I was on loose ends a couple days ago--really didn't feel like working on the fusible applique "Be Attitudes" since I normally buttonhole and then quilt it right after I finish the applique---machine still in shop till probably months end.
What to work on instead though? Earlier in the week I had drug home a bag of stuff one of the Belles had brought. A few blocks that needed the sashing removed from a donation top--did that but will re-visit the piecing back together later. Also in the bag was a pile of appliqued floral blocks with pieced half star baskets. Hmmm, interesting-- but only 5 or 6 are completely done and a bunch more to work on. Not yet but possibly down the line---and with different fabrics if I have to do them. (Looks like poly-cotton which you know will not crease properly but I could be wrong about that fiber content)
When I went to stow those sections away in the closet, I pulled out a stack of 3 1/2 inch cut strips I had found at our meeting place at the church---that white, gold, striped and leopard looking print you see in the picture. At one point before it got put away, I had pulled some fabrics from my stash to pair with it: an gold pinecone looking print, black with stars and crescents, a stylized graduated rust landscape print with what looks flocks of birds on it, and so on. I think I had planned an old pro bono fav Snuggle Up top. Obviously judging from the picture, I got busy on a top.
There were 10 strips of that jungle piece--more than I really needed--or so I thought. I loved the cobblestone looking giraffe piece but alas, it was only a fat quarter and I had cut a big hunk out of that for an "I spy" section. With some piecing, I was able to squeeze out two strips. I could use another scanty piecein that set aside pile in between those. Once I started cutting the other yardage I had on hand, I had 5 strips available in 6 different fabrics. Perfect, I thought!
Well, actually it ended up being TWO tops I am making. At some point when I was sewing it occured to me that 30- 3 inch finished strips would make a quilt that was 90 inches long!! Not a bad idea if I were not making a donation top and we shoot for 40 x 60. DUH, 20 strips, not 30. Okay, 10 strips towards another top then. I raided my stash (again) and came up with a few other prints that will work with the greens, golds, brown tones--using some of the extra Hearth and Home yardage I got for my upcoming Strip Twist for the FAB retreat. Some cat and dog fabric Mom sent home with me will work too.
Actually the first top has 21 strips in the final strip set and the 2nd, 20. The 2nd is not shown but the strip sets are made, joined and looped and cut, just waiting for me to finish up the 1st one. I was able to squeeze out 11- 3 1/2 inch strips vertically from each strip set. I left off yesterday on Snuggle #1 with vertical strips joined in pairs. I plan borders on this one with that rust colored squiggles old Fons and Porter (I think) print but maybe a narrow inset of black between the top and the border. I only have one small square section left of that squiggle stuff along with a pile of narrower strips after I cut for the quilt (s) but I may have enough cut to border both. I'll find out soon enough! I might be back to piecing to squeeze it out but hey, if it worked for our quilting foremothers it will certainly work for me.
Stash busting is the name of the game, after all.
Oh, some final thoughts on this pattern---switching horses in midstream with the strip pairs, messed up the direction that I had pressed the strips. If you look at the strip sets when joined, on the back of the piece, the strips should appear to be raised up and them the alternating looks strip indented and narrower across the back of the yardage. Let me see if I can explain this better--every other strips has its seam allowances pressed AWAY from it. Pressing in that manner will allow the seams to nest perfectly when joining vertically. Actually the pdf file of the pattern has a good illustration of how the back of your piece should look before looping.
The other thing? When sewing strip sets, join the consecutive strip (or strip pairs) by starting your sewing line from the opposite direction or the piece will start bowing. You need the feed dogs to work their magic and ease the middle strips in. I think I may have picked up that tip in Billie Lauder's Bargello quilt----it also uses this loop idea as does Bonnie Hunter's scrappy bargello though I don't think she says to do direction switching.
Hope you have a good day with whatever you chose to do------