Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Finish 2016 - #3, #4 and #5

It's called use it up and get it done!

I am teaching a Panto Basics class this week at the WonderFil Threaducation Centre and I needed to round up some quilts to be quilted by the class participants.  In this class we load up a quilt and have the students quilt a "real" quilt using a selection of Paper Pantograph patterns. 

In my attempt to FINISH in 2016, I wanted to use up some of my scraps.  I am moving towards batiks and hand dyed fabrics rather than prints.  So, the prints are getting used, one way or another.

I started by sorting out my printed scraps.  Some were narrow strips and some were 1/2 meter or more.  I got out 4 bins and threw everything that had a blue, blue/purple or black into one tub. Everything red-pink and a bit of orange went into the 2nd tub.  Everything yellow-brown went into the 3rd tub and all the greens into tub #4.

I started with the green tub.  

I grabbed a couple of strips of fabric and started sewing them together. The great thing here is that seam allowance doesn't really matter as long as it is consistent.

I kept sewing strips together and when I got to the end of one piece, would just cut off the remainder.

 Chain sewing works well.

Here is where I got excited about the process, I just kept sewing and forgot to take pictures!  I added fabric until the piece measured more than my desired block this case I wanted 12 1/2" blocks.

If you are interested in this technique, it goes by a couple of names.  Check out the links for more information.  Mile a Minute and Crumb Piecing

Anything that I cut off the block, was the start of another block.  You'll notice that some of the blocks are very simple strips and others include more involved piecing.  

Once the blocks were all sewn, I laid them out on the floor and rearranged them until nothing really jumped out at me!  I then used a 1/4" seam allowance and sewed them together.  This quilt is 48" x 60" which is a nice size for a cuddle quilt.

I always cut my binding as soon as the quilt top is done.  I have many horror stories of no binding fabric for finished quilts.  So, now I cut my binding strips as soon as the top is done and sew them together and pin them to the quilt top.  They don't get lost that way!

Next up was the backing.  As I was using up my scraps, I pulled the biggest piece of green fabric from the bin.  Not much in that department, so I grabbed the brown from the yellow-brown bin.  I sewed the brown and the green strips together with seams down both sides and split the brown in half.  The backing wasn't big, I had to scrounge more.  

My daughter gave me the green dotted fabric last night when I told her my problem.  So now the backing is way too big, but I'll have plenty to add to my scrap bin when I trim everything up.

The red quilt is much the same thing....way too much backing now, but once it's trimmed I have more to add to my scrap bin!  This quilt measures 45 x 50".  I simply cut 5 1/2" strips.  Sewed them all together (most were not width of fabric cuts) and then cut into 45" lengths.  I arranged them (sort of) into a pleasing arrangement and sewed the strips together.  Super easy.

The Bright Striped quilt measures 48" x 48".  I've had this striped fabric hanging around for a long time.  I cut it into squares and sewed them back together for a simple yet striking quilt.  I had sewn this top a while ago and I think I planned to add a border.  But since I needed something for Thursday, the top is done!  Backing and binding are ready to go.

I plan to add a few photos of the finished quilts later (check back next week or after Easter).

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