Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Scrap Happy

I was inspired by Marie's post on fabric scraps to do something with all the little bits and pieces of fabric that I hoard. I haven't the heart to throw them out, but they're usually too small to do anything with, so they build up and take up space in my growing hoard of fabric.

After thinning out the bits that were really too small to use, I was left with some decent sized pieces. But now what? When I made my dustbowl dress recently, I noticed when looking at inspiration pictures from the 1930's that there was a lot of patchwork, either on clothes or to make blankets, covers, etc. 

Migrant worker with patched and mended clothes (Source)
Farmer's wife patching her families clothes (Source)
 And I seem to remember that as a child I had a patchwork poncho that I loved, with combinations of cotton and velvet. 

I looked at these books:

  And then made these templates:

I spent ages and ages cutting out, then ironing the seam allowances. Apparently, the prescribed method is to tack them down, but I'm lazy so I skipped this step. So far I have this:

The plan is to make a load of these rosettes, then link them all together with black hexagons and sew them to a backing, maybe with some light wadding/batting in between. And hopefully I'll have a nice blanket for the coming winter months.

I never, EVER thought I'd make a quilt or be interested in them, but there's something so satisfying about using up scraps, playing with the direction of the grain, and slowly seeing it come together. And its a great visual record of all the stuff I've made.

I've decided to sew it together by hand, because I can just pick it up when I feel like it without having to set up the machine and so on. It seemed like a huge task, but once you get going the pieces come together really quickly:

Close up of wrong side with hand stitching
And the best bit about making this quilt - I haven't spent any money so far! The scraps were already here, I'm using thread that I already had, even the templates were made out of shoebox lids and bits of card retrieved from the recycling box. For the backing, I'll probably use some calico that was once part of some curtains I recently replaced. Cost so far = £0.00!

I'm sure it's going to take some time to complete, and I have a number of other sewing projects I have to complete, but I'm hoping it will be done before Christmas. It's going to be a learning process, ie I'll be making it up as I go along, and I'm still not sure how I'll be attaching all the layers together, but wish me luck and I'll keep you posted.

See you soon!


  1. Yay Nicole, this is such a great idea! I love that this quilt will serve as such a wonderful reminder of all your makes...what a great way of putting it! Can't wait to see how it turns out! Oh, and I also love that you're doing it by hand, making it portable and TV-friendly ;o)

  2. Brilliant idea! Your rosettes are beautiful!

  3. wow! they are brilliant, they are going to make a gorgeous blanket x x

  4. Love this idea, looks great so far. I am awful with scraps and can't let myself throw anything away, always thinking "well maybe if I ever want some fabric covered earrings/etc to match my dress I can use these scraps... So I'd better save them..." Of course I never do make anything with them. A hand-stitched quilt is perfect though :)

  5. This is such a great idea! I can see some of your past makes lying on the floor there. Can't wait to see the final product.


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