I got into quilting as a way to use up scraps. Sewing garments needs fairly large pieces of fabric, so I was often left with scraps that I couldn’t use but were big enough that I hated to throw them away. I took a beginning quilting class to learn the basics, and I found a really helpful book, Cut the Scraps! by Joan Ford. Ever since then, I have used her method to turn my garment sewing leftovers into quilt squares. The first quilt I did was a king size quilt for our bed, which I discuss in more detail here and here. We just got this quilt out again for summer, and every time I see it still makes me happy. I also used scrap squares to complete my wedding quilt. Most recently, I made a bed quilt for my sister. For these quilts, I used white quilting cotton for the contrast squares because I find that I don’t generate enough light squares from my scraps (you need really strong contrast between the light and dark squares or the pattern gets muddled). However, this small quilt is all scraps, except for the backing.
I wanted a fairly simple square, so I just picked a pinwheel. I then went to my box of scrap squares and picked out 5″ light squares and various kinds of 5″ blue and purple squares. I cut them in half into triangles and then assembled the squares.
One thing I realized when sewing the quilt top is that I should have done a little more thinking before sewing. When I was following a pattern as for my two previous large quilts, I just had to follow directions to get the seam allowances pressed in opposite directions. I didn’t do a great job and some of my seams were hard to press as a result. Next time I may have to draw out a diagram.
The quilting is machine free-motion, as I did for my wedding quilt and the quilt for my sister. I did a heart pattern that is very similar to the paisley technique I used for my sister’s. The only difference is that instead of a teardrop shape I used hearts. Around the edge of the quilt, I did the baby’s name to give it a personalized touch.
The binding is also from scraps. I used whatever larger pieces of blue and turquoise fabric I had laying around. They ended up being mostly plaids. Usually I would hand sew the binding, but I figure that anything that is used around babies will end up getting washed a lot. I worried about the durability of the hand stitching, so I used the stitch-in-the-ditch technique to finish it by machine.
Overall, this quilt seemed to go together really fast. After doing some large bed-sized quilts, it was nice to do something smaller. I quite enjoy the free-motion quilting, and I think that it is starting to look pretty good. I hope that the recipient likes the quilt and enjoys it for many years.