Holy crap. I finished a queen-sized quilt!
I’ve been thinking about scraps all year long, as many of you know. At this point, I think scraps make up more than half of my stash by volume. When I was going through some of my knit scraps making So, Zo undies I realized that I was keeping scraps for quilting but I don’t quilt that much!
It was time to justify all that hoarding. I appealed to the mistress of Sewing Dares herself, Gillian, to sign me up for a scrap quilt. Initially I was thinking of a lap quilt size but decided to go all out and make quilt for our bed as our other quilts were looking shabby. I picked all of the blue, white and purple scraps out and started to play around.
I had trouble starting, and I realized it was because I wanted to maximize my scrap yardage so much that it was preventing me from making any design decisions. I also love the look of irregular quilts, which didn’t help. I finally settled on making horizontal “blocks” that went the width of the quilt, which made it easy for me to measure my progress on the quilt top.
I made all of the strips and then played around with the arrangement. I settled on placing the lighter fabrics towards one corner and the darker ones towards another, with the goal of adding a bit of harmony to the irregular rectangles.
The look can change completely depending on whether the light or dark side is at the top.
The quilted lines are 1″ apart. I marked lines every 4″ on the quilt back, which was a solid color. I sewed those first and then used the guides that came with my walking foot to sew every 2″ and then 1″. That’s eighty-eight 108″ lines, and I was definitely counting.
I reorganized my sewing space, mashing my cutting and sewing tables together so the quilt wasn’t falling on the floor.
I used up some of my favorite scraps, including a shibori linen piece that I dyed. You can also see scraps from two shirts I made Nathan (the gingham and the western shirt), hanging out together!
I was considering piecing the backing as well but just couldn’t face it. And the fact that I found 110″ wide organic cotton sateen on sale at Organic Cotton Plus was just too tempting – I wouldn’t have to sew a single seam on the backing. I used the Bering Sea color, also seen on Lucky Lucille. I bought 4 yards and had enough to make a 1″ double-fold binding, with some left over.
Just for fun, here’s a picture of the first “quilt” I made in 2009. Wow, have I learned a lot since then! The only thing these two quilts have in common – aside from being scrappy – is the blue and white fabric in the middle.
The only real quilting on this blanket is some random cross-hatched stitching. I wouldn’t mind donating this quilt as I really dislike the colors I chose, but I’m impressed with my beginner-sewing chutzpah for making it!
Orson hopped on the bed the moment I started documenting the quilt, so here are some gratuitous kitty photos.
He’s generally interested in any cloth that ends up on the ground, and was a nuisance during many of the construction stages. Given how willingly he modeled for this photo shoot, I’ve forgiven him completely. How could I stay mad at that little face?
My other thank-you is to Nathan, who read one of my favorite books – The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami – aloud to me as I sewed. (Also, Nathan never raced around on the quilt top when I was trying to lay it out.)
When I finished the quilt, the first words out of my mouth were “I”ll never make a quilt this size again!” Thirty minutes later, I was thinking that a whole-cloth quilt with less quilting lines would be really nice to have. I remember having a similar reaction after I’d run a half-marathon – a feat I have yet to repeat – so we’ll see if I make another one. I will say that I’m really, really excited to get back to sewing garments.
I shall return on Wednesday with the button winners!