Scrap Dance Pachanga Revealed

Scrap Dance Pachanga 2021 is a mystery quilt designed by Carole Carter. She hosts the mystery on her blog, From My Carolina Home. This past Friday Carole revealed the B block and the layout for the mystery.

I’ve been sharing my progress all along here on my blog, but thought you might like a recap.

I started with the fabric pulled to use for the project. Most came from my scrap storage, with only a couple of fat quarters getting thrown in for variety. I did cut yardage for the white background of my units.

More bright colors for Scrap Dance Pachanga
Brights for the next Scrap Dance

Twice a month since January directions were given for various block elements. We have made 2 patches

Clue # 3 Scrap Dance Pachanga

and then 4 patches

4 patches Scrap Dance Pachanga

And then there were the flying geese and half square triangles big and small.

Elements of Scrap Dance Pachanga

Last month we assembled the “A” block using some of the elements.

Block A Scrap Dance Pachanga 2021
A Blocks

And with the release of the B block on Friday I got busy laying out the block, ready to sew.

Having all the elements already made is terrific when it comes time to assemble the blocks. I do have to admit that I wasn’t happy with my fabric for the center of the B blocks. Below are the original blocks I made for the small half square triangles that make up the center 4 patch –

small half square triangles PACHANGA

I decided I needed “more variety” when it came time to assemble the block, so stopped and made MORE of the half square triangles from a variety of bright fabric I had held aside. I am quite pleased with the outcome.

B Block
B Block Scrap Dance Pachanga

Once I made those extra half square triangles, it was fairly easy to assemble the B Block, and I had most of them on the design wall by Saturday morning. I hope you can see that adding more variety to the fabric for the centers of the B block make the quilt more interesting. It is always fun to start seeing the pattern come to life as you place the blocks on the design wall. The first thing I saw was the secondary pattern that the B block introduced.

3 B blocks to go
A & B layout

I did a little shopping on Saturday afternoon and happened to find a fabric at Hobby Lobby, that I think will make a nice border and maybe the backing. It is brighter than the photo, but does read PINK to me. It has the greens, blues and yellows in it as well and I think it will be a nice finishing touch to the quilt. I prewashed it, and now I have 4 yards to iron!

border fabric
border fabric

Now all I have left to do is put on a narrow white border, and get that border fabric ironed and cut and put on. I think I will go for a 2 or 2.5″ white border and then a 6″ multi color border.

Here is what the top looks like before the borders are attached. It’s a nice throw size now at 48×60.

Scrap Dance Pachanga 2021 throw size
Scrap Dance Pachanga 2021

I love the way the B Block makes a run of “arrows” across the quilt. The A Block almost looks like it is floating on the white background. I find it very visually appealing, and it may be my “favorite” Scrap Dance project so far!

If you like this pattern, it is not too late to download the elements at Carole’s blog, but hurry. It is a free mystery quilt for her readers, for now. After a short period of time, the free pattern usually comes down and becomes a pattern for sale later on.

Did you “dance along” with Scrap Dance Pachanga this year? If so, what did you use for background fabrics? Do you like mystery quilts?

Edit – forgot to mention I am linking up today to OH SCRAP – If you have never visited, go check out the “linky party” and see what other scrap lovers are doing .


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.

Which border? DECISION MADE !

Yesterday I was in a quandary about how I was going to border my Scrap Dance – Two Step Mystery Quilt.  When I went out to the sewing room mid afternoon, I was still pondering yardage or scrappy.

I decided to stick with the scrappy theme, and make a string border.

I put on my “Bonnie Hunter” thinking cap, grabbed the calculator and a measuring tape and determined an approximate number of inches I needed to get “around” the quilt.  Then I divided that number by 10.5 and pulled 12 pages out of the old telephone book I keep on hand for these kinds of projects.  Anyone familiar with Bonnie Hunter knows that old phone books are valuable tools in the quilting room!  This is a funny post from  Bonnie Hunter and String Blocks and explains the “why’s” of the phone book pages.

