Saturday, February 21, 2015

Keeping it real, part the first.

I made a few new years quilting resolutions which I will briefly recap
1. two quilts made from stash only (tops from scraps only), back from stash
2. Submit quilt to Marsala Pantone Quilt challenge
3. Surrender quilt top and back to a long arm quilter

All doable for sure.

My progress so far has surprised me. Happily I might add. I guess I didn't contemplate seriously my scrap bins until now. So here goes- when you make as many quilts as I did in 2014, you accumulate scraps. Especially when you are quilting from inside your head. I save what I think might be usable pieces and I have scrap bins for prints and solids. Since I quilt with both I have a healthy supply of both. BUT could I actually make a quilt with scraps from just my scrap bin?
The answer is yes!
The "Before" working scrap pile. I found a few more solids gray when I cleaned out my scrap bins further. I had already started  piecing (I had a 12 x 20 inch piece going)  when I remembered to take a photo, but I wanted to show my starting point regardless. (One of my last years "resolutions" was to document more, so I'm documenting). Note:  What looks whites are actually very pale grays.
 I did several quilts last year that prominently featured gray. In many shades (perhaps even 50). I got them all out and realized that most were from quilts that used various widths of cut straight of grain strips. And some squares.  I got started by sewing the longer strips together in 2's. Usually in contrasting grays. I didn't have that many longer strips so that lasted for a little bit. Then sewing the shorter pieces together, also in pairs. Until they were done. Then cobbled as many grays together as I could in the improv piecing spirit of the project. I was also lucky to be in the midst of a great, creative Bee called Bee Sewcial, and one of my bee mates (thanks Hillary) sent loads of scraps along with her bee blocks. In that pile of lovelies was several long thin strips of yellow. I used a wee bit of that too!
working in grays and a bit of yellow. (The Bee Sewcial blocks sneak peek on the right)
The gray pile dwindles (not yet vanished/ vanquished) but what I have is not yet big enough for a quilt. (At this point it's probably 30 x 48 and if you know me even a little, you understand that I  like my quilts to be functional, so unless I was making this for my dog, it hadn't yet reached a size I could call done).
So, last year I also made a few quilts that featured whites, off whites and varieties of near white prominently. So, I dug out those scraps and got to work.

I think if you look closely you can see I had all kinds of solid "whites" .  I know for sure there is Kona white, snow and oyster. There is also a RJR solid "white" from the Cotton & Steel collection (I'm pretty sure that had a much more creative name than white for their fabric, but the name escapes me). Who knows what else.  I began piecing the remainder of the quilt top. Like with the grays, I start using the larger pieces first. I had so many, piece of cake.

Throw in the orphan grays and a pit of yellow and of course the "lifeline" in black. Oh, look how far I got with the big pieces! What! no more big pieces. But there is still more to do.

So, little by little the remainder of the "white" scraps are cobbled together and added to the quilt top.

Until the top is done! All with scraps. Not an additional piece cut. And a very real sense of making do. Improv at improv's roots. Short of trimming the larger areas square, there was very little that remained. Nothing to salvage. No more scraps to use. Scrap bin in gray and white truly vanquished.
I really love how all the seams and the fabric variations on the top make this interesting despite it's rather humble and unimpressive origins. I stopped with a top that measured 64x80" because I really had nothing more to use. That's a size I can live with.

Stay tuned for part 2,  The back, the quilting and the reveal. Remember I have NO scraps left and my backs (for the last several years)  are cobbled from those leftovers. I have had several offers of additional scraps from dear quilting friends but I think I NEED to use what I have on hand and no other. I guess if I make another quilt before I get to the back, I could have some scraps to use, but I'm pretty sure the current color palette for my "next" quilt top is not what I have in mind.

Yet, another challenge and I've picked up the gauntlet.

1 comment:

  1. This is such a fun scrap improv project! Very successful foray.


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