Quilting · Quilts · Uncategorized

Scrappy Cat Project #2

It used to be very rare for me to buy enough fabric from one collection to make an entire quilt. Usually, I’d pick and choose, buying a few yards from a couple of different bolts and then pairing those fabrics with other fabric in my stash whenever I wanted to make something. But, in recent years, my buying habits have changed as I’ve discovered how well fabrics in a collection combine. I’ve (mostly) stopped buying fabric for my “stash.” I might purchase a neutral color now and then to add to the stash because you can always use a good white or cream fabric, but when it comes to patterns and colorful pieces, I’ve slowed down on purchasing them. I’ve found that they tend to languish for years because I just can’t seem to find the right fabrics in my collection to pair together. So many pieces of fabric I’ve purchased have lost their appeal as my likes and dislikes have changed. I no longer want to spend money on fabric that will just take up space in the closet. I want fabrics that work well together, that make me want to sew up something beautiful with them right away, that make me want to keep using those fabrics together in numerous projects until I’m left with nothing but the tiniest scraps!

I’ve already shown you the Scrappy Cat table runner that I made from fabric leftover from a larger quilt. (I’ll share that quilt at a later time.) After finishing the table runner, I was amazed that I still had so many decent sized scraps left. My original plans for this project involved using a different color for the sashing, but I didn’t have quite enough of that color left. I used up almost all of the remaining pink floral fabric, which makes me just a little sad since I LOVE that particular fabric. I also used up a small piece of batting. (If I could go back in time, I’d tell myself to not use that leftover high-loft batting!)

I used the Memory block pattern from Quilter’s Mix and Match Blocks. I added a narrow sashing between the blocks. I outline quilted each star in white and used pink thread to quilt 1/8″ inside the stars. I also added some quilting 1/8″ inside each cat square and, as I was using that dreadful high-loft batting and it seemed to need a bit more quilting, I quilted over a few of the flower stems in the green squares. For the backing, I used up several larger chunks of leftover fabric.

I plan to use this small quilt as a “runner” for our kitchen island. As the island is basically a large square, I thought a square “runner” would be a nice change from the usual rectangular ones.

Quilting · Quilts · sewing

Scrappy Cat 2.0

My Scrappy Cat table runner used up a fair amount of the scraps I had left over from making a larger quilt that I will share in the future, but there were still so many scraps left. Since I love the way the fabrics look together, I wasn’t quite ready to split them up by color and relegate them to my scrap boxes. I knew I could get at least one more project out of them. I liked the way the table runner turned out and how cheerful it looked in the kitchen, so I decided to make something similar for the kitchen island. Rather than doing a long runner, though, as I would usually do, I decided to mix things up a bit.

Using the pattern for a block named “Memory” from Quilter’s Mix and Match Blocks, I made four blocks, each measuring approximately 12 inches. I used the cats as the focal point, placing them in the center of the block. As I was dealing with scraps and wasn’t paying close enough attention as I was fussy cutting, the cats did not end up exactly in the center of each square. I shrugged this off, knowing from experience as a cat owner that cats are often found where they shouldn’t be, and let them be off-center. (Note the photo of Belle. She’s on the kitchen table, where she doesn’t belong, daring me to tell her to move.)

I used the Folded Corner Clipper by Creative Grids, a very helpful tool that I just had to purchase after seeing it demonstrated at InterQuilten in Traverse City, Michigan. No more drawing sewing lines on fabric squares when making flying geese blocks or when adding a triangle to a corner? Sign me up. It also eliminates the need to cut off the extra bits after sewing AND gives you two leftover triangles that are more useful as the edges are nice and neat.

Not to waste the perfectly good opportunity that was presented when I trimmed off all those little triangles, I sewed them up as I was sewing the blocks for my project and they’ll be perfect for some other project someday. (See photo below. Aren’t they adorable?)

As I’m still attempting to purge more batting, I found a piece in my scraps that was just the right size for my project. Yea! For quilting, I’m using both white thread and the bright pink I used for the Scrappy Cat table runner. Check back soon to see the finished project!

Quilting · Quilts · Uncategorized

Kind of Scrappy Table Runner

It’s gloomy out today, the roads are icy, and there’s a fire in the fireplace. I can’t think of any good reason to leave the house, which means it’s a perfect day to stay in and sew!

I’m calling this a “Kind of Scrappy” table runner because while I’m using up some scraps, they are all from the same fabric collection. I think to be truly scrappy a project needs to use a random selection of fabric bits that have been moldering in a box in a corner somewhere. (Do you have boxes like this? I’ve got a box, a small container, and a bowl of such random bits, plus bins of strips and squares that are just a bit too big to be official “scraps.”)

This project started out as a means to accomplish two things.

#1 – Use up some leftover fabric in a cute way.

And most importantly…

#2 – Use up some of the batting scraps that have multiplied like unsupervised rabbits. (You know those giant storage boxes? I have two of them stuffed full of batting bits that I can’t seem to part with.)

To start, I fussy cut 7 4″ squares, each with a cat centered in the middle. I really like my rotating cutting board. It makes fussy cutting so much easier. Then, I cut several 1-3/4″ strips to add to the top, bottom, and sides, to make a finished 6-1/2″ square.

Next, I cut 7 6-1/2″ squares from a complimentary fabric. Then I alternated sewing together a cat block with a 6-1/2″ square. I did two rows of seven blocks, making a runner that is approximately 42.5″ x 12.5.” You could always use less blocks for a smaller version.

Because one of my goals was to use up batting scraps, I sewed together two pieces of batting to make a piece large enough for this project. Then I sewed larger pieces of scraps together to make the backing. I have quilted around each cat square with bright pink thread and am using the same color thread to quilt large hearts in the floral blocks. Freezer paper pinned to a quilt makes a great quilting guide for those of us who have no skill making anything “free-motion” look like something other than squiggles.

Check back soon for photos of the finished table runner. I just have a bit more quilting to do and the binding to sew on. I can’t wait to put this on the table! It will add a touch of spring to these dreary winter days.