From a Shoe Box Full of Scraps
Back in January I bought a lot of fabric from a quilting friend who is moving, and instantly, all my New Year’s resolutions went out the window. Except for one — working with scraps!
I had bought 8 shoe boxes full of scraps from friend Marilyn, sorted by color. I didn’t take the time to study the fabrics at the sale, I just took a quick glimpse in a box or two and grabbed them. When I got them home, I couldn’t believe what a treasure I had gotten. There were lots of pre-cut strips and rectangles, and lots of fat quarters, and even whole yards! To make it even better, my taste in fabric design is a lot like Marilyn’s, and there were lots of scrolling designs and vines, and bright modern florals.
Paper and Plums is a design made of 60 degree triangles, half the triangles being in shades of purple, and the other half in very light neutrals, whites, creams, and grays. I wanted to make a similar quilt, but in a spring time palette of light green and turquoise, with a little blue and yellow.
First you sew the strips together, then cut those long strippy rectangles into 60 degree triangles. I haven’t done triangles before and I never stopped to think that I was going to have to bring 6 points together where the blocks met — and I am really not so good with even matching 4!
There were tips in the book for making sure you had a seam allowance at every corner, so you didn’t lose the tips of the triangles when seaming the rows together. BUT I was reading the e-book on my little Kindle, and the diagrams were in muted colors, and it’s just possible that I was under the delusion that I knew what I was doing, so I didn’t pay attention to the tips (helpful hinty published ones OR quilty triangle ones) until it was much much too late.
I DID read the tip that the cut triangles would have all bias edges, which would make them tricky to work with — spray starch was advocated. So I starched like crazy, but I felt a lot of pressure to get them stitched together quickly.
We really don’t have to discuss the amount of ripping and re-stitching that went on. The important thing is that the top is done!
And now that we know that it is not of good enough quality to donate, we will just put it down to triangle experience, hope for better things the next time, and keep and enjoy this quilt!
I am going to take my time considering what borders to use, and how to quilt this, and in the meantime, I am going to move on to some easier pieces for a while.
I did fill in with a few fabrics I already had, but the great majority of this top came from Marilyn’s scrap boxes. Which I barely put a dent in. I estimate that I used 1/5 of each of 5 boxes, and besides this top there are about 10 extra blocks, and 4 big rectangles sewn from strips (which would provide 8 more blocks). This illustrates how far those scraps can go, and why we can never get them all used up!