Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Cats Quilt & a Wolf

The rows of cats for the Cat quilt are lined up, some sitting left, some sitting right. And all of them quite unique in fabrics that came from....you got it...my closet!

I am quite pleased with this one and want to add a couple of borders around it. Obviously, my list of fabrics to buy is growing. What I cannot seem to do is 'quilt down' the current stash of fabrics. There are 36 cats in this quilt, all different. Nothing needed to match or coordinate and they all go together, just like cats. Most have pointed ears. Now, the project has gone to the bottom of the list as a lower priority for finishing right now, though I plan to finish it this year before the holidays.

Fabric came for the Wolf panel I want to use for a birthday gift later in March. I am considering an attic window quilt pattern. There is a tutorial on You Tube that shows the panel cut into 20 blocks at 7"x10". The image is closer to the window frame, and cutting windows for its face/eyes at that size would cut right between the eyes and that really breaks up the energy of the great Wolf. I Googled more images for attic window quilt examples, and found this picture window shape that would work better for it. I would still want to make panes that use three colors; one for the sill, one for the side, one for sashing. Then it gets a border, backing and binding. With only 9 blocks to it, it would go together easier than the 20 blocks in the tutorial. 

However, it is still going to be hard to cut into it. The plan I am leaning toward keeps the panel whole, puts borders around it, and then uses a shadow quilting stitch. As much as I love that attic window look, there might not be enough time to get it done and shipped in time for the birthday. I have a book of border ideas and may spend time looking through it and thinking a bit more before cutting. Either way, I need to buy fabric so this project is not at all scrappy.

The longer I look at the picture I took, the more it seems that doing borders is a better answer. Looks like I am headed to the big city this weekend to shop!

Monday, February 27, 2017

Working a Mystery

I finished the Autumn row for Seasons. While all I got done yesterday was the center block of the row, I had cut all pieces for the other two blocks & they went together quickly.

As I look at the quilt, some times I think about going back and re-doing something. For instance, one leaf on the red (bitten) apple and the outline of the lighter pear do not show up as much as they could if a darker thread was used. At first I thought it was easy enough to change. However, the same thread is used for all appliqués. I could also change one of the heart blocks above. I try to chose much more carefully now with the ones I am making. I do the best I can with what I have. This one is so bright and cheery.

I stopped to consider that this IS a mystery quilt and results are what you get if you are simply building the mystery. That reminded me of a song I REALLY like by Sarah McLachlan. Most of the words are a bit radical, but these last lines apply to this situation:
Yeah, you're working,
Building a mystery,
Holding on and holding it in,
Oh yeah you're working,
Building a mystery
And choosing so carefully
You're building a mystery.
 When I first joined a mystery quilt-along many years ago now, it stretched me in so many ways, yet when it was finished, I was in awe of the work. Since then, I have joined several, while all the time whining about not knowing what comes next. Some turned out awesome and some were ho-hum. However, I learned it was about my choices, and that I needed to pay attention to the pattern that might name fabrics in light, medium, bright, or darks.

When I make a choice to deviate is when the end product is without magick, without mystery. It is a lesson in trust.

I don't know how this one will turn out. I am already thinking about borders and binding, and there is one more row to go in April. So much could change. I am holding on & holding it in.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Machine Applique for ROM

Although I have cut and pressed the iron-on sticky stuff for all three blocks of the Autumn ROM for Seasons, only the tree and falling leaves block is finished.

Its a fun process & I'm not sure if these quilts are meant to be hung or used as utility quilts. All of mine are meant to be used & with these more decorated patterns like Seasons is getting to be, they still are meant to be used. If they fall apart, people will find a way to either use them or give them to a thrift store for someone else.

