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 !

 

Help for Victims of Thomas Fire – Other ways to help

As you may recall, in December Carole – From My Carolina Home put out a call for help asking for blocks for Victims of the Thomas Fire.   I shared her post and worked up 16 blocks and sent them to her last week.

16 Thomas Fire blocks done

Carole received my blocks and 16 other envelopes !!  It is exciting to know that quilters DO love to help when there is a big need.

I was reading through my email today and saw that AQS (American Quilting Society) is also trying to get the word out for assistance for the Ventura Modern Quilt Guild.  There are lots of ways that you might be able to help too. Perhaps making blocks and sending them to Carole wasn’t something you were able to do, but you have a finished top of another pattern on a hanger, or have an excess of blocks from a different style?   Without repeating the entire list, I will “redirect” you to the AQS post –http://www.aqsblog.com/help-the-thomas-fire-victims

Perhaps something on the AQS post will be just the right fit for you!

Today is a “scrap attack” day for me!  I want to dig through 1 container of greens and get them “ready” for the next scrappy project that Carole has planned on her blog!

Stay warm and happy sewing.  I am thankful every day for the sunshine, the warmth of my heaters and my ability to create! I think quilts are really a blessing in my life!  What about in yours?

The final 3 blocks for Grandma’s Kitchen

I had a lot of fun picking and choosing from my stack of fabrics for the final 3 blocks of the Grandma’s Kitchen pattern.  I mentioned previously that I did a little “balancing” of colors, as I have a big variety with my 1930’s reproduction fabrics.

Block 23 –

Block 23 Grandma's Kitchen

Block 24 –

Block 24 Grandma's Kitchen

Block 25 –

Block 25 Grandma's Kitchen

Now that all 25 blocks are made, I am considering all those filler blocks the pattern has called for.  There are 3 more units of “friendship stars”, several sets of “checkerboard blocks”, and lots of what I would call “filler strips”.  These filler strips are giving me something to think about.  I am trying to decide if I am just going with one of my white background fabrics; or maybe pull in another yellow, with some very tiny print.  If you haven’t seen the final layout, take a look at Pat’s post here – The final layout plan

Here are my thoughts….I have a lot of very “different” prints and colors going on.  I put them all in an album together on flicker if you want to take a look – Grandma’s Kitchen Blocks album

I think the blocks need something to “calm them down” and “give your eye a place to rest” or “a bit of space”.  This is what leads me to the white.  I have been doodling and coloring – Thank goodness for lots of fine tip markers and lots of copies of the pattern.

Making sense of the layout

I’ve set aside fabrics for some of those filler blocks, made one of the checkerboard sections for row 3(using the same fabrics as block 25), and decided what fabrics those extra friendship stars will use.

Next time you see it, I will have it stitched together as a full top…but that will be a while.

I’m in slow down mode as of this afternoon!  I had to deliver my beloved Janome 8900 to the sewing center for service. Long & short of it – my machine does NOT like the thread painting class I took today. Sadly, I paid for a class that I only managed to sew for about half of, and then spent the rest of the class battling the machine.  I went straight from class to take the machine for repair.  Tomorrow, out will come my beloved Featherweight, and I will “begin again”.

Meanwhile, there are lots of scraps to be sorted and trimmed and put away, so I might get busy with that job.  I have LOTS to get squared away!   I am going to try and get some cleared up before Carole puts out the first edition of Scrap Dance Square Dance Mystery QuiltWill you be sewing along?  Carole said she is going to have us “use up leftovers, precuts,  charm squares, jelly roll strips ” etc.  I tend to cut my scraps to the “largest size” for my storage system, so I should have plenty of 5″ squares, lots of 2.5″ strips.  I don’t buy pre-cuts usually, but I do have a big collection of fat quarters (which are NOT scraps….)  I think I will start with the overflowing basket of GREENS!

What’s on your project list??

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!