Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Not a Single Stitch

I still haven't sewn a stitch since I've been home. I haven't turned on a sewing machine at all. So what have I been doing?

Cutting, and cutting, and cutting some more! I took some bricks that I had been saving, decided that size didn't really work for me, and cut the bricks into two different sizes, which I plan to use ASAP in specific projects. These pieces are 1.5" x 2.5" cut.

The rest of the bricks are now 2.5" x 4.5", and these are going into a quilt ASAP also. The solid lavender in the back will pull these scraps together. You may notice my Allietare pieces off to the side, I finally cut the setting triangles, so now I can piece those together, and maybe get those two quilts assembled. One of the Allietare quilts has a deadline.

I'm making a deadline quilt that has 14 different blocks in it. I used paper plates to keep my block pieces separate. The plastic shoebox has the rest of those bricks I cut down.

I finished cutting out a king-sized wedding quilt today. My scraps are getting out of hand again, so I promised myself this huge cutting spree wouldn't add to my scraps needing to be cut to usable sizes. I didn't really have a lot extra, the quilt pattern used almost all of 52 fat quarters.

I'm cutting any scraps to size as I go along. When I'm done this cutting spree, I'll get them all put away in my strip drawers.

So what am I doing tomorrow? Cutting another wedding quilt! I made a decision on one of the weddings that snuck up on me, and I chose a quilt, picked fabrics from stash, and tomorrow I'll cut that out too.

I have at least one more quilt I want to cut out before I get back to sewing. One of the nine patch on point quilts I mentioned in my last post, I chose the solid fabric I want to set the nine patches with, and now I want to get that cut, so the quilt is ready to assemble. The nine patches have been done for two years, it's time to at least get that project to quilt top stage. It may end up being the third wedding quilt too, I haven't decided. I'm still debating easy quilt patterns, in case they get back to me with color preferences.

Oh, and one of the baby quilts I needed to make, now has a direction to go in. They chose a nursery theme, and I happened to have appropriate fabric in stash. I have a quilt design in mind, but I need to play with EQ and design it. I've never seen a quilt quite like I'm thinking of, but it should be a fun one!

I know I am always tweaking my fabric storage and usage, trying to find the perfect system for me. I sometimes decide to stop saving certain size pieces, like the bricks that I cut to other sizes, and plan on using as leaders/enders until they are gone. I'm OK with the fact that I saved them, but I don't regularly use them, so I'll use these up, and not save bricks of any size any more. Bricks are easily enough cut from strips, so from now on, if it's bigger than a square, it stays in a strip.

For the most part, my fabric system works pretty well for me. For example, the wedding quilt I cut out today. The pieces I needed had to be cut from 9.5" strips. Well, I don't save strips over 3.5" So my strip drawers were of no help. I went from there, to my fat quarters, (some of which I purchased specifically for this quilt), and to the fabrics I have one yard or less. I got most of what I needed from there, but when I counted my fabrics, I had more silvers than purples, and I needed 26 fat quarters of each color to get enough pieces for the quilt. I then went to my larger mini-bolts, that hold anything over a yard. I found enough purples to use in the quilt, and got it cut out.

What really does work for me, is going through the smallest usable size first. If I had been able to use something from my strip drawers, I would have grabbed everything suitable from there before I moved to the fat quarters-1 yard pieces on my small mini-bolts. I don't pull fabrics for Bonnie Hunter mystery quilts anymore, because I have made a couple of them using only what's in my strip drawers.

Why is it so important to me to use the smallest sizes first? A couple of reasons. The first and most practical, is that those small bits will take over the house if not used consistently. Every time I cut out a project, I end up with leftover bits. Every time I trim a backing after quilting, I get leftover bits. Those leftover bits can be tossed, given away, or used, and I prefer to use them.

The second reason I use the smallest bits first, comes into play tomorrow. The wedding quilt I am cutting out tomorrow, only uses 5 fabrics in the quilt center. For two of those fabrics, I need over 5 yards each. If I always went to my yardage first, my scraps would pile up, and my yardage would dwindle down. Since I use my yardage last, I keep those pieces as large as possible, for as long as possible. I found all five fabrics in my stash, in sufficient amounts. Every quilter has different habits, different preferences, and different needs, but for me, working from the smallest pieces makes sense.

Once I finish this cutting spree, I'll have sewing set up for quite a while. I'll still need to cut borders, since I haven't bothered cutting those yet, but not all the quilts I'm making will have borders. I'm looking forward to just being able to sew and sew, instead of cut and cut, but it's all good!

1 comment:

phxquilt said...

I admire your organization. I'm cutting pieces for a wedding quilt that I hope to get pieced here in HI. I also have 2 baby quilts cut and some sample blocks sewed. I find that gives me a good road map, especially when I'm doing 2 quilts at once using leader enders. I' glad to see that your to do list is longer than mine. :-)