Saturday, May 21, 2016

Black & White Scrap Attack

After the guild meeting show and tell, I often get asked about how many hours/day or week that I quilt.  And while I do spend quite a bit of time quilting away in my studio, I've also picked up a number of tricks and techniques to streamline the process and use my time efficiently, making it possible for me to accomplish quite a bit.

While working on my "Confettucini" improv-pieced blocks, I would use the same swatch of fabric folded over to stitch onto between chains of piecing.  As I was positioning this little scrap back under the needle, I saw just how many rows of stitching were on this one piece of fabric and realized that I was missing an opportunity to multitask here.  Instead of wasting stitches and time on this one scrap, I could be piecing together blocks (and lots of them given all these wasted stitches!!)  So I grabbed my bin of 2.5" charms and decided to work towards piecing some Postage Stamp blocks.  I chose one neutral color (ie. black, grey or white) and raided my bin for all the charms that read as that neutral.  Then I made piles of 8 charms that read as one color (ie.  8 yellow charms, 8 orange charms, etc) to create a Postage Stamp block.  Instead of reaching for that one scrap to start/end my chain piecing, a pairing of one neutral and one color charm were pieced together.  By the time I had finished piecing my "Confettucini" blocks, I had also managed to piece 120 units for my Postage Stamp blocks...my only regret is that I did not start this sooner!!  
Auditioning Layout and Additions of 5" Charms
These 120 units were easily pieced into Postage Stamp blocks.  Using the black solids and vibrant colors really provided some high contrast and I was cautious about using them back to back.  So I used them in alternating blocks, laying them out in a gradient from yellow to purple.  I selected some 5" charms to place in the alternating squares and went to work finding a fabric to create frames around the larger charms.  I auditioned three different fabrics to use as my frames and chose the black and white leaves print, which I purchased at the bargain price of $1.50/yard from my guild's boutique!!
Auditioning Background Fabrics for the Frames
With so much pattern and color within the blocks, I chose to keep the quilting simple and turned to the Serpentine Stitch (#4 on most Berninas).  I maximized the width and increased the stitch length to 3.0.  Being a fairly small quilt top, the quilting was completed in just one afternoon!
Serpentine Quilting
A bold black and white stripe was used for my binding.  While it was still in yardage form, the high contrast stripes really messed with my eyes and caused me to become a little dizzy.  But I just kept closing my eyes for relief and felt much better once the 2.5" binding strips were cut.  Oh the pains we endure for the perfect binding!!
What's Black & White, and Super Fun!?!
I am dubbing this my "bonus quilt."  It did not require much time or attention on my part and the vast majority was pieced with leftover scraps!!  And I've made a noticeable dent in my collection of 2.5" charms.  I've been pretty good about keeping a stack of leaders & enders next to my sewing machine for use with chain piecing and have already pieced together enough units for 3 more scrap quilts!!  So be on the lookout for more "Scrap Attack" quilts, each with a very different palette!!
"Black & White Scrap Attack," Finishes 40" x 40"

No comments:

Post a Comment