ScrapHappy: Fusion Redux #2

My current scrappy project, a second fusion quilt, will keep me in ScrapHappy posts for months to come!

When I left you last time, we had just turned the squares right side out and were a little horrified at the way they looked.

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Can this mess be saved?

The next step in the project is to pin the opening and sew it closed. You could do this invisibly, by hand, but I have too many crafty plans and I’m not getting any younger so I sew that opening closed on my machine. I figure that, between the blanket stitch and the crochet busyness, no one will notice. And if they do, it’ll give them a chance to feel superior and who doesn’t need that once in awhile?

Then I topstitch around the edge, about a quarter inch in. (You’ll find that precision isn’t terribly important with this sort of quilt because the crochet is so flexible that, if the squares vary a teensy bit in size, it’ll never matter.)

Top stitching can be intimidating, because it shows, being on top and all. But this top stitching isn’t like that. It doesn’t really show because you’ll do hand stitching over it. So worry not.

The purpose of top stitching here is that it serves to plump up the square as the batting is compressed a little.

Another benefit will become apparent when you start to do the blanket stitching by hand. It’s not easy to get the needle through the multiple layers of fabric you have in each square. But, if you plan your top stitch spacing well, you’ll be able to put your needle into the holes punched by your machine needle.

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This makes it a lot easier to sew into the thick edges but you may also want to go a step farther. I use a finger cot on my right index finger. It’s a sort of mini-condom-like thing that gives you a good grip on the needle. You can find them in the first-aid section of the drugstore.

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Practice safe sewing!

I set my machine to stitch at about 8 stitches per inch. I sew on a Singer Featherweight and that 8-stitches-per-inch is a guesstimate. I hear tell that them new-fangled machines allow you to be pretty precise about such things  . . .

If I do 8 stitches per inch and sew the blanket stitch into every third stitch, I end up with about 12-13 blanket stitches around the edge.

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I didn’t do this until I was quite far along on the first quilt so some of my squares have as many as 18 blanket stitches on each edge. That became quite the issue when I started crocheting all the blocks together. Learn from my mistakes.

Because I have access to lots of weaving yarn/thread, I choose to do the blanket stitch in off-white mercerized cotton in a weight weavers call “5/2.” I do the crochet in the same cotton but in the slightly heavier 3/2 weight. The mercerized or perle cotton has a nice sheen to it and I like that it comes in one-pound cones.

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The 3/2 cotton is on the left and is heavier than the 5/2.

One of the things I like best about this project is the steps in the process call on different skills so I don’t get bored.

  • I cut a bunch of the materials at one time so they are handy.
  • I do the machine sewing on 10-12 squares at a time.
  • Just about the time I’m sick of sitting at the machine, it’s time for some hand sewing. The blanket stitch is pretty mindless and I can do it anywhere.
  • And then, it’s time to switch gears again and crochet. I’ll tell you more about that next time!

My progress to date is:

23 squares finished to the point of having been sewn and crocheted. I’ve sewn in some of the crochet ends but still need to block the finished squares.

10 more squares ready for blanket stitch and then crochet.


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).

KateGun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancy, Alys, Kerry (that’s me), Claire, Jean,
Joanne, Jon, HayleyDawn, Gwen, Connie, Bekki, Pauline and Sue L.

70 thoughts on “ScrapHappy: Fusion Redux #2

  1. thanks for all the tips . . . I keep saying I’m going to make a fusion blanket one day, but haven’t begun yet!
    Anyway, I look forward to seeing yours in progress . . . it’s a wonderful way to use all those vintage fabrics.

  2. It is wonderful news that you anticipate lots of posts with this project because they are always so fascinating to read and the pictures are lovely to study. I’m also really interested to read about the finger cot – I am currently knitting with very fine (2mm), pointy needles and my right index finger is suffering! I had started to think about getting some protection, but was not sure whether it would impede my work. I’ll definitely get something now on your recommendation, thank you! 😀

    • I used alligator tape when I was making jewelry, too–it’s such a help! The finger cots are quite fragile and break pretty easily but they also allow for precise handling of a needle, etc.

  3. I love that this is a ‘slow sewing’ project AND ScrapHappy, so we’ll be seeing more of it. Progress posting is a favourite for me, I’m so over the whole “tadaaa” of only showing the finished item. Love the detail, love the vintage vibe, love the history you’re rescuing and making beautiful again.