Meanwhile, I am listening to audiobooks as a way to continue study in my class. AND I've made appointments for all my doctor and dentist visits, had the oil changed on the car and run errands all over town. I have to do this every once in awhile to catch up with mundane tasks. I did order a new fridge, and some fabric, all of which comes on Wed. along with my monthly visit from a house cleaner. Whew! My quilting is slow for right now.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Wonky UFO

This quilt is a product of two different BOM swaps I was in years ago. 

One of them was for 12.5" blocks. In this swap, we could say what we wanted for colors, styles. I wanted either 'wonky' trees or houses. And the partners I had wanted traditional blocks in colors I didn't have, which usually meant a trip to the fabric store. Almost every one of my partners told me that wonky blocks are harder to make than they realized. Few of them told me they had fun. They are laid out across my bed in one piece for the top, and I think they need one more row of houses to make the quilt longer. Right now it is square with 4 across and 4 up.

The other wonky swap was for 6.5" blocks in any design. This was a HUGE challenge because we exchanged two 6.5" blocks. I said I would take any wonky and preferred bright colors. Most hated trying to make wonky, and someone suggested that it was a good idea to keep blocks that didn't work out & call them wonky. 

First I trimmed them. Shockingly, some were not at the 6.5" size, and I knew that to have a wonky border, it didn't matter if points or colors matched. I trimmed them to 6" which means they will loose 1/2" in width and length. Then I pieced them for borders. I am going to press them all and pin one of them at the top of the top. That will give me an idea how the layout will look.

Because the top will be so busy I might like to make the back a simple muslin. I think that will make it easy to quilt with white thread. I am not sure what pattern I will use.

Right now, it is done as far as I can take it, and goes back on the list of UFOs with a note to self to make up four more wonky blocks.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Hoooray! A Finish!

I am excited to have finished the large tote and decided to make another one for #2 Granddaughter's birthday come early Summer. She has a car trip planned to a camp and probably can use a large tote for pillows and towels.

This one is perfect and folds away nicely too. I bought enough strap webbing to make another one, and spent time going through my 5" squares to make another 40 for the outside of the tote. I have another big piece of the black/with strawberry print to do the lining. All I need to do is select a couple of FQs for the end pieces & binding and then get on with it. Same pattern, and similar look.

There is more organizing to do here in my studio, as well as ironing and cutting out the appliqués for the Seasons quilt, cutting and piecing the new block, and some pressing for the Wonky quilt for the top. All prep work, and suddenly there will be several finishes on these UFO's. I feel inspired to see them get closer. Its as though the frustrations I had with them are slipping away.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017


I didn't need much from the fabric store, but was halted in my work, so I picked up 3 yards of strapping for tote bags and a yard of that iron-on stuff for machine quilting.

Another one of the block patterns was released this morning too, so today will just be me catching up on simple finishes.

I would love to find this pattern. It looks easy enough to make and clearly would work with scraps.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

BOM Benefit

This is the largest BOM block I have ever done, measuring at 32" square. It took me all day to trim squares, press, pin, piece, press again, pin, piece it until it was finished. The benefit of doing BOM mysteries is not knowing how they will look, and also being challenged to use scraps on hand.

It was more of a challenge than the ones made at 12.5" because it is scrappy, and took more fabric than usual. I wanted this largest block not to be as scrappy and yet still be scrappy to fit in with the other blocks. It goes in the center of the quilt with the smaller 12.5" around it. 

The beige with the sunflower small heads that look like dots came first. In a couple of 4.5" squares, I had to piece edges to make them work. There wasn't enough to fit into the center 4 squares, so I fussy cut that piece to blend in and it does. I also used a beige tone-on-tone that looks closer to the first beige to the naked eye than it does on camera. Then I used two different oranges. One is a smattering of leaves. The other has sunflowers and pumpkins. I wasn't sure how the layout would work, but it seems to be fine and I am happy with it. Again, this is a mystery quilt so even though I devote a month to making one block work with the pattern, how it all comes together will be a surprise.

