuts from earlier projects, and blogged about this some time back.   We all know the thrifty ethic thing that is supposedly part of the back story of quilt making, so there’s a bit of the feel good thing there, though that’s not why I do it.  Scrap bags accumulate scraps of fabrics that you’ve already liked  – you’ve bought them and used them in something.  According to my theory stuff you like goes together as a rule.   So scraps are ‘auditioned’ for their next project appearance, and piecing begins.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For every work of mine that has segments of colour forming a shape, as in all the Ebb & Flow series (see gallery elsewhere on this website) the process of putting bits of fabric together into strings before cutting them to the next edge shape, is fairly fiddly but very calming.  Once you have your heap of scraps extracted from the scrap bag – which is about the only colour designing you do  – then it’s time to put the bits together and just sew, iron, cut and sew.  Repeat.  You sort of know how they’re going to look, but don’t always, and some are better than expected.   This little sample on grey has silver metallic edging on the curved strips which are about 3″ long – gorgeous but a bit daunting to make into a larger work.  Having said that – heck, why not? It’s on my mind.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m currently working with scraps of summery colours on a cream background, and really, to do the lines of patches and then cut and sew them into the rough square takes a total of about an hour for each one from start to stop, with plenty of ironing.  This wall quilt will comprise sixteen  8″ squares, which means the piecing alone will take me another 10-12 hours before moving on to the sandwiching, quilting and edge finishing.

Fishing around for another pic to go in this post, I found one of a miniature I’d quite forgotten –

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s exciting because it reminded me that in a drawer somewhere I have several colours of this fairly thick very bright neon thread I can consider using to quilt the current project, and I might not have remembered it without seeing this.  All this just goes to show how a bit of looking back can sometimes be inspiring.

There’s Nothing Like a Bit of Scrap Bag Diving!

Sunday, May 24th, 2015

I keep a large bag of small scraps., principally offcuts from projects.  When I’m clearing up after finishing something, anything worth keeping goes into the large clear plastic bag on the floor beside my sewing table.  The bag being clear helps, just a little, when I’m looking for something in particular, as I was this morning.  I needed more earthy colours to add more shapes to the current Bungle Bungles piece I’m working on, you may remember.

earthy colours

Relatively speaking, piecing like this uses as much fabric in seams as shows on the front.  When I’m doing pieced work, I use a large variety of different fabrics in small amounts; and nothing is cut out in advance, its all cut freehand and sewn seam by seam in the technique known as ‘improvisational piecing’. The Ebb&Flow quilts in particular are assembled in this way with a lot of scrap bag diving along the way –

SCRAP BAG  Ebbs and Flows

 

 

Needing more of some fabrics including some of those little one-offs that add spice, I took a deep breath and began scrap bag diving – well, turned it all out on my table, and started sorting though, selecting things I can use, and putting most of it back into the bag.

SCRAP BAG archeology

SCRAP BAG  save all yellows

I carefully save all offcuts of every yellow, partly because although I rarely buy any yellow fabric, a touch of a yellow value here and there in every piece of art, whatever the medium, is vital, literally giving life to the work. The more valuable the fabric/colour, the smaller amount I am prepared to save…. and the smallest piece of a strong almost acid yellow I came across this morning was barely 3cm x 1cm!

SCRAP BAG  save yellow

This piece of yellow with airbrushed red and blue is gradually running out – so its very precious. I have about  3cm x 4cm left of a fat 1/4 bought years ago from Deb Lunn in Denver.

 

SCRAP BAG good grief

This morning I realised scrap  bag diving is rather like archeology, digging down though the past – and like archeology, it throws up some puzzles, of which this is one!  I don’t remember putting it together, but these are definitely my fabrics, and all sewn together by me, for sure – but why?  I certainly don’t remember anything in which this sequence appeared.  It’s a nice yellow in that striped print, though….

 

SCRAP BAG elegant snippets

I really don’t remember the work these offcuts came from – they were trimmed off after the gold stitching along each place the cream meets the print…. quite elegant, really, and I may do something more in these gentle neutrals soon. With gold stitching/quilting.

 

 

 

SCRAP BAG extra units CynthiaSCRAP BAG raided block

I often work in repeat units – and always make a few extra to get the best possible result when juggling them at the assembly stage. From ‘Cynthia’s Quilt’ top, and ‘New Directions’ below, come these ‘spares’ which have useful sized pieces – and the raiding has already begun on the lower ‘block’.  The fabric in that block terminating in the triangle/arrow head is destined for salvaging for use in the next set of strip assemblies I need to put together; I only ever had a small amount of it and I’m down to last few square centimetres…

 

SCRAP BAG one glove

And finally, much to my delight, virtually at the bottom of the heap, I found one of the pressure gloves I’ve been missing for a while, since last spring really….so then I had to tip it all out again and go through more carefully to find the other.   And sure enough, it was there.  The weather’s getting cool again, and some days now my hands are feeling a bit in need of pressure on the arthritic joints – so this find was timely and welcome!.

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