Super-scrappy stash-slashing

Definitely not a title to attempt after any kind of alcohol…

And it isn’t even a ScrapHappy Day… Back to the point. I’m talking about the back for my Days Gone By quilt, the one I’ve made from scraps generated by the local Days for Girls sewing chapter. A reminder of what this looks like, hanging on my design wall:

And this is the almost complete back, on the same design wall.

Just two long seams to go and it’s assembled, ready to trim out. The eagle-eyed will have noted that it’s a lot larger than the front. This is because we have located an extremely kind local Long-Arm Lady*, who has agreed to quilt it without charge so that I don’t have to struggle with the beast. Batting has been donated – polyester, not my favourite, but it will make a nice lofty quilt when all is done. However, we still needed a back. Having already donated over a year of work myself, and the group not being in a position to buy the fabric needed because this whole project is designed to raise funds to buy supplies for the DfG kits, I had to improvise.

I went shopping in my stash. I rootled about until I’d brought out all the larger scrap pieces I didn’t love or felt I could spare, or had always wondered What Was I Thinking? I sacrificed a few bits I still liked but could live without. They are all, without exception, scrap fabric, left over from other projects. There is no particular logic to the layout apart from ending up with something that didn’t actually make my eyes bleed to look at it…  It is, after all, the back. The bit you don’t look at if you can help it. Two more long seams, and it’s done and I can forget about it until the New Year, when it has its January appointment with edge-to-edge quilting and a moment of fame in March at a fundraiser.

It would have been easier if I hadn’t had to make the thing 6 inches larger than the front in all directions; a requirement of long-arm quilting to assist with loading it on the rollers. So this monstrosity is W82 inches x H87 inches.

Which is a very good thing, because there’s now 7,134 square inches less of unloved fabric in my stash!


* For the non-quilters among you, this is not an unfortunate disability, but the ownership of a long-arm quilting machine, an object often 12ft long, which makes light work of quilting large pieces if you know what you’re doing, and is an enviable piece of kit.

54 thoughts on “Super-scrappy stash-slashing

  1. Moira says:

    Yeah for getting all those unloved fabrics out of your stash!

  2. Terri says:

    While not as spectacular as the front, the back turned out very nice while giving those unwanted fabrics a new home. Very nice job!

    • katechiconi says:

      Nice is about as complimentary as I’m prepared to go! I love to work with colour, so this arbitrary combination is distressing, but it does the job, it’s pretty quick and best of all – it’s free!

  3. kymlucas says:

    I actually like it because it looks so scrappy, like what it is – made from leftovers. But then, I’m just a scrappy person myself. 👍😊

    • katechiconi says:

      I wish it could have been made from DfG leftovers, but they’re frugal enough not to have anything this large! And for ease of eventual quilting, the fewer seams on the back the better, given how many there are on the front!

  4. Looks great and I am so impressed that all those scraps are gone. Way to go.

  5. Sharon says:

    Excited to see the final project, it will be stunning and loved. What a wonderful collaboration of people donating for this wonderful cause

    • katechiconi says:

      There are ladies in the group who are already talking as if they’ve won the raffle and it’s coming home with them; they’re discussing where they’re going to drape it, etc!

  6. nanacathy2 says:

    Well goodness me- this is just splendid.

  7. jmcheney says:

    A chore done! Fait accompli! A big pat on the back from me. Mama started one with small squares in leftover silks & velvets from her crazy quilt period. I looked at it the other day & remembered her hands in old age. Maybe I’ll frame it – as is. Colorful.

  8. knitnkwilt says:

    I need to do more of that kind of stash busting.

  9. wow, oh wow! it will certainly deserve it’s moment of fame. And to lighten the stash at the same time – well done.

  10. I love the front of course… but the back is ok too. I love the play of colours and shapes… it’s a quilt! Btw I admire the back of my quilt as much as the front… both are very special. One day we will find a caravan and it will go to its intended home… in the meantime I spend some time reclined on it on its sofa most days.

    • katechiconi says:

      I remember you enjoyed the free-form colour on the back of yours! I like my scraps corralled and organised a little more so this doesn’t really appeal to my eye, but was the best I could do with what I had. I hope one day to see the Grey Nomad in its natural habitat 🙂

  11. I like the back and how lovely to have the quilting donated as well as the batting … that’s totally awesome 🤩

  12. Marty K says:

    That’s quite the impressive clearout! I like totally random scrappy quilts. I know you will make sure the quilting volunteer is well-acknowledged. And I hope the organization makes sure to acknowledge the TON of work you put in!

    • katechiconi says:

      She’ll get the credit due, don’t worry. I’m almost afraid to put my name to this quilt in case someone asks me to make a quilt for them… which I don’t do! There will be others in the future, but not hexies, I fear; it’s just too time consuming.

  13. Chris S in Canada says:

    The back of the quilt may somewhat offend your colour sensibilities. While it may not be quite my cup of tea either, it is the dream quilt for someone.