Anyway, I digress.  I have boxes of “strings”.  I use Bonnie Hunter’s scrap storage system, and my left over strips go into storage boxes based on their width. I have a box for 1.5″, 2″, 2.5″, 3″ and larger strips.  These are all fairly straight, longer pieces, so perfect for what I wanted.  I think Bonnie’s strings are “random widths” sorted by color in her storage system.  Anyway, I pulled out several boxes so I could get varying widths. Sewing strings is kind of “mindless sewing” in my opinion.  No need for absolute perfection.  The only thing to consider is starting with a FULL bobbin, and reducing the stitch length to much shorter (I went with 1.5). Also, I swap my 1/4″  foot, as it has a blade that catches the edge of the paper and is annoying.

I stitched the 12 pages, pressing between additions of strings, working on about 4 pages at a time.  Once all 12 were stitched, I cut them to size “lengthwise”.  Since the paper was 8 .5 x 10.5, I went with a 4″ strip.  Yes, I had a little waste, but I am ok with that. Once cut to size, I ‘de-papered’ the strips, and started joining them end to end.  After all the pieces were joined I had about 280″ of border to use.  I gave them a good “starch” and press (with my new OLISO PRO that arrived late yesterday…) and then cut them to length for attachment to the side borders first.

String border addition

First border is on and I love it!!  Note that I “stay stitched” around the outside edge after I pressed the border.  I set the stitch length to 3.5″ to keep all those sections from “opening” their seams as I work with the quilt top. (It is best to do this on the wrong (back) side….ask me how I know!)

Anyway……….By midnight I had 3 borders stitched and pressed, and the 4th one pinned on, waiting for me to do the stitching when I gave up for the night.   I got a lot accomplished from late afternoon until MIDNIGHT.  (I forgot to eat dinner………..until midnight….thank goodness from the leftover crockpot roast & carrots. ) Since the hubby was off playing with model railroad trains, I didn’t have any interruptions.

No, I didn’t get the Grandma’s Kitchen block # 6 done.  I was anxious to get the borders on this project!  In fact, I left the pattern sitting on the kitchen counter. There is always today!

Note – the pattern for this quilt pattern is by Carole –  From My Carolina Home

I am working through this project as part of my August OMG (One Monthly Goal)!




Serious progress with One Monthly Goal (OMG)

Yesterday I wrote about the One Monthly Goal (OMG) – OMG – A place to start .  

My goal for August  is to get the blocks from Scrap Dance Two Step, a pattern from From My Carolina Home blog, put together. The final layout was released  in July and I haven’t had a chance to work on it yet.  I have 24 blocks all made between January & June in this mystery quilt designed by Carole.  24 blocks is supposed to be twin sized. 

I got out to the sewing room after lunch and got busy.  Hubby was busy downstairs  in the garage, removing and replacing the rear brakes on his SUV, and I had lots of time without interruption.  I got my blocks laid out and webbed together.

4 x 6 layout - Scrap Dance tango

I was skipping stitches as I was joining these blocks, and my friend Nancy listened as I complained.  I had already changed the needle, twice…..she suggested I go in and clean out the bobbin case.  That made a huge difference!  (Do you do that?  Wait until there is trouble before cleaning the bobbin area?  I wait too long to change my rotary blade too!!)

These blocks are now “secured”. They are set in a 4×6 layout.  After dinner I was able to get the first round of borders on and it really made a difference! I like the way the blocks end up floating in the border.  

1st border on Scrap Dance 2 Step

 I am thinking about a 4.5″ border (that is the size of the centers of the blocks). Going to either dig in the stash for fabric, or dig in the scraps for “strings” and make a string border.  Stash would be faster, but scraps are SO much more fun!  

The Bonnie Hunter quilt “Talkin’ Turkey” has a string scrap border and I really enjoyed that process, so I may go that route.  Oh boy, this may take me a few more days in August!!  Hope Carole doesn’t object to my slight “addition” to her lovely pattern. 

