Friday, 21 January 2011

Using Yellow Offcuts

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 and click on 'Specialist Groups'.

1 comment:

  1. Love your wonky churn dash blocks!! Cheery colors and lots of dynamic movement. I have a visual image of ladies out under a green tree with the blue sky overhead, churning away like mad to make the weekly butter.

    The off cuts turned into bags sounds like a good way to use up these scraps.