Clearing Out The Leftovers

When I grow up I want to work in quilt series.  Until then, I’m happy to work in quilt leftovers.  Maybe I should call my leftovers series so I can feel like a serious art quilter.

Here’s an example of what I mean.  Quite often I cut off the corners of blocks to create snowball or other blocks with triangles in the corners.  I follow Bonnie Hunter’s advice and sew a second seam on the part of the corner I’ll be cutting off.  That way I get a little half square triangle when I make the cut. While I’m listening to an audio book I’ll trim up those extras to a set size, usually a one and a half inch square, though sometimes a two inch one. Eventually they add up and I plunder that plastic container for a project like Akron Amish.

Akron AmishMost of those little points came from Orange You Glad. You’d get the name if you could see the back.

Orange you gladAnd the 16 patch blocks in Orange… came from leaders and enders, stored in yet another container.

I try to go through any small fabric bits left over from a quilt to see what I can cut into squares.  I don’t go smaller than one and a half inches or larger than three inches.  I’ve made at least one baby quilt from those squares.  Other small leftovers get put into containers sorted roughly by color group.

baby-quiltThose scraps often become part of small improvisational quilts. I love what happens when colors get thrown together and sometimes magic happens. Of course, it sometimes goes the other way. The fabric bits in Nothing Gold Can Stay were left on my cutting mat from a project I still haven’t finished.

Nothing Gold Can StayI also use leftovers in dyeing projects.  If a piece comes out looking ugly, I just dye it with another color or colors.  As I’ve noted before, I dye old damask tablecloths and commercially printed cloth.

green painted leaves on hand dyeThis piece of damask is a series all by itself.  It went through two dye baths and then was stamped with leaves dipped in paint. It awaits adoption into a quilt.


Filed under Commentary, Inspiration, Project Ideas

2 responses to “Clearing Out The Leftovers

  1. jennyklyon

    Wow, those are all beautiful! I especially love the colors and layout of the 3d quilt down. What stunning leftovers!

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