Monday, March 5, 2012

A scenic view!

This is the view from my sewing machine today.  Many of you saw me piecing these tumbling blocks at the Farmpark Quilt Show this past weekend.  I have a long standing reputation for working on "something" during shows and this old project surfaced last week when I was tidying up my 2 1/2" strip box. 

One of the best modifications I've made to my sewing room over the past few years is to make this workwall larger and put it directly across the room from my sewing machine -- every time I look up from the machine, there it is!!  And because I'm always looking at it, I find that solutions and decisions come much faster as I work through a quilt -- that's good!  The faster the decisions come, the more I get done.

I've just passed the 46 yard mark on my quest -- not bad for two months work!  Over the past couple years, I've turned to my stash for quilt backings rather than buying new yardage.  It seems my small quilts are always just a few inches wider than the standard piece of fabric -- no problem, just slice it once or twice and insert either leftover pieces from the front stitched into a strip or strips of another fabric.  This is the back of my rick-rack quilt made with batiks and those are all the leftover pieces -- notice they are not in my scrap basket never to be seen again! 

Instead of giving away fabric that has become "ugly" during it's long residence in my stash, I set those aside for potential backings.  4 or 5 half yard cuts quickly become a lap robe backing when I stitch them together -- not wide enough?  Add a piece to the right edge of the first one, the left edge of the second one, etc so that when the pieces are sewn together, those seams are staggered from side to side. 

How about all those left overs from a stack of fat quarters used to make the "scrappy" top?  Once I've used them for a quilt, it's unlikely that they will get used again.  So a backing they become!  I stack 5 or 6 together, trim the top and lower edges straight -- you don't even have to know what they measure if they are stacked together because you trim all of them at the same time.  Set them together side by side with the lengthwise grain going vertically -- repeat these rows until you have enough length to finish the backing.  And there you have a backing which uses up between 4 and 6 yards of stash!  Now you can go out and reward yourself by buying a new and beautiful yard of fabric! 

Time to head back up to that tumbling blocks -- it's half way to being a finished quilt top!!

Mary Huey