Monday, February 6, 2012

Inspired to finish more!

I bought Margarita McManus's excellent book

Finish (almost) Any Quilt: A Simple Guide to Adapting Quilts to Finish As You Go (Volume 1).

I had done one quilt by this method just before Christmas, using Margarita's instructions on her blog. The technique was so easy and so helpful, that I wanted to get the whole picture from Margarita's book. I am very pleased that I did -lots of good helpful tips and tricks.I experimented with buying it on my Kindle. The pictures are only in black and white in the model I use, but the descriptions are clear. I had thought I could read a book I had purchased in this format on any other device, but this one is locked, so I can't read it on my computer to get the colour pictures.

Edited to add: I have found Margarita's videos on youtube which means that I can see the techniques she writes about in the book.

I have been making scrappy strippy blocks to use up some of the scraps in my scrap drawers, before getting down to making a couple of special quilts. I really like scrappy quilts. Quilting fabric is costly, and of course I want to get the maximum benefit from the fabric I have in my stash. I hate waste, and I like being able to use left overs from other quilts in a new quilt. Of course, quilting has a strong tradition of using scraps!

There are two other reasons I like making scrappy quilts. One is that I find them very relaxing -the business of making 'fabric' by sewing random pieces together is a great way for me to 'warm up' to more exact quilting projects. I like 'mile a minute' blocks which I use as 'leader/ender" pieces -also saving me all of that cotton thread which I used to waste.

The other is that the scrappy quilt has its own kind of charm- there is a serendipitous result from mixing fabric scraps in new ways.

The scrappy strippy blocks were just any length pieces of fabric measuring 2.5 inches which I sewed together, then cut on an angle to make the blocks.

I tried out an orange fabric for the block edges and I liked it.

Then I had an idea for making the little log cabin scrappy squares into bigger squares, for a sort of subtle 'panel' in the middle of the quilt..

This is as far as I have got today. Now the fun part starts. In this method, I make 'quilt sandwiches" of each little block, quilt them together and only THEN does the quilt get sewn together. It is much easier to manage the little squares on a domestic sewing machine, which is often the thing which puts quilters off finishing their quilts at home.

Once this quilt is finished, I have a cot quilt to make for my first granddaughter who is due in May, and I have had a great idea for a quilt with a lot of memories for someone special too. So I am hoping to keep working on this scrappy one and finish it in the next two weeks at the latest. Wish me luck!

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