Sunday, November 13, 2016

More Things to Do with Improvisational Scrap Blocks

When we met last week, I'd stitched and quilted a whole bunch of improvisational batik blocks, like these:

Each is a mini-quilt, complete with backing and batting, about 3"-5" on a side. The post, which includes a tutorial, is here. As shown there, I'd stitched some into a box; a coaster chain/accidental Christmas tree coverage device; and, interspersed with NASA space photography, a cosmic quilt

Here are some more experiments with these tiny quilts. First, they have wreath potential:
 A different configuration; 9 blocks create a cool 9-pointed star in the middle:
Or just layer them in mounds. I'm not sure what you'd use as a stiff backing to hold the blocks in wreath position. A pool noodle?
But I couldn't shake the idea of putting these mini-quilts onto a larger quilt. I did many tests, but what I liked best was a pure white background. So I made a white backing quilt. I made a 14" square quilt with solid white fabric on the front, batting, and a backing. Did a pillowcase finish. Then I traced each block in the position where I wanted it, with my blue washout pen.
After tracing, I drew in the piecing lines.  I stitched those lines.
I hand-stitched the soft side of velcro tape to the back of the each block; and then held it against the white quilt to mark the location for the tape's hook side on the white fabric: 
I machine straight-stitched all the velcro tape pieces into their positions on the back quilt. Next, freemotion stippling in all the areas surrounding the blocks. 

What to do with it? Hmmmmm. OK, here are three things:

1. Hang it at adult eye level as art. The velcro backing makes each piece stand out from the white background in an intriguing way - family and friends won't be able to keep their hands off of it. (Fortunately, it's washable.)

2. Hang it low in the vicinity of a child who loves tiny dolls and/or stuffed animals. They can peel off and use each mini-quilt as needed - plus it's also a puzzle and soft building toy.

3. Keep it on a coffee table as a coaster dispenser, and/or a construction/fidget toy for adults as well as children! 

The end? Almost! I had some fun trying to figure out ways to make the background quilt more 3-D. What if I stitched it into a vase/cylinder? 

Or what if I squashed the corners, to make a basket/dish? 
Could it become some kind of an envelope?

Pillow? Lampshade? Still working on that! Your brainstorms welcomed!