Queen quilt

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!

crabandbee.com | scrap quilt

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.

crabandbee.com | scrap quilt

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.

crabandbee.com | scrap quilt

The look can change completely depending on whether the light or dark side is at the top.

crabandbee.com | scrap quilt

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.

crabandbee.com | scrap quilt

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!

crabandbee.com | scrap quilt

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.

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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.

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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!

crabandbee.com | scrap quilt

Orson hopped on the bed the moment I started documenting the quilt, so here are some gratuitous kitty photos.

crabandbee.com | scrap quilt

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.)

crabandbee.com | scrap quilt

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!

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45 thoughts on “Queen quilt

  1. Amazing job! Your quilt looks so great – I love the colour placement and random-ness. And I think your Nathan is a keeper – reading aloud! What a treat.

  2. It’s gorgeous!!!! And so very, very you! You did such a great job of picking harmonious indigo blue prints, and it’s beautiful. You’ll be using that for years!

  3. This looks lovely! I really like how you used up all your scrap pieces yet made it look like a cohesive, planned thing.
    I’ve made two queen size quilts so far and every time I swear I’ll never do another one… at least for a couple of years until I forget the whole process.
    What a splendid man to read aloud to you. Sounds like he’s a keeper.

  4. that is a beautiful quilt! i love the colors, it certainly reflects your style. i have loads of fabric scraps… some day i’ll get to doing this also!

    1. Thanks, Lisa! I’ll bet you’d have a fun time putting together your scraps and I could see you doing a great job mixing bold prints and bright solids (based on what I’ve seen of your sewing projects!)

  5. What a lovely quilt! Great to make something from scraps that looks so stylish and expensive. I’ve got some of that same organic sateen waiting to become quilt backs, too.

  6. Congratulations. That is quite the project! I think it turned out really well. Looks really professional. And yes, cats tend to want to interfere with anything we are trying to do for ourselves. Good thing they’re cute!

  7. Holy crap indeed! – what an achievement. I am in awe at its loveliness. Imagine what something like this would cost in some trendy homewares store – and you have the satisfaction of having made it yourself.

  8. It looks so beautiful. And Orson is so damn cute! I always have a feline ‘helper’ too – I even found some of her fur knitted into my crappy lattice sweater as I unravelled it!

    1. I passed along the compliment! Nathan very kindly swept before I laid out the quilt on the ground but I’m sure there’s some fur in that quilt…

  9. That is an AMAZING quilt! I love the blues and your very accurate lines. Bet you were seeing double at times! I think it’s very loving of your husband to read to you while you were sewing it – you will always have that lovely memory. I listen to Radio 4 a lot while I’m sewing (and doing housework), it’s a UK talk station with news, current affairs, plays and book serialized on it and it really helps get me through some of the more mundane stuff. Also – bonus, your quilt makes a great showcase for your beautiful cat 😉

    1. Double, quadruple… yep! My walking foot guides really, really helped keep the lines straight without having to mark everything. Orson really is a show-stopper, isn’t he?

    1. Do it!! I’ll bet you’d come up with something stunning. I’m no quilting expert but I think starting with something small-ish like a baby quilt is a good way to test the waters. I started with that full-size beige situation and then scaled back to two baby quilts before trying this one. Also, if you’re going to machine quilt, definitely have a walking foot on hand!

  10. Pretty impressive Morgan, and way to stash bust. Love the scrappy look of the quilt and the colours you chose go so well together. While it’s a bit of a pain to quilt something so large, just think of how warm and cozy you’ll be under it!

    1. Thank you, Heather! That is the highest compliment. I also thought I’d have a ton more room in my scrap stash but I think it just went back down to normal – all the scraps fit comfortably instead of being crammed in! It’s really nice to not have that batting taunting me when I stare at my fabric, though.

  11. Wow! This is just gorgeous! You’ve definitely got my wheels turning as I stare at my scarily large pile of scraps!! I love the irregular pattern and the blue and white color scheme! Also, your kitty is a looker, and your man is a winner (reading aloud while you quilt?!? Be still my heart!!)

    1. I’ve passed along the compliments to both the kitty and the man! I’ll bet you’d make a gorgeous quilt. If I hadn’t been in such dire need of a quilt, I think it would have been a fun project to piece together more gradually.

  12. Wow, this quilt is beautiful! My first quilting attempt was a t-shirt quilt, which in retrospect was actually a pretty difficult project to start with.

    I’d love another post about the binding and quilting techniques you used!

    1. Hi, MissPHD! A t-shirt quilt sounds pretty challenging, not to mention heavy! I’m impressed. I’ll write up some notes on construction soon 🙂

  13. Wow, that is a stunning quilt! I like your look of big blocks better than the quilt patterns I’ve seen. It just seems more calming and clean/modern. I’ve been saving all of my scraps with plans to make make a quilt one day, but I don’t think my scrap bin is quite full enough yet, or nearly as cohesive as yours seems to be!

    1. What really helped round out the quilt was a sheet I’d gotten from the Goodwill for muslins and a chunk of thrifted navy quilting cotton – that seemed to tie everything together! Please do let me know if you need scraps of a certain color. I’ve got more than enough!

  14. I’ve had quilts on my mind too! Yours is stunning – I gravitate toward the same colors, though knowing me a lot if grey would be added 🙂 Amazing job, Morgan!

  15. The quilt came out GORGEOUS!!! I love the color and pattern and really dig the texture. Plus, very handsome model you’ve recruited! (And I very much enjoy picturing Nathan scampering across a bunch of quilting blocks.)

  16. Wowee. I’m impressed that you had so many good-looking scraps that complement each other so well! I can hardly put together a matching outfit from what I’ve made, much less a matching queen-sized quilt. Great job! It’s lovely.

  17. Oh my gosh, it’s amazing!! I have had a plan to make a blue and white quilt for our queen size bed for over a year now (to go with those pillows I made while I was in labor 🙂 You sure you don’t just want to pass this quilt along to me so you can make your whole cloth one?! 😉 Ha! It is really well done. Love the kitty photos, too.

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