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
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Blue boredom Strings

I’m bored….I must be feeling better!

I’ve been cutting scraps for the last couple of weeks.  I can’t focus on my projects because I have had a run of bronchitis and the cough syrup and meds make me fuzzy.   I’m tired of being sick. I’m bored cutting scraps. I must be getting better!

I’ve missed a guild meeting, church services, my Queen Bee’s yesterday……My friends are calling and wanting to bring food or run errands, my Pastor called to find out if I was alive, I have missed newsletter deadlines at church…..I am not having any fun. 😦    I’m all done (out of patience) with the coughing!  With the terrible flu that is going around, I am avoiding going out to do anything. I don’t want to add my nasty germs to the mix.  Google said it takes 3 weeks to get over this, and my visit last week to the doctor confirmed what I already knew.  I decided it was risky to return to the doctor when I seem to be on the tail end. (Too many sick people to come in contact with at the Doc’s office)

For the last 2 weeks, all I have managed to do is stand at the iron and press scraps, and stand at the cutting table and cut into my “scrap management” sizes. This was a much needed therapy from being stuck in the recliner too sick to care.

Now, I am 3/4 of the way through the yellow tower of terror….down to the blue level, and only 2 more to go plus the basket on the floor underneath……progress…..

Scraps by color waiting to be ironed and cut

I’ve grown tired of fiddling with scraps. My string boxes (5 shoeboxes) were full.  No place to put any more cut pieces.  And my sewing machine is calling, loudly, to sew.  I can sit and sew for hours without expending a lot of energy. I MUST be getting better. It helps to just sit and stare out at the tree tops while I mindlessly sew.

I grabbed an old phone book, and removed some pages, got out the paper cutter and cut 6.5″ squares, and just started to sew. Three days, and 3 or more bobbins later, I have a few string blocks. 

Blue boredom

 The bronchitis is better, still coughing, reduced meds, so less fuzzy headed. My sewing room is calling to me. I am getting better.  SEWING IS THERAPY!

I just need 1 more 6.5″ string block to bring the number up to 60. (Fuzzy brain miscounted when cutting the phone book papers……)(Oh heck, why not…I should make 100…..)  Not sure what will happen to these pretty little blue blocks with their pops of purple. The will end up in a ziplock and I will add them to a charity quilt at some point.

Sometimes a little mindless sewing along with an audio book is the perfect medicine. (That, and the milkshake the hubby brought me when he was out running errands yesterday).  I might be cured……

Now, back to the scrap management. I feel inspired to clear out the rest of the blues that are pressed and on the table waiting to be cut……projects await and my fuzzy brain is clearing.

Do you do “mindless sewing” when you are bored? 

Linking up to  Oh Scrap! today.

 

 

 

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 !

 

BOMBOGENESIS and Grandma’s Kitchen Blocks 18-22

I did some “power sewing” yesterday ahead of the snow – or as the Weather Channel calls it the Winter Storm Grayson to Undergo Bombogenesis 

I was not sure what was going to happen overnight, as they have been hyping the storm all day on Wednesday. Honestly, the effort to “scare you to death” is something. Anything to make noise….I mean news.  I just know I am glad I am retired, and not making the 40+ mile commute to work!  Not to bore you with snow photo’s but thought you might appreciate a bit of my morning.

It snowed all night, and the cats were not sure about what was happening as they looked out their window perch. It was pretty early and so I had to use a flash….and got the eerie photo of Smokey with the glowing eyes…..Mittens is busy looking at the birds that are hanging out under the house eaves.  (This is the 1st time I have seen him up that high on the climber!!)

While the were peering out the window, I had to see what was up, and caught site of the oil tank which is only 1/4 full.  (I have “auto-delivery”, and did not like to see it that low with the days of extreme cold that are forecast between now and next week! Our low today is 12, and for Friday it will be 7 with a high of 17 both Friday and Saturday!)  A quick call to the oil company and they put me on the schedule for tomorrow!  (Keeping my fingers crossed….at least they “JUST” filled the propane for the heater in the garage……)

CHUCKY CAT!

