Sometimes, for whatever reason, quilting supplies are hard or impossible to get. The situation can make for some creative solutions to quilting when it comes to supplies. I was going through my scrapbook of quilts recently and this quilt, Scrappy 4 Patch Quilt (or diving into that scrap bin), was made in a similar manner just because of my location at that time in my life.
I lived in Germany (then West Germany) from 1985-1989. As a quilter, supplies could be a problem to get depending on what I wanted. Muslin was unknown and had to be shipped from the US. Cotton fabric was very limited in color and design. It was also very expensive. Batting as we know it was unknown. Thankfully sewing thread was easy to obtain in many colors.
Typical of quilters everywhere, I already had a lot of scraps from other projects. In 1987 I started cutting those small scraps into 2″ squares. Please realize that I did not have or have access to a rotary cutter so this entire quilt was cut one piece at a time. With scissors. Using a cardboard template for the squares.
The making of Scrappy 4 Patch Quilt
Through 1987-1989, I continued to cut needed 2″ squares and 3.5″ alternate squares. I used a strawberry pink cotton purchased locally as the alternate blocks for most of the quilt.
A creative solution to the continual rows of small blocks was to make a center medallion square with blue alternate blocks framed by 2 borders of 3.5″ solid fabrics (my mom sent the blue from the US). This same blue also was used for the binding.
This quilt was great for using many of the scraps. Soon after this quilt was made I moved back to the US and started collecting scraps all over again. Quilters just seem to do that.
The batting was an old flannel blanket I had on hand. And the backing was thick curtains given to me by a German neighbor. The color was a hideous neon orange, but it made a very warm backing and this quilt was made to be used.
This quilt still holds my personal record for most needles broken while making it (3 packages) because of all the pinned seams of all those small pieces and my not slowing to go over the pins (we do learn as we get more experience, don’t we?)
I used embroidery floss in pink and blue that matched the alternate blocks to tie this quilt in June 1989. It was really heavy and would have been very hard to quilt. Besides, I just wanted to get it finished.
And now –
This quilt is in my daughter’s possession at this point. It has been washed frequently, is faded, and parts of it have been re-tied over the years. However, it is still warm and makes a great quilt to snuggle up in, especially while camping. The grand daughter has also been known to make a tent with the Scrappy 4 Patch Quilt to play under/in.
A tip for you –
Not all quilts are meant to be heirlooms – don’t be afraid to make a quilt to actually use hard. Some quilts are for snuggling and comfort. Using an old blanket or a large piece of flannel for the batting is fine. Using an old sheet or curtains (no holes please) for the backing is a way to deal with this and also is a way to reuse/recycle.
More 4 Patch Quilt Ideas –
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