Sunday, November 29, 2009

Catalog Quilt, Part I

After Thanksgiving, it's good to have a nice simple project to work on.
One that does not require a lot of extra thinking!
So I decided to make a Catalog Quilt!
Here's how to relieve your Holiday Stress or Overload...
First, get a catalog....

You probably have one around somewhere at this time of year!
It does not matter what size or company or anything like that. But the page size will be what the block is. This will give me some rectangular blocks to play with!
Cut the catalog in half, right up the center fold...

Yes, it does help to take the staples out first!
Now you have a stack of foundation papers to work on.
I decided to use a bag of strips that came from some anonymous guild donation, all from one person, so I just figured they would basically go together. And I knew they were mostly navy & pink sort of prints.
I chose a purple fabric from my stash to use in the center of each block, as sort of a unifying touch.

I just cut up the whole 1/2+ yard piece, knowing the 2" size (another random decision) would be useful in other projects if I cut too much.
This is a good Stash Buster kind of thing to do...though mostly it just re-distributes your stash from yardage into strips!
And speaking of strips...the ones I'm using in this quilt are all different. I didn't even look to see what size they were, though a few were really wide and I just hacked them through the center to make 2 strips!

Lay the "unifying" strip from corner to corner. At least that's what I did! Please feel free to put yours in any direction or place you like.
Or don't even use one!

Lay another strip right on top and sew. I would recommend using a small stitch length (here I have it set at 1.5) so the paper will tear off easier. You could also go for a big fat needle! And this is a good time for a needle that has been used but you'd be replacing soon...let it wear out on all this paper, then toss it!

Oh, while you are at it, how about using up all those spool know, the ones that have too much thread to throw away, but not enough for another project? The color is no consideration in this project!
Heck, you can finish off a lot of mostly-empty bobbins, too!
Dang! You are just soooo virtuous now, using up all this stuff!
(sharp eyed readers want to know what that little blue container's the thing that ladies' Intuition shaver cartridges come in! Nice for keeping bobbins handy but controlled).

Just sew & flip the strips out to the corner, pressing each time to be sure the seam is flat.
Don't worry too much about what strip to put on next, as long as it will cover the paper. The point is to use them up.
In this project, it does not even matter what your seam allowance is! In fact, when you get to the corner, you can make a tiny seam to stretch the fabric so it covers the corner, or take a big fat seam to let more of the last strip show!
By the way, you could also decide to use the same "unifying" strip for all the corners, or instead of using it in the center.
Really...with this project, it hardly matters what you do!!!
Once the page is covered, you will trim it off (or, like me, wait until ALL the sewing is done, and then trim all of the pages!)

Just use the edge of the page to place your ruler, and whack!
All those trimmed parts can be tossed away (gasp!). Luckily for me, there is a member of my guild who collects these bits of fabric & even batting to stuff big pillows for pet beds for the local animal shelter. She leaves every guild meeting LOADED!

Here it is...all trimmed up and ready to go!
But wait...the paper has to come off:

I actually took these to my comfy chair and worked on them with a trash basket nearby.
Start at the corner and fold down the paper down along the stitching line, crease it with your fingernail or something, and it will pull off. Then pull the next strip away from the stitches, and fold it against the next line of stitching.
Etc, etc, etc!

The best part of any project is learning something. Can you see what I learned above?
Yes, that is to either make ALL the center strips go the same way, or divide the blocks and make half go one way and half the other.
Frankly, that would have required too much post-Thanksgiving thinking from my over turkey-fied brain.
Instead, I ended up with just one block different than the rest, and and a valuable lesson:
A diagonal line on a square can rotate in any direction (allowing for nice X shapes to appear through a quilt setting).
But a rectangle's diagonal is the same no matter how the block is turned.
Anyway, I have 30 blocks that are about 7.5" x 10.5". They will make a nice center for a small quilt that I can give to a charity.
When you are cutting up a catalog, you could go ahead and cut the pages into squares, but it was fun to use these rectangles...not to mention less work! Or look for a catalog with square may have one in your re-cycle bin already!
Stay tuned for Part II, when I figure out how to finish the top.


Pat said...

Oh, to have a Sears catalog -- the pages were so thin, made the tearing off part so easy.

I love your "lesson learned" -- but you know, it makes for an interesting layout.

Sunnie said...

What a great point, Pat...I wonder how some of those Sunday newspaper ad inserts would be? Some of those have that nice thin paper!
You really don't want to use an "up-scale" catalog with heavy paper.