    • Ha–if I waited for “tada” moments to do a blog post, I’d hardly ever post! Slow sewing is where it’s at in my world–I want time to think about each little bit of fabric I’m using!

    • I don’t know why you don’t live closer to me! I’d like to put together a town of all my favorite people . . . Regarding crochet: I think it would be pretty easy for your to learn to crochet well enough to do what I do. I don’t really crochet–I only know two stitches and I learned them from YouTube videos. Truly–it’s not hard.

  4. I’m a fan of white on white, cream on white, beige on white, ecru on white. I find it calming. Every time I read one of your posts I get itchy fingers. It has been so long since I made anything by hand.

    • I like white-on-white, too, but I can’t have much of it in my multi-cat house! This is a good time for itchy fingers, really–so many crafty endeavors seem to be trending right now so it would be easy to find inspiration. I say go for it!

  5. I’m so glad you are making a twin for the other twin bed; I love all the little bits of lovely fabrics and crocheting pieces. How many square was it again? I was thinking about 200, but I think I may be way off.

    • “Creative genius,” huh? I like the sound of that but the idea totally came from another blogger! It is the perfect match for my bits of vintage fabric, though–thanks for your enthusiasm!

  6. great instructions and photos. Again, the finished quilt is going to be a masterpiece. I’m still amazed that you had the courage/strength to make a second one. The amount and quality of work is extremely impressive. 🙂

    • Thanks, Jean. The process is so much easier this second time around, having solved the construction problems the first time. It’s perfect project to pick up when I’m too tired to do much else.

  7. It will give them a chance to feel superior… 😂 I love it. I’ll have to remember that when I don’t get seams to match like I wanted but to lazy to redo. Those block are all wonderful ,I enjoy the variety.

    • Exactly–giving others a chance to feel superior is a worthwhile undertaking! Be proud to make mistakes and help others out! I’m loving the variety of the blocks, too.

    • Thanks, Clare! I don’t think I’d have the patience for a full-fledged tutorial, including dimensions and “how to do blanket stitch,” etc., but I did want to put some tips down in writing.

  8. I love these quilts too. The crocheting goes so well with the vintage material, giving it a lovely, classy homely vibe. I guess ‘homely’ can be ‘classy’ at the same time 😉

    • I agree that the crochet works just right with the vintage fabric. I was thinking about using the fusion quilt idea to put together samples of my handwoven fabrics but . . . the crochet wouldn’t compliment the dish towel fabrics in such a satisfying way!

  9. I just love seeing all the pieces of old linen. I would never be able to sleep under one of these quilts. Too busy perusing the pieces and imagining their origins. And, of course, you use a Featherweight. They are the best.

    • When I show the quilt to someone, I spend toooo much time saying “and this used to be a fingertip towel, and this one was a crib sheet”–each bit makes me happy. And I do so love my Featherweight! I actually traded an expensive Bernina (which I loathed) for it! Although I wouldn’t mind a zigzag stitch option . . .

  10. You tips are so wonderful that you are inspiring me to start a scrap something. So many ideas! I wonder if a needle book would work with linen and or cotton. I am under the impression that wool is superior and prevents needle rust, but I would love to use some of my scraps, which are mostly cotton. What do you think?

    • Hmmmm–I think I’ve heard wool is good for the actual needles but you could use linen and cotton for the book and just attach small squares of wool to the pages, for the needles. To give the book and pages structure, I might back the cotton with lightweight fusible web. It’s a lovely idea–I don’t have a proper needle book . . .

    • Working the blanket stitch over that base of top stitching really does make it look so much neater! That always bothered me about blanket stitch, how hard it was to get it to look tidy.

  11. Switching back and forth on tasks can prevent boredom in all sorts of arenas. In fact, that is why I sometimes have two books I’m reading — one that might be serious, another that is more frivolous.

  12. Oh, my! So much math. LOL. Not to mention: finger condoms, sticky thimbles, new-fangled machines ….:D What a great post. Had me smiling while learning. BTW, I really like the thick crocheted pieces (not sure what that is called) and white on white.

    • Thanks so much Joanne–you never know what you’re going to find here! And, yes, those thicker pieces are crochet, and gorgeous, but the coral and white trim is tatting. It’s all so pretty!

  13. Pingback: ScrapHappy: Fusion Redux #3 | Love Those "Hands at Home"

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