Wednesday, February 25, 2009

nothing but scraps

Here is what I've been up to lately-- more quilting for men. These are my blocks for the "Nothing but Scraps" challenge. Everyone has a different idea of what constitutes a scrap vs. stash. I say it's a scrap if it's smaller than a fat quarter, and something that has previously been cut by me. I have a hard time throwing away any piece of fabric, no matter how tiny or odd the shape may be, and I have all of these scraps loosely arranged by colour, in those three-drawer plastic rolling containers. It works well for me, especially because they fit under my sewing machine and cutting tables. Even the white for this quilt came from my scrap collection. Here are my 15 blocks. I did some free piecing and then trimmed the blocks to 12.5" square, then added 2.5" white borders. I'm not crazy about long pieces of sashing, and so this is my way around that (this time).Here are some of the blocks laid out on my living room floor, not yet sewn together. I'm not sure what I'll use for the backing. If I'm to stay true to the Nothing but Scraps spirit, I'd sew together my batting scraps for the middle and some of my bigger pieces for the back. We'll see. My 84-year-old grandfather recently fell on the ice and broke a few ribs, so he's recovering at an assisted-living facility (which he hates, naturally). I'm going to surprise him with this quilt. I figured it's bright and colourful, and will hopefully raise his spirits, at least a little bit. My family and culture really doesn't have any sort of a quilting tradition, which is good for me because that means that my family continues to be amused/amazed.

Update: Max got his quilt in the mail, and he was impressed. He called the cheater print a "macho border". He's anxious to use it on his couch-- before, he said, he'd get cold and put on a hooded sweatshirt and smush his feet under his basset hound. The quilt is a much better option.


  1. Love the scrappy quilt.
    I'm really loving wonky log cabins at the moment. I think the white borders on your really work well.
    Andi :-)

  2. Hi VQB buddy! I'm just poking around and checking out everyone's blogs. It looks like we have a great group.

    What a sweet idea to make your g-pa a quilt to cheer him up! I'm sure he'll love it, its really quite nice. I'm a bit of a control freak, so free-piecing scares the heck out of me, but you did a great job! Maybe I should try it...

    In a way, I'm a bit envious of your non-quilting family. My mom is a beautiful quilter, and she's been providing the family with quilts for years. They don't really need any more from me! My baby niece has way more quilts than she needs, which is such a bummer, because I want to make her one! I called dibs on her first big girl quilt though! As soon as she's out of the crib, I'm on it.

  3. This is really fun. love the bright happy colors and the scrappiness of it all.

  4. fun quilts. love your blog name. ha! really? park ave NYC? Hi from a fellow NYC sweatshop/garment center live'r quilter...

  5. I love pieceing with scraps. I am a collecter and hate to throw anything away. In November I decided to just make scrap quilts and purses. I really liked the look. Keep it up girl.

  6. What a great way to store your scraps. I just put all of mine in a big plastic tub, and they'll probably sit there 'til the reading of my will someday!!!! I never seem to get back to my scraps. Not very frugal of me, I confess.

    I'm needing to make some curtains for two windows, and I hadn't thought about doing anything out of the ordinary until stumbling upon your blog and reading your last post!

    Great ideas, and nice blog!

  7. What a nice thing to do for your grandpa- those bright colors can't help but make him smile- I am sure that he will appreciate your thoughtful gesture.
    I have some pails of scraps and some boxes of strips but mostly I have boxes of stash that are sorted by color. I don't throw away my scraps either so it makes for lots of choices to quilt.
    Do come and visit my blog if you would like to- you will find me at
    Regards from a Western Canadian Quilter,

  8. Tonya sent me over! I love the brights there--especially this time of the year. I'm craving color--and if it cheers me up, it's sure to cheer him up!

  9. Oooh..I LOVE scrappy log cabins and these look fantastic! :)