I know, I know, I just finished a big quilt. I’ve loved the Storm at Sea pattern for longer than I can remember; earlier this year I vowed to make one. Your lovely comments on the Drunkard’s Path quilt inspired me to start this one, especially the comment from Karin:
” All this perfection in quilts is a new thing…I don’t think any one in the 30s or 40s considered themselves “a quilter” or expected the perfection we do now. My great grandmother would have been boggled by a quarter inch patchwork foot and the like. She just stitched things together by hand slowly and wonkily in the increasing free time of her old age.”
Hey, that’s right!
I like the waves around the edges on this version of Storm at Sea, though mine will be every color of the ocean.
I have piles of scraps, recently sorted by color. Here’s my blues and whites/creams:
Many of the smaller scraps come from my last two finished quilts. I was trying to be a “quilter,” so tried to carefully match fabrics and overbought. My cutting was wasteful of time and fabric. How did my quilting become an exercise in excess rather than an homage to thrift?
My sewing corner looks like someone puked scraps all over every surface. I decided to use apparel fabrics as well as “proper” quilting cottons from my scrap bin. I have linens, hemp, jersey, silks, some seersucker from a dead blouse and I’ll sneak in some of the cord scraps from my WW2 jacket. Rule: Don’t use the same fabric twice in each block.
I’m using a lightweight fusible cotton woven interfacing to stabilize the wiggly, stretchy or delicate fabrics.
How to make so many perfect little triangles and squares, with best use of fabric, and not have to cut each piece individually? English Paper Piecing, of course. I used the Quilter’s Cache printable templates, modified. My small corner squares have an extra row of triangles. I stacked some newsprinty paper under the template and stitched along the template lines with an unthreaded needle- easy and effective way to make 8 foundation templates at a time.
A friend gave me this hilarious white whale fabric, perfect for the centers of the big blocks, don’t you think? I made sure to center the whales inside the square and pinned.
I grabbed a piece of off-white linen at random, put it up against the whale fabric and stitched along one of the lines of my template using a smaller than usual stitch. The smaller stitch makes it easier to tear.
I folded away the paper along the seam line and used a ruler to trim the seam allowance to 1/4″.
I opened out flat and pressed. Then I grabbed another piece of fabric for the bottom of the whales- that is, opposite where I just stitched.
It happens to be a slub knit cotton. I needed to trim it down a little bit, so the extra fabric wouldn’t interfere with other seams.
I positioned a piece of silk (Drunkard’s path leftovers) face down on the whales, flipped it over, and stitched the seamline along my perforated guide. Once you get the hang of paper piecing, it’s pretty brainless.
Another Drunkard’s Path reject.
All the “whites,” next the blues:
Opposite corners first. I trim the whites along what will be the next seamline, then position the blues, then trim the blues.
Oh boy, this will take a while. I have an old thermal 100% wool blanket with the binding falling off- perfect for batting. If I can get away without buying a backing, this will be a “free” and frugal quilt- making good use of tiny bits of material and a throwaway blanket.
Aside from pleasing my inner skinflint, I’m overjoyed to begin working on a project I’ve dreamed about literally for years and years. At the moment, I’m not finding the same joy in apparel sewing. It feels like work; perfectly understandable under the circumstances. Don’t worry, I’ll need to start dabbling in dressmaking again soon, if for no other reason because I want to use the scraps!
Also, one of my quilting teachers told me to wash my Drunkard’s Path quilt, dry it, and steam it to remove the ripples. She said it will come up like a dream. I might try it when I wash it, but I won’t go out of my way.
Thoughts? Do you find the completion of a big projects spawns similar new projects? How do you use scraps?