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Planning my Next Patchwork Quilt

April 12, 2013

My goal this year is to use up all of my fabric scraps, and try not to buy any new fabric until I have depleted my already vast fabric stash. Inspired by my first ever patchwork quilt, and driven by the quilting bug, I decided to sink my teeth into an even more ambitious undertaking for my second quilt: a postage stamp style quilt using nothing but my scrap fabric.

I am new to this quilting malarkey, and self-taught to boot, so apologies if I get the terminology wrong here. Trial and error has got me here, and I am really excited about this quilt project.

The first thing I did was round-up all my fabric from their numerous hiding places all round the house, including behind the sofa (if you’re ever short of space to stash your scrap fabric, I highly recommend behind the sofa) and try to sort through it. I selected any fabric that I thought would work for the quilt I had in mind, and focussed on the smaller scrappier pieces in particular.

My quilt is going to be completely random, with no particular colour theme. I thought this would be the best way to use up my scraps and not be tempted to buy any new fabric for the project. I have no idea how the finished quilt is going to look, it might be hideous, but at least I’ll have used up some scraps 🙂

Once I had chosen all the fabric I wanted to use, I ironed each piece ready for cutting out. I already knew I wanted to make a postage stamp quilt (which I think means a quilt made from tiny little patchwork squares that resemble stamps), so after all the ironing I decided to use squared paper to actually draw out my quilt design and do some fancy maths to see what I was letting myself in for.

This quilt is going to be smaller than my last one, and made to fit a single bed, and I worked out that if I used 2″ squares of scrap fabric, arranged in 45 blocks of 36 squares, separated by strips of white fabric, I would need to cut out 1620 2″ squares of fabric. Seemed a daunting figure, but I decided if I took it slowly, with no deadline in mind, I could just work away at it and eventually get there.

In order to track my progress while making the patchwork blocks, I decided to colour each one in as I made it, which was very satisfying! In my next post I will explain the method I used to make each patchwork block of 36 squares, as it wasn’t nearly as difficult as I first thought it would be!

Once I knew I had to cut out 1620 squares, I got cutting. I used my rotary cutter and ruler to cut out long strips 2″ wide, and then piled the strips 4 or 5 high and cut the strips every 2″ to give me 2″ squares. I did this for what felt like many days, piling the little squares up in storage boxes, it was quite satisfying.

What do you think? Will it be a nice quilt? Do you like the randomness or do you think quilts look nicer if they have more order or a repeating pattern to them?

I can’t wait to just get making it!

7 Comments leave one →
  1. April 13, 2013 7:49 am

    Oh I can’t wait to see the finished quilt!
    Great job on cutting 1620 squares, I don’t know if I would have that much patience, haha 🙂

  2. April 24, 2013 2:00 pm

    Ohh I’m impressed!
    I’ve always been wanting to make a quilt.

    I’m going to go through the rest of your blog and see what else you have been upto whilst I’ve been away x

  3. June 8, 2013 5:34 pm

    Love your blog! That quilt’s going to be gorgeous 🙂

  4. Celia Carless permalink
    July 12, 2014 10:27 am

    Hi, I have just come across your quilt and love it, as I am going to make a Quillo (my third) I am now thinking of copying you , it looks so gorgeous .I am visiting my daughter in Canada at the moment, and have bought some fat quarters here, so hope to be able to get the 2″ squares cut out before I leave. Thank you so much for such a brilliant idea. Celia x

  5. Teri Bliven permalink
    June 17, 2015 7:54 pm

    I saw a neat Idea the other day in a magazine. As you sew on a project, cut up your scraps into 2″ squares instead of having to do it all at once. Keep them close to the sewing machine and pair two up, right sides together and sew the seam…use this as your “spider” to start your seams on other sewing projects and ending that seam. Pretty soon you will have all kinds of twosies made up. Great idea and cuts a lot of time out that great pretty mundane.

  6. August 16, 2015 10:25 am

    I think you should be called….Sew resourceful. !!!

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