Regular readers of this blog will recall that one of my goals for 2010 is to complete one UFO every month. (The other goal of starting to run again was immediately postponed due to all the snow we’ve been getting. But it will happen!) You can see a number of my UFOs on The List. I had intended to start with finishing a quilt for my aunt, but since I needed to wait for a check to clear to buy batting and backing fabric, I decided to tackle the dreaded scrappy quilt blocks. Ugh.
I made these blocks several years ago using Patti’s “Crumb Chaos Block” method, but at some point, I realized that scrappy is not my style. (Gee, I wish I’d figured that out sooner!) I ended up with *88* scrappy blocks and exactly *zero* motivation to make a quilt out of them. I still like Patti’s idea, but if I use it in the future, I’ll do a couple of things differently. First, I will use all one color for each block — all red, all blue, etc. I think I’ll do this with the rest of my scraps (of which I still have plenty!). I like the way Amandajean’s Color Wheel Quilt looks and this is more or less what she has done. Second, if I dislike a particular fabric, I’m not going to like it any better sprinkled throughout a bunch of quilt blocks. Ugly fabric is ugly fabric and there’s just no getting around it. (How did it end up in my stash anyway??) Finally, I need to pay attention to the style of the fabrics. The top square in the picture above is a perfect example of too many styles that just don’t work together. Honestly, it gives me a bit of headache just to look at it. If I stick to one style of fabric, I think I could more successfully combine colors (but even then, I’d limit each square to two or three colors).
So this is all very instructive for the future, but I still have 88 quilt blocks AND this pile of partially sewn together scraps. (Yeah, and another more recent pile of scraps — which is actually pretty small and contains only fabrics I like, so I’m not too worried about it.) (Yet.)
Meanwhile, over at Sew Mama Sew, they were trying to inspire folks to make reusable grocery bags. Y’all know I never met a tote bag I didn’t like, so a lightbulb went off in my head and I decided to turn my scrappy blocks into tote bags instead of a quilt. The design I came up with uses 12 blocks per bag, which means I will be able to make 7 scrappy market bags with four squares leftover. The other good thing about this plan was that it enabled me to use up some tan cotton fabric that I had bought a while back then decided didn’t really serve my purposes. This cotton fabric is sold at Jo-Ann’s as “utility fabric,” and it’s functional but not very pretty. But it works perfectly for these scrappy market bags.
I tried to sort the blocks so there was a dominant color in each bag. Although this still isn’t my personal style, I like the results very much. I used flannel for interfacing, so these are very sturdy and they are pretty sizable too. Each one is about 13″ x 4″ x 14″ and would be perfect for shopping at the farmers market. The 30″ straps are long enough to hook over your shoulder.
These are going into the craft fair pile (when exactly I’m doing a craft fair is another question). I need to get some more utility fabric to finish off the other five and I’ll report on the results of the scrap pile in a future post. As great as it is to have cleared out part of my UFO storage drawer, it will be even better to cross this off the list!
There’s still plenty of time to finish a UFO before January 31st! What are you working on?