I found three shoe boxes full of tumblers. They are from the scrap bins just from the different fabrics. Tumblers are easy to sew together, and it is nice to just sit and piece on the machine. I had no real plan how this quilt would evolve but Tumbling Along just called to me.
In 2020 while in COVID lockdown, I decided to cut as much as possible from the scrap bin. I cut sizes and shapes I use frequently, like these tumblers. I am really trying to complete UFOs before going onto some new pattern.
But it is getting harder and harder to work with my scraps. I have been making scrap quilts since 2019 and I want to do something “quilty” that is not scraps.
I still have four scrap bins and no matter how much I use scraps; the scrap bins do not empty. It is a crazy situation. I jokingly say that the quilt elves, quilt gnomes, or the scraps themselves just keep reproducing scraps while I am doing something besides sewing.
If you are interested in using the same size tumbler I used, go here.
Piecing the Tumbling Along
I started by measuring the bed top. The piecing was done in sets of two tumblers. Then 2 sets into a set of 4 tumblers etcetera until I had a row as wide as the bed top.
I pieced 24 rows to fit my measurement. Six rows were pieced together to form a “block”. I added 4.5″ (cut) black strips between the 4 “blocks”. Then I put a 4.5″ (cut) black border all the way around the outside of the blocks.
There were still more cut tumblers. I pieced together 4 random lengths of tumblers to make the second border. To make this border fit, I added black to the ends of each row, and trimmed it to the right length. Then I added another black border all around.
More borders for this quilt top
The top is still not large enough. Now what? I have no interest in cutting more tumblers. Back to the bins of pre-cut fabrics to see what else is available. Oh, look here – there are shoeboxes full of 2.5″ strips in all kinds of colors.
The strips were sewn together into a long strip. I sewed a strip to one long side. Repeat on other side. Iron. Trim to correct length. Repeat until it is the size you want. I sewed 6 strips to each side but added none to the top and bottom.
The top is still sitting in my sewing room because I can’t decide if it is complete or needs one final border to frame it. I guess if I keep looking at the top, I will figure it out eventually.
Right now, the size is: 86″ wide x 98″ long.
I guess the moral to the story of this Tumbling Along quilt is that some quilts really do not have to be precisely planned out. My goal with this quilt was to use as many pre-cut pieces as possible. I only had to cut the black sashing and border at this point. It was fun to watch the top develop as it was sewn together.
Here is a tumbler tutorial.
Let the quilt talk to you. Enjoy the process and have fun.