What I did at the weekend


I love Bank Holidays because I don’t feel so guilty about spending a chunk of time in my workroom.  I started off today making a quilt for a new baby, but it went horribly wrong when I rather overestimated my ability to machine quilt it.  I decided to cut my losses and just work on something I wanted to do, so I turned to a project which I have had  on the go for a little while: a very liberated and scrappy log cabin quilt.  This is the same idea as the emergency project we have in my small quilting group, the Saint Andrews Quilters, where we have a bag of one inch strips which we pick at random to make up the blocks.   I stopped with four ‘logs’ on each side, but I am terrible at doing this neatly and always going in the same direction.

I wanted to do something using printed commercial fabric.  I started quilting because I loved cloth so much – and this was the seventies when there were some ‘challenging’ prints.  So, the afternoon spent chopping the fabric up and then sewing it together again was a real treat for me.

I once heard a professional quilter say that if you want a scrap quilt you have to use scraps.  So, I include a lot of fabric I really don’t like but which I seem somehow to have acquired and mix it in with the good stuff.  These blocks really are better the scrappier they are.  So I put in some very old-fashioned-looking peach fabric and some skull and crossbones, as well as a ditsy pink flower print.  I bought some orange on beige fabric for the quilt, which is not in the spirit of it, but I knew that it would be a sparkle fabric and I think it is.  Given that my stash is almost all blue, I wonder why there is so little of that colour in the blocks so far.

The other surprise was that I spend most of my time at work challenging the idea that rational processes are always the best way to organise, but I found myself trying all sorts of things to develop a quick way of doing the blocks.  In the end, I just started to stitch complete blocks, one at a time, just for the fun of seeing the finished pieces emerge.

So, I had a lovely time, and in about fifteen years no doubt I shall have a lovely bathmat size quilt.



5 thoughts on “What I did at the weekend

  1. I much prefer the type of random quilting that uses scraps to the kind where someone has obviously spent a fortune on shiny matching fabric, random always seems to have more meaning somehow, and looks warmer.

  2. I love genuine scrap quilts. They can be so personal and tell a tale of the quilt maker than more polished, matchy-matchy designs.
    I came across your blog purely by chance, through a comment left on the Craftivist site. Really interesting and engaging.

    1. the one that mght be lemons is fairly horrid, but its toned down by being mixed in. Do you get medeival clothing and textiles? vol 8 had an article about an italian medieval patchwork cushion, made by the niece of a bishop (if I remember rightly) and put under his head in his coffin. it was made from the teeniest little one inch scraps of stuff, and some were from old garments because she’d used the eyelet holes as a decorative feature

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