Monday, January 5, 2015

Orphan Blocks and Selvages

 My sewing room is now 'cleaner', meaning there are still some piles of fabric waiting for another project or two, and, Woohoo! I found my lost ruler! Floors are swept, free of pins, and all table tops are wiped down. Cutting fabric causes a lot of lint and dust, but all surfaces are sparkly now. I was putting away some scraps, and uncovered a stack of orphan blocks. They were made with Kate Spain fabric, and left over from the "Daydream" improv quilt top I did a few months ago. They were begging to be put in a project.

The one table I didn't touch was where I was sorting selvages. I almost hated to pack them up until I'd made a real dent in them, and that's when I started brainstorming. I need a large and roomy bag dedicated just for transporting quilts and fabric. My go-to Ikea bags get used for a lot of different things, and aren't always returned clean as I'd like. I want a tote that I don't have to share, so it needs to look like it belongs just to me.

I started by framing out the blocks in a pink with cross-hatching. There's such a great assortment of these subtle fabrics, and I feel like I'm collecting all the colors. They give texture to the project without using a print.

Then I dove into the selvages, and sorted into short and long. The arrangement was dictated by the lengths available, and I did some moving around as I worked.

I used a background foundation of muslin, and first sewed down the main block. The shorter selvages went next. I started sewing from the block out, and I extended them about 1/2" past the ends of the block so the longer selvages would cover the ends neatly. Next were the longer selvages. Again, I started from the block outward, and pinned each one in place before sewing. FYI, this was a longer process than I had anticipated. So, I'm leaving you with a picture done at the mercy of a dark January day. 

My Work in Progress from last evening. Each side is sewn with the text facing outward. The top and bottom are in one readable direction. You can use selvages however you choose to.

Considering the frigid weather and howling winds, I think the Doxie Girls and I will be staying in. Sewing group is tomorrow, and it would be nice to have this done by then.

So, come on, Doxie Girls.
Let's go sew.

P.S. I want to give a shout out to Eva Johannson over at Bambisyr. She's made a pillow from scraps and a newsprint background I just love! Check it out. Hit translate when prompted. She posts every single day, and has some very original projects of her own and others.

P.P.S. Don't forget sewing tomorrow, Tuesday, January 6, 2015, at Joann's in New Philadelphia, Ohio, from 6-8:30 in the craft room. If you're new, RSVP to me at See you there!


Unknown said...

O.K. I am now motivated to press my stash of selvage stuff.....I am beginning to see possibilities....thanks for the heads-up on Eva's blog. Very nice. This IS a good day to stay in, and sew, sew, sew!!!

Julie said...

And don't forget the spray starch. It makes all the difference in the world. Isn't Eva's pillow great?

Cathy said...

Love it! I have a ton of orphan blocks. Been thinking this is the year to use them. Very inspiring!

Sherri said...

Thanks so much for linking up! Love your scrappy pinwheels!

Julie said...

Oh, Sherri, I'm so grateful to YOU! Thank you for having the Link Party, and allowing so many of us to link up.

Jennie in GA said...

Very clever!!! Waste not, want not.

Julie said...

I agree, but with a little reservation. It took me a long time to be convinced that I should purge my sewing room of unwanted, unused fabric--mostly from the 80's and 90's. I'm a saver by nature. A few years ago I sent many bags of fabric to a local church that would turn it all into useful items for resale or donation. I was okay with that. It was still going to good use, and I replaced it over time with more modern fabrics that spurred my return into quilting with new eyes. If I hadn't parted with some of the old, I may not have discovered what truly inspires me.