Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Fabrications and fabricating

One nice thing which happened during the mayhem of the last few weeks was that I received copies of Fabrications magazine for Jan/Feb and March/April, as I am lucky enough to have quilts featured in both.  Here is a copy of the mags and there follow some of my rather more amateurish pics of the quilts:

The chevron baby quilt (on the cover of the March/April mag) uses the method without half-square triangles which has been around on the internet for a while.  I don't know which genius first invented it or I would credit them, but what I did for the magazine was draft a version which you can make with just one charm pack of 5" squares and 1.25 metres of background.

This version makes a small but acceptable size baby quilt (34" x 47") with only a few 2 1/2" squares left over, and it fits on a single width of backing fabric.  With a bit of luck you might, like me, also find some leftover wadding to use too!

I do love to see just what it is possible to do with pre-cuts.  They have become a part of all our lives since they first appeared and it is hard to imagine life without them. I am often guilty of buying a single Charm pack on a whim and not having a clue what to do with it when I get home.  Am I alone in this?

My other quilt was featured in the Jan/Feb issue and called Sweet Beginnings.  It's a rather different palette than I usually use and quite low-volume.  

I wanted to feature the linen novelty prints and play around with value to give each block a different emphasis.  I also did not want the sashing to detract from what was going on in the blocks, so I used a cream Essex linen and scrap squares for the cornerstones.


OK, so the quilts for the mags were made a while ago, to allow for editorial/publication schedules: what am I fabricating now?  Funny how fabricating nowadays has the sense not of making, constructing, manufacturing, but rather of 'making up' a story or forging a document.  I digress.

Well, rather than finishing any of the many things I have started, I felt in the mood for some serious chain piecing and to spring clean some of my scraps.  I have always wanted to make a Bushel Basket quilt from Edyta Sitar's book, Scrappy Firework Quilts, and now seemed to be the right time....  Right for me in the mood I am in, not necessarily right for the rest of the family who might have preferred me to tackle some actual spring cleaning of the house.

So the weekend was spent in trimming scraps into 1" strips (yes, 1" strips) cross cutting into pairs of rectangles, and chain piecing madly.  I don't consider myself a particularly addictive personality, but this sort of sewing definitely brings out my compulsive side.  The urge to make 'just a couple more' of the dainty 5" (unfinished) blocks and to keep on playing with colour and value was irresistible.  And I didn't even try to resist, with the result that I have now made 101 blocks out of the 144 I probably need.  I say probably because I don't want to make the border featured in Edyta's book, so I may make more blocks and finish off with just a binding.

The great thing about sewing like this, and the reason it appeals to me so much, is that provided you can leave your strips out you can stitch a few strips between other tasks and pick up where you left off really easily, which isn't true of a quilt requiring more complex cutting or piecing.  Also I have enjoyed poking through my stash for odds and ends which I can chop up and add to the mix. Although the strips are skinny it is surprising just how much fabric you can 'tidy away' into a useful scrap quilt.  Very satisfying. 


  1. I LOVE these blocks! Which book can I find the pattern? I have way too many scraps sitting around and this would be a great use of them!

    1. Hi Barb,
      If you look in Edyta's Sitar's book Scrappy Firework Quilts published by Landauer in 2012 it is called the Bushel Basket Quilt. I stitched the blocks together last night and hope to have photos next post. If you love scrappy you will like lots of quilts in the book - it's a good buy.

    2. Thanks for the information! I'll definitely be looking for it! I love her quilts! Right now I only own her triangle exchange book (Not sure of the name). Can't wait to see your quilt!!