Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Saturday Sewing

Image result for vortex quilt amandajean nybergI've started a new quilt top. It's somewhat like  AmandaJean's "Vortex" quilt. However, I've made other quilts that use only scraps in them.

It's just a matter of sewing lots of scraps together. I tend to make sheets about the same size then sew those together to make larger sheets. "Murky Waters" is a good example of my process.

"Murky Waters" Mary Marcotte 2016 A scrap quilt in beige, tans, browns like the water in the bayous near my Louisiana home. www.fleurdelisquilts.blogspot.comWhat I have under my needle will be more colorful since I'm using scraps from every bucket in the closet.

Most of the scraps are some were cut into 2½" strips. Those too small to be a strip turned into blocks. I have lots of strips! My plan is to use any extra 2½" strips for binding once the quilt is finished.

I'm stopping right here to define/explain my process and define scrap, slip, sheet and script. Those are the words I use in this process. First I sew small pieces together. I just keep sewing and sewing small pieces. Generally I try to match the sizes of two pieces but I might sew two small pieces to a larger piece without cutting anything--that comes later. 

When I have (about 25? 46? 97? I don't know) enough to be tired of this process, I take the whole thing and go to the iron. Press open to the darker side. Snip them apart and trim really jagged edges with scissors, take them all back to the machine. Now I sew them into slips of fabric. A slip is a small piece of joined scraps. Imagine that you tear a piece of paper to write a note. That's the size of a slip.

Okay so we have lots of slips, go to the iron and press, snip, trim using the iron and scissors. Important note: from this point onward, I look at the number of seams and press away from the side that has the most seams. The idea is to reduce bulkiness. 

I start joining slips into sheets. If two pieces are close in size, I may add a long scrap to the smaller one, then come back to sew them together later. It's not a big deal if they don't match up perfectly. Sew, sew, sew. Sew some more. Use up all the scraps and slips if possible. (It never is, but we can hope.)

By now you have the routine: sew scraps into slips. Sew slips into sheets. Sew sheets into scripts. (See what I did there? All writing words from an English teacher.) But I add a step at the end. After pressing the sheets, I take them all to the cutting table and cut one edge using my ruler and rotary blade. A square edge makes sewing sheets together much easier. I try to avoid having parallel seams on the edges as they can get sewn into the seam and cause bulkiness. 

Okay, so we have scripts. Hopefully many of them. I press and trim, then cut all four sides of a script into get squares and/or rectangles of uniform sizes. Sometimes "uniform size" means only two will match. Finished scripts go on the design wall so I can look at how they will fit together. Once there enough for a quilt, sew them together and there's a top.

So far, I have quite a few nice sheets. It's going to take many more sheets to get the queen size that I'm dreaming of. It's one of those I-don't-have-any-idea-why quilts. I think it's just to get back into the quilting groove. 

So on Friday I started sewing scraps together, just to be able to sew. On Saturday I started making sheets about 10" x 10"--give or take. Then had an idea for how to use them. On Sunday I woke up to another idea that I liked better. So I ripped out a few seams and started over. It's Tuesday and I don't like the pattern or the colors. However, I've got to stop this wishy-washy business and do something. To that end, I'm just going to keep sewing more scraps and slips and sheets and scripts. Something's bound to happen. Right?


Sherry said...

Hey Mary!

With all the bru-ha-ha in cyber world I don't know if you will see this comment. . . but I know that I wrote it! LOL

It is so funny that you should show what you are doing with your fabric pieces. Last week, while hubby & I were on vacation, I decided that I was going to sew up scrap blocks using the fabrics in my scrap bucket.

So, I had pulled out some pieces and started doing, well, basically what you are doing.

Last night I went through my scrap basket. . . .and separated out all the strips and cut pieces of fabric; there was quite a number of larger pieces of fabric so they went into a different container.

I just started mindlessly sewing pieces together. . . and came up with a plan. I will be making 6 1/2" blocks of this "made" fabric with the intention of making a charity quilt.

I'm thinking that I will need about 72 blocks. . . and I hope that there are enough scraps in that bucket to "get 'er done" without having to make more scraps right away.

Funny how there is nothing original in the world of quilting any more! LOL

Have a great day,


Karen S said...

This is always such a great way to use up scraps. And the end result works. Always a lovely surprise. Good luck.

Kaja said...

This is a good way to get yourself sewing. Don't use the seam ripper - challenge yourself to figure out a solution from where you are. Mind you, I'm one too talk; every so often something doesn't work how I want it to and I get so frustrated I don't even unpick, I just slice straight up the seam with a rotary cutter!

Mary at Fleur de Lis Quilts said...

I agree Sherry, but then a hundred years ago women were mindlessly sewing scraps together. The real difference is that they weren't buying yardage for quilts. I suppose that a good thing or idea lasts through the years simply because it starts out good.
I've come to appreciate so many things just because they outlast individuals. Then, of course, other individuals are the ones who keep it all going.
We need to hold on to the good in this world and every good thing needs us.

Mary at Fleur de Lis Quilts said...

I think you've figured it out, Karen. I love the surprise when I press the fabric. I don't really pay attention to what's happening until that point. So, yes, a lovely surprise!

Mary at Fleur de Lis Quilts said...

Hey, I use the rotary cutter method, too. Why use a seam ripper except when you need every tiny thread of the scrap?
That said, if I'm to challenge myself to leave every seam in, I'll have to lose a few tools.