Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Using up Cat Fabrics....

Hello All

I thought I would share with you a project I am working on...and have been for some time! I have no plans for the quilt at this stage, I am just making blocks and will decide on a layout and size later. I suspect I will make two quilts - and one will go to Little Paws Kitten Rescue here in Brisbane for their annual fundraising auction. They are an amazing charity here in Brisbane who rescue hundreds of cats and kittens each year.

First up - if you are new to my blog, why not subscribe? That way you will be sure to receive each post as they come out and you won't miss anything!

OK now the housekeeping is done, onto the sewing. My mission for this quilt was to use up all the smaller scraps of cat fabrics I have. Trust me there was HEAPS!

I also had a BIG pile of 8 1/2" squares of cat fabrics - so decided on QAYG (Quilt-As-You-Go) and rather than cutting the smaller bits into uniform size pieces I decided on some crumb piecing.

For some reason I also had (and still do sadly) a big pile of cat 'pictures' such as this, so I am using them as the centre of the blocks. They are about 3 inches square or a bit smaller - perfect!

First up - you will need 8 1/2" squares of whatever backing fabric you want to use, it could be one fabric or lots and lots of different ones - as mentioned previously I am using my cat fabric squares. You will also need 8 1/2" squares of wadding/batting - I prefer cotton (or predominantly cotton) for QAYG as you need to iron it.

How cute is that cat fabric on the right? One of my favourite of all time. I would love another couple of metres of it if anyone knows where you can get it? Love love love it. Here is a close up for you.

If you have lots of little pieces of batting you can join them - I do as money is tight in our household and I believe in recycling which means using everything I can.  Just butt the edges of the wadding and use the widest triple zig zag on your machine to stitch them together. This one I happened to sew with contrasting thread so you can see it clearly!

Now onto making blocks. Place one square (8 1/2") of batting on your board, put a small squirt of quilt basting spray in the middle only (you can get away without using it if you like) and place your backing fabric onto the wadding - wrong side of the fabric to the wadding of course.

Next you will need whatever pieces you are going to use for the centres of your block - could be all one colour, could be pictures as I have done or anything you like.  Don't bother cutting them to a uniform size - this is a quilt based on random size pieces. The more random the better.

Place one of the centre squares onto one of your prepared backing/wadding squares. I mixed up the placement of the centres onto the blocks - some I placed in the centre, some off centre, some a bit crooked, some straight. Again, it adds more interest to your blocks.

Now you are going to add strips around the centre square - again random widths is great! Start with your smallest scraps to use them up. The strips you will need will get longer as you work your way out. Use your walking foot for the seams - and use the edge of your foot for the seam width, no need for a 1/4".

Place your first strip right sides together, onto one side of the centre piece and pin in place. Stitch. You have a choice here - you can do a few stitches back and forward at each end to secure, however be aware it will show on the back of your quilt. My preference (and what I do) is to just stitch across, leaving thread tails at each end. I then pull the top thread to lift the bottom thread up to the top, tie the ends in a knot and snip. These knots will be hidden in your piecing and stay secure. I stitch a big pile, then tie the ends in front of the TV.

Iron the strip outward. You are now ready to add the next strip - you can work on opposite sides of the centre square OR work around it, a bit like a log cabin OR mix it up and do a bit of both!

Keep adding to the block in this manner until you have covered the backing and wadding square. Trim the blocks to a uniform size - I am trimming mine back to 8 1/4".

Random size strips and alignment look great!....

Nearly finished....

A couple of finished blocks - two down, about 90ish to go....

I also thought I would show you the back of the block - when making scrap quilts like this where you CANNOT get one colour thread to match all blocks, I use up all the odds and ends of my bobbins. So, as you will see, each block my have a few different colours.

You are now ready to design a layout and join your blocks...I have written a post on joining QAYG blocks which you can find by clicking here. As soon as I have decided on a layout and am up to joining blocks I will share that with you also. In the meantime - happy sewing!

This is basically what is referred to as a 'crumb quilt' - click here for a search on pinterest for crumb quilts - so many beautiful variations!

While surfing around, I also found this quilt - which is basically a crumb quilt that you could adapt to QAYG. Click here.  

Bye for Now

Kylie xo

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