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May 10, 2012
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the continuing war on scraps

Hello all, ME here.

Just taking a lunch break before finishing up the binding on an eye spy quilt. What is an eye spy quilt? My definition is that an eye spy quilt is a quilt made of a simple pattern, featuring a collection of novelty fabrics in the blocks. I try not to repeat any fabrics, so for me they are also charm quilts (the original definition which is a quilt which doesn’t repeat any fabric). I also make sure that there is at least one image for every letter of the alphabet. There are lots of games that the recipient (usually a child) can play with their quilt. Since the blocks are made of many different fabrics, my eye spy quilts have a very scrappy look. I like to finish them off with a scrappy binding.

Whenever I have a length of binding remaining after completing a “normal” quilting project, I do one of two things with it. I either cut it into 1″ wide strips for the crocheted rug box, or I add it to a length of scrappy binding which I always have going. That way when I decide to use a scrappy binding, as I did this morning, it is ready and waiting. Sure makes finishing the scrappy quilt easy. I have the scrappy binding wound around a mini cardboard “bolt” so it stays folded and pressed, and is ready to be used. If you make scrappy quilts for yourself or kids, try this out. Even very short binding pieces can be used, whatever your tolerance is. The variety of fabrics, and lengths, in the scrappy binding adds to the effectiveness (IMHO).

Yesterday my young sewing buddy from next door had her weekly lesson. We spent the time choosing fabrics for a birthday purse for her older sister. It was nice to see her very carefully choosing things she felt older sis would like–choosing, putting them side by side, yes, no, yes, no, add one, subtract one–you understand how the process works. She usually is not so careful when we are making things for herself–but when the project is not for her, she really agonizes. Just like us, right? We had to choose 1 main fabric and 8 small pieces of coordinating fabrics so you can imagine how much playing in the stash was involved. I enjoyed watching her excitement about choosing just the right fabrics. I think I may have a budding quilter in the making.


  1. Joann Mc Gowan says:

    Not sure if someone reported this yet – but there is a great magazine called “Quilt Your Stash” by Joan Ford of Scrap Therapy fame. She was at our guild a few years ago and many members took her classes. She has great ideas for cutting your scrap pile down to size.

    • Mary Ellen says:

      Hi Joann, thanks for the suggestion. I took Joan’s class when she was here, before she joined the big time. I’ll have to look for the magazine.

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