Another row was released for Seasons representing Autumn. I went through scraps to find everything I need for it, so do not need to buy anything more. It is a machine appliquéd row. I am feeling quite confident with that process and feel like this ROM (Row Of-the Month) has taught me a lot. I understand there is one more row and the rest of the layout to go on it.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Beach Towel Tote

Totes are easier to make than I thought. Thing is you can buy a cheap tote bag for under $2 so why go to the trouble?  I made one some time ago that held my quilting projects that I want to take to the clubhouse to baste. It also holds some of the larger boxes I shipped during the holidays. Make em too big and they are impossible to carry if they are weighed down!

It takes a Charm Pack to make up the two sides of the tote. I used two FQs, one for each end, plus used the extra for binding. And I had a strawberry on black print for the inside.
This one is perfect for beach towels and even a quilt to lay on, all inside it, with room to spare for lunch, sunscreen and water bottles. I need to buy and attach web-style straps to call it done. The way it is constructed makes it reversible, though this bright side makes it look summery.

I thought about making the pattern as gifts, but am not sure a tote like this would be appreciated, and decided against it. The thought that if people want them, they CAN buy totes pretty cheap. As easy as it was to make, it would be a waste of time if it were not appreciated.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Getting on With it

I worked with the Holiday Mystery BOM to finish this recent pattern. The patterns for this one are issued on the 1st and 15th, so two a month. So far, there seem to be two blocks, one making 31 and this recent one making 32. There were extra pieces for the 31-piece block.

When I put them together yesterday, I was 5 short, so that meant figuring out what pieces I needed to make again. There were more flying geese blocks, more HST blocks. It took me a few hours to do it and put the missing blocks together.

I have one more sitting with the hand work on the beach towel tote, and need to purchase the straps on Wednesday.

And now onto the Harvest Mystery BOM block. It is quite a large one at 32" square, and the setting instructions place it in the center. The pieces are cut and with luck they will look nice together. Scrap quilting. I am feeling much better about the look of that method. Its hard when others post such beautiful photos of their blocks using newly purchased & coordinated fabrics. I really understand why quilters do that.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Everything is a UFO These Days

Sigh. Big Sigh actually. Shakespeare said, "Though patience be a tired mare, yet she will plod." I feel like that lately.

Working with UFO's is done in an effort to finish something started and abandoned. Abandoned because passion flew from it? Abandoned because it was frustratingly complicated? Whatever. They are not fun to do, not fun to re-visit, and not fun to let sit.

The block count came up shy by five. That means re-tracing the steps and building five more blocks. No photo. I was going to say 'no photo for failure' and didn't want to admit it, but I HAVE failed and couldn't finish the step. Oh wait, it is a BOM so there is time and here I am beating myself up over not being done with it. I think I got in a funk when I saw the blocks others put up. They buy coordinating fabrics and mine are scrappy. That's the plan, but today, it just bugged me.

And then I worked on the beach towel tote. It is almost finished. I need to hand stitch the binding, buy strapping and add them and its done and ready to head to the mighty blue Pacific. It really is going to be gorgeous and most of it is scrappy. I found the pattern so I could use up the Charm pack I just got in a swap. I found a strawberry on black print that has been itching to be used but was laying on the bottom of a bin and found two other scraps for the sides and binding.

So no finishes. Just two UFO's plodding along.


Friday, February 17, 2017

Rainy Days and Fridays

Its odd what triggers a person's mood. We haven't had rain for so many years that all of it this Winter has been a lot. Unfortunately, the weeds will take off and when it dries up, the wildfires will start. Right now, the winds are furious, and keep peeling roof shingles off. No one wants to even come out and estimate costs for the roof until weather is nicer. 

Meanwhile, quilting. I am working on the next step to the Holiday BOM. This step puts several previous steps together, so its a lot of pinning, piecing, pressing. It will make only 32 squares. I know that without this quilt-along, I would have stopped. Its such a complicated pattern. Not that its beyond being a Beginning Intermediate, but so putzy. I need to repair or replace some of the pieces that I didn't like as I put the blocks together.

