Quilt Scarf and A New Beginning

by Jessica Johannesen
A scarf made of quilt squares hanging on a hanger

It is strange to write blog posts when you know no one is reading them. So with that in mind I’m going to offer the smallest of reasons why I have done nothing with this blog so far this year. That reason is 2020. Well, 2020 and the related stress and depression. You’d think seven months of quarantine would make for great time to blog. But that was not the case for me.

Today is the last day of the year and I am finally… functional. I have gotten past some issues and found a balance in my life that I haven’t had before. And I even have a plan on how to go foreword with flexibility and without placing intrinsic moral judgement on my activities (or lack thereof). So I have high hopes for 2021.

My Theme for 2021 is Finish Projects & Use Your Stash

Earlier this year we managed to visit my mother in law and during our two week quarantine when we got home I had to look at my life through a whole new lens. You see, my mother in law was in the process of moving into a custom built small house. I want to say tiny house, but they managed to pack a lot of square feet onto a very small lot.

But the important part was seeing the simplicity and cleanliness that permeated her house. In part because there just wasn’t enough space to have a lot of stuff. The other part being that my mother in law was never a “own a lot of stuff” person (exceptions made for books).

My house looked full. Over full. And I decided that I need to own less stuff. I could sell it, or donate it. And I certainly will do both of these things. But mostly, I need to use it. I need to start and finish the projects that these supplies were purchased for.

The Quilt Scarf

Two or three years ago I tried to participate in a quilting challenge. The Tula Pink City Sampler, 100 blocks in 100 days challenge. I ended up making about 30 blocks before life got in the way. I like the blocks I made, but I don’t love the whole quilt enough to go back and finish them. So when I saw Laura from QuiltFort Co. post a wonderful quilt scarf project on Instagram, I knew exactly what to do with these blocks.

Quilt Scarf by Laura from Quilt Fort Co.
Scarf by Laura from @quiltfortco

Laura has clearly hand quilted her blocks and used a more scrappy fabric selection, but the results are stunning. She has wonderfully turned this into a free pattern! So you should check her out if you want the details on how she did it.

Since I had the squares already made up, I sewed them up to be 12″ wide and 70″ long. A better blogger than me would have taken progress pictures. But I hadn’t decided to commit to blogging yet. So there are no images. But I can tell you that I used a single piece of cotton jersey fabric for the batting. I figured actual batting would make it too thick and not flexible.

A scarf made of quilt squares hanging on a hanger

I think my favorite part of the scarf is the backing fabric. Those adorable little ghosties are a Lizzy House fabric that was available probably like five years ago. Maybe More. I’ve had these ghosts forever. But I never had a project good enough to use. I realized that this also meant I never got to enjoy the ghosties because they were forever folded up in the back of a shelf.

Finish Project Notes:

  • Project: Quilt Scarf
  • Dimensions: 12″x70 ish
  • Materials: Quilting Cotton and knit jersey

Overall I am happy with how the scarf turned out. It is beautiful and my vision of the original quilt, which was to have colored blocks floating on a white background, came together beautifully. However, in terms of “is this actually usable,” I have to say, not yet. Quilting cotton is a mid-weight fabric and not really known for its drapey quality. So the scarf is kind of stiff despite minimal quilting and the jersey batting.

Lord Google says soaking quilting cottons in a salt water bath for a week softens up the fabric. The ratio should be 1c salt : 1quart water. I filled a small Rubbermaid container 1/3 -1/2 with water and used two full containers of Morton’s table salt. People on Instagram tell me that this could cause some fading or discoloration of the fabric. I don’t care. First, I love a good vintage worn in look and second if it doesn’t soften up then the scarf isn’t really wearable. So this is an experiment and discoloration is the price.

I will update next week when the scarf comes out.

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