This week I finished two quilts for a service project with my kids’ school. Every year, the kindergarteners make quilts with fabric handprints and squares of fabric that represent their individual personalities. The completed quilts are given to very special babies in our community. It’s a great project, and I love being part of it. Even when I’m tring to work silk, courduroy, fleece, t-shirts and felt into the same quilt. This year was a pretty short turnaround between getting all the squares and completing the quilts. I couldn’t have done it without my dear friend Elizabeth, who spent the day helping me bind while her sweet kiddos kept all three of my littler ones entertained.
Here’s a couple of pictures. My apologies for the quality, but there was NO daylight to be had between completion of the quilts and turning them in.
So, where does the frugal part come in? Usually I spend about a hundred dollars on this project for border/backing/binding fabrics and batting. This year, I used only what I had on hand, plus two fantastic tools.
The first was batting tape. I have an entire storage tub of large batting scraps. This fabulous tape enables you to fuse scraps together to make a larger batting piece. Ingenious! I got mine at JoAnn’s, but there’s lots of different brands available. The Dritz one worked just fine for me. As a side benefit, that huge tub of batting scraps is now half empty– more room for fabric storage!
The second was a free Craftsy class, Creative Quilt Backs with Elizabeth Hartman. I highly recommend this class. If you’ve never taken a Craftsy class, this is a great place to start. You don’t need any special software or equipment. You don’t even need to set up a Craftsy account if you’re on Facebook! You can watch the class at your own pace. I watched it during a couple of naptimes. While this class does not provide specific steps to create a project, it does provide lots of tips and inspiration to make some amazing quilt backs. I’ve been a fan of Elizabeth Hartman ever since I saw her Space Invaders quilt on her blog. Her class is every bit as friendly and helpful as her blog. After watching this class, I took the leftover fabric from the front of the kindergarten quilts, and pieced the backing for the quilts. It was very freeform, spontaneous, and great fun!
On a side note, however, may I recommend only using cotton print fabrics the first time you try this on a quilt back? I went all out with leftover flannel, fleece, minky, and cotton. In pieces that large, they shifted around a lot, and I had some tense moments quilting over those seams. However, I’m still quite pleased with the way they came out. As I was binding, I noticed that the quilts felt especially snuggly with all those different textures on the back. My youngest son crawled onto the quilt, and promptly stuck his thumb in his mouth and stretched out on the quilt, so I think it passed the snuggle test with flying colors!
Saw this on a blog yesterday, and it made me laugh!
Next post will be my 100th! Hopefully I will have enough coffee to make it spectacular!