Monday, September 4, 2017

Improv Chinese Coins from Scraps

Pocket Change Improv

This project was born from scraps. The fabric is a combination of Kaffe Fassett, Moda Grunge, and batiks. Check them out as 9 patches in this post for A Lesson In Value & Fabric Choice and a Hop. I had separated the scraps in a box instead of mixing them into my scrap stash, and they were easily turned into this wall hanging based on the Chinese coins pattern.

Chinese coins is another name for the Roman stripe pattern in many areas of the U.S. But in here in the Midwest we refer to it most often as rectangles of various sizes stacked on top of each other, and separated by bars. The coin stacks may be oriented lengthwise or crosswise. It was a typical pattern used by Amish quilt makers in this area for over a century-- perhaps because it made great use of scraps. 

The scraps I used were the irregular bits and ends from a fat quarter pack, and I chose to use them in the shape I found them instead of trimming. In some positions they follow a light to dark value, but not all. This was a fast and furious scrap quilt made to keep my Featherweight running loud while it stormed. The Doxie girls are not keen on thunder.

I wish I always had a project like this ready to go on a minute's notice. It traveled with me on a quick trip over the weekend, and I squeezed in several hours in the airport and on the plane. Did you know thread snips and small scissors are TSA friendly? Always check the current regulations for blade length, but snips pack easily. I have been working this piece without a frame, but have also taken small quilts and a PVC lap frame that breaks down into pieces. 

No marking necessary. This is organic stitching...

and a lot of stitches per square inch!
Don't worry about those loose borders.
They will quilt out with more little stitches.

The joy of stitching continues, but I still haven't come up with a firm plan for the finish. Maybe it would look best oriented horizontally like this instead. It needs a dark binding, I think, but maybe even dark stitching in the borders. I don't know. This is the real beauty of finding quiet time, creating your own work, and listening as it speaks to you. Enjoy it!

Come on, Doxie girls.
Let's go sew.


  1. I love it Julie! So colorful and vibrant. What a beautiful quilt :)

  2. Another great project Julie . How do you keep up? I love kaffe fassett fabrics . I went to a talk he gave about his knitting about 35 years ago . We all thought he was so handsome !

  3. I look like it better in a horizontal position. Love your scrap quilt.

  4. Oh, I just love the big stitching! The stitching just lifts the fabric up in an exciting way.

  5. I absolutely love this. I love the pops of red and the turquoise sashing. Very nice hand stitching as well.

  6. This is adorable! The heavy thread hand quilting is perfect for this project. Love it!

  7. It's looking fabulous. The colours are wonderful.

  8. I love the relaxed mood hand stitching gives me. That's a pretty quilt and the stitches add so much.

  9. I really like the bright, zesty colors to this quilt! The stitching is making it look fabulous. So much yummy texture.:)

  10. Beautifully colorful! Love the organic stitches. Hope you've had some additional time to finish it up.


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