A new mystery quilt – Scrap Dance Pachanga

Are you “dancing” along with the new mystery quilt? Every January, Carole Carter, – the blogger who inspires many of us with her posts on From My Carolina Home, starts a new Scrap Dance Mystery Quilt. This year, it is Scrap Dance Pachanga . Do dance your way over to her blog when you finish reading here and check out the fun. When you get to Carole’s blog, be sure and take a minute to watch the dance video!

I was inspired to grab some bright scraps out of the bin, and get busy cutting for the “throw” size today. Check out the bright colors I pulled for this project. MOST of the fabric for this project was scraps with the exception of one fat quarter and the background fabric. These fabrics don’t quite say “salsa music” but they are in the bright fabrics that Carole talks about.

Brights for Pachanga

Before I started to cut, I printed out the PDF with the cutting information. You can chose from table topper to king size and make something that is useful in your life. I’ve done king size for all but one of the Scrap Dance mystery quilt series, but this time, I am going with a throw. One thing I do is put a bit of paper over the columns for the sizes I am NOT doing.

Scrap Dance Pachanga

This keeps me focusing on just the column with the sizes I need to cut. I really like that Carole has you do all the cutting at once, because now I am “ready to sew” when the next step comes out in two weeks. (I covered the specific instructions for quantity because this “is” a mystery, but you can download the PDF on Carole’s blog.)

There is a variety of sizes that were cut to get ready for the ‘next step’.

More bright colors for Scrap Dance Pachanga

Bright stripes, lime greens nd blues, turquoise, hot pink look like fun.

Cutting brights for SD Pachanga

Throw in a little yellow and orange and more stripes to mix things up.

Step One cutting

I make sure to mark my sizes so I know which is what in each stack. This basket from the Dollar Tree store has 2.5″, 3.5″, 4″ and 5″ scrappy squares. When I cut scraps for a project like this, I try to cut the “biggest piece” possible from the fabric, then work my way to the smallest pieces. So, you will see lots of that purple stripe in the 4″ group but there are a few in the 3.5″ group and a couple in the 2.5″ group too. Once they are all cut, I group them in bundles of tens, with my little clover clips and keep the “size tag” with them. Everything ends up in a big basket, along with the background fabric. I blurred out the quantity, as it is a ‘mystery’ of course, and if you want to dance along, go download the instructions for cutting.

In Carole’s blog post, she talks about what kind of background fabric choice you might want to make and why different colors might work. I have a large container of “neutrals” and I chose bright white.

Background fabric for Pachanga
Background fabric

I chose this particular piece of background fabric because I like the “not so straight” lined pattern it has as a “white on white” fabric. It has a “modern feel” and I think it will look fine with those bright scrappy pieces. I had plenty ( 5 yards) of it, and when I cut it from yardage, I started with the largest size, and working my way down to the smallest needed. I sometimes use the Robert Kaufmann app on my phone to figure out “how many pieces” I can get out of a strip of a particular size, but you could also use a calculator for that. For example, I need a certain amount of 5″ squares, and I wanted to know how many “strips” to cut, and the app helps me figure it out. Sometimes you cut a strip, get the number of pieces you need and have a “bit left”. With those bits, I then cut them down into the next “smaller” size and try to eliminate any waste or excessive scraps.

Note….I did the cutting of the background fabrics “after dinner/wine”…duh….and my first cut was a wide strip…did it just fine…but my sub cut…my brain failed…and suddenly I had rectangles instead of squares. I stopped….recut the needed strip, got the pieces I was after, and took those “ooops rectangles” and cut them down into some of the smaller bits I needed. Another reminder to pay close attention, especially after a glass of wine! It did take me a moment or two to realize what I had done wrong!

I will probably use this same white fabric if there is a sashing or inner border, but for now, the uncut yardage will go back in my stash, and I can pull it out later. I got this yardage last February at Artistic Artifacts in Alexandria Virginia using a gift card, and I’d rather store it in the stash bin while I work through the mystery. For now, just the pieces on the cut list are in my bright basket, and I am ready for the 4th Friday in January for the 2nd step of Scrap Dance Pachanga!

Are you dancing along? Dig in and go cut some of those scraps! Do share your fabric choices on the Friends of From My Carolina Home Facebook group too. Use the link on Carole’s blog post and join. Be sure to answer the screening questions.

Scrap Decisions

I have mastered the scraps!  I have battled and won!  They are contained!  I have trimmed and cut and put order to some of the chaos and declare victory! Phew….that’s enough for now!  Yesterday I declared victory over the basket of blues, and since then I have gone through the red & oranges and basket of browns & blacks.  The yellow stacker is EMPTY!  (Ok; I haven’t tackled the laundry hamper and those zip lock bags, but I have met my goal!!!)

I was getting a little anxious because nearly a week has gone by and I had not “pulled” my fabric for Carole’s Scrap Dance Square Dance Mystery Quilt!  Are you dancing too???  Info on the mystery is here – Square Dance Begins

As I was taming the scraps, I was setting aside pieces cut to size for the Square Dance Mystery.

Step One is to cut those fabrics.

Today, I gathered up those pieces and counted out what was required and determined I had plenty set out for a Twin Sized project.  All is ready except my fabric A which needs to be cut.

Scrap Dance Square Dance Fabric pull

(Do you see Elvis?)  (Notice the Superman fabric?)  (How about those wonderful fish?) (and Cats?) (hiding in among these lovelies are llamas too!)

Selections for Scrap Dance Square Dance

 

Everything came directly from the scraps in the “yellow stacker” that I have mentioned in the last few blog posts except Fabric A.  I (gasp) took it out of my neutral box that was set aside for my Bonnie Hunter project that is a UFO. It was “just the right size”.  I went with it because Carole had suggested a tone on tone would be favorable for this constant Fabric A.

Fabric A - the ONE constant

So, many thanks to the friends who have gifted me their scraps in the last year!  I look forward to including them all in this Square Dance mystery!

When you are out “shopping” for fabrics, I strongly encourage you to pick up a few yards of those great neutrals that work for background fabrics and stash them away.  A few days ago a friend of mine came in search of “low volume” neutrals for background fabrics. Sometimes they are not easy to find, and we went “digging” in the scrap bins for her bits and pieces.

I am heading “back” to the sewing room to cut “Fabric A” and put all those lovely scraps that I have cut and sorted for this project into a nice basket to await Step 2 in February!  And, perhaps, between now and then I will get back to one of those other projects that has been hanging around for a while!

Happy scrapping!

PS – One of my readers asked “what sizes” do I cut and save – Here is “MY” list – which, as I have mentioned is a combination of Bonnie Hunter and Joan Ford.  I have this list on the wall by my cutting table, and it is a good reminder. It helps me to look at the fabric and get the best use from a raggedy mess!  Remember – press and CUT THE SCRAPS!

CUT THE SCRAPS
SQUARES BRICKS
1.5 2 x 3
2 2 x 3.5
2.5 2.5 x 3.5
3 2.5 x 6
3.5 2.5 x 6.5
4.5 3 x 5
5 3.5 x 6
STRIPS
1.5
2
2.5
3.5
4
5
6