Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Remnant Rehab and Perforated Paper Piecing.

 What an alliterative title. Don't expect it on a regular basis.

How many LQSs that you know of still have remnant baskets, tables or bins? With the advent of the fat quarter, and now the fat eighth, it seems that most every little bit of fabric can be cut from a bolt, folded neatly with a printed paper wrapper and displayed in color coordinated rows--and actually cost more than the yardage price for the convenience. Nearly gone are the days when a fraction of a yard of fabric was rolled tightly and banded with a hand scrawled note of the measurement for a fraction of the original price. Happily, my LQS still offers a basket or two of these gems--though the table that used to hold a bounty of them has disappeared. Sadly, I am addicted. Wonderful, quality fabrics at 40% off and the fun of a treasure hunt in the bargain. I am a sucker for a bargain. So no matter what material need may take me into the shop, feeding the habit will always eventually find me sitting on the floor in the back corner surrounded by little fabric bundles before I finally make my way to the checkout counter.

Case in point: I have been taking a two-part class at the shop, learning to make the Mariner's Compass using the perforated paper method.  It is based on Judy Mathieson's book pictured here. May I just say that I love this method and I never dreamed a Mariner's Compass could be so easy!

Our class and homework assignments were to complete three parts that we would bring to the next class. 
The three parts I made are shown here. (No the compass points won't be cut off. The center circle, compass, and ring of flying geese are each separate and we will be attaching them in class, so they are just overlapping each other in the photo.)

My first Mariner's Compass attempt, unassembled. There will definitely be more in the future. This was fun.

Also, we are going to be putting a radiating checkerboard around it, as shown in this photo from the book. My checkerboard will not have a light color--unless you count the gold. It will be the navy, gold, green and red colors, but more texture involved.

one lone fat quarter--all I needed

So I had cut up every bit of the two gold fabrics I had pulled to make the body of the quilt and nothing else in my stash matched the tone of gold I wanted. I had to have some because I don't want a plain border and I want to incorporate all of the colors in the border I finally choose. On a quick trip to town I dropped into the shop to get ONE FAT QUARTER of gold fabric.

I walked in the door and was disoriented by the fact that whole aisles of fabric had been moved. When I questioned the very helpful clerk behind the counter she said they had been cleaning up and cutting up bolts that only had a little left. Some had gone into fat quarters, but they had bundled a bunch of remnants as well. REMNANTS? At the mention of the word I know my ears pricked up, and I'm not sure, but I may have started salivating, too. My feet started moving toward the back of the shop under their own power. Sure enough, where there used to be 2 large, overflowing baskets of remnants there were now three. I didn't fight the urge. I plopped down and made myself comfortable. There must have been a couple of dozen fabric bundles around me after I had pawed my way through it all. Then began the painful process of elimination. I can't ever pass up background pieces, so those were keepers--many of these remnants were full yards or more. This was a banner day! There were some fun novelties and some beautiful, warm colors that just wouldn't stay in the baskets. This is what came home with me. Is there a 12-step program for this? I only needed one fat quarter!!
Each of these is at least 1/2 yard, up to a full yard!

I love to make pillowcases for special occasions and I thought with some bright trim the dots would make a great birthday pillowcase for the grandkids to use on their pillow during their birthday week

'Til next time, from the little mountain valley where the sagebrush grows,

Janet O.


  1. I love those scrap bins to add to my fabric collection colors/fabrics I wouldn't have chosen myself!
    and of course any background pieces I can add to my scrappy quilts is always good too!
    great mariners compass block, beautiful fabric choices


  2. Your Mariners compass block is the fabrics. I too like nothing better than a rummage through the remnant bins! They still have them up at Mary Jo' of my favorite fabric stores.

  3. Janet, hearing you describe the effect that remnants has on you was a scream! I am exactly the same way--I would much rather buy remnants than off the bolt. I migrated over from Quiltville Quips and Snips--love your blog--I will bookmark it to come back often!


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