Awhile back I started sewing scraps together with the simple intention of making either a top or “fabric” to add to a top. Oh, my it’s been a fun process… but never completely under my control. I had once made a quilt with squares and would-be squares of my favorite scraps (the banner on the home page is a detail of that quilt). One problem I had with that quilt was that I put it aside for while, and my stash evolved. It was hard to pick it up again, so I didn’t for a long time, and then decided it was big enough…
This time there aren’t many squares. Instead the top is all pieces I made, pieces I had, and pieces I had cuz I made them. Leftovers and whatnots…. a quilt for an inveterate doodler. At last! I guess this one’s for me.
I started the project after reading Sunday Morning Quilts, by Amanda Jean Nyberg and Cheryl Arkison. Like most “quilt erotica” (I used to call it quilt porn, but the image was too distracting) Sunday Morning Quilts is full of happy quilts — apparently made effortlessly by happy people. It’s just one more book to make normal people envious… except that this book starts with a section on sorting and keeping your scraps, snippets, strings and selvages for use. Perfect for me, a kid who still thinks her mother fed a family of seven on delicious leftovers — 7 nights/week.
The photo above is good enough to give you an idea of what’s been going on, and OH MY it’s been fun. The fabrics are all out of my stash… there are scraps from other projects old and new, scraps inherited from friends. There are scraps that grew spontaneously in my baskets at night like the gold thread in the Rumplestiltskin story. Now I have to decide how to finish it.
So this is a detail of the next one. So far it’s just squares — blocks 4 squares wide by 4 squares tall, made with 3 1/2″ (3″ finished) squares, in a lighter palette. You can see that I’m still having trouble with following my own rules, but again – so much fun.
While I don’t intend to put this quilt away for years (as my stash evolves some more), I have developed a method to keep the scraps and palette more consistent across the piece. I’m slowly but steadily collecting the 3 1/2″ squares and their friends in a pile while I work on other things. I make the squares into larger blocks now and then, but I’m careful to always leave a number of squares in that pile. As I build 6 1/2″ or 12 1/2″ blocks I reserve some of those, too. At the risk of continuing the cooking analogy — I think of this as a sourdough starter method, or maybe it’s stone soup. Put some in, take some out. Maybe when there are leftovers I’ll add them to the next project. Voila, continuous leftovers, and no refrigeration necessary.