Monday, August 17, 2015

Scraps & Strings

Since my scrap bins have become sort of overwhelming, I decided I needed to do something to reduce the volume (note that I have two other bins just like this one, plus a large basket). I found a set of blocks under my ironing table that I started a few years ago--sort of like log cabin blocks, but with strips sewn on only two sides. The nice thing about the blocks is that they don't require a foundation--you don't have to sew them to paper or muslin--and they don't require any background fabric, unlike some other traditional scrappy patterns. The center squares are actually made from leftovers from other projects. This results in maximum scrap usage.

This is my first layout, on the diagonal. I call this one "Dragon Scales." I did buy some royal blue Kona cotton for the border triangles, but almost all of this quilt is straight from the scrap bin.

This quilt is a twin XL size. The layout in the photo is missing two or three rows on the top. It was so long it was too tall for my design wall--the ceilings are only 8 feet in my studio! However, I quickly realized that an extra-long twin quilt wasn't even beginning to make a dent in the scrap pile, so I continued to make blocks. This is layout number two:

This one is called "Floating Squares." I added blocks with red corner-squares to the yellow-orange ones for variety. I really like this series of quilts, these blocks have a lot of energy and are easy to make. They finish at 7", which seems to be a good size for the scale of my strips. I am continuing to make blocks for layout number three, because I really have a lot of scraps left. In keeping with the goal of using up what I already have, I have pieced a backing of horizontal stripes for the "Dragon Scales" quilt from quilt fabric I had in my fabric stash. I tend to buy lots of smaller cuts of many fabrics rather than large amounts of a single fabric, so I rarely have enough of any single fabric for quilt backings. I was pulling out some possibilities for the backing for the "Floating Squares" quilt and think I found a winner:

This is great! It's a pre-printed craft panel with ducks on it, probably dating from the late 1980s. My Mom gave me a bunch of her fabric last Christmas when she was clearing out the basement in preparation for a move. There are two duck panels that are about to become part of a quilt back, complete with pre-printed instructions for how to construct some kind of goofy craft involving stuffed ducks. I know when I was a teenager I thought these were cheesy and deeply uncool--but now I also think they are funny, so I'm actually looking forward to finding these ducks a new home on the back of a quilt.