Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Philosophy of Scrap Quilts

Framed In has the blocks sewn together and a 1" white border around it, bringing total dimensions to about 53" x 70" -- a little small for a bed quilt.  I took it outside and draped it over the back fence by the climbing rose bush to take this picture.  I will probably add a second, scrappy, border and an outer border of a single blue print to bring it up to about the right size for a twin bed.

I like to make bed quilts rather than lap quilts or wall quilts or crib quilts because, well, they get used and enjoyed for long enough to make a difference in someone's life, usually.  The downside is that they require substantially more time and sometimes, a will of iron, to see them to their proper conclusion. There are many pitfalls along the way and many quilt projects don't even make it to become used and loved.

I have always liked scrappy quilts, but learned when I took my first quilt class from Fabric Expressions about 15 years ago in Colorado that "the more fabrics, the better."  When you make a quilt with a very defined selection of fabrics, each fabric is very important to the overall effect and has to be chosen ("auditioned") very carefully.  And then the finished quilt is lovely, but can be somewhat impersonal.  But when you take all comers - for example, my rubric for fabrics in this quilt was (1) they have to come from my 3 boxes of scraps and (2) they have to have blue in them somewhere - you get unpredictable but very lively results.  And I, personally, enjoy the process much more.  I still need to have a pattern to follow - total random scrappiness is not my thing - but definitely, the more fabrics the better.  This top has scraps from my husband's worn out shirts and my late mother's aprons, several previous quilts I've made, leftovers from little girls' dresses, maternity clothes, old curtains, and several different times when I found "stuff a bag with scraps for $1" sales.  Even though the pattern was designed for a specific fabric collection, the magic of scrap quilting means the scraps play together in a charming way no matter how many decades apart they were made.

1 comment:

Nancie said...

Love this photo of your quilt, Framed In. It shows how you set it together. The finished quilt is beautiful. Thanks for sharing.