After being on the lookout for a quilt design that would help diminish my ever growing tub of scraps, late last year I settled on Bonnie Hunter’s “Wild and Goosey” foundation pieced pattern found on the Quiltmaker website.
Naively I thought that if I could finish one mini block a day I’d have enough blocks for a quilt in about a year. At one block a day that quilt was destined become a UFO very, very quickly.
I increased my output to 2 mini blocks a day and my row of blocks slowly began to take shape. But it was going to be a very small quilt. I had printed the original pattern out at 2 3/4 inches and it took 4 mini blocks to make each 5 1/2 inch Wild and Goosey block. After a month I knew that I had to make at least 4 mini blocks a day to get anywhere fast.
I had also realised by this time that I have a particular predisposition when choosing fabrics (they tend to read as solids) and that relying solely on my own stash would increase the boredom factor significantly. Needing more variety, I sent out an SOS to one of my wonderful quilting groups asking for a small bag of scraps from their stashes and the response totally lifted my spirits – novelty prints, quirky prints and colours not found in my stash lifted the look of my blocks. That’s what friends are for….
I packed my trusty Elna Lotus for a 2 week babysitting stint in sunny Queensland and managed, in between Grandma duties, to make 8 mini blocks a day for almost a fortnight. I was in full production mode.
Since then I’ve continued to make at least 4 mini blocks each day. On occasion I produced 12 – 16. I took my mobile sewing production line to sit and sew days and was encouraged by the feedback from my sewing groups.
I’d also done the maths by then. I needed to make 672 mini blocks. Each had 13 pieces in them. That’s 8,736 scraps of fabric. More friends came on board with baggies of scraps – the last bag I received came from a friend who said that I couldn’t make a scrap quilt without some of her scraps being in it.
Last weekend I took the almost finished quilt top to a quilting group for Show and Tell. That border fabric has to go, said one. She was right. I was trying hard to use up what was in my stash. Luckily we meet in a fabric shop and we all happily settled on a much more effective choice. That’s what friends are for….
In recent days I totally ramped up my production line and made 16 mini blocks a day. I could taste, smell and feel that finish line!
Now all 672 mini blocks are finished. Mostly I have been able to keep up with their ongoing construction into Wild and Goosey blocks, then sashing and joining them into rows of 14 as the mini blocks were completed each day. The remaining two rows are at various stages of coming together – but there is light at the end of the tunnel!
And…..there are definitely less scraps in that tub now!