Gaa Barge and mile a minute

Gaa Barge and Mile a Minute blocks are both made using scraps. Gaa barge is usually sewn as an art quilt.  The Mile a Minute is made from strips and pieces.   Although, they can be made with coordinating fabrics, the usual way is to use the scraps unseen from a pile of fabric scraps. Sewing blocks this way makes for some unusual colored blocks.  They have multiple colors and patterns that you would never put together in a quilt if you thought about it.

When you have as many blocks as you need, you should arrange them on a design wall.  I use a white sheet on my bed.  Some colors are predominate in the blocks and they should be scattered around the quilt and not placed in one section.  When the blocks are where you like them, you have to decide what color to make the sashing and border.

The amazing thing about the mile a minute block is that if you want the quilt in a blue room, use a blue sashing.  If you want it in a pink room, use pink sashing.  Whatever color you use for the sashing will bring out that color in the block.  The whole quilt will look like that color.

When I taught the Mile a Minute block, I used the four small pieces to show how this works.  All four blocks have the same gaa barge center.  The surrounding colors make each block look different.

IMG_0883  IMG_0882   IMG_0881   IMG_0880

Most of my mile a minute quilts have three borders.  The first one is about 1 1/2″ wide and is the same color as the sashing.  The second border is a Mile a Minute block cut down to 2″ to 3″ wide and the length of the pieced square.  These pieces are sewn end to end to make the length of the four sides of the quilt.   The third border is about 4″ wide and is the same color as the sashing or a darker version of that color.

These blocks can be made a few at a time, using fifteen or twenty minutes at a time after concentration on sewing a complicated quilt.  A quilt can be made without even thinking about making it.  Seam allowances are not important. Just sew a straight seam,  Thread color is not important.  Use leftover bobbins and whatever color thread you want to use up.  This is no thinking sewing. Cutting blocks after they are sewn makes each block the same size.  I like to use a 6 1/2″ square ruler and a rotary cutter to make a 6′ finished block.  The blocks can be used in any quilt block pattern that has a 6″ part.  You can also choose any other size block that you want.

Have a great day and happy sewing.

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