Like most quilter, I have lots of fabric in my craft room. But, unlike other quilters, I try to keep the amount as low as possible. I no longer purchase fabric “just because see it and like it”. I have to have a specific project that I plan to use it in before I will purchase any fabric. Over the past few years, I have also received fabric from my sister, my mother and some of my friends. So, I really do not need to add to my stash.
When I am designing a quilt, I try to plan around fabrics that I already have. If I do need to purchase fabric, I calculate the amount of fabric yardage I need to be a careful not to purchase more than necessary. Sometimes this has been to my frustration, especially if I decide to change the design and find that I am needing more fabric to make the changes. But, usually this works well and keeps me from having too many scraps left over. I have even created an Excel spreadsheet that helps me calculate the yardage quickly. If you are interested, email me and I can send you the file.
Every once in a while, the quilt design I am working on is too abstract or too intricate to be able to calculate yardage exactly. This was the case when planning the “Moonscape” quilt for my son. I did not plan out the quilt in enough detail prior to sewing to be able to calculate how much fabric I needed. Using grey fabrics and black fabrics I already had, I added other shades to create the gradation I was seeking. Not knowing how much fabric I would need, I purchased a half yard of each shade. After I had pieced his quilt, I had a lot of excess fabric.
What to do? Make a scrap quilt? Stick it back on the shelf for another day?
Make a strip quilt? Now, this was an idea I liked. I have been wanting to try piecing with strips on my longarm machine for a while now. So, this seemed like the best idea for a quilt to try this out on.
I loaded the backing onto the frame and pinned the batting in place. After basting the first strip in place, I cut and pieced 2″ x 72″ strips in the gradiant order of the fabric shades. To sew, I carefully measured and marked the placement of the begin and end point of the seam that I was planning to sew. Then, I used the multipoint placement, border only sewing to sew the next strip to the the first strip. The new strip sewn was flipped and ironed lightly in place before going to the next strip (my cordless iron was really helpful for this step).
A pop of color was incorporated with scraps of yellow, orange, red and purple.
I successfully used up my shades of grey and black and have another nice quilt to donate.