 (By the way; those borders for MY Talkin’ Turkey are made, but not attached yet….another OMG for another month!).  Want to know what Talkin’ Turkey is supposed to look like?  Check out this blog post from 5 years ago on Bonnie Hunter’s page – Talkin’ Turkey    (Hey, I am close to done…..Everyone that has been to my sewing room in the last 3 months wants to know WHEN am I getting it off the design wall and FINISHED!) Seriously, I  looked back to see the last time I shared photo’s and it has been a while.  I guess that quilt show and Pet Mosaic quilt side tracked me a “little”.    I am motivated to finish it up soon, but will not be THIS week!

Got my thinking cap on for sure!  For today, I am going to go play with Grandma’s Kitchen Block # 6.  This is the Pat Sloan weekly sew-along and is quite fun. Grandma’s Kitchen Free pattern  .  It won’t take long, then I shall get busy with some border decisions.

Are you sewing on a hot summer day too??



One Monthly Goal (OMG) – a place to start

Are you a goal setter?   I am a “list maker” and sometimes I totally ignore the lists in favor of something new.  I call it the “LOOK-something shiny-Syndrome”.  I admit I am easily enticed and easily distracted. It’s after 9 am and I am still in PJ’s while I am distracted reading blogs with my coffee and toast, knowing full well that in 5 -10 minutes I MUST hit the shower before someone comes over at 10!  Oh well, better make this quick!

I was reading through blog posts and saw on Peggy Cooper Quilts her post about meeting her July goal.  She asked if readers were tired of hearing about the project. I replied that I enjoyed the process she used to meet the goal.  Peggy is following along with the One Monthly Goal (OMG) on Elm Street Quilts   .  I think of my lists and projects and decided this might be the perfect PUSH for me to get some projects FINISHED …. I know, what a concept!

So, officially, I am going to use the OMG as my motivation (there are prizes at the end…hahahaha).  (Shiny stuff)

I declare my OMG project for AUGUST to be “assembling the Scrap Dance Two Step ” top.   The blocks have been constructed over the last 6 months, using the pattern developed by Carole on her blog –  From My Carolina Home

Part 5 blocks

Scrap dance two step Part 5

Part 6 blocks

12 Scrap Dance Two Step Blocks - Part 6


The final layout came out over a week ago, and I was tied up with the quilt show.  Now, I have some time available for my own sewing and this is going to be the August 2017 goal.  Of course, I intend to have at least the first round of borders indicated in the pattern on by the end of August, so watch for progress notes.

Linking up to the August goal  setting at Elm Street Quilts for the One Monthly Goal (OMG) !  (If you are on a computer, check out their cool button on my sidebar on this blog page)

Are you setting any goals for August?  (My next goal is a shower…….)


Progress on 2 projects

(Say that really fast, I dare you……..)  – Addison’s quilt is “off the design wall” and “on the work table”.  The main body of the quilt is together, and now it is time for borders!  I put up a post the other day on Facebook and asked my friends, and my daughter’s friends to comment on the “best border fabric”.  They chose #3


And, as luck would have it, my fuzzy quilter brain did not calculate those extra inches that get taken up when you are joining wide pieces on the diagonal….and so, I came up short of fabric.  I cut 6 3/4″ wide borders and need “just 2 more strips” to finish.  After a mad dash to JoAnn Fabrics (50 miles away), and a giant “FAIL” on locating the fabric in stock in the store, I went on line, and ordered 2 yards! While I was ordering, I decided I might as well get some of that solid coral. I will be binding with the same fabric as the border, but will use Susie’s Magic Binding and put that pop of coral as the piping.  SEW….Addison’s quilt has two borders on, and I will await the arrival of the rest of the border fabric.  I have a shopping trip planned in July for wide backing for this quilt.

Meanwhile, since Addison’s quilt is “off the design wall”, I could proceed with Step 6 – the big reveal of Scrap Dance Tango Mystery Quilt.  This mystery is designed by Carole – From My Carolina Home. Directions for Step 6 were posted last Friday.  I have been sewing like a wild woman since Wednesday morning.  There was a lot to do in terms of “block construction”; especially for my king sized quilt!

