A New Year…An Old Hobby…A New Quilt?

So a new year is here and as I do every year, I come up with my mental or written list of what I want to do this year. You know, the same thing goes on my list every year….lose weight, eat more veggies, run on the dreaded treadmill, create fun family experiences, organize my life, you know…same-o, same-o.  So while I still want to do those things, there’s something else I want to do.  I want to do something each week that makes me happy — spend time “making” something.  It may be something I sew, cook, bead…just something that makes me feel like I’m creating something for myself, my home, or my loved ones.  It’s a good feeling, isn’t it?

So I want to share with you my first project. Want to join me? I’d love to have some sewing buddies for this one.   It’s a simple one actually. Not too much to it. Not a whole lot of thought into what the end result will be — kind of a “make it up as you go along” kind of project. I like those projects every once in a while.  Makes me feel like I’m not going to “mess it up” because there really is no way you could go wrong. Great — a no-stress project. I like it. 

I’m not going to buy any new fabric for it either. Well, maybe at the very end, but we’ll see.  Sewing friends: Meet a portion of my stash:

I have my fabric scraps lovingly placed into color-coded bins.  🙂 I simply cannot throw away scraps. Yep, it’s crazy I know.  (I have a feeling many of you will relate!)

So going back to what it is I want to do. I’m going to make a simple QUILT.  My first love in sewing was quilting. I still love it. I’m in a local quilting group and love that I am spending time again on a hobby cultivated years ago.  One of the great things about quilting is that I can use those scraps of fabric that I can’t throw away. 

When you first walk into my home, there is a bench. You may recognize it from other photos I have taken. It’s a lonely bench that has sat there with nothing to “dress it up” for nearly 2 years.  I usually put a seasonal pillow in the corner, but somehow it gets lost.  See what I mean?

Lonely Bench:

OK, trying to dress it up a bit by placing a pillow in the corner:

What?! You can’t see the pillow? It gets LOST in a big bench?
Ya, we need a little somethin’ to help.  Oh, you want to see what the pillow is?

It’s my “must-have-a-seasonal-pillow-on-my-bench-pillow” for January. Reminds me that I need to put it in the “I Made This”  section at SWAK.  (I’ll do that after I make this post!) 😉

Here it is:

OK, so back to this bench. I see it every day I walk into the house. I want to make something that drapes on the corner of the bench and makes me smile every time I see it. So here’s what I’m going to do:  Make something from nearly nothing! (Yes, dig into those fabric scraps!)

Now you want to know what color, right? Hmmmm…doesn’t matter. Truly.

I’m going to make this a VERY scrappy looking quilt.  I’m not going to worry about matchy-matchy stuff.

The more crazy the fabric, the better. At least for me.

But if you want to make it in a color scheme, defnitely do that.

You want to make something that makes you smile, right? 

So today I’m going to only cut squares.  (Maybe I’ll cut tomorrow, too. Maybe all week.)

Remember it’s a “no-stress” project — enjoy the journey!

I’m going to cut them into 4×4″ squares.  I’ll cut them from reds, greens, pinks, aquas…anything that I already have in the “stash.” 

OK, there’s one  thing I’m going to remember: I’m going to cut the same amount of “light” colored fabrics as I cut “dark” colored fabrics. I’m not going to stew over whether it is truly light or dark. I’m going to go with my best hunch.

As for *how many* squares? Hmm….good question. Not sure the answer. 🙂

I think for today I will cut 32 squares from dark fabric and 32 squares from light fabric. This is a quilt that serves more for the cuteness factor than it is for function. 

OK, one more *must*.  Make sure that you cut “even” numbers of squares from the same fabric.  Example: I find super-cute pink fabric. I just want to make sure I cut 2 squares from that same super-cute pink fabric.  I love it so much I may want to cut 4 squares or 6 squares.  (See..*even* numbers.)

OK, I think that’s all for today. I still need to run 20 minutes on the treadmill and eat a head of broccoli. 😉

Have fun!!  And if you’re joining in on the fun, please leave a comment and let me know.  If you have a blog, I’d love to know where to follow your “make it up as you go” quilt journey.

Oh, and I’ll post the next steps to making this super-simple, but super-cute quilt later this week. Keep checking back!





Filed under Make-It-Up-As-You-Go Quilt, YCMT Sew Along

71 responses to “A New Year…An Old Hobby…A New Quilt?

  1. ok, i’m joining in!

  2. I tried draping something on a chair in our living room years ago. Drove dh absolutely nuts. He’s not normally picky about stuff, but that irritated him. So….we have a pillow in the corner of our bench in the entry. 😉 Marriage is compromise.

