I Love Stashbusters

heart quilt

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:

flag start

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?



  1. Nancy-Rose said,

    January 16, 2008 at 3:18 am

    That’s beautiful! I want to make one toooooo! Good job Nikki


  2. Shannon said,

    January 16, 2008 at 8:08 am

    You are quite the quilter! I’m impressed! I am going to learn to quilt with my Grandma. I am working on my YW medallion as a leader and that is one of my value projects. Right now I am cross stitching the YW torch to place in the middle of the quilt! Wish me luck!

    We should get together again sometime soon! What is your schedule like?

  3. doni said,

    January 16, 2008 at 8:41 am

    I’ve been struggling with pink quilts lately – had two requests for pink quilts from Great nieces! This one I like – thanks for sharing!

  4. Holly said,

    January 16, 2008 at 5:29 pm

    It’s gorgeous! I am so jealous. At some point in my life I want to learn how to quilt. You do beautiful work.

  5. Rachel W said,

    January 17, 2008 at 10:06 pm

    Huh. Let me get this straight. You read, quilt, teach, mother, wife and friend (those last three are not verbs but I have turned them into verbs). I am always amazed at your skills. And I can’t help you with the quilting thing as first is mastering brushing my teeth every day.

    I can tell you that one little Charlotte Rose is, as we speak, peacefully slumbering under an NH special and she loves it. The fam is here this weekend and sends you big love. Me too.

  6. idahospud said,

    January 18, 2008 at 3:24 pm

    Thank you all, for the kind words and encouragement. I finally got it all quilted and binding on this morning, I will post another photo soon.

    Shannon, I would love to see you! Maybe you and I could quilt together, too!

    Rachel, don’t be too impressed. My house is under several inches of dust, and several feet of toys, laundry and clutter. When I get going on a project, all else goes by the wayside, including hygiene. AND, don’t be hard on yourself–for me, the first four months of any of my babies’ lives were soooo busy just adjusting to the new addition, nothing else got done. Feeding, diaper changing, and trying to jockey for two hours’ sleep takes all 24 hours of every day! Showering and teeth brushing are luxuries when you’re a new mom.

    Give my love to The Fam. Yous guys are permanent residents of my heart.

  7. janet said,

    January 19, 2008 at 9:03 am

    What a sweet valentine quilt. I love those charm packs, I will be watching for the next photo to see what you decided to do.
    The scalloped border I did on “Three for Tea” was really easy. I used a 8″ plate to round the edge as per the instructions. Cut the binding on the bias, sewed as usual. Oh yeah quilt first before cutting the scallops.
    Isn’t Bonnie the greatest, I have made 1/2 quilt using her enders and leaders tip. Have you been to All About Quits yet?

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