There didn’t seem to be much snow piling up out front, and I noticed the winds were whipping from North to South…so I went out to the laundry room for a peak out back.

A little snow

I think that is about 6″ of snow in the foreground on top of the hot tub.  The roof of the porch along the garage has some interesting swirling snow. Note….my sewing room is “out there” on the 2nd floor of the detached garage….I think I am staying in today!

Needless to say, I am VERY glad I power sewed last night!  Since I had ALL the fabric out in stacks on the work table for Grandma’s Kitchen (pattern by Pat Sloan), I dug in and worked on blocks 18 – 22. Hubby went to the train club yesterday afternoon and I sewed from 4 pm until after 11pm when he got back home!  It was funny when he came upstairs in the garage all covered with snow, and asked me if I realized how much had already fallen.  I didn’t have a clue.  I couldn’t really “see out” the window with all the sewing room lights on, but we had already gotten about 3 “.  I’d skipped supper and was oblivious to the weather.  (At least until one daughter decided to send me severe weather warnings!)

I set aside the fabric for Block 18 the last time I was out working in my sewing room.  I knew exactly what I wanted to do for this block with 4.5” corner squares.

Block 18 Pattern by Pat Sloan Grandmas Kitchen

I had fun with block 18, fussy cutting the yellow fabric.  I have used the pink and the yellow in other blocks previously.

I knew I wanted a stripe with block 19 –

Block 19 Grandma's Kitchen

Block 20 just had to be made with reds!

Block 20 Grandma's Kitchen

For Block 21, I dug in to a bag of scraps for the gray fabric, and actually in the leftovers from Addison’s quilt for the biggest part of the phone.  (Ok, so they are not 30’s reproduction fabrics, but I needed gray!) The dial circles were cut from a piece of “very modern” dot fabric.  Those dots were hard to applique stitch down.

Block 21 Grandma's kitchen

Block 22 wasn’t one that I felt excited about until I pulled the fabric.  Now I am rather pleased.

Block 22 Grandma's Kitchen

Just 3 more “feature blocks” and TONS of filler blocks to make.  A fun project.  I feel like I am catching up a little!  More color balancing to do as I proceed.

Are you on the East Coast of the USA getting hit with the storm?  Don’t you think these silly names they give the storms “over hype” what is just a snow storm???

Working on anything fun today?

edit – note – pattern for Grandma’s Kitchen is by Pat Sloan, and can be found at Grandma’s Kitchen Sew Along

Final sewing of 2017

My last “sewing” for 2017 has been done!  I spent a few hours “cleaning up” and “putting away” a lot of mess in my sewing room. I cleaned off my cutting table and put a lot of stuff away.  I cleared off my “work table” and made room for a project.

Once that was done, I pulled out my pattern book and box of fabric and basket of blocks for Grandma’s Kitchen – by Pat Sloan.

I stopped working on these in mid October before I left on a trip for a month. These are the first 16 blocks(not in pattern order).

Sixteen blocks completed

I needed to pick up at block 17 and hopefully finish up at block 25; plus make all the setting blocks.  (That is going to take a week or two).

But before I could even begin to sew I had to figure out the layout with the various size blocks and how I was going to “balance” the colors throughout the rest of the quilt. What I decided to do is lay the blocks out, as the pattern indicated, and do a little “coloring” so I could plan the future blocks.  (LOTS OF PLANNING still needs to happen!)

Making sense of the layout

Once the planning for the next 2 blocks was done, I got busy and made block 16, and pulled the fabrics for block 17.  I think it did help to do a bit of coloring, because I could better understand as I colored in the blocks, where there needed to be more of a particular color.  I know I need to get a little more pink and purple and orange into the quilt.  I am trying to decide how to do those filler blocks and make sense of them too. I made a decision on the fabric for the “spool block” too.  I want to use one of the stripe fabrics I have for the middle of the spool.  (While I was sorting piles of fabric, my husband was watching, and figured out what I was up to and provided a bit of his color sense to what I was doing. I find his opinion most helpful).

Meanwhile, my design wall has been full for the last 6 months and I need to get going to get the borders on my Talkin’ Turkey!

