Mar 202013

I’ve been on a piecing binge lately. I should be finishing, not piecing more tops, but I’m on a roll and can’t stop. I’ve been tackling the clutter in my sewing room by turning it into quilt tops! You know the stuff, not quite UFOs but the odds n ends – from lone blocks to half-done sets of blocks to quantities of scrap strips – which you have been ignoring for years or decades.

Now it’s all old fabrics, dull colors, nothing inspiring, not the stuff you work with today. But still usable, just not anything that excites you any more. So – use it up, quickly. Make quilts big enough for lap or bed quilts and donate them to an appreciative charity, and you’ve cleared your sewing room of all that old energy.

And quick, no fuss tops are fun to make. Here are two I made to use up a pile of poorly cut strips:

The first one started with some not-quite-charm squares, or rather, charm not-quite-squares. Then I added the strips until I ran short. I had a little bit leftover but not enough for another round. Because I had 16 blocks (no, I didn’t count them before starting, that would spoil the fun) and wanted to make a twin-size quilt, and wanted to add a little color, I found some green and blue fabric I wanted to use up and cut wide strips. I added those to the top and bottom of each block. Now I could set them in a 4×4 layout and get a rectangle suitable for the center of a twin quilt. Plus the top and bottom strips allowed me to trim the blocks during assembly to make them fit, as they were not the same size (because of my casual sewing).

Then, to avoid ironing many seams over, I decided to use a bit of sashing to assemble it all. Rooting around in my “fabrics for charity quilts” stash unearthed a roll of dark 6 1/2 inch wide strips. I cut 2 inch strips from them (the approximate size of the initial strips that started the blocks). I assembled it four blocks together into four sections, then those put together the same way. After that, a border strip for stability, which will end up an inner border once the quilt is done. I am going to quilt it as is, then add (and quilt) the borders.


But I had a few scraps left. So, starting with the trim from the green and blue used to lengthen the first blocks, I sewed more strips around. First I used up the 2 inch strips, then I dug out the slightly larger golds from my strip basket (which holds trimmings from slicing up yardage). For speed, I wanted wider pieces for the next round, and cut up a bunch of browns (I seem to have a lot of brown fabrics).

Once up on the design wall, I liked it! But it’s square. Could it be a lap quilt? I went and checked the Hopes and Dreams site and yes, the minimum size is 35×44. It was just 40×40, a border would make it big enough, so I added one. I think I like it better without, but I want to donate it so it has a border (not shown).

 March 20, 2013  Posted by at 10:38 am Charity Quilts  Add comments

  One Response to “From Clutter to Quilt, part one”

  1. These are really very nice for old, boring fabrics ;-).
    Congrats on clearing the fabric clutter and making something fresh and new from it!

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