Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Pantry Challenge

Oh, Wait ...

... that's just between my son and me.  We've been trying to clean the old wood out of our freezers and pantries.  This morning he writes, "Been enjoying your 'spare parts' series on your blog, which is kind of like the pantry challenge but for fabric!"

I like that analogy, don't you?

Well, my current fabric pantry challenge project is starting to gel.  I added a few more blocks to the mix after taking this photo and began thinking about my approach.

After a bit of deconstruction, I thought about grouping like items together ...

... but I really couldn't see how I could make this work with sizes ranging from 3" to 12".  Since the most common denominator turned out to be 10", or so I thought, -- more on that later -- I decided to work with a 10" grid, spacing out the 10" blocks and filling in with 10" blocks constructed of smaller bits.

While sitting in the car shop waiting room yesterday (BTW, the tire pressure light is finally OFF!), I came up with these schemes, different ways to combine disparate pieces into a 10" square.

I could hardly wait to get home and give this idea a try.  Since I had only one 5" block, I started with that one surrounded by 2-1/2" HSTs.

When I give a size, I'm referring to the finished size.  Which is one of the reasons I'm having so many math problems -- I forget if I should add or subtract the 1/2"!  Maybe by the time this one is finished I will have finally caught on to my own method ...

I thought the quilt might need a break between all the HSTs so I added a plain neutral border to these two  7-1/2" leaves.

I'm not sure I like this, but will leave them as is for now until I'm ready to put everything together.  I next took one of the smaller 4-1/2" blocks and, following my scheme, I made another 10" unit.

First I framed the leaf to make it 6". The small bricks measure 4" x 6" with a 4" combination triangle (a/k/a Mary's triangle) in the lower right corner. 

This grid concept appeals to my sense of order, but I'm not sure the mix of colors and angles will be pleasing when I get everything together.  Nevertheless, I will press on and see if some of the neutral blocks in the collection will provide enough separation.  There's always the option of sashing, too.

That's my progress as of Wednesday afternoon.  Stay tuned!


  1. Great progress, Libby! Grids and frames look to be the key. So, how are you coming with your freezer inventory?

  2. It's like putting a puzzle together. It's looking good! I should join in on the pantry and freezer challenge!

  3. Love the pantry analogy! Looks like it's coming together well so far.
    Speaking of pantries, my husband & I spent an entire Saturday morning cleaning out and sorting our spice cabinet. Archeological dig!

  4. Nice start to your Pantry Challenge quilt!! :o))

  5. It looks like your method is working really well! The blocks you've made look great all together. The math always trips me up, too! I have to draw it all out on paper and subtract the seam allowances.

  6. I love all these warm blocks you're playing with, and am enjoying watching them come together!
    I like the pantry analogy, too, though I always think of it as cleaning out the refrigerator. Sort of a Maple Leaf Casserole...

  7. Sounds like you've got a solid approach. It's easy to forget the half inch between unfinished and finished. It's one of the things I have to watch when I use EQ, it's so easy to forget the quilt shows finished size.


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