Growing tired of my ever-increasing fabric stash from three years' worth of projects, I decided to make a beach quilt made solely of fabric scraps around Memorial Day. I don't think I could ever spend money on new fabric knowing that it would fall victim to the great outdoors, but I knew I wouldn't be heartbroken if a scrappy quilt got dirty. The only fabric I purchased was an Ikea sheet, which I used for the middle layer instead of wool/cotton batting, and 108" broadcloth fabric for the backing, since I didn't want to piece together a quilt backing that large.
I ended up with 600-some blocks for the front. I think the squares are 3-4 inches... can't remember! It took ages to piece together -- about a month of working on it whenever I had a spare moment. And, because I am type-A, I had to make sure no two patterns or colors were touching. I made light-dark fabric pairs, then built rows from those.
It wasn't a perfect process, but it came out pretty well, I think. It finished up at a queen size, and the thin middle layer makes it less bulky than other quilts -- perfect for the beach or a picnic! I quilted diagonally, and the binding is a bright purple that failed to make the cut for my brother's LSU quilt.
Here's its beach debut in Labadee, Haiti:
And here it is in the somewhat less exotic locale of Rehoboth, Delaware:
The Rehoboth Beach trip was with my friends Drea and Lynn, and they both had fun picking out the fabrics that were in their quilts. I'm happy I made a good dent in my stash (to make room for more fabric!) and was able to make something useful.
I bought this adorable crab fabric on sale in the spring and knew I wanted to make a beach bag out of it. I searched high and low for a good pattern, but nothing seemed like it would work for me. I wanted it to be large enough to hold the above quilt as well as some towels. I wanted to make the handles out of webbing for increased durability, and it would be great if it could have a pocket or two for things like my wallet, phone, and Nook. I ended up just using what I've learned on my sewing adventures to come up with a pattern myself. And you know what? I'm really glad I did!
I used some leftover quilt batting to make the outside panels -- which are about 22 x 28", I believe -- and give it some shape, quilting straight lines a few inches apart in navy blue. I bought about 5 yards of red webbing. I measured the drop I wanted and cut accordingly. Sewing on the handles was easier than I thought it would be, and I stitched Xs in the corners for reinforcement while allowing for a big pocket on the outside. Then I stitched the panels together facing one another before turning the bag right-side-out, using 1/2 inch seam allowances. (I read that you should use larger seam allowances for bags... can't remember where, but it stuck!) I created a lining out of the crabby fabric and made two small pockets. I slipped the lining in the outside of the bag. Then, I used pre-made binding to finish off the top. It took maybe 4 hours from start to finish.
The only thing I would do differently in the future is to make the binding myself. The store-bought binding was flimsy and didn't play well with all of the fabric layers. But it worked in the end. I've gotten a lot of compliments on the bag as it came out and about with me this summer, and I feel like I've leveled up in making bags!
Up next: Liberty Quilt (finally!), Giants Quilt, and some embroidery projects!