So here we are in another lockdown. So what shall we do? We can’t sit outside to stitch this time around. Let us go through our fabric stashes shall we and see what we can do.
At the end of the year I decided that I needed to have a sort out of my ‘office’ and to go through my stash of embroidery threads and fabrics to try and get some order out of it. I broke the threads down in types, perle 5, silk,perle 8 etc. I know that some of you break them down into colours, whilst they look fabulous, a whole box of blues all in different thread types look delicious. For me that just doesn’t work, I like them all to be the same weight, a box of mixed threads doesn’t do it for me. I get frustrated by having too many boxes to go through to get exactly the colours I need,they must all be together before I start work. They are now sitting happily on the shelf in seperate boxes, muttering away to themselves since I have broken up various friendships I am sure.
Then there was my fabric! Oh my that has taken some time. They were all sorted by colour with background fabrics and batiks in the own boxes but they have got mixed up as I have been pulling bits and pieces out. I have sorted them back into some assemblance of order, this time I have put the larger pieces in one box and have put all the scraps into another.
It’s the scraps that get you, too small to be of much use and too big to throw away. I just need to do something with them all they are taking over and there are several techniques for using up these stray pieces of fabric. Strip piecing is one technique, another way is crumb quilting where you join all your scraps together and recut them into a new block. Then there is confetti quilt, using the tiniest pieces of fabrics to make a collage.
So let’s talk about Strip piecing. I would usually do this on stitch and tear but as I don’t have any at home I have used some fabric that I don’t like for the base of my blocks. My first thoughts were to make a quilt, right now I don’t have the fortitude to begin a new quilt so let’s aim fo a cushion.
I have cut my squares of fabric for the base to 9 inches, I would like the cushion to be 16″, adding seam allowances and enough fabric recut the squares back into shape. Cut four. The blocks will also shrink in size as you piece them and the quilting will make them smaller again.
The fabric scraps can be any width, I have a lot of 2 inch strips but when I made a block with every piece the same width it, it didn’t looked scrappy, so this time I have pieces varying in width from 1.50 inches to 1 inch wide and it has made a lot of difference in the way the block looks.
To Strip piece these blocks Draw a line diagonally on the 9 inch square.
Place one of the strips on the line right side facing you, take a second strip and put it right side down on top of the first strip, lining it up on the edge not against the diagonal line and stitch with a 1/4″ seam allowance.
Continue adding strips to this side of the square.
Then turn the block around and add more strips to the other side. Press and then trim to size.
Mine will 8.50 to make a 16 inch block. Don’t they look good when trimmed back.
I made four of these blocks. Stitched them together and quilted them.
It had been my intention to make them into a cushion but after I had stitched them together I discovered that my sewing machine will fit quite nicely to top of it. So it has become a mat for my machine and I am quite pleased with it. I will now need to bind the edges, so next time shall we do continuous bias binding? Bring a fat quarter and we will have a go.
Here are a few other ideas, not my work so all due credit to the owners, so you can see more of this technique and all from your scrap bag. Have a lovely week, speak soon. Ann x