I've been looking through my fabric stash and my work-in-progress (WIP) pile (almost 60 different quilts on the go - but I'll talk about that in another blog post!) and feeling a bit overwhelmed. I'm sure a lot of you are feeling the same way. We buy fabric faster than we can use it, and then spend lots of time cutting it into little pieces, then spend more time sewing those little pieces back together. I don't want to destash my fabric - I bought it because I loved it and I want to use it.
So I've decided to to make some quilts that will use up large amounts of fabric in a short amount of time. Over the next few weeks I will be sharing these quilts and other projects with you, and together we will get that fabric off the shelf and into use, and make more room for new fabric at the same time! I will also share some of my tips to help you make the most of your sewing time, especially if you're like me and have to squish your sewing time in amongst work, family life and house stuff.
The first quilt on my list is the Ebbing Quilt, which is a free tutorial on the Cloud 9 website. I'm making mine a bit bigger than the pattern, so that I'll use up a bit more fabric and have a finished quilt that is more useful at my house. We don't do small quilts here!
Here's my biggest tip to make sewing time fit into your busy life - do lots and lots of small sewing sessions whenever you find a spare 20 minutes. I've got a 6 year old son, a 14 month old daughter and a chef husband that works odd hours, as well as working part-time myself. I rarely get any extended uninterrupted sewing time, so I make sure I sneak in some sewing time whenever I get a spare minute to myself!
For the Ebbing quilt, I had a fabric bundle ready to go (Reminds Me Of Vintage Sheets) so I didn't have to spend much time selecting fabric. I leave my cutting mat out on one end of the kitchen table so that I can cut out a few blocks every now and then - you can cut out a lot of large blocks in a couple of spare minutes, especially if you stack two or three fat quarters and cut through all three layers at once. I'm lucky enough to have a separate desk for my sewing machine so it is always set up and ready to go, so I chain pieced the background fabric onto the blocks in 5 or 10 minute bursts. Next job is to trim all the blocks in one go, then iron them all. I've almost joined all the large and middle sized blocks now - joining the blocks is my least favourite part and I've learnt that if I join my blocks as I go, I'm more likely to finish the quilt!
Over the next week or two I will start cutting out the smallest blocks and sew on the background fabric whenever I find a spare minute. It won't take long to join these small blocks and add them onto the bigger blocks, and then hopefully I will have a finished quilt top to share with you soon!