Like a Fabric Piecing Lottery

The top of the 350 quilt is nearly finished. It goes together quickly when it is simply charms and you piece it randomly.

One of my favourite quilting buddies teaches her beginners and expert students to let go of the control over fabric placement. She uses this for strip quilts, mostly, but it works well on any scrappy adventure. Just take all your cut pieces - 4.5 inch squares in my case - and throw them into a paper bag. In the absence of a paper bag use the nearest basket or bin. Sit down at your machine, grab two pieces without looking, and sew. Continue. She would sew pairs, then sew the pairs together. I sew pairs, then add on, but never do I take note of fabric choice. It is all random, like a fabric piecing lottery.

I always chain piece into rows, then sew those rows together. My 350 quilt is made up of 64 squares, 8 by 8. I started by piecing 8 pairs together. Once you sew one pair, sew a few stitches without any fabric, then add the next random pair. When you are finished, all 8 pairs are attached in a chain. I then pressed the seams, alternating directions from one pair to the next. Then I attached the third piece to the pair, pressing in the same direction. That way, when all the squares are attached the seams all go in one direction on one row and the opposite direction on the next row. This ensures flat seams when I go to sew the rows together.

My apologies for the bad lighting. I would like to say that I am living up to the message of the 350 challenge and sewing by candlelight, but really it is my dark basement at night. But they are compact flourescent lightbulbs. The problem is that there are only 3 of them in about 800 square feet of concrete room.