Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Using Star Wars Scraps and a Hole In the Barn Door Begins

I had a mind to use up the Star Wars themed scraps that someone gifted me this past year.  I had small bits of this and that, most of them less than a fat quarter but one bigger piece between a half and two-thirds of a yard.  So I just started cutting what I had into 4.5-inch squares, trying to get the most out of what was there, and then arranged them in a streak of lightning way on the design wall.  I filled in with other scraps that coordinated and soon enough I had something baby quilt or small throw quilt size.

When you're working with a limited number of squares of certain fabrics, it's takes more fiddling to even things out.  

That's a polite way of saying: This took for-freaking-ever.  But the top got done.  

As always, there were leftovers.  I'd been thinking of making another string quilt to whittle down the scrap pile.  Coincidentally, I was catching up on my YouTube subscriptions and came across this video from Just Get It Done Quilts where she was piecing strips and crumbs onto 3-inch wide adding machine tape.  I didn't have any of that lying around, but I did have a pad of tracing paper that was 9 inches wide, so I cut a few pages of that into 3x12 inch strips and started sewing strings onto that.  No plan, just mindless and fun piecing.

Then a couple days later, I landed on Chantal's blog, At the Corner of Scraps and Quilts, where she was making Hole in the Barn Door (HITBD) blocks with strings and solids.  I loved them!  What a great idea for my string strips, I thought.

And so it began.

I've modified the size of my HITBD block to use the width of the 3-inch strings.  That means that for each block, I'm cutting:

  • Two 6-inch squares of solid fabric (for HSTs)
  • Two 6-inch squares of background fabric (for HSTs)
  • One 5.5-inch square of solid (for center)
  • Four 3x5.5-inch rectangles from background fabric
  • Four 3x5.5-inch string-pieced rectangles

So far I've got six HITBD blocks done or almost done.  I have no idea how many I'll make, but I'll probably keep making them until I run out of background fabric or colorful solids.  Strings?  I'll never run out of those!!  

That pad of tracing paper I picked up at Goodwill is the greatest thing for string piecing.  It's very stable but thinner than, say, telephone book paper, which is my usual go-to.  It tears off easier than anything I've used so far.  Just fold it back once along the stitching line and it separates like magic.  Could it be because it's old and brittle (does paper get old?).  I don't know, but I love it.

I also had an idea for my Table Scraps Challenge project for the end of the month, so I went ahead and got working on that.  Here's a sneak peak.

That's about all the news from the sewing room.  Hubs steam mopped my kitchen floor so I should be basting a quilt (or three) while it's clean, but my knees are griping the past few days due to gardening and biking.  Yes, I am happy to report that on Monday I went for my first bike ride since my hand surgery in July.  Woo-hoo!  It felt good to be out pedaling again!  My hand felt good.  Knees, not so much, lol. 

We have had such a beautiful, warm fall so far.  I am enjoying every bit of it.  I do have to get my evening walk in early because of the shorter days, but there's been no frost on the pumpkin yet.

The other day when the morning sun hit the neighbor's ash tree, it lit up like a torch!  

So many ash trees have died due to disease (emerald ash borer) this past year or two, and it's been sad to see so many of them standing naked throughout the city.  We had to have ours removed this past winter.  Our neighbor's tree has been spared thus far, though, so I am especially grateful to see it in full color again this year.


Quilting Babcia said...

You are right about those "easy" squares taking forever to arrange into a great little quilt, but you've achieved it with your scraps. The HITBD blocks are looking great. I always hated tearing the phone book paper off string blocks, and if I ever get my current projects in the done pile, I plan to attempt piecing strings onto used dryer sheets. No peeling off, and they didn't shrink or tear apart on the test block I made a few years ago. Good to hear about that thin tracing paper working so well. Did the tablet you found have a label?

Anonymous said...

I love your string Hole in the Barn Door blocks! Very cool. And the baby quilt is fun and cheerful. Great way to use Star Wars fabric. So glad you got to go for a bike ride. Your neighbor’s Ash is gorgeous!

The Joyful Quilter said...

Fun projects in process, Paulette!! Glad to hear that your hand did well on your first bike ride since the surgery. Here's hoping your knee feels better soon!

Kaja said...

We don't have emerald ash borer here, but we have ash dieback, caused by a fungus, which is killing them everywhere.
I love the way you are using your scraps - the mix of solids and those scrappy strings is very cool.