Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Making Fabric on a Rainy Day

I woke up this morning to a rainy, dreary, dark and cool day.  Looking out the living room window revealed changing colors of leaves.  Did I miss summer time?  Did we even have a summer?

Thankfully I had spent most of yesterday doing much needed routine housecleaning and laundry because on days like this, I don't feel like doing much except spending time in my sewing room.

A bright, fun, not too intense project was needed today.....a perfect day to MAKE FABRIC!

Have you heard of the book 15 Minutes Of Play - Improvisational Quilts?  A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to spend the day in Syracuse, NY during the annual "Quilting By The Lake".  We attended a lecture and the featured speaker was quilt designer and author Victoria Findley Wolfe.

Her lecture was exciting and encouraging.  She remarkably mixes modern design with the use of scraps.  As a busy mom, to keep from going crazy, she would set aside 15 minutes a day to sew.  She found that with only 15 minutes, she was most productive when she could just mindlessly sew and have fun...."making fabric".

Let's give it whirl......

I try to keep my scraps neat and organized, but there is this ONE large basket that sits near by where all the odd little shapes and sizes of scraps get thrown....you know, the ones that aren't exactly large enough to cut into commonly used sizes.

Like a child, I just dumped the scraps on the table....

Then just started sewing them together.....

Neat, straight edges aren't required for this because all you do is sew a seam, flip it over and trim the excess fabric to leave 1/4" seam allowance.

Trial and error taught me that it's easier to keep two "pieces" going at the same time.....

Did you notice that I'm not using any paper foundations, etc.?  I'm just sewing little odd shaped scraps together.

Once I have a decent sized piece of "made fabric" ready, I spray it with Best Press and press with a hot iron. This just allows it to hold it's shape without stretching, etc.   Then I cut out a 4 1/2" square.

Of course you can make any size you like, but I've decided to make 4 1/2" unfinished blocks.  I don't exactly have a project in mind for them, just thought this would be a good size that will easily adapt to most traditional blocks, etc.

After making a 4 1/2" block, I use the leftovers to start more "made fabric".

In addition to the lecture, we were able to visit the quilt show and vendor booths.  Thankfully, I wasn't tempted to make many purchases.

This is the result of my shopping....one jacket pattern and a handful of buttons for future purse/tote bag projects.

Time to start supper....then hopefully head back to the sewing room this evening.


  1. Nice blocks. All this time I assumed Victoria's technique was done on paper.

    1. I was surprised also. Honestly it is so much quicker doing it this way, especially since I didn't have to sit and tear away a paper foundation.