Here is a peek –

assembly line step 6

building the components of the “B” blocks

ready to sew the last group of blocks

lots to line up, so I am pinning!  I need to make 72 of these blocks – there are 60 in this photo below.

just 12 more

And I just need 10 more!!  Once I have the last 10 constructed, I can start laying out the pattern.

Note; yes – you HAVE seen this block before… was the same block we did in Step 2.  The blocks from Step 2 are being called the A blocks, and these block are identical.  We will however “ROTATE” them, and call them B Blocks.  Getting them on the design wall and making sure the blocks are properly rotated will be interesting. I will be using my pins with the marking beads ! These blocks will look very impressive when I get them up onto the design wall later this weekend!

There is still time to play along if you head over to Carole’s blog for the pattern.  Do it quickly, as it will be coming off the blog soon!

The last one

I have set aside any quilting until I finished the “last one” – so here it is:  Size small Simplicity pattern 1562

This Simplicity pattern, # 1562,  was multi size, from adult to youth to child.   I chose the size child small for a 3 1/2 year old.  I use the alphabet settings on my Janome and make size tags, so the mommy knows.

I chose the child medium for the 5 1/2 year old

Grandma project complete

and a child large for the nearly 8 year old


I am so glad the mommy checked the measurements I took in August!   They all have reasonable hems for length.  These will go out in the mail this very soon.

I finished the “last one” about 7 pm Wednesday, and then I did quilty things until after midnight.  I did mention that I am going to start the Scrap Dance Tango Mystery quilt being run by Carole on her blog – From My Carolina Home.  If you click the button on the sidewall of my post it will take you to the first group of directions.

I printed out the directions for the cutting Wednesday night, and got busy.  I first pulled out my bin of cut 3″ squares; and pulled all the darks out of it.  Came out with about 100.  Then I started with the scraps on the back of my cutting table and got another 100 3″ squares cut.  Then to the scrap bags that were awaiting “scrap management” and cut from the first bag the deep golds and browns. Then I moved on to the “bag of blacks” and cut a bunch…and at this point I lost count.  I was able to get some of the 2.5″ squares cut as well, and a few smaller 2″ strips for the storage system.  About midnight I thought I would delve into my neutrals, and I know I am going to have to take that from yardage.  Somewhere along the line I looked at the number of Half Square triangles required, and thought – maybe I don’t want to do king size……..but, heck…I have 600 cut; and only need 715 for the king size!!

600 - 3" Squares from the Scrap basket . Need Another 115.

Fast forward from Wednesday night to Friday night….I decided to “go for it” and do the king size.  I pulled my neutral fabric, got the calculator out, and figured I needed over 3  yards for the 715 neutral blocks.  So, I am cutting what I have, and will add to the collection as the opportunity presents.  Took about an hour to cut about 280 neutral 3″ squares from yardage. I love my June Tailor Shape Cut Plus!  Easy way to cut a lot at a time!  First strips, then squares.    Still need to cut more, but I was on a schedule! Yardage is easy and fast to cut with the June Tailor Shape Cut Plus.  When I cut scraps, I usually have the standard 6×24 ruler out.  And those scraps all needed to be starched and ironed! Slow cutting, which is why I was at it from 7 pm to after midnight on Wednesday!

280 squares cut, need 715

After dinner tonight, I got “busy” with my June Tailor Perfect Half Square – Quarter Square Triangle ruler….first to mark the stitching lines……I had to highlight the edges of the fabric with pink, and the marking lines in green so it was more visible in the photo.

Working on marking my HST. Love using the June Tailor perfect HALF-Square and Quarter square Triangle Ruler,need 715 of these.

I did my marking while catching up on a few t.v. shows we missed during the busy week!  Marking the stitch lines for half square triangles Love watching Chicago Fire/Chicago PD/ and Chicago MD.  Nearly all of the 280 are marked.  I will chain piece them through with some of those 600 “dark squares tomorrow.  Trimming takes the time!  I know they will go fast!

We are getting the big “snow” storm that the talking news heads are going on about. Snow started around 2 pm on Friday, and it is still going, about 6 inches so far.  Good excuse to stay in and sew; except I have to “go out to go in” upstairs of the garage.

