I hadn't participated in any quilting retreats since last spring. I was overdue. I love quilting at home but sometimes it's great to be sociable; see what others are making; and of course, learn and try new things.
The night before the retreat, I was planning what to bring. I had energy since I was taking the next day, a Friday, off. I tried to make a new block for my garden exchange - it was a dud. I made a stand from fabric and cardboard for my IPod Touch - it turned out ok, but I managed to get the measurements wrong. No big deal, but a sure sign that I was tired. Very tired.
So Friday I went to the retreat with at least 5 projects to work on. When I got there, I knew that if I did anything that required concentration, that it would be a disaster - so I took out my box of scraps. Turns out I didn't even have the energy to trim them. Not a good sign.
|Box of scraps|
So what did I do? I started sewing the scraps together. Any old way - it didn't matter, as long as I was sewing. After an hour of this, I decided to do the social thing and go see what my friends were doing. Quite a few of the quilters were making this very cool quilt called Toes in the Sand. It's a quilt of wonderfully pieced triangles set between solid triangles. Very intricate and very, very lovely. I wanted to make one - but that wasn't going to happen that weekend, until it hit me that I could make my triangles out of scraps. No measuring, no fussing with seams, just sewing tons of scraps together and then cutting the pieces into triangles!
When I got home on Sunday afternoon, I had 18 triangles completed. I even made a couple more Sunday evening!
|Cutting a triangle from a scrappy block|
|Scrappy triangle is 12.5 inches on all sides|
|Leftovers attached to new piece|
|Trim to be able to add more scraps|
I keep going like this, either adding leftover pieces to new blocks or just starting new blocks.
|Isn't it adorable?|
|Pieced block from another project|
Here is the resulting triangle.
What I learned:
- Not following any rules, not measuring and just playing with fabric is very therapeutic.
- Although there are no rules, there are some best practices! The first one is to iron - a lot!
- I made some of my triangles around a focal point, but tried not to make too many of these.
- I have often played with my scraps when I want to sew but don't know what to do. When I started making these triangles, I had all kinds of partially sewn pieces that I could put together.
- When you think a piece is doing well, cut it up and place a thin strip of fabric between the two pieces. It's also fun to invert the pieces when you put them back together.
- The resulting triangle is often a surprise. Since I used a paper template, I'm never sure what my triangle will look like until it's been cut.