Friday, July 6, 2018

Reckless and Unsupervised, Quilter Goes Rogue! Strippy Thousand Pyramids, Anyone?

I Made Cute Little Triangles Out of Scraps!
The past few days have been more chaotic than anticipated, and we have company coming in from out of town on Friday so there's lots to get done in preparation for houseguests.  Those are my excuses.  Anyway, I found that I wanted to do a little "decompression sewing" just to hear the rhythmic stitching of my sewing room and touch all the pretty fabrics while my mind was wandering off in multiple directions.  That is not a good mindset for figuring out how to adjust the bottom pieced border for my Jingle BOM, which ended up about 1/4" longer than the top border.  And I'm waiting to start joining pineapple log cabin blocks until Jingle is a complete top in line for quilting.  So I got this wild urge to just grab leftover 1 1/2" wide fabric strips that I'd cut for my log cabin blocks and start sewing them together, with no plan at all.  There was a very good possibility that I was wasting fabric, thread, and time on this fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants piecing.  It was exhilarating!

No Pins or Nothin'!
For my pineapple log cabin quilt, I chopped up lots and lots of fat quarters and fat eighths into 1 1/2" wide WOF (width of fabric) strips and draped them over a tall laundry drying rack to keep them wrinkle-free and ready to go for the FOUR YEARS that I have been working on those blocks(!).  I wanted a lot of variety for the pineapple blocks and I ended up with an awful lot of leftover strips, enough to use in several different scrappy string-type projects.

Lots and Lots of Leftover Strips
I came up with several different designs in EQ8 for using up the strips, such as the Pythagoras-Meets-Jane design I shared with you the other day, as well as this offset star design:

EQ8 Offset String Star Baby or Wall Quilt Design
Here's the other EQ8 design I came up with for my leftover strips:

Another Idea for Leftover Fabric Strips
I still like each of those designs, and I may (or may not) make BOTH of them at some point.  However, each of them would require more brain power than what I have available at the moment.  You know when your Internet is running really slow because one of your teenagers is downloading a movie, Brother the Other is streaming music, and your husband is downloading computer updates all at the same time?  That's how my brain is running right now.  I didn't want to muck around with templates or foundations or even rulers; I just wanted to sew little strips together into big pieces and then decide later what to do with them.  So I just started grabbing strips of fabric and sewing them together, with NO plan.  It felt so wicked!

This Is What Reckless Abandon Looks Like
And then, taking a break from my mindless, reckless strip piecing, I poked around on Pinterest for some ideas of what to do with my pieced-together strips.  Inspiration struck when I stumbled across this lovely quilt, "My Life Aquatic," that was made by my friend Julie of Pink Doxies in 2015:

Inspiration Quilt "My Life Aquatic" Made by Julie of Pink Doxies
Isn't that beautiful?  I don't have the dimensions of Julie's quilt, but I think her strips are wider than mine, like maybe from a jelly roll.  But  that's my plan, as much as I have one.  I pieced 8 of my 1 1/2" strips together, and that gave me a big enough piece of "made fabric" to cut out triangles using my Nifty Notions Good Measure Bias Triangle ruler, just lining it up and slicing around the perimeter of the ruler on all three sides with my rotary cutter.  

Nifty Notions Bias Triangle Ruler
That's the ruler I used to cut out those first two triangles at the top of this post.  Nifty Notions calls it a "Bias Triangle," but it's actually an isosceles triangle (two equal sides) because the length of the sides is longer than the length of the base.  This is the triangle that works for a triangle-in-a-square or "peaky and spike" block, like 54-40 Or Fight:
54-40 Or Fight Block Made With Bias Triangle Ruler
 I think I'm going to switch to my 60 degree equilateral triangle ruler.  An equilateral triangle has all three sides the same length and all three angles measure 60 degrees.  As I discovered with my Tabby Mountain Disco Kitties, it's MUCH easier to piece equilateral triangles together because you can just slap them together RST (right sides together) with all the edges even, no pins or nothin', and they'll come out perfectly.  Isosceles triangles need to be offset just so in order to open them up and have the seam look right:

Remember How "Jog the Ends Slightly" Made Me Crazy?
I'm not looking to give myself any more aggravation than absolutely necessary, if you know what I mean!  I'd like to give my seam ripper a few days off for good behavior!  

Meanwhile, I got all the foundation paper carefully torn away the first of 36 pineapple log cabin blocks last night.  It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, either -- just took time and patience.  

Well, I still need to prep some vegetables and do a last-minute dust-and-vacuum run through the house before it's time to pick my niece up from the bus station, so I'd better get off the computer and get on with it!  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

PSST!!  I'd Love to Quilt for YOU!

By the way, if you or any of your quilty friends has a quilt top or two that needs quilting, I'd be delighted to quilt for you!  My turnaround for edge-to-edge quilting is currently running about 2 weeks, and you can click here to find out how to book your quilt with me.

I'm linking up with:


Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

great use of those skinny scraps I have made one like this too a few years ago and plan to do another one day. We finally got our internet working well again after weeks before we traveled and then 2 weeks back home - finally had to have someone come out to the house for it.
One day the Pineapple quilt will be ready to show us and I'm looking forward to it

Preeti said...

Oh my goodness!!! A whole QUARTER of an inch difference!!! What did you do (or forgot to do) to result in such a disaster? OK, I am done with hyperbole.
Love the mindless strippy sewing. Love love love your designs in EQ. I love Kaffe in all forms so there cannot be a thing you can do wrong here. I am in love with his work and he is blissfully unaware of it. So be it.
I am jealous of your niece. She gets to soak up all this KF goodness and you are going to cook for her. If you let me in your house/studio, the food is my responsibility :-)

Joyce said...

We share a love of many of the same fabrics! I love the last design, with the flower like medallion in the center. If you ever come up with a formal pattern for it, I will immediately order it! Great job.

Lisa England said...

So many pretty things in this post! I would definitely make both of the quilts you showed from EQ. So gorgeous!

Ramona said...

Oh my gosh! I’m in on making this strip quilt with you! I do not enjoy using scraps, but have three bags staring at me from the corner of my sewing room. I started organizing them the other day (I’d MUCH rather be sewing!) and was wondering what to do with all of the strips. I love your idea. It may take me a while to get to it, but now I have a plan. Thank you, Rebecca Grace!

Louise said...

Scrappy strippy chunks cut into equilateral triangles will make a most excellent quilt! Will you alternate them with a solid, like Julie did? That's a nice look :)

Shelina (formerly known as Shasta) said...

I should go reckless and rogue and unsupervised! Love that second EQ design.

chrisknits said...

Fun stuff! Maybe some day I will just get in the sewing room and do something crazy, like not have an idea or pattern to start with. But not yet, I still like a plan for now.

Snowcatcher said...

Wow, I'm so in love with the scrappy strip projects you've designed! Your colors are wonderful, and that second EQ design is just awesome! You are inspiring me to slice up my scraps into strips!!!

Julie said...

Finally chiming in here! Yup, leftover jelly roll strips, and a 60 degree ruler was all I had back then, and a few years before my longarm showed up so domestic machine quilted. I still have that quilt sitting on my shelf as a reminder. Simple is good. While you are making yours from leftovers lengths of different sizes, I did this with full strips, I believe. Graduate the ends for little waste, and make several cuts for a quick quilt. (You all know how that's done, I know.) But don't edit away your EQ8 renditions, Rebecca! I love them both. Good design, and a great way to use up bright scraps.

ctnbee said...

I love all your projects! Thanks for telling this story.