  3. Crystal

    I think that is a cool idea. I think something like that would cute for my daughter’s room. Most of the scraps that I have are from her clothes. So this would be a good way for her to remember each outfit.

  4. I’m in 🙂

    I have a long list of quilts to get started on for Christmas ’09. A scrappy one would fit in perfectly!

  5. I would love to join in! 😀 Now that doesnt mean I will follow through, because I am the one that starts a million things that I never finish, because something faster comes along, lol.

  6. This is the exact kind of project I have been looking for. Yesterday at the fabric store they were having a sale on fat quarters. I picked 5 random mismatching colors that would be perfect for this kind of project!

  7. Okay Kim… you’ve convinced me. I’m in!

    I’ll post my progress on my blog:

  8. Oh, how fun Kim! I’m so excited to have something to make, especially for me! WOW! And, quilting was one of the first “sewing things” I did! I took a beginner’s quilt class at the local community college. I could barely sew, but I had a ball! 🙂 I just LOVE picking out fabrics for quilts!

    Thanks for guiding us in this! I will post about it on my blog.


  9. OK, I have lots and lots of fabric too! I might have to go with this one. Thanks

  10. Kim, How fun!
    I have still been in thrifty fifty mode, implementing scraps around the house in new ways, so this is another great idea! Thanks! Can’t wait to see what you come up with. 🙂

  11. swakembroidery

    I’m totally in on this project! It sounds like a lot of fun!

  12. Oooh – sounds like fun!!! Our bedroom in the new house is very contemporary, and I need a new wall hanging to put above the headboard. The one I have up now is too small and very 80’s country style (think mauve and powder blue). Off to check out my stash…

  13. Mmmm… ya got me! I’ve been wanting to make a quilt this year (a resolution, if you will) and my Mom just got me a big, brand new cutting mat that needs a good christening!

    Now I just need to put the Little One to bed so I can get started on those squares!

  14. jodie hickman

    This sounds like a wonderful way to start teaching myself to quilt. I have sewn and done everything there is accept quilting.
    I’m going to start in with you.

  15. Teresa Pomerantz

    I don’t think I will join in on this one- but I am definitely going to follow along.

  16. Shelli

    Love it, Kim! What a great goal for the year, and a fun way to utilize those scraps we all have. I’ll be following along for additional inspiration.

  17. whatever you make, I know it will look incredible!! Can’t wait to see it! Now I need to make something for my bench! 🙂

  18. I’m in! And I have time tomorrow to cut some squares. Getting started is the hardest part, right?

  19. I’m in! This will be my first quilt. I’ve always wanted to do one! One question. How many squares would I need if I wanted to make a full or queen sized quilt with this project?

    Thanks for the inspiration Kim! You can follow me at http://www.thewhimsicalgarden.blogspot.com

  20. How did you know our first project for 2009 was organize and use as much of our fabric as possible. My mom and I had already decided we were going to have to make a quilt (or ten) to use up all of our scraps so we don’t have to throw them away. I will post something on my blog when we get started.

  21. lisa

    I am definately going to follow along on this one… just to see what you end up with. Sounds like it will be very wonderful and fun. If I can squeeze the time in between the 2 little ones and the digitizing class I have decided to tackle, then I will participate. I will try to keep up! Thanks,

  22. Kelli

    Sounds right up my alley…my goal is to make full-sized quilts for my kids’ beds this year, but this will be a great way to get into it. I don’t have that much quilting experience and the bed project is a little daunting! I’m in!

  23. Pingback: Part 2 in the “I’m-Making-This-Up-As-I-Go-Along” Quilt! «

  24. I’m in… can’t wait to get started. I’m cutting my fabric tomorrow! Hope I can catch up quick. 🙂


  25. Nandini

    Sounds very interesting. I am in.

  26. Kei

    Right! I’m going to do this. I have SO many fabric scraps and the baby can’t have too many quilts! 🙂

  27. Valjean

    another very cool way to use scraps is to randomly stitch them together then trim them into blocks of a common size and put them in rows. These look amazing – throw in a few curves here and there, add every color you like. Half the fun is having your friends try to figure out how they are done – and it’s completely stress free, no rules

  28. Rita Keltner

    I’m in. I might not get each week done on time but I will eventually get them all done. I have tons of scraps and my wonderful hubby keeps asking why we can’t just get rid of them. We live in our 5th wheeler and space is truly an issue but I still have my scraps!! I’ll post on my blog: http://punkidoodles.blogspot.com

  29. Elzette

    Okay, so, I’m not a quilter, okay? But what the heck! I’m up for the challenge! I’ve 3 cupboards full of scraps to use up. Gonna cut the pieces tonight…

    PS. Any quick sew up ideas for T-shirting?

