Thursday, March 7, 2019

What if scenarios for the stash...

It all started with me staring at this:

This is my humble stash.  Not shown are the strip bins in my closet containing ample strips in a variety of widths. For the most part those strips are neglected (moment of honesty!).  I do love scrappy quilts and fully intend on putting them to good use some day.

But the challenge of the week is to use up the yardage on the shelves in the top picture.  It sits at the back of my cutting table and I am constantly reminded that these fabrics, most of which I really love, really don't match with the other fabrics in my stash.  Oh dear!  I usually buy something because I love it, not because I have a plan in mind.   So when you want to use them in a quilt, it makes it a bit more difficult to figure out just what to do with them.

I decided to start here with this fabric.  I don't LOVE it, but I LIKE it for sure.

But what the heck am I going to do with it??

I found these comrades close by and thought that perhaps if I made a column quilt I could cut bigger pieces thereby making a baby quilt quickly and using up a lot of this fabric.  So here's what I did:

Maybe a bit of applique to break up the monotony?

Not liking the heart.  All I see is that the lines in the heart don't match up with the strips.

Better!  This teddy bear fabric brings out the blue and uses up ancient stash/scraps.  Bonus!

And so it kinda went like this:

Quilt top complete

Enough fabric for the backing! Yippee!

Then it was time to load the quilt on Millie and finish this quilt!  I chose a meandering heart pantograph to stick with my theme.  I think it works nicely.

And it's done!  I left the binding for another day.  This quilt accomplished a few things in my studio:

1.  I used up some of my STASH!!  I do have a bit left over which I now don't mind chopping into strips and squares for the scrap bins.
2.  I made a baby quilt in a day (from concept to quilting).  Cutting big pieces was the key.  And I used my GO cutter and heart die with steam a seam lite to do the applique.  I then stitched around the hearts and inserted these blocks into the alternate strips.
3.  I had a great feeling using my stash and it did kind of release what was bogging me down so the end result was FREEDOM!

If you would like to make this quilt with some floundering stash, here are the directions.  Free that stash!  Free yourself!  Make a quick quilt to give away.  You will feel good!

You will need:
 4 x 4 1/2" strips by width of fabric of focus fabric (my striped one) (approx 44").  It doesn't need to be striped.
7 x 2 1/2" strips of a lighter coordinating fabric by width of fabric.
3 x 2 1/2" strips of a medium/dark coordinating fabric by width of fabric.
6 x 4 1/2" squares in the lighter coordinating fabric for applique.
6 appliqued shapes of your choice cut from a scrap of another coordinating colour.

Start by joining one light strip to one strip of focus fabric for the left and one light strip to one strip of the focus fabric for the right.  These actually create the side borders of your quilt.

Now make three strip sets with one light and one medium/dark fabric.

Lay out your fabrics as follows but DO NOT sew them together.  Note that the position of the light and dark fabric alternate to frame the focus fabric.

Layout: Left focus fabric, one strip set with light on the left, focus fabric, one strip set with  dark on the left, one focus fabric, one strip set with light on the left, the final focus fabric with the light strip on the right.  You are constructing this quilt top in columns. Don't sew them together just yet.

Making sure all the tops are even, measure down 12 1/2" and slice the strip set to insert the first applique block.  Sew the top and bottom of the applique  square making sure that you don't mix up the order of the strip sets.  Space them second cut another 12 1/2" from the bottom of the applique and repeat the slice and insert of the second applique block in your first column.  This will be the same procedure for the third column of strips/applique.

For the second column of strips I cut 6 1/2" from the top to stagger the placement of my applique block, and then 12 1/2" from the bottom of the first applique in that column.  Once your applique is done and inserted into these strip sets, you can now sew your columns together.  You will have extra strip set fabric at the bottom of the quilt which can be chopped off to match the bottom of your focus fabric length.

Once your quilt top is together with the side borders already attached, it's now time to add the top and bottom strips to complete the borders.  Measure through the middle of your quilt top and then cut the remaining 2  2 1/2" strips into two strips at that measurement.  Now ease in those strips to the top and bottom of your quilt top and voila baby quilt!

You can hand applique down your pieces;
You can omit applique and fussy cut a pattern from other fabric to insert.
You could make scrappy columns to use up strips that coordinate (hmmm why didn't I think of that earlier!!??)
If you machine applique your blocks, you can either use a raw edge and just sew them down with a straight stitch, a button hold stitch or a blanket stitch (which is what I did).

Here is my finished quilt (except for the binding to be sewn down).

Until next time, I encourage you to go look for a treasure in your stash and try this!  It's fun and quick. :)