Thursday 28 March 2019

Holy (S)Crap!

Life got busy and there was little time to build any mind blowing patchwork last year. The random moments that turn up here and there that allow time to sit and stitch mean I need to have a simple project that can be left "in progress" for an undetermined amount of time... a scrappy improv slab quilt was just the thing.

Scrappy slabs are easy to pick up and put down. The pieces are already cut and waiting to play in your scrap bin... maybe yours, like mine, is overflowing? In August of 2018, I sifted my bin and pulled out a whopping pile of wee bits in yellows, pinks, greens, oranges and corals. I threw in a few scraps of red & grey, a small dash of low volumes and, of course, a splash of purple went in as well for good measure.

I sewed and trimmed bits together as they came out of the pile... just mindless know, the best kind where you just blissfully work along with wild abandon. Sew, press, sew, press, trim, sew, press, trim, sew, get the drift. I did try to watch out for the directional ones and plant them upright for the most part... and I did fussy cut a few lil pieces that were too adorable not to include, even a few selvedge edges went in. After a while I had a stack of slabs in various sizes and decided to start making horizontal rows.

Things moved along rather nicely and as the blocks turned into rows the project picked up speed. I found myself carving out moments in my days to sew... 10 minutes here, half an hour there and before I knew it, there was a BIG flimsy growing in my mind's eye. I rarely make big quilts; I think the last bed sized quilt I made was my Gravity quilt that lives on our bed and that wasn't yesterday! Mister Recipes has been grumbling about a certain super cozy, grey blanket I happen to love on our bed... he hates the feel of it against his skin. He moans and groans about it almost daily and pesters me about switching it out for a stack of quilts instead.  Now, let me say I am absolutely unopposed to sleeping under a stack of quilts but I had 2 problems with his proposal. First, I love that offensive blanket; the softness against my skin is a welcome and pleasant sensation. Second, I don't own any more queen size quilts... I have some large(-ish) ones, but not exactly what I need size wise to fit the bed. This scrappy thing was the answer!

Like I said, I make rows horizontally. I start with similarly sized slabs, determine the target height and add bits or cut off bits as necessary to get them all to line up squarely. In this case I made 6 rows, none of them the same height; some were 22 3/4", some were 15 1/4" and the rest were somewhere between the two. It doesn't really matter as long as they are straight, flat, and in square. The width of the individual rows get cut when the rows are all sewn, this time, I used 95" as the number for every row. (If you Google a "scrap vortex quilt" you'll find a handy dandy tutorial that explains the process in a way that is fairly similar to how I did this.)

I made the flimsy to measure 95" by 94", which should fit nicely under the 98" square Gravity quilt. In keeping with the scrap taming and stash busting idea behind this one, I fashioned a back nearly as interesting as the front using chunks of leftovers, some coveted Cotton&Steel skull yardage and even a few extra slabs that didn't make it into the front.

Since I no longer have The Robot (and his new owner isn't quite ready to roll yet) I took it out to TLC Quilting Studio in Bedford to have it quilted. Bruce put a circle design over it with an orange thread. I've gotten it back... it is amazeballs!!  All the little bits offer so much to please my roving eyes; it is almost Eye Spy-like with so much to see. Now, to find a bit of time to bind it...


  1. Really really love these kinds of quilts -- happy binding!!

  2. Amazing and I LOVE the pink pig in sunglasses fabric! Ripley is a natural at posing on quilts :)

  3. That is so cool. What you have described is EXACTLY the way my grandmother made quilts for us when I was growing up.

    Yours is lovely.

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  5. Love what you did there! Those skulls...I have just a teeny scrap of that left.

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  7. Lovely Quilt. I just happened upon a 4m piece of those skulls in a yellow green, it's a gorgeous fabric. Hope to see you sometime.

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