I went into one of the fabric stores in town to buy a HST ruler, and some green ribbon for that Spring Equinox project. I found the ruler but not ribbon, and wandered around. I couldn't think of one piece of fabric for anything, yet bought 2 yards of a beige holiday fabric thinking it would make a border for the Holiday BOM, forgetting that I have borders and binding worked out. 

So now, this goes into the stash. 

It feels like such a drag to keep working, when the sound of the rain & wind  outside and the additional heat in the house makes me just want to nap! I have no deadlines and so just might let the rest of the day be one of relaxation.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

BOM Quilt Along

One of the quilt alongs actually gives us a pattern on the 1st and 15th of the months. This one belongs to the Holiday Scrap quilt I am doing. It is a nice way to do this one, in sections because there are so many. I do not think it is a quilt pattern I might have chosen. And of course, it is a mystery quilt. There is a lot to do in putting together the block, which of course, makes a heart. How original for February.

The other project makes use of the charms swap I just participated in...Charms & Chocolate. I found a beach towel tote that starts with the charms for the outside. Might change this before putting it together. The photo helps me 'see' it differently. The time to change would be before piecing, but if it passes the naked eye, then the next time is before it is quilted. I don't think I like the very light row to the far right in this photo.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

It Makes a Nice Throw

I finished the Ghost Moth quilt for an exchange I am doing on SwapBot. I like so much about it...the scrappy Moths, the scrappy 5" charms on the back and the green/yellow stripe scrap for the binding. It is a perfect size for napping or to put on your lap as you watch TV or read in the evening. It works as a throw for a chair and will get more cozy with washing.

I have yet to write out laundry directions or the 'messages' that come from Moth as a spirit guide. I really enjoyed making this quilt because it used up a lot of 10" squares I could not see as individually pretty. Collectively, they make a beautiful quilt.

I took my Alaska Cousin's advice and let it come together randomly with the exception of those half-Moth placements on the sides. With a couple more bins of scraps to use, I have come to realize that doing the simple joining of pre-cuts would be much, much easier than doing any other sort of pattern even if it is simple.

What I am able to make for my quilts emanates from what exists. I am simply going to make things easy for myself and trust that whatever manifests will be enough.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Challenge of Small Machines

I was able to pin baste the Ghost Moth quilt, after joining larger batting scraps to fit the size. It is truly a scrap quilt.

I had a leftover spool of Variegated Silky thread and loaded a couple of bobbins so the project could be machine quilted. One of the messages from Moth as Spirit Guide is "Allow yourself to receive". Machine quilting will take a few days because of the diagonal stitch going across the quilt at an angle makes it bulk through my small machine even with the special quilting foot & the measure on it. The measure portion keeps stitch lines evenly spaced.

I read another post raising the question about how long arm quilting puts so much more thread onto the quilt weighing it down, and making it less cozy. In the past, I used to stitch a grid; and with my last few quilts, I have only done the stitch one direction and like it. I've thought about making them closer together, and since reading this last opinion on it, have changed my mind. 

My favorite personal quilt has a flannel back and is tied. It is more cozy than the other ones I have and I reach for it most often. Because I make smaller lap/nap quilts, they probably work best with less stitch lines. 

By the way, I am loving this Ghost Moth quilt for more than one reason and hope whomever receives it will too.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Following the Leader

I don't remember the specifics of this kids' game, but we taught each other how to follow, and that is a very important part of learning how to lead. I guess it engages when I agree to do the BOM quilts.

This particular block was a challenge in design for a number of participants, including me. I think that might happen because of the cross it forms, or the appliquéd hearts, or even the oversize of it all. Some folks made the hearts wonky, some only went to the first dark border which does make up the 12" block, some made bars that were almost invisible.

I decided to do what I have been doing which is to select from the fabrics I chose for the entire quilt and just go with the pattern as it was designed. And it actually looks good to me.

