Back in January, I did a presentation at the guild about scrap quilting. I used to be afraid of working with scraps and doing so really took me out of my comfort zone. I was afraid that the end product would be "muddy" or look like I simply took a bunch of fabric and sewed it together willy nilly with no cares about how it would look in the end. I was afraid that nothing would really work to blend the pieces and I would hate it. In retrospect, I think I just didn't have much confidence in my color choices and wanted to work in "safe" fabrics - meaning all from the same line so I was sure they'd match, or all in Moda Marbles because I was afraid that a print or design might stick out too much.
I really don't know when it happened, but I finally decided to step outside that warm and comfortable sewing room and try my hand at scrappy. I have to say that I now LOVE to work with scraps, although that's not all I do by any means. It really is fun to search my stash for fabrics that kind of go together and see what happens. I think once I made the decision that I needed to get my stash under control was the same time that I started working with scraps. I guess in the long run it doesn't really matter when or why I made the change, I just did.
Here's a link to the guild blog that has pictures of my presentation. I showed some of the scrap quilts that I've made over the last couple of years and if you scroll down, you'll see projects from various guild members. There are some really talented people in this guild!
Notice the aprons that Kare and I are wearing? I suggested to the guild that if you look at making a scrap quilt the same way you cook or bake you really can't go wrong. The fabrics are the ingredients and sometimes you need more "spices" (brights, splashes of color, etc.) to give the quilt some kick, and sometimes you need to add some more "vanilla" (plain or blender fabrics) to keep the peace and make the other fabrics play nice together. :-)
See the block on the wall behind me? Everyone that was in attendance at the meeting did a mock up of that block. They were all given a diagram of the blocks and then took a handful of fabrics and had to temporarily glue them in place. I took them home to sew them into a quilt.
Following is a pictoral view of the steps I took in the making the quilt from the mock up blocks by the members. First are the bowls of fabric from which the members grabbed. They were not allowed to pick specific pieces of fabric, just a handful or two.
Here's a sample of the block with fabrics added. Ok, really it's an EQ6 colored version of the block, but you the pictures.
After I sewed all the blocks, I started playing around with possible layouts on the design wall. Here's the first potential layout. All blocks were set side by side with no sashing or alternating blocks. There were a couple of things I didn't like about this layout. First, the quilt would be way too small for my liking and I really didn't want to make a bunch more blocks. Also, I think that there was just too much going on here. My eyes didn't know where to rest and I just didn't feel the love. :-)
Next I tried adding sashing - white and black. The white was really just spaces left between the blocks, but it didn't matter because I didn't like it anyway. The black was fabric that was left over from a backing fabric from a recent quilt.
But, again, it just didn't too anything for me. To me it looks like I didn't know what else to do, so I added sashing and hoped for the best. BORING! Plus it's still too small. I will say that I like the black better then the white, but something was missing.
I decided to add a narrow black border to all sides of the block, add a plain alternating block and set the the blocks on point. Afterall, what have I got to lose? I'm just putting them on the design wall and can take them down if I don't like them.
BINGO! I like this. In keeping with the scrappy theme, the alternating blocks and side setting triangles are scrappy. Even though it's not the perfect size, it's still decent and can be used for a lap quilt or on top of a twin bed without much, if any overhang.
Here's the completed project. Pieced, quilted and bound - DONE, DONE, and DONE!
Here's what I used for the backing. Again, something from my stash. I think it works well with the front, don't you?
One other really cool thing is that I even pieced together the batting for this quilt. I had some large pieces left over from other projects and when I realized that absolutely everything else in this quilt was from stash, I knew I couldn't just cut off a new piece from the bolt or open a package.
So there you have it. My totally stash and scrappy quilt! I showed the completed project at the February guild meeting. (Again, scroll through the entire post and see some of the wonderful works of various guild members. Outstanding!)
I think I surprised some people. Besides that fact that the quilt was done, I know that many of them thought the finished project would be quite ugly because they just randomly placed fabrics and had no idea of how it could all work together. They may not love it, but I don't think they hate it.
Mission Accomplished! :-)