I’m in the process of making a lap quilt from my scrap fabrics. I bought a Go! Cutter with a 2.5 inch square die to cut the hundreds of 2.5 inch squares I need for this quilt. The pattern I’m using is this one: http://weddingdressblue.wordpress.com/2011/07/06/100-patch-quilt-tutorial/
The first step in the process was to cut out hundreds of squares! I counted up how many I cut, and it came to more than 2000, and still I had scraps left over. I didn’t touch my fabric stash at all. Using the Go! Cutter saved my sanity — you can cut up to 54 squares at a time and they are ALL the same size and ALL correct. I put them into ziplock bags according to colour and then I left them for a few weeks until I got inspired to start stitching them together. (And to avoid this mammoth task in the future, now when I have offcuts from a quilt, I save the larger pieces and put the smaller ones through the Go! Cutter then add them to the relevant coloured baggie. Even smaller ones either then go into the bin, or I donate them to the local library for their children’s craft activities over the school holidays — small offcuts of wadding make great sheep and snow!)
I grabbed two pieces from the baggies, then stitched them, chain stitching the next two and so on. I stopped stitching at about 580 pairs, and STILL I have hundreds of 2.5 inch squares left over! If I need more, I’ll just raid my baggies of squares…
The next step was ironing each pair open and snipping the joining threads. What a mindless task that was! Now I had a cutting table covered in pairs of squares…
After a few more days/weeks of avoiding the next task, I got into it while I was on leave just before Christmas. And that task was deciding how to put these pairs together. It would be easy to just grab a pair and then stitch the next pair I grabbed to it, but I wanted to make sure I had a balance of lights and darks, brights and pastels, etc. so I placed the pairs on my design board (thank goodness for that design board — this task would have been a nightmare otherwise).
Once I was happy with the ‘randomness’ of colours, tonal values etc., I stitched the first row of 10 squares (5 pairs) together, then pinned them back up. Then the next row and the next until all 10 rows were stitched.
Next came more pressing, this time pressing all the seams in one row the same way, then in the opposite direction for the next row and so on until all 10 rows were pressed. I pinned each row back up on the design board as it was pressed.
Next came joining rows 1 and 2 together, then 3 and 4, 5 and 6 and so on, nesting the seams together, and pressing the new seam in one direction.
I now had 5 pairs of rows of 10, so these had to be stitched together too, and the seams pressed.
Finally I had a single block of 100 squares!
I think I’ll need six 100-square blocks for my lap quilt — 2 across, and 3 down. That’s only 600 squares from my stash of 2000+ 2.5 inch squares….
More details as I create the quilt…
Already I reckon I’m about 10 hours (or more) into it, with many more hours to go. Anyone who thinks that paying $300 for a hand-made quilt at a craft fair is too much, has NO idea of how much time and effort goes into it (see this blog post for the costings for a quilt I made a couple of years ago: http://rhondabracey.com/2011/11/06/cost-of-craft-work/).