I have spent a lot of time this week making Churn Dash blocks. The problem with this pattern, especially using the Cut Loose Quilts method, is that you are left with a lot of small pieces of the fabrics used for the Churn Dash pattern. In fact, I nearly decided not to use this design for this reason.
Here are the first few blocks laid out. I have now made nearly forty (I am aiming for at least sixty as I have not finally decided on the size of the quilt and I probably need a few spare ones). There is now more variety in the backgrounds as I have a wide variety of blue and green fabrics for these.
I thought hard about what to do with the leftover yellow strips. Then I realised that I could make 'fabric' out of them. I need something that I can hand stitch, to take on holidays for one thing and for sitting in front of the television. I used to be a keen hand quilter in the evenings but over the last few years this activity seems to have passed me by. Here is a piece that I made a couple of years ago.
This was made from very lightweight fabrics; mostly cheesecloth, scrim etc. that I had dyed and pieces of polyester voile. I mounted them directly onto wadding and a cotton backing. It was good and flexible but in places you can see the wadding (top centre of photo). I stitched it with variegated threads. It took forever! I have never done anything with it and told myself at the time that it was a sample. I loved the rippled effect of the rows of stitching.
My yellow pieces are much heavier than this. In fact I may have overdone it as the fabric has a calico base, then wadding and then a patterned cotton backing and is of course cotton. On top of it all is a layer of net.
However, I am aiming to make bags from them so this means they will be relatively sturdy.
I am using Fine Mercerised Cotton from Stef Francis. This is variegated and I already have a vast collection of different colours. I have decide to change colours from time to time to give more detailand am using some red/pinks in the piece that has red in some of the fabrics. As the second piece does not have any red in the fabrics I think I shall introduce purple as being the complement of the yellow.
My plan is to donate these bags to the Quilters Guild fund-raiser at the Festival of Quilts. Every year there is a fund-raiser organised by one of the specialist groups. Two years ago Contemporary Quilt did Journal Quilts. This year the theme is 'Put 'Em Ins' which means any kind of container. I have already unearthed one or two unfinished or unloved things that are suitable and having a goal for this project will be good. For more details go to www.quiltersguild.org.uk and click on 'Specialist Groups'.