About six months ago I found the Yahoo group Stashbusters, an email discussion group made up of fabriholics who are trying to break the fabric-binging habit and bust their stashes of fabric by finishing UFOs (UnFinished Objects), PIGs (Projects in Grocery Sacks), and WHIMMs (Works Hidden In My Mind). The members report finishes, participate in challenges, post photos of completed projects, and encourage each other along the way. I have learned so much!
When I was asked to help with fundraising for Missy’s high school band trip, I decided to make a quilt to raffle. I had a charm pack of 35 different 5″ square Valentine fabrics, and asked the Stashbusters for ideas on how to use them in a simple, fast pattern. I was given some great advice, encouraging emails, and helpful links. I wanted to show the resulting quilt top, pictured above, so my fellow fabric fiends could see.
While looking for ideas, I came upon and bought a pattern called Scalloped Charm. I liked its simplicity, but modified the block so that the sashing and posts would surround every charm square. I did buy another valentine charm pack, as well as the fabric for the large border, but everything else was from stash. I also employed Bonnie Hunter‘s ingenious leaders-and-enders technique for making two quilts at once, so while I was piecing the raffle quilt, I used 2.5″ squares as leaders/enders and effortlessly pieced almost all of a second scrap flag wall quilt:
It’s almost like magic — I got the whole star field done plus much of the red and white stripes, just by using those squares at the beginning and end of piecing chains. As a bonus, I saved thread and time because there are no long thread pieces to cut at the end of piecing, since there is always something under the needle. Thank you, Bonnie!
So I’ve got the raffle quilt top ready to quilt. I’ll just use my domestic sewing machine (I don’t have a long-arm quilting machine) to do it, but I welcome any input and advice on what I should do. At first, I was going to use a deep-pink-to-white varigated thread and just free-motion hearts and loops all over, but the thread is pretty obnoxiously hot pink. So now I’m thinking I’ll use red thread in the heart section and try to soften its blocky look with free-motion hearts and loops. But the rest of it is undecided–should I emphasize the pink field’s strong diagonals by quilting in-the-ditch, or should I free-motion there, too (probably with pink thread)? Quilt the borders separately? Use pink thread in the brown border?
The pattern calls for a “scalloped” piping just inside the binding. I’m thinking about a pink border with a red scallop, or the opposite. What would you do?