Monday, May 2, 2011


I am frequently asked if I find the current pricing on fabrics makes it hard to make up-to-the-minute and inspired quilts.

My response is that if you know where to look you needn’t spend a whole lot on fabric, and free patterns are at your fingertips everywhere on the internet. If you have steeped yourself in traditional design and gathered in your files pictures of many blocks and inspired designs from the past it should be easy to draft a pattern for yourself and to draft one that is at your current skill level.

A case in point: I am an inveterate hoarder of scraps – I make a lot of quilts and buy my backing fabric by the bolt, so when I trim my quilts as I am completing them, I end up with several inches off each side of the quilt, and squirrel that plain ecru muslin away in a bag. Recently this cache has been growing and I’ve been wondering what to do with it .................

Enter a giveaway that the Alma and Barb at Blackbird Design hosted to publicise their beautiful new Moda fabric line – Antique Fair – (what’s not to love with this fabric) and when I won, it was for 4 lovely little 2.5 square sample packs – in total 168 luscious little squares of pretty and colourful fabric.
I did the math and figured I could make 84 four patches – and I could arrange them maybe 9 by 9 and with some sashing, maybe a border, end up with a sweet baby quilt of about 44 by 44 – no cost to me – right?

                               And the most recent line of Blackbird Design too! Win/Win!

You'll note that I'm piecing by hand - my supplies are limited to thread, a needle, a few glass headed pins and a two inch square of template plastic which I keep from project to project in a plastic sleeve for my templates.

I can piece a four patch in just ten minutes and tuck it away and get on with my other paying projects - this method works for me - the piecing is accurate and acceptable the first time round and can be picked up and put away without the time and effort waster of setting up and then putting away my machine.

Being still on dial up (groan!!) I can stitch a seam in the time it takes to load an image-heavy page, so I'm not sitting here twiddling my thumbs!

A big thank you to the gals at Blackbird Designs for that generous giveaway!  
Folks should bookmark this URL and check back often - Alma and and Barb have frequent giveaways and the prizes are always really great!!!

As I make progress I'll post more pictures of this project - I hope to have it ready to present at Quilts at the Harbour Show and Sale, and as well at my studio's series of Pre-Christmas open houses - "A Coastal Christmas"

Bye for now - Janet

1 comment:

Patchmaker said...

That will make a lovely quilt, Janet!
I'm a huge hoarder of scraps, too. I think I'll follow your lead and start a hand pieced scrap project too. Three moves ago, which seems like forever, but actually was only four years, I was on dialup too. I knitted scarves while waiting for screens to change, and gave them away at Christmas. Amazing what you can get done in those little bits of time.