1 row to go

That is all it needs. (The blocks and rows and columns are all sewn together, and the borders are made, ready to attach!)  I need to free up my design wall!!

I decided that I will “stop again” after block 17, and clear the work table and get those borders on, so I can get the Grandma’s Kitchen blocks up on the design wall!  Priorities.  🙂 (It is so much easier to sit back and ponder the layout on the wall than on a flat surface) (I told the hubby I need another design wall…..capable of holding a king size quilt! I just don’t have a spot for it.  Wondering if anybody “layers” their design wall and puts more that one quilt on it at a time??  Hmmmmm)

Following all that contemplation and coloring, I did finally do a little sewing – the last for 2017.

I present block 16 for now…..more to follow in 2018!

Block 17 Grandma's Kitchen

Happy New Year everyone!

Some Assembly Required

Thank goodness for great heaters! Our lows are in the teens and highs in the mid 20’s for the next few days and the last few days. (Some weather person fibbed about it getting into the 30’s yesterday….NEVER happened!) (In case you are a new reader, my sewing space is above our detached garage. I share the space with my husband and his model train workshop area). Hubby has a massive propane heater downstairs and I cranked it up to 60 yesterday for a few hours just after lunch, and it really heated up the “floor” upstairs.

While the hobby space warmed up we had a little “project” to assemble in the house.  Fed Ex delivered the present I got our cats….and hubby had to figure out which part went where!

Some assembly required

At some point, our cat inspector Smokey got involved in the activity –

Cat Inspector at work

He is the most curious cat of all and wants to be “in the middle” of anything you are doing! (He thinks he is helpful when I am trying to decorate the Christmas tree or dust the shelves).  Once the assembly was complete…I spritzed a little catnip spray on the new cat climber, and both cats were quick to climb around….and roll around…and like the fuzzy fabric….

Smokey's turn

There are 4 of those dangling white mice hanging from the new unit on elastic cording. We are expecting them all to be pulled off in the next week or so.  So far, only Smokey has been brave enough to climb to one of the higher perches.

On his perch

Once the cats figured out the new gift was for them, then we both ventured out to the garage to play.  The temperature went from  55 degrees when I started the all the heaters,  and before I was finished sewing for the evening it was 73, and I took off my sweatshirt!  We hate to “stop” out in our hobby area once it warms up, so dinner was not until 8 pm last night. Hubby was working on a “turn table” for the model railroad at his train club, and I was having fun  assembling the blocks to send to Carole.

In my last post, California Thomas Fire Quilts Help Wanted  , I shared with you information about making blocks for the victims of the fires out in California.

I had 6 blocks finished in that post. I spent some “quality time” in my sewing room yesterday, and I now have 16 finished.

Blocks for Thomas Fire quilts

I will be getting those out in the mail on Tuesday to Carole – From My Carolina Home

All of the fabric came out of my scrap storage system. Many were already cut into 5″ squares.   I did have to dig in the scrap bin of blues for those wonderful batiks, and in my neutral scrap box for the creams and off whites. So, there was some cutting involved as I prepped these blocks.  Truth be told, I now have about 15 or 20 MORE batik and neutral half square triangles made, so I might see if I can put a few more together before these go out in the mail.  I have some pretty floral fabrics that were part of a 5″ square collection that I made those coasters out of in my last post.

What are your plans for “making” things this weekend?

Busy December days

I know…when are you ever going to get back to the sewing room???  I keep asking myself that question! Have no fear, the weather is above 40 degrees today, and I might brave the winter temp and wander out.  It’s been downright cold around here, and I have had plenty to keep me busy!  (Note – this post is FULL of photos!!)  Grab a cup of your favorite warm beverage!

Snow on Dec 9 2017 Delaware

Two weeks of what I call “Quilt Guild Time”.  First Monday of the month was the guild meeting, and there was a board meeting on Thursday. The snow came on Friday.  (Thank goodness).

