I have a great many scraps of cotton fabric which are the remnants from dressmaking, bag making and general crafty sewing. I also have a Big Shot die cutting machine with ‘Drunkards’ Path’ dies. Back at the beginning of the year I decided to put those scraps to good use and make a quilt. I vowed that I would not be buying ANY fabric, wadding or backing for the project.
Die cutting: I sorted through the scraps and wherever a piece was at least 5 inches square, I ironed it flat and put to one side ready for a mammoth die-cutting session.
Construction: I set all the pieces in two piles – one of the 1/4 circles and the other of the ‘arc’ shaped pieces. With no thought about co-ordination, these pieces were then stitched into pairs in a totally random fashion. All the stitching was completed by hand whilst I joined in at the Friday morning sewing group.
Once I had about 100 squares I started to put them together into blocks – 4 individual squares per block. I used two different layouts. 1) where the ¼ circles were placed to the centre to make a complete circle and 2) where two of the ¼ circles were flipped to the outer edge of the block to make what I call ‘a turtle’.
I started to lay out the blocks and decided that I would like to have the quilt made up in 6 rows of 6 blocks with sashing in between. I needed to make another 44 squares to give me the total 36 blocks required.
Layout: The completed blocks were laid out on the bed and photographed. After some switching around I came up with the final plan. I labelled each block before cutting the sashing. Using some calico from my stash (usually used for toile making) I cut strips 1 ½ inches wide and started stitching the rows together. I then cut more sashing to make the crosswise sashing plus a border.
Next it was time to add the wadding and backing. Checking my stash of wadding I had only two pieces of polyester 2oz wadding which was stitched together with a 3-step zig-zag and produced just enough to back the quilt with a 1 inch border all around.
Backing – I knew that I did not have any cotton print that I was prepared to use for the quilt. A quick search through the spare bedding revealed a brand new King size flat sheet in Yellow – just right to back this quilt. I used 505 temporary spray adhesive and a few quilters safety pins to layer up the three fabrics – backing, wadding and top.
Quilting: I used the extension table fitted to my Brother 550SE machine, set up on the dining table. I ‘stitched in the ditch’ on each block before using one of the built in decorative stitches to run down and across all the sashing. The backing was trimmed back to 1 inch beyond the edge of the top, then folded and turned to the front of the quilt and top stitched in place complete with mitred corners.
Conclusion: I am pleased with the final result which is so very colourful and will be ideal for use in the conservatory. I think that this may well be my final large quilt project as there are only so many quilts that one can display. The grand piano already has a ‘wardrobe’ of quilts for each month plus some ‘specials’ for Christmas and Valentine’s Day! In future I will continue with quilting but it will probably be much smaller projects and maybe some clothing – I have a hankering for a patchwork quilted jacket!
Project #27 completed 27th June 2022