Hope you stay warm & dry. What are your sewing plans for this weekend?


Such a “follower”

Saturday morning I was browsing through email, and saw a new picture FROM MY CAROLINA HOME’s blog  and she was talking about fabric requirements for another mystery quilt along (From my Carolina Home )  .  I am such a follower, I had to save the info, comment and take the survey, then run out to the sewing room over the garage and PULL fabrics!! Yes, all this before I had to be at my card making class at 10 am at the local public library!  Got me, hook line and sinker.  But, hey, it all came out of the scrap storage system…Yes, every bit….  I will post some pictures once I get it organized a little.   Meanwhile…………

I’m sure I have mentioned before those “nationally known” quilters I follow, and have identified them in posts when I have followed one or more of their patterns.  Last week we chatted  about Bonnie Hunter, and the new  “Quiltville Winter Mystery, 2015! Allietare!”                 ( Quiltville Winter Mystery Quilt details )  In that post, ( Another Mystery Quilt ) I talked about getting my paint chips and pulling fabric.  Well, mission accomplished!! Take a look at what I choose to use!    (If you click on the photo’s, you will get a nice close up view)

I was at Hancock Fabric and found that lovely fabric under the gold paint chip.  It is WINE BOTTLE LABELS!!  Going to do Italy, there will be wine!  I had purchased on Monday the grey indicated but I wasn’t feeling the warmth of it or the black.  So, I made a few adjustments; swapping chocolate brown with a black undertone for the black.  When I got to the grey, I knew it “had to go”, and I chose the green.  It will substitute fairly well.  I had some visions in my head of Tuscany and knew that green was a necessity!.  I think the red’s I chose work, except I wanted to go a bit more “merlot” than the top red that matches the card, so will no doubt use the 2nd fabric in the pile of the red.  The grey goes into the stash, and maybe that top red too.  So, not everything came from the stash on hand, I did do some more “fabric acquisition”.  Just what I needed to round out the selections.  I am going to let my neutrals be scrappy, but the rest will be constant fabrics.   This week will be enough time to get them pre-washed and ironed.  First clue is presented on  “Black Friday”….a great day to stay home & sew!

Now, about my other “follows”….I am a big fan of Pat Sloan and am excited to be signed up for a 2 day workshop this  week.  The workshop on Monday is called Wild & Free, where we focus on making the background piece for future applique.  The pattern is Mama’s Garden.  The advance workshop information was to “fill a laundry basket” with fabrics that you would like to play with to build this background piece.  This is where having a stash is handy.  I filled 4 rubber maid bins with fabrics! (I am reminded of how heavy fabric can be!).  The second day, we will be doing “The Magic of EASY Machine Appliqué”. In this workshop, we were to prepare the background BEFORE the class, which I did this afternoon.  Honestly glad that I spent part of Friday and Saturday pulling fabric to take to this class.  Check out Pat Sloan’s website and see if you can find these two workshops and what I will be up to !  ( Pat Sloan Workshops ).

I’m sure you don’t remember, but back when I started this blog in 2012, I had taken 2 classes at Serendipity Quilt shop that used Pat Sloan’s books.  In those classes we made a lot of projects. Something new every week for 10 or 12 weeks.  I have some “works-in-progress” left from those classes 2 or more years ago. I do have 2 official “finishes”; the Cupcakes and the Friendship Star.The “big star” is still a “work in progress”.  I had to search for a photo of it.  If you notice , the Big Star is on top of 2 other quilts on the design wall, and has one next to it.  No wonder I didn’t get anything finished!!  My goal this winter is to wrap some of these “WIP’s” up.  Get them done and out of the project boxes.  Get to the point got stalled during the quilting. Since I started, I have gotten a new machine, and I hope my FMQ has improved somewhat.  Hey, these classes were “Beginning Quilting”, so I am giving myself a break!  Enjoy these vintage 2012 & 2013 (yikes) projects !

Time to finish this glass of Merlot and call the day finished.  Updates later in the week!  If you are doing the Quiltville Mystery Quilt or the From My Carolina Home Mystery/Quilt along, what do your fabrics look like???