Wednesday, November 28, 2018

What To Do With Free Motion Quilt "Sandwiches"

Besides throw them out?  The one thing I know about free motion quilting is, it takes lots of PRACTICE. And that means I have lots of "sandwiches" with practice stitching over them.

Here is a pile I culled from the closet:

Some of these are from classes, where my quilting stitches are pretty poor. Some are practice pieces I just do at home. All of them will be donated to Huntsville Animal Services for cage bedding. The animals won't care how my stitching looks and when they are too soiled or worn out, there is no guilt in throwing them away.

I finished the edges in two different ways. Here the back fabric is turned over twice for a "finished" look:

For each quilt I machine-quilt, I prepare a practice sandwich with the same back, batting and fabrics from the top. Once the quilt is all done, there is no need to keep this. This is the practice piece for Long Time Gone #2--recently finished. Here I just used a zig-zag stitch, functional and fast:

Sometimes I create practice sandwiches with a specific purpose in mind: placemats and mug rugs come to mind. Here I prepared placemat-size sandwiches to demo Ruler Work at a local shop. For the demo, the muslin side was the "top" side--I drew lines and demoed several different patterns with rulers. The back was a busy print, perfect for my kitchen. Once they were bound and finished, they became placemats, print-side "up". I now have a set of 6 of these and we use them daily:

If you want to donate to an animal shelter, check with them to be sure they want them. Trim any loose threads on them--don't want the animals chewing on those.

Now I am on to mug rugs--I need some of them for Christmas gifts and they also make great practice pieces.

Let's quilt,



  1. That's a great idea! I have them too!!

  2. Great ideas Barbara! Yes, all those practice sandwiches really can get overwhelming. I'm so glad you put them to good use!

  3. Some really good ideas for practice pieces, Barbara.