I Do, I Do, I Do and Scrappy Quilts

This June, Hubby and I will be attending three weddings that were cancelled last year due to the pandemic. Fortunately, each wedding is a different weekend in the month and in a different city, so we won’t be rushing between ceremonies and receptions. We will be able to enjoy each event to the fullest, seeing family and friends that have isolated themselves for safety.

I love making gifts for special occasions, and, to continue my reputation in the family as a quiltmaker, I decided to gift each couple with a “couch” quilt, bigger than a lap robe but smaller than a twin-bed size.

I started in January. New Year’s resolutions and those never done goals aside, it was a combination of the stay-home pandemic order and winter in Wisconsin that had me opening my many totes of fabric to spark an idea for the designs for the quilts. To my dismay, none of the fabric was large enough to complete a single design.

I was telling Hubby my dilemma, and he said, “Use what you have and put smaller pieces together.” Oh, the man is so smart.

Quilts made with numerous small fabric pieces are called “scrappy.” The term brings to mind a pioneer woman cutting up worn clothing to create bedcovers for her family. But scrap quilting didn’t become commonplace until the Great Depression when hard-pressed quiltmakers were forced to use every bit of fabric they had on hand. Along with feed sacks, quilters used bits of old clothing, worn-out bed linens, and even men’s old denim work clothes.

So, I drew a design for each quilt to determine the number of scrappy squares I’d need for each. I multiply that number by three so the quilts would be similar but not identical. I calculated twice, not believing that I’d need almost 400 fabric squares for one quilt, 1,200 for the three.

I almost dropped over at the number. But time was passing, and I needed to get busy. Using my experience with making quilts, I knew there was not going to be much wiggle room to get the quilts done in time for the weddings.

Cutting the squares was going to be time and labor intensive so I gave myself the entire month of January to get the job done. I limited myself to no more than four squares from each section of fabric. When February started, I began to sew the pieces together on the sewing machine. By the end of the month, each quilt top, including sashing and borders, was done. March came into Wisconsin like a lamb, and I wanted to give the lady doing the quilting plenty of time. She is a professional and was done by the end of the month. The final step in making any quilt is to finish the outer edge with the binding. I attached the binding using the sewing machine and hand-sewed it to the backside. I put the last stitch in on April 30th.

Three quilts done in four months. I was ready to party with the happy couples. We wish all of them joy and happiness in the years ahead.

Believing in Tomorrow,

Gini

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