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I made my first quilt in 1973 while pregnant with my second daughter. My mother and grandmother both quilted but had not taught me, so I really began from scratch. I wanted a quilt to cover her bassinet, it was awful but it kept her head from rubbing the woven bassinet. My next attempt was a crib quilt for her but I had no one to tell me how large to make it. I measured the mattress and made it that size. Sunbonnet Sue and Overall Sam with no room to cover the baby. It just lays flat on the mattress. To say I have learned a lot, is an understatement.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


Have you ever wished you could quilt faster? Make even more quilts? Well, I have a way for you to do just that. It will also help you use some of that wonderful stash of fabrics with which you just cannot part. You know the part I am talking about....the small, little bitty pieces.

Well, first take a few minutes one day and cut those little goodies into the same size, such as 2 1/2" squares or 3" or whatever you want. If you have a bunch of leftover shapes, such as half square triangles, cut those into the same size also. Anything works so long as they are all the same size.
Next get yourself a cute box, or an old cigar box will work. Put this near your sewing machine.

We were all taught (I hope you were) to keep a scrap of fabric under your presser foot when not sewing and also to sew across a piece of fabric and then feed your piecing into this. This is to keep the feed dogs from deciding to eat up the corners of your quilt pieces. You know the part where you end up loosing your religion cussing at the torn up corners. You keep using that little piece of fabric over and over until you have this 'cookie' of fabric covered in thread (think of all the money wasted on that thread).

With this method of making two for the price of one, you will no longer use that piece of fabric or waste all that thread.
Instead you will begin your piecing with two squares that you have cut from your scraps.
Layer these face to face and line them up with your presser foot, sew across and then begin your piecing for your quilt #1. The main one.
When you get to the end of your pieced part, line up two more of the little scrap squares and sew across and stop. Cut off the first two squares that you have sewn together and throw them into your cute little box.

After you have been doing this for awhile, you will have a box full of two-patches. Take some time and press them to one side.

When you are ready to piece on quilt #1 again, layer these 2-patches together face to face and sew across as you did before. Now when you cut them apart, you will have a cute little box full of 4-patches.

You keep doing this until you have a cute little box full of multi patches. One day you can take a few minutes and sew these together to make a quilt #2.
You have made all the quilt blocks without wasting any thread or fabric, and just as important, you have not wasted any time. Now don't get too matchy-matchy or it begins to be work, just let them land where they will, it will be more fun this way.
Remember, when you begin to piece these multi-patches together, begin them with even more little patches you have cut from your scraps and you are beginning quilt #3.

These make great scrap quilts all by themselves or you can add sashings and borders. You can have patches that are all half square triangles or just triangles, it does not matter, whatever shape you choose. And if your sewing machine decides to 'eat' the corner of a patch, so what, throw it away, it was just scraps anyway.

If you do not save scraps or don't have a stash (what? is there someone like this?), or just want to be really lazy, then you can order the little pre-cut 2 1/2" squares from Moda in our bake shop. They are the perfect size and all the colors coordinate to make a more coordinated scrap quilt. What fun!

Now aren't you glad you learned how to make two quilts for the price of one? Aren't you anxious to begin the next one?

1 comment:

  1. What a terrific idea!! I've been sewing on the patch of fabric as a "lead" to my quilt projects for many years and yes, I do have lots of "scraps" I've saved for a "rainy" day. The quild I belong to now has a charity quilt project and as a member, I need to sew just one quilt a year to donate. Now I can combine two activities and meet my volunteer commitment.
    Thank you for the idea!
    Clara in Merced, CA



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