a ‘use what you have’ personal challenge quilt


This quilt got its start because I was really feeling the urge to sew with my Nani Iro stash. Periodically I take the fabrics out, admire them, and then end up stumped as to what to make.


I took a peek at my Quilts of Gee’s Bend book to look for inspiration, and came across this quilt, made by Annie Mae Young. Inspired by it, as well as the idea of using what you have, I decided to try my hand at a little something similar.

So the Nani Iro stash went back, and instead I grabbed some scrap Nani Iro pieces left over from a Washi top I made (and I guess never blogged about!). I tend to have trouble using up the scraps left over from making clothing. I hate that they’re always weirdly shaped, and washed while the rest of my fabrics are not, and consequently they tend to sit. So I decided to issue myself a little personal challenge – to use up some scraps left over from recent clothing projects. These aren’t necessarily fabrics I would select to go together – I had the dark purple Nani Iro pieces, plus a few small pieces of new Nani Iro gingham in pink left over from a pair of baby pants I made recently, and some aqua voile, which I used for a shirt (which ended up not fitting, and looking far too much like scrubs for my liking!). I allowed myself to add in some extra aqua solids in order to have enough for the background, and I added in a few small pieces of an orange Oakshott solid for some accent pieces.

(apologies for the poor iphone photos – I need to remember to get out the real camera for progress photos!)

I had the most of the purple Nani Iro, so those became my main squares. I decided to cut it all with scissors without a ruler. As I cut the squares I put them up randomly on the design wall and then started to fill in with the aqua background.


I sewed them into columns and then sewed those columns together.


And here it is as a completed top! It’s fairly small – definitely baby sized – but certainly a fun little experiment. It was interesting to see what I could make out of these clothing scraps. I’ve even decided to go all out and hand quilt it. This will be the first quilt I’ve hand quilted, so we’ll see how that goes!

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12 Responses to a ‘use what you have’ personal challenge quilt

  1. Pingback: FITF: nani iro baby improv quilt | Film in the Fridge

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