Are you SQUARE DANCING with Carole?

Another mystery quilt is beginning today!

This one is called “Square Dance” – A Scrap Dance Mystery Quilt From My Carolina Home .

Carole has just released the cutting instructions for sizes from a table topper to a king size!  All the details are on Carole’s blog!  If you have never done one of Carole’s mystery project, you will find they are VERY easy to follow along.  She usually has you do all of your cutting in the first month, and this month there is one exception to that, so be sure and read carefully, both her blog post and the PDF cutting instructions.  No sewing this month, just prep work.

Because I am a scrappy person, my “fabric choices” are going to be led by the colors I have cut and stored in my “scrap users storage system” for 2 1/2 inch squares. (The 2 1/2 inch squares are considered fabric D & E in this pattern)  Which size project I will make is also going to be driven by the quantity on hand of  2 1/2 inch squares!

Today, I will pull out those bins and take a look and separate into dark/medium (Fabric D) and light (Fabric E) stacks.  Yes, these are the ones she said not to cut from your strips if you are using pre-cuts/jelly rolls yet, as she has an efficient method for you.  But, because I have 2 1/2 inch squares already, I am using what I have!

Next, I will pull the scrap bins of “scraps waiting to be loved” (ahhhem…those are the scraps still needing some pressing, trimming etc from the scrap heap baskets), and pick out my fabrics for fabrics B & C.  Those are the larger pieces in the dark and medium colors. *My scrap storage system doesn’t have all the sizes in this pattern – ready cut, but I do have strips in those sizes already*.

Before I could begin, I had to run out and pick up my machine from the repair place, and when I got back, I got busy!!  (More about that repair story on another day….)

CAUTION —- GRAPHIC PHOTO’S BELOW …..don’t be afraid, you are about to enter the scrap crazed sewing room of the Stitching Grandma……

(Oh my…let’s see…so many choices.   I have a laundry hamper full of gifted scraps  totally unsorted,

unsorted scraps

I have another,  yellow basket stacker,  sorted by color waiting to be “loved”….  (notice the empty section!)

Scraps by color waiting to be ironed and cut

and I have totes, six of them,

Sorted by color

of neatly trimmed and folded and pressed sorted by color….which direction should I head in???)

(Ok…my sister in law Carolyn – the ONE BLOCK  WONDER WOMAN – had been bragging on my efficiency in keeping up with scraps…hahahaha...she lives 3000 miles away and she has NO idea how backlogged I have gotten!) (You have to go read about her efficiencyScrap Overload  oh, and how she bragged about my system…….) 

(In anticipation of Carole’s new mystery, I have been working on my scraps off and on for 2 weeks, around being sick…..oh…phew….there is the excuse why I am not finished yet!) (Hey, these well behaved scraps are ready to be put into storage.!)  Since this photo, they have been properly stored.

well behaved scraps

(Are you distracted yet ?    …Let’s get back to the project)

(It IS a good thing there is an entire month to pull this fabric, get it ironed, cut and ready !)

Back to it……Once B & C & D & E are determined, then I will pull yardage for the Fabric A, which is NOT SCRAPPY!  Yes, yardage….1 light single print, maybe a tone on tone that will unify the entire scrappy project. But that fabric is going to be my last choice, as it is going to be driven by all the other choices I make.

I did a little “extra math” to what was presented with the pattern pdf file that Carole published today.  I figured that Fabric A yardage as follows —

1/4 yard for a table topper

7/8 for a lap quilt

1 1/8 yard for a twin

1 1/4 yard for a full

1 1/2 yard for a queen

2 yards for a king size.

Thank you Robert Kaufmann app on my phone. (That is such a cool app where you can calculate “pieces to yardage” quite easily).  Of course, I ALWAYS count on a little extra….so I don’t run out or have a problem in the event of a miss-cut.

Well…all those scraps made me a little nuts today!  I put everything in their proper container that was trimmed and cut to size but I could not find my 2 and 1/2″ bin!!!!!!!!!!!

