Starting a postage stamp quilt

For a couple of years now I have been cutting my small scraps into 2 1/2″ squares and organising them by colour. My plan was that in 20 years or so I’d have enough for a truly scrappy quilt, the making of which would officially make me a real patchworker.

Earlier this week I was supposed to be writing a paper. It it was really hard and I kept shying away from my laptop in fear of the blank page. I hate academic writing!

While avoiding my laptop I decided to do a cutting session and sort out my messy overflowing scrap basket into squares. Some time later the box I had been using to store my squares was too small to hold them all. I figured I didn’t need to wait 20years, I could start my postage stamp quilt now.

I started pairing lights and dark squares together and just chain pieced away merrily.

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I pressed them all to the dark side. I loosely tried to have an even mix of all colour combinations (e.g light blue and dark red). Some of my mid tone fabrics snuck in there, and others just had to be put to one side.

I then paired my pairs to make string of four squares. This time I ignored the pale colours and just made sure I had a even mix of the bright/dark colours in each pair, with an even mix of each bright/dark colour on the end of the rows. More pressing followed (sooo much pressing!). I pressed each row the same way, which meant the new middle seam was pressed towards the light fabric.

Then I joined two strips together, this time I made sure I had an even mix of the dark/bright colours at the corners of the 8-square block.

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It’s starting to look as scrappy as I’d hoped. The checkerboard effect of placing lights next to dark is not as pronounced as I expected, but that’s ok. I still really like the way it’s coming together.

Next up I’ll combine the 8-square patches to makes 16 patch squares. That will be my ‘finished’ block size and I’ll then be able to layout the quilt and see how big it is and how many more squares I’ll need to cut. Somehow I don’t think this quilt will take 20 years to make at the rate I seem to generate scraps.

It feels great to be doing real patchwork with whatever fabrics come to hand.

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