Friday, April 21, 2023

Putting Free Fabric to Good Use / Beauties Pageant 213

I entered a guild meeting one month last year to find the tables covered in free fabric. A fellow guildmate was destashing boxes and boxes from her collection, and she thought it would be fun to let the guild take what it wanted.

I felt as if I were 10 years old again and walking into Christmas morning! My guildmates and I dug through the piles, discovering treasures and encouraging each other to take more and more fabric. I left with an armful of yardage, including Joel Dewberry’s Heirloom line in a beautiful citrusy palette. (Heirloom is long out of print, but I found it on Etsy, FeelGood Fibers, and Lark Cottons.)

When it came time to sew these prints into a quilt, I quickly homed in on Irish Twist, my take on a traditional Irish chain quilt. Most of the Heirloom I had was in half-yards, but I also had two larger cuts, and between the quilt top and back, I thought I could bust through almost all of it.

Irish Twist is a whole-composition design, and the larger sizes are made by cutting the pieces bigger, not by adding more blocks. This means I needed a plan for fabric placement before I started sewing, and I chose a fun way to audition the prints ...

The design requires cutting two sizes of squares. Before cutting all the fabric, I cut enough of the smaller size squares and laid them out on point to mimic what the quilt top would look like.

There is a coloring page in the pattern, but I’m not much of a coloring page girl. And this method is more effective, I think. Plus, because I cut the squares in the size I’ll use for the quilt top, I’m not wasting anything, just putting those squares to good use before I sew them up!

I made a few tweaks, cut out the remaining fabric, and started sewing. This project is at the longarmer right now. I expect to get it back soon and can’t wait to show you the finished quilt and pieced back! 

I am a fan of variations on Irish chain quilts. If you’ve encountered an interesting version, let me know!

And by the way, I am a member of the New Hampshire Modern Quilt Guild. We’re a super welcoming crowd, love fun monthly programming, and retreat together twice a year. If you’re in southern New Hampshire (or, like me, northern Massachusetts), come visit us!

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  1. Very smart way to audition the fabric placement. And how fun to get such beautiful fabric in what appears to have truly been a large destash!

  2. Lovely quilt top!! (And I miss guild!)

    1. Are you a former guild member of mine?! (Silly Google isn't telling me who you are!)

  3. Hi Michelle! What a great suggestion for choosing a layout without doing a lick of sewing. Your quilt top turned out lovely. It nice a bright and happy looking plus an excellent use of another's stash fabric. At least you didn't let it linger and join your stash! {{Hugs}} ~smile~ Roseanne

  4. Wow! That must have been so fun. I love how your quilt turned out.

  5. What a generous lady & love what you've done with your windfall. Take care & hugs.

  6. Fun to get such cute fabrics! And I love the way you imagined the finished quilt by setting them out, Michelle! Can't wait to see how it's quilted now!!!

  7. Love those juicy oranges! Even better when they are free :)

  8. I really love your quilt! Motivational because it could be actually sewn together fairly quickly!


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