Do you like scrap quilts? My friend Shelly and I were talking about them the other day. Well, actually she was talking about them a couple of weeks ago, but when she blogged about string quilts, I jumped in. I have loads of strings I’ve kept from various fabrics. I keep them in one of those plastic drawer things. Two drawers are FULL of them. One drawer contains nice, neat, straight strings, the other is full of those oddly shaped pieces that you end up with when you straighten the end of a piece of fabric. I have grand plans for all of those strings someday. My strings, as I said, are in ugly old plastic drawers. Shelly stores hers in buckets…and I think they look adorable! Now I want some buckets too!
But talking about them made me think about some scrappy churn dash blocks I started making a while back.
One night, I was digging through piles and piles of 5″ squares that take up way too much space, and started piddling. (For those of you not in the know, “piddling,” is a colloquialism. Read Rick Bragg’s definition.) I was just sewing to sew, but had nothing particular in mind, made a couple of blocks, but didn’t get far with them.
It’s kind of fun to have some projects like this lying around, things you just keep to work on whenever you have time or need inspiration. It’s fun for me, anyway. I know that some of you are one-quilt-at-a-time folks, and that’s terrific. I am not of that mindset. I like keeping lots of things in different stages so I can work on whatever I feel like at any given moment. That might be why I rarely finish things, but I enjoy it so it’s all good. I think of it like keeping the cupboards stocked. If you’re looking for crackers, they’re in the pantry, second shelf up. Nuts? Third shelf up. Chocolate? Heh. Thought you would trick me into telling where I hide it, didn’t you? Anyway, if your cupboards werent stocked with a variety of things, you’d be stuck eating the same old thing all the time. Yuck.
Well. The churn dash blocks. I worked on them a bit and then started seeing other people doing the same block (not that it’s anything new), but working on it didn’t feel fun anymore so I put the blocks away. Here we are a year or so later and I came across them while sorting through stuff the other night. So, of course, I had to lay them all out to see what I had. And then I had to make a few more. How often do you unearth old projects? I do it a lot.
Who knows when I’ll actually have enough blocks to make a quilt. I’m not worried about it, though. I think I will make it big enough to fit our bed, (queen-sized), but wide enough to fit a deep mattress. The blocks are big, so I expect to need a total of 72. I think it’ll be just right if they’re set without a border. So that means I’ll need a lot more blocks…67 more. Yikes. I wish I hadn’t counted.
Theyre fun to make, though. I just really enjoy playing with scraps. I love seeing that magic that happens when fabrics not “meant” to go coordinate get placed next to each other. Even those old uglies (and I have a bunch of those) can create that spark that a piece needs. And if nothing special happens, it’s okay. You’ll still end up with something that will keep somebody warm. That’s good enough for me.
Do you like scrap quilts? Are they something you make? Do you have a favorite pattern to use?