Those pretty scraps do accumulate . . .
As recent posts suggest, I’ve been knee-deep in vintage linens. Summer is the perfect time to slog through my bins of old linens, clean them up, iron and photograph them, and get them ready to list for sale.
But as I do this, I’m still finding damaged pieces, the scraps of pretty that led to the making of the first fusion quilt.
I have many, many scraps of loveliness. And more every day, since friends have begun to bring me theirs.
I have the first quilt on a twin bed and it’s perfect, but I have two twin beds . . . and one of them looks quite naked now.
I learned a lot from making the first quilt and like the idea of applying the lessons learned.
So, here we go again!
My scrappy happiness for the coming months will be another fusion quilt.
The basic process is really quite basic.
All one needs to do is cut fabric and batting into squares of the desired size. My squares are all 5 inches, although I cut the batting ¼ inch smaller, to reduce bulk at the edges.
Next, I make stacks composed of a pretty piece, a piece of batting, and a backing—you could use all bright shiny new ingredients but I’m using scraps of batting, scraps of random off-white fabric, and my scraps of pretty old embroidery, fancywork, lace, and damask.
Once the pieces are stacked in the correct order (pretty piece and backing piece need to be right sides together. Don’t ask me how I know this. I just do), I just stitch around the outside, back stitching at the start and end, and leaving a biggish opening to allow me to turn it all right side out.
The process can get more complicated, since I’m using vintage scraps. Sturdy pieces can be done as described but if the pieces are fragile, like a fine old hankie, I reinforce it with fusible web. If a piece has pretty edges or cutwork, it needs a backing piece, so the batting isn’t exposed. This backing might need to be sewn to the pretty piece first. Some need both fusible web and a backing piece.
This old fabric only needed light fusible web to stabilize it
No fusible web needed but a liner in back of the fancywork
Fusible web and sewed to a liner so the pretty edge will show
The layers all get sewn and then turned. This is where I almost lost the will to continue the first time around.
Can this mess be saved?
Poking the corners out helps. I use a wooden skewer but only the blunt end. If you use the pointy end, it can poke through and make a hole in your piece. Don’t ask me how I know this. I just do.
Top stitching and the blanket stitch and crochet I do around the edges will help, too, but I’ll tell you more about the process in months to come. And it will be months—I need 108 squares . . .
(Hover over the photos in the mosaic, if you want a bit more info about the scraps)
A sweet deer from a tattered runner
Perfect hand crochet from a fingertip towel
French knots galore from a torn and stained runner
2 pieces from one hankie
A length of pretty ribbon, 2 ways
Love this delicate hankie!
My progress to date is:
Many scraps of fabric and batting and vintage linens, cut and ready in stacks of 5-inch squares.
11 squares finished to the point of having been sewed and crocheted. I still need to sew the crochet ends in and block the crochet.
12 squares sewn and turned and ready to be top stitched.
ScrapHappy is open to anyone using up scraps of anything – no new materials. It can be a quilt block, pincushion, bag or hat, socks or a sculpture. Anything made of scraps is eligible. If your scrap collection is out of control and you’d like to turn them into something beautiful instead of leaving them to collect dust in the cupboard, why not join us on the 15th of each month? Email Kate at the address on her Contact Me page. She welcomes new members. You don’t have to worry about making a long term commitment or even join in every month, just let Kate or Gun know a day or so in advance if you’re new and you’ll have something to show, so they can add your link. Regular contributors will receive an email reminder three days before the event.
Here are the links for everyone who joins ScrapHappy from time to time (they may not post every time, but their blogs are still worth looking at).
Kate, Gun, Titti, Heléne, Eva, Sue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
Moira, Sandra, Linda, Chris, Nancy, Alys, Kerry (that’s me), Claire, Jean,
Joanne, Jon, Hayley, Dawn, Gwen, Connie, Bekki, Pauline and Sue L.