Friday, February 2, 2018

An Assortment of Red Scraps, Pluses, and a Book

One of the hardest things about quilting for me is choosing a pattern and then beginning, especially when I have a selection of scraps I want to use up.  I have this group of red scraps.... Some are 1" to 2" wide strips, other pieces are larger. 

Some of these fabrics could be from the 1930s through 1950s, some are from the 1980s, and some are recently new.

There is such a range of reds, from almost orange to almost purple.  I'm trying to decide whether I can use them together in a quilt and, if so, what quilt pattern will "accept" them and create a unified quilt.  And which other color(s) to use with them.

Ideas for blocks for these scraps include
  • one patch with reds alternating with lights/naturals or golds or browns
  • nine-patch with any of those color combinations above
  • Square-in-a-Square block with reds in the centers and browns on the outside
  • double nine-patch in reds and browns with browns in the corners, or reds and creams with reds in the corners
  • double four-patch
  • housetop blocks with a center square and one border around it in reds and lights or reds and browns, alternating the center and outer colors from one block to another
  • snowballs in reds and another color

Will these fabrics actually work together in a scrap quilt?  They are from different eras and there are so many different tints and shades of red.  Some of these fabrics are already small pieces.  If I have several of the same print, I'm happy to sew them together to create a larger piece, but there is only one small piece of some of them. 

I have some thoughts on another quilt that I haven't yet started sewing.  At the beginning of last year my nearest local quilt shop offered a pattern and fabrics for these blocks if we returned every two weeks to get them.  I have all the fabrics but I haven't started on the blocks yet. 

I'm not a huge fan of orange and now that I have all the fabrics, it occurs to me that the oranges might look great with browns and/or blacks for an autumn quilt. 

Then, instead of orange crosses/pluses I could make yellow ones.  I have an over-abundance of yellow fabrics (mostly purchased in odd lighting that caused them to look light and creamy).  The light fabrics we received are much lighter than the ones shown in the photo above.  I think the blocks finish at 6" so the quilt is not large.

I've been so unmotivated the past week or two.  I'm happy to sit and hand quilt (building up callouses on my fingers) and do little more (except the essentials, of course).  I hope finally deciding on the reds will propel me into action.  Do you ever feel unmotivated?  I have a friend who says, "Doing is better than dreaming."  I need to quit dreaming and do.  Just do.

I have been reading Victoria The Queen:  An Intimate Biography of the Woman Who Ruled an Empire by Julia Baird.  I think it is excellently written and is a joy to read.  I have ancestors who lived in England during the reign of Victoria which makes the book all the more interesting as I imagine what their lives might have been like.

I hope you're enjoying life!



  1. I heard that Mary Ellen Hopkins said something to the effect that all reds go together, so go for it! I've seen some fabulous red and white quilts over the years, so I don't think you can go wrong with any of those ideas.
    My theory is that the more fabrics you use, the less it matters what 'genre' they are. I throw in everything from batiks to 80's ditsies to CW repros to Kaffe Fassets to plaids to whatever I find in the scrap bins. In all that chaos, nothing can possibly stand out as 'that doesn't belong'.

    1. Hi, Gayle. It's interesting that you mention Mary Ellen Hopkins because I was just looking at two of her books a few days ago. I'm working on / playing with the reds today. It's been interesting and fun but I don't have enough blocks together yet to see how they'll interact.

      You do use a great variety of fabrics in your quilts and they do come out beautifully -- bright, vibrant, cheerful, and fun. I don't think I have the same touch (or maybe it's vision) that you do, but maybe one of these days!

      Thank you for the encouragement. I appreciate it.

  2. Those reds are fun! I think I'll look and see if they have that book on CD.

    1. Yes, I think they're fun, too. I hope they play well together. Maybe you will like Victoria, especially if it's a good reader.


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