A quilting truism is that when you try to use up scraps to make a quilt you just end up creating more, albeit smaller, scraps. Even though I know this, I’ve recently been determined to whittle down my stash of remnants.
When I come across a quilt I like in a magazine I clip it and put it into a notebook for future reference. One such quilt, I Spy, from July 2006’s The Quilter, was what I selected for this first scrappy project. Designed by Helen Weinman and quilted by Marjatta Gladding, this fun, bright kid’s quilt had caught my eye when I first saw it and over the years I’ve looked at it again and again thinking how much I’d like to make it.
The magazine featured I Spy consisted of 147 different fabrics for the hexagons, yellow triangles, blue-print border and a yellow-print border. One of my main goals was to use only what I had on hand and not buy any additional fabric, even though this meant I would not have 147 different fabrics to use. I decided to make two hexagons from each fabric scrap, with one done in triplicate to get the numbers to work out. Even with my extensive supply I found myself a bit short to get enough hexagons to make the quilt the size I wanted. One of my fellow quilters came to the rescue, and let me go through her “kids prints” tub of fabric to choose what I needed to round out the variety and to get to my ultimate goal of 141. I also had inadvertently thrown out the actual hexagon and triangle templates that were originally provided by the magazine, so I had to improvise by using a similar size hexagon that accompanied another pattern, and from that calculated the triangle size.
I previewed several options for the borders, deciding on these two that both ended up narrower than the originals, again due to my fabric quantity. And purely out of luck I found another small piece of the solid yellow that was just enough for the binding.
The final piece turned out very much like the magazine original – a bright, fun kid’s quilt, using a lot of yellow accented by blue. Sometimes when I look at it I still can’t find the pairs quickly, even having moments where I wonder if I accidentally forgot to include two of each! And as for the scraps, although it doesn’t feel like I made much of a dent, there is now at least one creation out of some of the chaos.