The program for the meeting was our annual holiday luncheon and show & tell.  Frankly, I had nothing “ready” to show, that I could wrap my head around. You see, we were coming off 2 weekends in a row of “model rail road club open house”, and I just could not think what to bring. Between an ear infection for me, and hubby coming down with a cold, and long days at the train club, I was just not ready.  Late Sunday evening I remembered that  I had to bring a dish of food to share, and was NOT ready for that either.  An early morning run to the local super market provided some wonderful frozen meatballs, and a few jars of marina sauce.  I popped those meatballs in the oven to heat, the marinara sauce in the microwave, heated up the crock pot, and in under an hour, had them ready to go, and I got out the door by 9 am.  (Note to self….keep those meatballs/sauce on hand for the next food crisis!).  Really, my own fault, as I took the hubby out to dinner on Sunday night with some friends for his birthday, and failed to prepare.   Anyway…the meatballs were a hit, only a few left at the bottom of a very empty crock pot, and nobody cared that I didn’t have a show & tell.  (PHEW….).  I did get to relax and have a little fun at the luncheon, and enjoyed visiting and conversations with members I don’t often get a chance to speak with at meetings.

The feeding continued following our monthly board meeting, where our host provided a delightful brunch.  This is a group of about 20, and again a delight to sit and visit during this busy month.  The snow arrived on Friday, and pretty much kept us at home through the weekend.  Somebody said we got 6″ of snow, heavy and wet.  Luckily the roads were still warm, and it did not stick around long.  Hubby and I spent the weekend finishing up decorating for Christmas.

2017 Christmas Tree

Took me all week to get the tree up and the lights on and the decorations on.  Hubby suffered quietly with a cold and emerged long enough to get the angel on top and some of the highest ornaments on.  Every year we decorate a little differently, and this year, the lights seem “dim” to me.  I realised after I was finished,  I only used half as many lights as last year.  (I think I was burnt out).  The LED bulbs are not as bright as the old fashion type either.

Tuesday I hosted the Queen Bees for a luncheon/Christmas party.   I decided that I would ask them to help with a card making project that Carole / From My Carolina Home    asked for help with.  On her Dec 8th post, she invited others to take part in making cards for a woman’s shelter.  So, when I asked my Queen Bee’s, they all agreed.  I put some supplies on the table, and they got busy!

An artistic group

Crafting and creating Queen Bees

They created 12 cards in just under an hour!  They used cardstock, punches, old greeting cards, stamps, pens, tape runners etc to create these cards.

Fun creations

Special cards made by the Queen Bees

More special cars

Holiday greeting cards

Greeting cards made by bee

Some of these women had never done any “paper crafting” of this sort before, but were eager to prepare cards with heartfelt messages inside.

Sentiment inside

We have so many talented women in this group, and I love the way this card was done inside.    We got the dozen cards out in the mail to Carole to meet her deadline.  I think the Queen Bees enjoyed the project, although it wasn’t quilting, it went for a very good purpose.  Two of the women in the Queen Bees knew about Carole’s project, because they follow her blog.

I got to follow-up a great lunch on Tuesday with the Queen Bees by attending another lunch with the Material Girls Bee on Wednesday.  It was hard to remember to take “small portions” but I did!!

The Queen Bees inspired me and I spent the rest of the week with my own card crafting. I had a birthday card to make and Christmas cards I wanted to do.  I was so inspired I made a trip to Michael’s Craft Store and purchased more “card blanks & envelopes” and treated myself to a heat gun and embossing powder.  I picked up a BUNCH more stamps at Tuesday Morning too.  More about those cards “next time”…as I want to give the recipients a chance to receive them before I spoil the surprise.  

I did make it to the garage on Sunday afternoon for a few hours.  I managed to help the hubby “move” a table back into “my area”, and do a little “cleaning up”  of patterns and files, and stuff.  I actually turned on my machine, and repaired the velcro and snaps on some baby items for my daughter. I wasted 30 minutes fighting with 1″ sticky back loop velcro before I threw it away, and got out the 3/4″ sew in loop velcro I had on hand. Not as wide as I wanted, but it will have to do.  I ended up throwing away a heavy-duty needle that was immediately gummed up too with that sticky back velcro.  GRRRR……..hate that stuff……

So, I am “ready to sew” my own stuff again after nearly 2 months out of my sewing room.  What to work on today?  ?  ?

What are you doing to get ready for Christmas?