I made this quilt a few Christmases ago for one of my best friends, John. As a quilter, I accumulate tons of scraps so I found this pattern to use up some of them. Each fabric in the center is unique (and there are 252 of them). I had cut out 252 rectangles and then needed to cut 252 black squares. The day, I received an email from The Quilter’s Market, my favorite LQS, about space in their scrap buster class. This was right when the Accuquilt had come out and so you bring your scraps in a few days prior, they run it through the Accuquilt, and then you show up on class day with scraps ready to sew. I gave them a bunch of Michael Miller black fabric and requested the 2.5″ squares. When I showed up, Lynda, the owner and a friend of mine, said that when the gals were cutting it, they were all shaking their heads and wondering what I was doing (since it was “supposed” to be all different fabrics to use in a scrap quilt). But they of course cut them and I spent the day sewing 252 squares to 252 rectangles. This was also a challenging quilt to assemble because the seams don’t nest but still need to line up, so it took a lot of careful pinning to get everything right.
I chose to do a scrap quilt for John because the idea with a scrap quilt is you take the little bits that don’t look like much and may not go together perfectly and turn them into something awesome. And that’s what John did. We did community theatre together and he’d have almost no money in the budget, (what felt like) no support from the theatre company, almost no audience for the first week, just what felt like very little/nothing in general, and then he would turn it into an amazing and wonderful show that besides was great for the audience, it also mattered to the actors and helped them grow as actors and people. And so I felt that a scrap quilt was very appropriate of what he does.
For the borders, I machine appliqued various symbols that were special to John. From the top left, clockwise: Chinese zodiac symbol for the Ox, air element, Libra zodiac symbol, fire element, turtles (because he loves turtles), Aquarius, water, Sagittarius, earth, and finally Bare Bones Theatre. One of his goals is to start Bare Bones, which is a theatre devoted to doing shows without huge expenses in costumes, set, props, lights, etc – just the bare bones. He had sent me some sketches he made for the logo, which I was able to use on the quilt. All were fused onto the quilt with fusible web and then blanket stitched down.
Lastly, he loves the tv show Psych. In most episodes, they hide a pineapple – there’s a pineapple hidden on his quilt. And I even did non-machine, non-fusible, needle turn applique.