Sunday, February 04, 2007

Up from the depths

I found a UFO that I didn't have on the list last week. A sure sign that I need to finish these up!

The pattern is called "Baby Steps," a simple rail fence block set with plain squares. I chose red, white and blue, planning to donate this quilt to Operation Homefront Quilts or Quilts of Valor. My biggest oops was not pre-washing. I have leftovers so I can test the reds especially to see if they will bleed...then it's into a Retayne (tm) bath with lots of prayer!

Prewashing is one of those eternal quilting debates. I learned to quilt form my mom, and she doesn't prewash. I also worked in her quilt store, where I would show up in the morning, see all the new fabric, pick out all the supplies for a project and have it cut out by the end of the day. Instant gratification was the name of the game! (And "shop sample" is perfect justification for starting something new!!)

My last start-to-finish quilt was the batik Strip Club quilt, and I did take the time to prewash. I try to do all the charity blocks for my local guild, and those need to be prewashed also. It would seem that I need to spend some time washing my stash! Some people worry about fabric shrinking, but I am more concerned with dyes bleeding. Of course, reds and blacks are the worst offenders, especially when set next to white. Thus, my fear with the current project!! I guess if it turns into red, pink and blue, I could donate it to the local animal shelter as a doggie blanket, LOL.

As I was working on this last night, I thought of Bonnie's leader-ender project. She has a basket of squares that she keeps by her machine to piece in between her current project. When she has enough 4-patches or whatever, then she sets them into a scrappy quilt. Great idea, but it doesn't work for me! I can't just do a "few" of something. I need to have the whole project in mind before I start. So, I'm more attracted to something like Judy's Hour-a-Day stash-buster project, where you raid your stash to get all the fabric together and then I'm fine with working on it a little at a time in between other projects.

I like the idea of cutting my stash/leftovers into usable pieces. I started cutting one night, but didn't get very far, LOL. I'm thinking of suggesting this to my guild program committee - have the topic be "Tame Your Stash" and everyone can bring some fabric and cutting tools and start to get organized! Or have an "exchange" project, like log cabin blocks, where everyone brings lots of strips and we all share. OK. my mind is spinning, time to send these ideas to the committee!


debijeanm said...

First, I must give your daughter the highest compliment our family can give a child. She looks so smushy! How do you get anything done with such a darling to watch?

Thanks for the great ideas for dealing with stash. There was a cartoon in a cross-stitch magazine once that said, "I have a SABLE in my closet. Stash Accumulated Beyond Life Expectancy." Still cracks me up. Because of the unusual collection of people in my house right now (actually pretty usual for SoCA) my stash is - well - stashed around the house. One of the things I look forward to most about moving is the large walk-in closet I'm insisting on for my stash and supplies. Ahhh, to see it all in one place and to be able, as you suggest, to pull it together and work whenever.

paula, the quilter said...

And blue bleeds too! I have a quilt finished and washed that contained 9patches from a swap. Guess what? One of the blocks had not been prewashed and bled onto the white backing. At least it's on the backside. :O

Su Bee said...

I think scraps, if left alone in the dark, breed like bunnies! I get tired of seeing the same old ones over and over; while we're having our cutting parties, maybe we should all swap scraps - The Scrap Swappers! LOL!