My different attitude has a lot to do with the Jungian Psych class I am taking which has us looking at the expressions of our shadow archetype. In any case, this block is nice. And was the only quilting thing I got done.

I am making Spring Equinox whimsey pockets for my Grandchildren and Great-Neices/Nephews so have started making 17 of them. I got the TP roll ends glued shut and cut orange papers to wrap around them glued on too. I started looking for and printing off small info pages to roll up and include in the little small things, which will (hopefully) look like carrots. I also have purchased the start of treats to go in them, so its a time intensive project.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Progress Report

Yesterday, I took two projects into the clubhouse. It works so much better to work over lunchroom tables where I can stand and lean in rather than to work at home where spaces get cleared by moving furniture and working on the floor.

The first one is the Red/White /Blue quilt. And yes, I work by natural light so while it looks dark in the photo, there is enough morning light coming in for me to work. I really hate those overhead florescent lights. They seem to zap my energy so I never use them or work under them.

The next project was to lay out the Moth blocks. I brought my numbered pins for the first block of each row. As you can see, the half Moths were laid down incorrectly, so that got changed before the next step. I pieced them correctly with sashing. Then today, I started pinning sashing between rows. The only part I took any care in matching were the half Moths at the left and right of every other row because I had misplaced them at first and changed them without doing another layout. I wanted to make sure colors didn't bunch up. I needed one more to finish (see the empty spaces) and selected a darker blue/green paisley that is just lovely. The remaining sashing is ready to press, pin & piece.

Then today, I selected fabrics for another one of the BOM blocks. It is my scrappy Harvest. The block design is unusual and has piecing and machine quilting on it, so I prepared to do both parts of the work tomorrow. By unusual, I mean it is designed by the quilt group facilitator and has a part that I objected to at first and then decided to put it in and trust that it will be absorbed by everything else going on. Mystery quilts still challenge me, so why would this one be an exception?

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Ghost Moth Blocks

While this IS a pattern meant for beginners, there are a lot of blocks and a lot of cutting and a lot of piecing. I've been at it all for some time. The quilt is meant to be an exchange for a swap I set up for Insect Spirit Guides on SwapBot. Yah, I know. Bugs. The point of the swap is that if you understand animals (or bugs), you tend not to kill them. I take exception to this myself, so sent a link to get shadow information if a recipient really hates or is terrified of the Insect she gets. 

(Goddess, I hope I don't get either Ants or Black Widow Spiders. Both get killed in my gardens. Period.)  

Each Moth block measures 5.5" x 12.5" and I thought I needed 31. Of course what I didn't read is that there were 5 more Moths that had a left or a right side and would line up every other row on the sides. I am 5 Moths short. I've pulled out more 10" squares to cut them from, and next need to ensure they measure the same. It is tedious work, yet enjoyable knowing that I am using scraps and the right someone will get a handmade quilt.

Meanwhile, I found Moth Spirit Guide messages online in various places. Usually Spirit Guides are Wolves, Eagles, Bears, Lions, etc. I am enjoying these messages even though they are meant for the partner I get for the exchange.
  1. An issue that has been bothering you is being healed behind the scenes. The solution is ingenious, creative and will be a happy surprise for you
  2. Pay attention to the signs you are receiving. It may be that you need to adjust your course
  3. What has been hidden from yourself will be revealed. Pay attention
  4. Allow yourself to receive
  5. Magick of the Moth reminds us to be drawn to the Light. Move through the darkness of night fully alert. An awakening of the subconscious mind will soon occur within.
My batting order came this afternoon too.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Cutting for Ghost Moth

Cutting takes time. However, what took more time was finding scraps that would work for both the background and the Moths on it. I pulled out scraps from the container that holds Orphans, most of which were cut at 1.5" strips so became easy to cut squares. Over 200 were needed just of that small square!