  30. Kristin Chiccarine

    I’m always up for a no-stress project! You have another follower 🙂

  31. Phillis

    What a perfect pallet for my babies! I’m in!

  32. Amy

    I’m definitely in. I’ve been trading fabric squares for a charm quilt for a few years now, so I may even have half of it already cut out! My husband actually said to me the other day that we need another decorative quilt! I’ve been so busy using all my YCMT patterns to make clothes for my girls lately, that I’ve neglected my quilting……

  33. Margo

    I am in! We must be passing mental messages Kim because I started my own make it as I go quilt in December. Wow, what timing. My make it as I go is for ME!!

    I have 8 quilts in process at this time and this is the only one that I am making for me.

    We had lost the battery charger to our camera, just found it yesterday. So I can finally take some pictures before they all go out to other homes.

    The one for me is a Shabby Chic make it as I go scrappy, I have been collecting the materials for 1.5 years. I also have two seascapes in production for gifts, three lap quilts for gifts made from 6.5″ squares. One western quilt I am just finishing for one daughter and one dresden plate from Chateau Rococo for my other daughter. And a ton more that I just have to make in 2009.

    I LOVE your bench. I think the quilt is really going to look like it belongs there. How about making a 16″ pillow out of your scraps. These days, I am making envelope style closures with buttons so I can change the pillow cover as I choose.


  34. Erin

    I am totally in! This sounds like so much fun. I just started getting into quilting, so this is perfect.

  35. Sabrina

    Better late than never…I’m in. Sounds like a lot of fun and I wanted to redo my 2 year old daughter’s room into a big girl room so this will be perfect to put in her room. Great idea!

  36. Okay… I’m really wanting to make a quilt top that I’ll convert into a duvet for my daughter’s bed. I know this isn’t a project for that, but it could be an inspiration for it. I desperately need a project while my husband is in Georgia for five months and I’m staying with my parents in Texas. I’ll have to talk my mom into going to the fabric store today. =) I have been dying to go since I arrived in the States on Dec 26th.

    I’m in if I can get fabric; my stash is headed to Guam as I type.

  37. I am a week behind already!!! But I am in, I have way too much fabric stached and want (dont need) a project, and I get to do it with a buddy!!! I will post my progress on my blog at dkmccormick.blogspot.com
    See you there!!

  38. Okay I’m in, even though I joining late. I think this is a great idea and I love the baby steps aspect of it. I will post about it on my very very neglected blog http://www.procrastinationalley.com (one of my goals this year is to post at least once a week, so that will help me accomplish that goal at least for a short while, LOL) Thanks for the little push!

  39. Jan

    I am definitely in! I will post on the blog tonight….now? I haven’t grab my stash!!!


  40. I just saw the info from YCMT email and I’m joining in – need to do some catch-up with the blocks tonight/tomorrow but add me in! I need something to do with my stash so this will be a good one to do too!


  41. Lisa

    I am joining and hope to get started today…working sort of together with others might just keep me going!

  42. Debbie O

    What a great idea using teh baskets to sort by color. I think I am going to do that at home.. Count me in with the blanket. I am a new quilter so this should be interesting. So far I think I understand the tutorial. I am joining late. So I am off to cut my squares. 🙂

  43. Mary Lou

    Sign me up. I’ve never tried much quilting before. This seems like a great way to learn!.

  44. Hey, what a great idea! I’m sure dh will agree with me getting rid of scraps–I just wish that mine were as organized as yours are! He will also think I’m crazy for trying to put yet another iron in the fire. Maybe with this great buddy system of checking in on each other you might be able to keep me on task, teach me what I’m doing right/wrong, and help me keep going on this and other projects (as I’m sure we’ll be needing more than just the scraps to make the original 64 squares). I’m not the best person in the world to keep going on one project (I ususally have 3-5 started and going at once and at least 1 or 2 100 year projects going) so I’m going to try my best! Hopefully this will get me to get my extremely neglected blog going again. Seems like its been forever since I was last there to write in it. You can (hopefully) keep track of my progress at http://shellsspecialty.blogspot.com/
    So here’s to a New Year’s project (or two or three)~! With my first grandbaby on the way, I’ll need some blankets, nap pads, etc. for her. So this will be fun!

  45. I really like the idea of combining quilting, stress-free creativity, and stash-raiding! Count me in.

  46. I would like to join in the making of this stress free, make it as I go quilt. Will post about it on my blog. Thanks

  47. I have a newbie question… will this work with 5×5 squares?

  48. Carmel

    I would love to join you all, will go and start cutting now.