    On the other hand I think it would grow on me if it was in my life on a daily basis. There is joyfulness and creative abandon oozing from it. How wonderful!

  14. cedar51 says:

    I’m back to a kind of “stash busting” as I turn the hand made notebooks into “art books” so at times quite a few scraps of other paper and sometimes cloth get to be within. Although on saying that sometimes the leftover fabric becomes the scrap!

    • katechiconi says:

      There are so many different points of view about what constitutes a scrap. The most generous version is: fabric bought for a purpose, and left over after completion of that purpose. Whether that’s a couple of yards or a couple of inches, it’s all scrap. And sometimes, things change their nature according to our needs!

  15. anne54 says:

    The backing reminds me of the quilts made in the Depression that I think were called Wagga quilts ~ although yours is much prettier and brighter! It is the large slabs of material that remind me of them. So you are following in the footsteps of quilters from another time.

  16. I’m sorry – TWELVE FOOT OF SEWIMG MACHINE?! Bloody hell, that really is serious. And one of the many things I love about your blog is the ability you have to sneak in fab bits of new knowledge like that. Thank you

  17. As a non-quilter, I’m interested to know what your preferred batting is.
    Oh, and how wonderful that the quilting is going to be dome by someone with one of those monster machines… they always fascinate me.

    • katechiconi says:

      I prefer pure cotton batting with a scrim foundation. I like the thickness, weight, drape and ability to quilt at wide intervals that the scrim offers. I also like bamboo, which drapes beautifully and is very cool, but it sheds dreadfully, so if you’re doing a dark quilt it can be a nightmare. Wool also drapes beautifully and is heavier and warmer for cooler climates. Polyester has a lot of loft if you want a very defined effect for your quilting, but I find it too light, it doesn’t drape as well and the quilt can slide about a bit because it doesn’t ‘settle’ like cotton or wool. Also, the fibres of polyester can poke through your fabric over time and cause a ‘beard’ effect which is just nasty. You can get mixes of cotton and polyester, you can also buy silk batting, which is phenomenal not only in coolness, lightness and drape – but also in price! Personally, I buy an entire roll of 100% unbleached cotton batting with a scrim foundation, and use that for everything. Works for me!

  18. bearmkwa says:

    Believe it or not, our new library has a quilting room with a long arm machine…. As well as a few regular machines. You’re supposed to be able to schedule to use such, but with libraries closed…. I live your quilt.

    • katechiconi says:

      Golly, wish our library would follow suit! And offer classes… We’re very fortunate that pretty much everything that survived the shut-down is open again. There are some dark shopfronts where businesses haven’t survived, but not as many as our southern states, where the virus was much more active. I’m so glad you like the quilt; here’s hoping they sell loads of raffle tickets for it!

      • bearmkwa says:

        If I may ask, where are you? I’m Kentucky, USA. I making a mock up for a jacket that I hope to make with patchwork soon….gotta put those hexagons to good use. Happy harvest feast to you.

      • katechiconi says:

        I’m in tropical North Queensland, Australia. I hope your jacket turns out beautiful – I’ve made clothes with hexies before, and if there’s one tip I’d like to pass on, it’s to avoid cutting through the seams attaching them; make the patchwork pieces to fit your garment pattern, rather than vice versa, to prevent all that hand stitching unravelling. Of course, I’m probably teaching my grandmother to suck eggs… I hope Thanksgiving has blessed you. We don’t celebrate it, but I know it’s a huge thing in the US. And in our part of the world, harvest comes in spring! The sugar cane crop is almost done, and December 1 is the first day of summer Down Under.

      • bearmkwa says:

        I learned fitting to pattern pieces the hard way. I remember my Gran laughing at me at the time… Haven’t attempted since. Ohhhh, sugar cane…havent seen it in decades…used to love to pluck the young shoots (3-5 ft tall) and suck on the stem. So very sweet. I’m not a big Thanksgiving fan but my hubby is. We’re both sick today so it’s going to be soup.

      • katechiconi says:

        Soup is also to be thankful for! Get well soon.

  19. I’m glad I’m not the only one who has “what was I thinking?!” moments…

  20. Going Batty in Wales says:

    Having found out just how much fabric there was in my workroom I think I need to do some pieces like your back to get through it quickly! I can quite understand why your friends are hoping to win it! And lucky you having someone who will quilt it for you.

    • katechiconi says:

      A scrappy back is a bit more labour intensive, and doesn’t look ‘put together’ like the rest, but it does look cosy, fun and handmade, which is really not a bad look for a quilt!

      • Going Batty in Wales says:

        It is more work but it uses odds and ends and I am with you on it looking cosy and homemade which is a look I like.

  21. Juliann says:

    What a great assemblage of scraps! My stash is in need of some scrap happy projects.

    • katechiconi says:

      Thank you! At this stage my scrap stash is considerably larger than my useful fabric stash, mostly because I’m trying very hard to buy only what I need for a project rather than buying fabric just because I love it!

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