Each Moth has 4 parts, left & right wings for top & bottom of the Insect. Background pieces form the shape.  The 5" charm back is pieced, so the remainder of the quilt should go together easily. I've labeled white pieces so I don't have to try & figure out how they work on the quilt.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Gypsy Orphans UFO

When I first started quilting, one of my instructors suggested I get a container and save any leftover blocks that come from quilting. Soon, I understood that instructions for making quilts would have you make even numbered blocks and then not use one of them. Last night, I pulled out the large container and discovered so many leftover blocks in endless colors and designs.

There is a quilt pattern called the Gypsy Wife by designer Jen Kingwell that I want to model the one I plan to make with my scraps, though it will be called Gypsy Orphan. And like other scrap quilts I have made, the more variety, the better the final look of it.

The first thing I did was to separate the finished blocks from strips that will also be used as fillers between blocks and do the vertical drop as seen in this one. Chances are that this will end up being a back for one of the quilts, and also chances are that some of the finished blocks will get tossed back into the bin for another Orphan quilt.

The top of it starts with larger blocks and descends or trickles down with smaller ones. I am not going to try and follow more of the image and will let what I have dictate the result.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Fabric Order Came

Cotton fabric shrinks. 

I know that. Well, what I have for the back of the R/W/B quilt is right up to the edge after shrinkage. Edge to edge. 

There is enough on it for length, and sides should have been fine. They were before laundering, yet they weren't after. Six inches were added for the sides just in case the batting loft takes more away. It took time to measure, remeasure and piece. Meanwhile, seams got checked, threads got cut. A few of seams actually needed reinforcing, so the time was well spent. Its not a day with pictures because it is prep work, back stage work. The song says there would be days like this.

With the other fabric, strips were cut for the framing on the Wonky Quilt. Pinned, pieced and pressed, though these represent some and not all of the blocks, which are done. The plan is to add a small dark green sashing cut about 1.25" so it will show only 3/4". Then it will also be a small border around the larger blocks. This project is now a Work in Progress (WIP) because it is not getting put away.

The other project for the day got more cats finished, but more unfinished blocks are not working out after the second re-do, and I've decided to use them for a different project that can get cut down to fit and add more cats to this quilt of the correct size. Now, is that a WIP or a UFO? Not sure at this point. A photo with all of them in it will show what colors might be added. (I just got several new 10" as a gift and so have some interesting pieces to add.)

Saturday, February 4, 2017

UFO Logic

While I finished the step for the Holiday BOM, work with the Cat quilt did not go exactly as planned.

Shaking my head here in amazement as to what happened. This is a one-block quilt, meaning the entire quilt is made up of one block pattern that gets repeated and put into rows and then pieced, with a border or two. It should be a no-brainer. It uses a 10" square for the cat, and scraps of white for the background. The body gets a 2.5" white square on a top corner and that is how the direction of the body is made. Then, a white block goes to either side of the head/ears square. Should be easy, and for all these, it was. For the other half of the blocks, the ear parts were too short. 

At first, I grumbled with myself and thought the whole unfinished project would just go in a bin for another time. WAIT!!! If I did that, this project would become a UFO. So I decided to think about what I was doing and ask myself what was happening and why.

It was me. I was pretty frustrated when some of the ear sections turned out to be too short. Once again, it was that triangle-pointy part and so why did half of the blocks work, and half not? I decided it could NOT be set aside and while I did stop working on it for the day, it is a UFO now, and has become part of my commitment to finish this year. GAHHHH!

Friday, February 3, 2017

Greater Mysteries

This was one of the days in my life that I pushed myself. There are no quilting deadlines. It's just me. I wonder if the psych class I am taking brings out more of my shadows. No one ever pressures me as much as I do myself. 

