Saturday, August 20, 2011

Yardage is for Backings

I like quilts with lots of fabrics. They may or may not be scraps by the strict sense of the word, but why stick with 4 fabrics when you can use 40, or 400? When I do have scraps, anything smaller than a fat quarter gets put aside to cut up into the sizes I save for my scrap user system.

I use my scrap user system so much, it sometimes seems to me that I never use any yardage. With the comfort quilt I made recently, I used 3 yards of Moda white, and the rest was all 2 1/2" strips from my scrap user system. With RRCB, most of the fabrics came from my scrap user system, aside from the yellow constant, and the outside border. The log cabin quilt? All from my scrap user system aside from the white, burgundy, and borders.

I don't know quite how it works, but my scrap drawers never seem to go down at all. That is part of the reason I am behind on cutting up scraps, I don't think they will fit in the drawers once they are cut. Now, If I'm barely using yardage on the quilt tops, and my scraps never seem to go down, am I actually using any fabric?

AHA! I am on my quilting spree, and I am finally seeing dents appear in the stash. Backings take a surprising amount of fabric. I rarely think about how much fabric I used on the front of quilt, because in most cases, I am just grabbing pre-cut pieces from my scrap bins and not figuring yardage at all. If I need 240 red 2" squares, I just grab 12 or more red 2" strips from the drawers and cut until there are the number I need. I rarely consider that 12- 2" strips is 2/3 yard of fabric, because I don't need to do that way.

This is the back of the I Spy quilt I finished today. It is the transportation/travel themed quilt. The blue fabric was what I had chosen for the backing, it has different states with touristy kind of things on it. I didn't measure the fabric, I just grabbed it out of my stash and knew I'd end up piecing something to it to make it large enough. All that is left of the blue fabric is what I trimmed off after quilting. I ended up adding the black and white check to it, and I used most of that too, but I do have a little left.

On the comfort quilt I made, I used all but about a foot of the backing fabric. I have pieced the backing for the last I Spy quilt, and I used the rest of a bolt of fabric as well as pieced in some other fabric. I pieced a backing for a baby quilt, and I used up some orphan blocks, as well as the rest of two different fabrics.

So there you have it. I may not be seeing my scrap drawers go down, even though I use them frequently, I may not notice my yardage going down often, but get me piecing backings, and I go through lots and lots of yardage.

Since I had recently posted a pic of this quilt, I didn't worry about showing all of it. You can see in this pic that I quilted it with yellow thread, and bound it with yellow too.

DD#3, mother to the twins, has been making Steampunk inspired jewelry. This is one of my favorite of her pieces. She has a local store interested in promoting her work, so that is exciting.

Here is another of her pieces, I think she made this last week.

DD#2 had been busy crafting as well. She is slowly but surely working on a Victorian costume. She has also been making macrame jewelry, and today she was working on a purse. For the purse she ended up needing to use more than one of my sewing machines, to do different tasks. It was extra incentive to hurry up and finish quilting that I Spy quilt because she needed the Juki to sew through several layers of denim. I'll try to get a photo of her purse when it's finished.

I cleaned up the mess from today. Tomorrow I am working on something I can't blog about, though it is quilty. Monday and Tuesday I babysit, and I'd like to go back to working on the bibs during naptime. Wednesday I will hopefully start quilting the last I Spy quilt. I have lots of quilts to work on, at least I am getting some finished finally!

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