While working on my What Shade Are You Blog Hop quilt, I got stuck. And then I decided to not use all the strips of fabric I had cut up. I made a few improv blocks out of the scraps of the weavings, which I loved and this led to a Make Do quilt, which has become my favorite way to create. A make do quilt uses what you have in an interesting way. I had these big HSTs I had made and decided didn’t work and had already sewn them down to the batting. I used the improv blocks I had made as inspiration to add to each HST in a log cabin, round and round I sewed strips, working each block individually. This led to some wonkiness but I just kept going, evensewing batting scraps together and adding them round and round as well for a “Franken-batting”. I incorporated both the small improv blocks which were the source of the inspiration for the quilt.
I had recently received my great-grandmother’s quilt and although it was in terrible condition, I loved how none of the fabrics matched and it was a Make Do quilt, much like the style usually attributed to Gee’s
quilts. I started researching more into these types of quilts and found them
intriguing. I found the hand quilting
rather interesting in that it didn’t usually echo the blocks but rather was
traditional and ignored the blocks themselves.
Back to the wonkiness, when the blocks were big enough, I joined them together. This led to more wonkiness, especially due to the fact that I did not trim most of the batting to make sure it was straight before I added it on. However, I decided that this fit the style I was going for and only fixed the worst of the spots and that I could try to quilt it out.
I hand quilted the entire quilt with large rather irregular stitches in straightish lines. I wanted the lines to be rather organic, similar to the way older quilts were made, with no modern rulers. I even hand stitched the binding to the front of the quilt. I did not square up the quilt, though it’s not really noticeable unless you are trying to fold it. Also, all of the wonkiness did not quilt out. But I think it’s my favorite quilt I’ve made so far. The texture of the hand quilting feels so soft compared to machine quilting and I only want to make quilts this way from now on, at least my own.
All of the fabrics are RJR Fabrics, either Cotton & Steel or Cotton Supreme Solids. I now have two quilts made with the same fabrics and they couldn’t be more different.