The Harvest fabric BOM uses up more of those scraps all the time (7/25). It is a challenge to use up smaller scraps after seeing the work of other quilters who are going with one to three fabrics for all their blocks and getting a pretty dramatic look to their creation. At least with scrappy and by taking photos, I can see what I want to try and create next time. Some of the fabrics will be gone with only one block and not have leftovers for another one. My stash is getting used!

The second quilt block (2/12) I finished is part of coordinated fabrics for a quilt, and will have that look. The biggest challenge I have always faced with these mystery quilts is selecting fabrics rather and making them pop, than to have someone tell me which ones to choose. In the end, quilts are stunning. I conclude, however, that the pink print looks better as a complement to other fabrics rather than as a background like I made it in this second star block.

The next part of my day was spent with the Purrs & Paws quilt and the Peace, Love, Holidays quilt. Each has 35+ blocks that repeat the same pattern, just with different fabric. Both are scrappy and these are my sample blocks. With the goal of using what I have, it really means not saving certain fabrics for another project or worrying that something won't work. Cats are made with 10" squares. Its a matter of making more of them and then getting to the layout. The holiday blocks are 8.5" and this mystery goes through Summer Solstice so I am not sure how the rest of the quilt blocks will look OR what happens to these.

Some time ago, my Alaskan Cousin encouraged me to select my fabrics more randomly for the scrap quilts. (She's more of an artist than I ever will be.) I am not quite at the stage of quilting where I can really let go of the rules or guidelines or traditions, while learning that random selection works.

One more day of working on the Cat and the Holiday blocks, and everything can get set away for next month's journey into the great mysteries. 

Thursday, February 2, 2017

February BOM Projects

All the BOM projects are in one bin to make it easy to work on them all at the same time. The only challenge is making sure which one comes from which group. I've got a list of my current projects, and realize that each project needs to be labeled better. Memory is quite fragile and this makes another point to keep notes-to-self for every one of them. I always think that they are labeled until I pull them out and realize it hasn't been done!

Here is the first round of pinning and piecing for this month. Now to press and trim, and in all cases it means pinning and piecing for another round. Two projects make individual blocks each month, and two of them assemble all the blocks step by step until the final assembly.  One is waiting for sashing fabric. 

Every project is stash busting. Stash Busting is a term meaning the project uses up a lot of scraps to finish the quilt. Clearly that is happening.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Back Bin

Almost everyone I know has a backache from time to time. Metaphysically, it is believed when our backs hurt it is our body's way of asking for more support. And the way I first learned to make a quilt was to just put muslin on it or at least use 4-5 yards of a fabric with a seam down the middle. Then, as I searched for ideas to make quilt backs, I found a group of fabric artists using up large leftover blocks of fabric from the top. I have tried all those ways.

And I notice that with my quilts, I tend to have the back-side closer to my body with the top out.

I've been saving fabric scraps and cutting them to sizes I hoped to use. And use them I do. However, when I made borders, there would be leftovers too. I started folding them up and saving them in the same-size bins. I called those bins 'Potential Backs'. I pulled out all the 5" squares that were orphaned from quilts they helped build. They were pieced in strips, blocks or were stand-alones. I kept piecing them to make a 48"x55" center for a back that will go on the Ghost Moth quilt I just started. It is scrappy too. As I wait for the white muslin that will be its background, it seemed smart to make the back. That pattern measures 51"x58", so it will need two more rows and two more columns of blocks to finish the back, giving it a few more inches larger. 

Easy-peasy. Of course, just because the pattern gives a measurement doesn't mean that will be the finish. Luckily, there are enough scraps to do it.

Scrap quilting is not easy. It certainly is time consuming. I cannot even say it saves money. 

I read that Americans waste nearly 1 million pounds of material per person every year. Of course that number includes everything from construction waste, spoiled or discarded food to hazardous waste. They say we waste 600 times our body weight in our lifetime. Scrap quilting is one way I do my part in reducing waste. Sometimes we wonder if our actions make a difference and I really don't know. What I do know is that I do this. Scrap quilting.