Use it up, wear it out, make it do… A Beginning Hand Piecing Project

My parents grew up during the Depression, and my almost 93 year old father is just about as frugal as they come as a result of it.  The older I get, the more I realize how much junk precious stuff I have packed into our home.  A good portion of that precious stuff is fabric and sewing supplies.  And, in an attempt to try and use it up, wear it out and make it do, I am trying to dive into that stash and create some beauty.

I have partial bolts of fabric that remain untouched.  Some is still on the bolt, some has been taken off and folded.  Some is 30+ years old, some I bought in 2014 when a local quilt shop went out of business.  The gray fabric shown below is one purchased from Apple Tree Quilts. I bought what they had left, which was many yards long.  Lucky me, gray is a favorite of mine, and this is a sweet print! 
9Patch.May2015

A while ago, I had put my rotary cutter to good use and started cutting 2.5 inch squares using up random scraps.  Here are some of those scraps.  My goal is to create a 9 Patch quilt using the gray print as the main fabric, and the scraps in the nine patch blocks.  For those of you who don’t know what a 9 Patch block looks like, visit this Pinterest board.
This will be a very scrappy quilt.  It will also be all hand pieced and hand quilted.  I enjoy having something to stitch on during my lunch time at work and while watching television in the evening.  Sitting on the deck is also a good time to stitch, and this quilt will certainly include some time sewing outside. 

If you would like to join me in my 9 Patch Adventure, please feel free!  Start slicing and dicing your 2.5 inch scrappy squares from your own stash.  You will also need 2.5 inch squares in whatever main fabric you choose to use.  Mine is a print.  You might prefer a solid.  I will be posting updates on this quilt as I go along, so feel free to drop by every few days and see what is going on.  I would also love to see what you are doing with your 9 Patch Adventure!  Please share with me by leaving a comment below OR by sending me an email. 

This is a BEGINNING HAND PIECING project and will be very basic.  Watch the video to learn what you need, or see below for the list:

To start out, you will need:

  • 2.5 inch squares of scrap fabrics in 100 % cotton
  • 2.5 inch squares of background fabric in 100 % cotton
  • Several straight pins
  • Needles
  • Thread to match your background fabric.  I chose gray thread.  NOTE:  Do not buy HAND QUILTING thread for piecing your quilt (sewing your blocks together).  HAND QUILTING thread is used for quilting the three layers of the quilt together after the quilt top has been completed.
  • A small piece of either template plastic OR thin cardboard (use cereal boxes) cut into a perfect 2 inch square (NOTE:  if you use cardboard, prepare a dozen or so 2 inch squares.  As you use them, the edges tend to get soft and wear down.  If you use plastic, one square is all you will need.
  • Pencil or fabric marker (not a FriXion pen!!!)  Make sure whatever you use draws a sharp line.  Chalk is probably not a good choice.  I prefer a mechanical pencil myself!

The number of fabric squares you will need depends on the size of the quilt you choose to make.  If you want it large, you will need a lot of squares!  This quilt is very flexible, but I would suggest starting with at least 4 yards of the background fabric so that you have enough.  It’s always better to have more than you need rather than to run out.
My fabric is always prewashed before I use it.  Since I will be hand piecing and hand quilting, I will be touching the fabric a lot, and I prefer fabric I touch to be free of starch and chemicals.  Washing and pressing the fabric ahead of time helps with that goal.  It also releases any extra dye that might be in the fabric. 

OK, I’m off to cut more 2.5 inch scrappy squares and about a half of a yard worth of background fabric cut into 2.5 inch squares.!  Gather your supplies, wash, press, and cut as explained above, and we’ll touch base soon!

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3 thoughts on “Use it up, wear it out, make it do… A Beginning Hand Piecing Project

  1. I already have a tin of two-inch squares (and one of three and one of four and a huge one of one-inchers. When the lid gets too tight, it is time to put them all to use.
    Sorry, blogger and google keep fighting to make me a no-reply on some blogs.

    Like

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