Sunday, 22 March 2009

A credit crunch scrappy quilt - Jelly Roll Crumbs?

A scrappy quilt top in 2 1/2 hours? I'm not obsessed by the whole "quick quilt" idea. This was tidying up! At about 6 p.m., I went into my workroom to tidy up my work table - I bought a plastic insert for my spare A4 "really useful box" and wanted to blitz the assortment of gadgets, threads etc. that usually sits next to my sewing machine. The scraps left over from making the Jelly Roll version of my Super Strips quilt top were among the heap - many too large to consign to being stitch leaders (for doing the first few stitches before starting patchwork, to stop the machine chewing up the start of the seam).

After tidying up the sewing machine feet, bobbins and other bits and pieces, I sat at the machine with a pair of scissors to trim the scraps and just sewed bits together into strips, then made a kind of random Log Cabin panel, adding strips of scraps until it was more or less square, and finger pressing as I went. There were more pieces of the red mini print, including a few long strips, so I used those to create borders, and there were also some strips of diamonds, made when I trimmed the faux mitre corners on the original Jelly Roll quilt top.

I incorporated the fabric range name, designer and manufacturer details by piecing bits of the selvedges (below) - all 21/2in pieces from the Jelly Roll (quilt historians won't have to puzzle this one out, if it survives another hundred years). Once I'd got the centre finished, I pressed it and used the yard of brown miniprint (same pattern as the red) that I'd bought for the binding to make a wide outer border, cutting it into 12in wide strips across the width. I'll use something else to bind the main quilt. There wasn't enough to do the longer border pieces, but that was a good place to use up the very last of the red miniprint (top right and bottom left in first photo).

Old utility quilts were my inspiration but I was also thinking about whether a quilt has to set out to be intentionally beautiful or if it can just be random - that's often where the interest lies in old quilts. OK, it isn't completely random. I placed the selvedge strip and the darker brown prints towards the bottom of the centre panel and softened the corners of the centre square by using the red border fabric in three corners and another red print in the bottom left. I hardly used my rotary cutter, except to cut the 12in wide strips for the outer border! If the piecing looks wavy in the photo, its because the patchwork is hanging over other things on the front of the wardrobe.

My camera takes a better photo when I switch off it's "night time" settings...

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