Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Scrappy Strips for a Back

As my day dragged on, I felt determined to piece 2.5" strips meant to create this simple block design.

The task made me grumble. I measured the strips in the blocks to see that I needed three 12" strips vertically, and seven 6.5" strips going horizontally. It is a simple pattern that makes use of the 2.5" that I have in abundance.

This time I wrote down what I need for the block, and as soon as I get to the part of assembling blocks into rows and rows into the finished back, I will write that down as well. From what I did have pieced from my earlier work on this project, there are seven of these blocks to a strip. Backs are supposed to be bigger than tops. This back might look nice with the Neighborhood Houses quilt, and that one is not finished. Once the sashing and borders go on, I will have a better feel for the size.

My first task was to piece, joining everything that was cut close enough to those two sizes. And yes, grumbling! They need pressing flat & pressing other strips that were tossed in the container as I used various fabrics.

Then it hit me, I was finishing someone else's UFO. Sure, they didn't have a plan to do this, and  what I have were the scraps from many other quilters, so it becomes a stash project. Most of those quilters left this world, or stopped quilting, set their stash and UFOs aside as they went onto other things. Someone responsible for those materials knew the value of the investment & didn't want it to just go into the landfill.

Years ago now, I agreed to take it all on and do something with the fabrics. For one thing, making beautiful scrappy tops was easy at first with so many different fabrics to chose from, though it has been getting more difficult as the scrap selections are thinning out. It takes real work to match what is there for a specific theme and have enough to do the quilt project. 

Making scrappy BACKS is a real commitment because it is so much easier to buy a large piece of fabric, seam it up the middle and call it done, than it is to piece and piece and piece these scraps into a back.

Well, in for a penny, in for a pound as the old saying goes.

When I do an honest assessment, what bins existing in my closet look like this: 1. Finished Bird Quilts ready to ship;
2. NESY bin meaning Not Even Started Yet; 3. Ready for Batting (this bin represents projects that need something from a fabric store to finish them); 4. BOM to work on each month; 5. Potential Backs started; 6. UFO projects listed on my sidebar; 7. Scraps cut into strips and squares to be used wherever needed; 8. Holiday fabrics; 9. Regular fabrics.

It is an environmentally sound mission to do this work. Would that it were easy-breezy. Yet, this year, has been hard and its only January!  Another lesson here. Be gentle with thyself, dear woman. I read that most quilters leave projects behind and that along with writing notes for clues to finish projects, its a good idea to leave a note saying what to do with the whole closet full of bins. Well, I am not there yet. I feel lucky to write those notes-to-self at this stage.