Some time ago I sewed a bunch of scraps together into blocks, both as an exercise in piecing and to find a use for scraps from other projects that I apparently could not bring myself to throw away.  At the time the results did not suggest a unified project, so I shelved them.

This is one such block. The paisley is from a shirt I picked up off the street, a practice lately discontinued due to the ongoing bed bug crisis.

Recently one of my children bemoaned the absence of a blanket on the couch where he stretches out before catching the schoolbus.   I offered to make a quilt, but he said that would take too long.  And it wouldn’t be warm enough.  The centers in my brain that correspond to challenges fired immediately.  How quickly could I make one, and would it be warm enough?

I pulled out the blocks I had stowed away and lay them out on the floor.

There's all kinds of crazy going on here: suede sewn to flannel, an old silk tie, borders gone completely irregular, nothing "on point."

A unifying principal was needed.   First I brought them all to the same size, with the largest determining the outer dimensions.  Those that were smaller would have border strips added until they reached that size, 14 x 18 inches.

This one had the length (18") but not width (14"), so I added strips.

Though I’d like to use black, what I have on hand in greatest abundance is white, so white it is.   Because I have so much sheeting in my stash, I can cut full length pieces for the borders.

It’s straightforward assembly at this point, and it goes quickly.  The sashes frame each block, highlighting the colors, and expanding the total size of the piece.

Squared off and bordered, the blocks look less haphazard.

While Modest Machine and I sew rows together, it is raining outside.

I am bound and determined to use some material I already have for the fill.  You’ll recall the challenge that this blanket be “warm enough.”  I find an old mattress pad made, I believe, from lamb’s wool, which is about the right size.

It's a little lumpy, but the weight and warmth it offers should be worth the trade off.

Nothing I have on hand is large enough for the backing, so I sew several smaller remnants together, with this result

I tucked a Gap label from one of the oxfords into the middle of this: I like how it suggests where the fabric came from, though technically I suppose it's a trademark infringement.

The last detail is hand tying the layers together.  For this I chose some navy blue string, which seemed to fit what has turned into a somewhat nautical-looking (?) piece.  And here it is, on the couch where I imagine it might come in handy for a certain young man on a chilly morning before school.