Wine Gums in Progress

When we were writing the book I was in awe of Amanda Jean's quilts. She specializes in making use of the teeny tiny scraps. It's a great use of fabric, but all those pieces do mean that even a small quilt takes some effort. Don't be fooled by the size. You get great impact and an amazing use of fabric. And truly, it is hard to appreciate the scale of some of these quilts from the book.

It wasn't until we were giving our schoolhouse at Market that I could appreciate this. And now that I am out and about giving trunk shows I realize that I need to share these quilts to show more quilters the awesome opportunity presented by these designs. The first of Amanda Jean's little pieces quilts I'm tackling is Gumdrops.

I actually started this quilt in March, when I got my new scissors. And when cutting up little pieces of fabric was about all my big ol' pregnant body could handle. The little pieces then got put aside in favour of the baby and other work. But after my last trunk show I decided they needed return to daylight and be put to use.

Of course, I had to do things differently than Amanda's pattern. I have such a hard time following patterns. This time, however, it was unintentional.

In the pattern Amanda suggests fusing the scraps to a lightweight fusible BEFORE cutting the shapes. I neglected to read these instructions before I started cutting out my gumdrop shapes. That meant I would have to add fusible in tiny pieces, after the fact. That bit of work did not appeal to me. But, I do think you need some stabilization of the pieces to the background prior to assembly.

This piece has you sew down your applique and quilt as one step, so the pieces need to be stabilized prior to basting.

Instead of fusible I rummaged through the girls' craft supplies for a glue stick. Yup, a plain old glue stick. A little bit of glue on the back of each piece tacks it to the background. Then you can sew your strips together, baste, and quilt. As long as you don't coat the back there is no residue left after quilting and washing. You also don't get the stiffness associated with even a lightweight fusible.

As a bonus, this becomes a craft project with a bored preschooler missing her big sister at school all day. An excellent alternative to the endless tea parties.