NO………just the one I need for this project……..more cleaning….embarrassing photo’s shared with a friend in the process, and the discovery of 3 baskets “on the floor” (You know those ones I keep tossing off the desk Nancy B???  You saw me toss it there….) (Ya, piled up under the design wall…..).

Guess what I found inside????   130 – 4 patches made from 2 ” squares…out they came from a basket, into a bin, labeled and into the cabinet.

Oh, and a stack of  9 patches made from 2.5″ squares, out they came from the basket, into a ziplock, and into the cabinet!

And, underneath the layers, was my basket of 2.5 ” squares.  BLISS…..I seem to remember I was using them for leaders and enders a few months ago and this is where all the 9 patches came from, and then I got “distracted”. Obviously they were in the way on my desk and got flung to the floor and ignored for 3 months!

Well anyway, a little color sorting and counting turned this pile

dark and medium 2.5 inch squares

into a well behaved group of squares.

counted and bundled

I will be continuing some scrap management, pressing and cutting to size, and along the way, cutting for the Square Dance project too.  I like having the month to get this done.  I’ve added the sizes for the project to the list of things I cut and save, and I will continue to clear up and put away scraps.  Now, not saying I will get through all those totes…but at least get through the “unsorted and unloved scraps”.

Are you going to Square Dance?  Are you on Scrap Overload?  It seems to be the theme this month.  I saw a post earlier today by Lori Kennedy asking about How do you organize your scraps 

I have to stop back over at Lori’s blog and read some of the various comments~!!!~

January is a good time for cleaning up and making plans to use those scraps you are sorting and organizing, that you are “overloaded with” I think !


13 thoughts on “Are you SQUARE DANCING with Carole?

    • Hi Cindy – Thanks for commenting. It is a job when you let it “get out of control” . Really, the totes are all tidy, and they are left over from a quilt show, so I have only had them since July. My own keep getting lost in the zeal of something new. What happens to me is a bin will get full and I stop cleaning up scraps and get distracted SEWING! I almost stopped one day this week when the pile of 1″ and 1 1/2″ were calling to make string blocks….but I shut them up by putting them into shoe box #4. 🙂 I love the gifted scraps, too, but sometimes I get overwhelmed. I’ll tell you tho, in the trimming of scraps I have filled a giant shopping bag of trimmings to give to the “dog bed lady” on Tuesday, so I label the efforts all around as successful. Now, my machine is home from the shop, I am itching to stitch!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Thanks for pointing everyone to my post on trying to tame the scrap beast. Even though you have a bit of a backlog, you are still my scrap hero. Head and shoulders above my mess. I am joining in on the Square Dance fun, but I think I will probably be a bit out of step with the rest of the dancers since I have so many things going on right now. I hate when life intervenes in my ability to do everything I want to do. Maybe if I had more focus. For instance, I was doing the dishes, which have piled up for days while I desperately tried to finish up a quilt for a wedding today (which I am not attending) and which won’t be finished until Monday or Tuesday, when I wanted to check the tracking for a shipment I had ordered for yet more fabric for a specific quilt, which is also under a deadline. Turned on the computer and brought up my email, “Oh, look something shiny! Stitchinggrandma posted something. I better go check it out!” It will be a miracle if my dishes get done today.Focus! Focus! Focus!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, so sorry to be distracting…lolol…..All that sparkles is not a dust free clean kitchen. Folded towels are piled on the kitchen table, along with crockery that needs put away, next to an amazon box and Christmas fudge. Life happens. I loved your post, and the timing was right for me to hitchhike on your blog post! By the way, I added the sizes that Carole specified to my LIST of things that I cut on my table, and set up a couple of “trays” to receive those cut scraps. (My trays are lids from plastic ware containers). As I get a big stack on the trays, I stop and take them over to the real containers and store them away. For Carole’s project I am setting up a basket (or 2) to receive those “incoming” pieces as they get cut. Currently cutting the blues from the yellow stacker basket, so am working my way down the pile.


  2. Yay for scraps! Thank you for letting us know about the Square Dance….because of course I need another project to start while I am still working on several others! Love reading about and seeing your scraps.

    Liked by 1 person

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