  49. i was thinking of making a baby quilt for my baby..my first quilt ever..and quite scared after only thinking about it. i will join you in this quiltalong, and try to post some pictures on my blog…

  50. Kei

    I’ve nearly finished cutting out the squares, and I’ve actually started a blog to keep track of my progress! 🙂

  51. ycmt

    Hi Sarah C!
    Yes, you can definitely use a 5×5″ square. You really can use any size square, as long as it is a perfect square.

    Kim 🙂

  52. Lisa

    I hope this is easy because I want to try it

  53. Count me in! I’ve been wanting to take a beginning quilt class, but couldn’t make it fit in my schedule…now I can follow along at my own pace! Yay! http://www.stitchesbysara.blogspot.com or http://www.happybrownhouse.blogspot.com

  54. Ok… new year, new things, so I will jump on this band wagon too. I just got a new machine for xmas, so I will get to put it to some good use.

  55. Oh, this sounds life fun, I’m doing 5 inch squares too!

  56. Jen

    OK … I’m in! This will be my first quilt! I will be playing catch-up because one of the fabrics I really want to use is still on its way to me. But I am cutting the rest of my squares and starting on some triangles today.

    Any ideas on what the finished size will be, using 64 4″x4″ squares?

  57. Sarah

    I am from England and found you following a series of links from Girl Friday.ink. What a superb blog. I am inspired to finish a quilt I “started” years ago.

    Well, when I say started, I mean I bought the fabric, cut some squares sewed a few then put it in a bag under the bed!!

    Tomorrow I rummage for it and get snipping and stitching

    Thankyou for keeping me so entertained

  58. Pingback: Part 5 — It’s Coming Together Now! «

  59. Rose

    I am going to try, also. I don’t know how to sew, but I have always wanted to learn. I got a new sewing/embrodiery machine for Mother’s Day this past year and still don’t know how to use it. Time to jump in! I’ll get my scraps from the local thrift shop. I have to boys that play college baseball, so eventually I want to be good enough to turn their old uniforms into memory quilts and maybe use their old baseball pants as the border. We had a lady in town that went to a professional and had one made.

  60. Nancy

    O K..I will join in even if it is a little late in the game…I will be cutting some squares tomorrow from my stash and I’m sure I will cut several pairs of some of the fabric….I will try and catch up if I can since I have other things to get finished I can work between different projects. It sounds like something fun to do and I have that same lonely bench in my foyer…and it still has the Holiday season pillow on it…need to pack it away and get ready for spring 🙂

  61. I just found your blog! It is wonderful! I could stay here for hours!
    Thank You!

  62. Karen Solomon

    I’m in. I work 2 part time jobs, make and teach purse making classes, (got several started). Just found out over holidays daughter getting married, and son’s making me a grandma so have quilts to make and have never finished one. May be this will inspire me. My biggest problem will be deciding what fabric to use.

  63. Cindy

    YEAH!! I have always wanted to make a quilt! I have some serious catching up to do!! Going to cut my fabric now! I just got a mat, rotary cutter, and ruler the other day, this is perfect timing! As, I need as much guidance as possible!
    THANKS for all your time involved in this process!

  64. alishasays

    Okay- I was born with this deep love and passion for wood- and I just have to say, that bench is GORGEOUS!

  65. Pingback: Ooh - I like this project « Alchemy in Alameda

  66. This looks fun I am joining ( a little late)! I can’t wait to see the finished quilt.

  67. Ok, I ended up joining. I will post pictures.

  68. Lori

    Another newbie question:
    Do you have to prewash all fabric? I am sure you do, but I just found this project & was reading thru all the posts thus far. Everyone seemed like they were just grabbing fabric or heading to the fabric store & starting to cut. I thought, what about the washing, drying & ironing of the fabric. Again, I am new & have never attempted a quilt. I do alot of machine embroidery & very simple sewing. This sounds like a wonderful tool to help me learn to quilt.
    Thank you so much for this great tutorial!!

  69. Joni

    Haven’t quilted since the patchwork skirt I made in 1969….ah…yeah….flower power and all, but this might be just what I need to start learning to quilt!
    Better late than never?

  70. Pingback: Why start a sewing blog?? « My Sewing Blog

  71. Robin

    I’m alittle bit behind you all on this(I’m still sewing my pinwheels, but wanted to thank you for this super scrappy quilt! It is a great way to use up the the scraps, and I’ve cut enough squares for 3 quilts as I’m making them to donate to a quilt drive for a children’s hospital. I think they would make the perfect size for a child, and they are looking so bright and colorful, perfect to brighten up any hospital room! Thanks Again!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s