Grandma’s Kitchen Update and Scrap Management

Once I got all those “scraps” put away, I felt free to sew again!  More about scraps in a bit.

I’ve been working on a pattern by Pat Sloan called Grandma’s Kitchen.  This project was a “weekly” block beginning last June and concluding in December.  I’ve been posting periodic updates as my blocks were made.  I am primarily using 30’s reproduction fabrics, but have used some more modern fabrics for the neutrals.

I am now starting to build those blocks up into “rows”.  The pattern has lots of “filler” pieces that were not part of the original block construction.  About October the layout was released and when I saw those “filler” pieces, I decided to wait until all 25 blocks were made and I could make better choices of fabrics.

You might remember if you have been reading my posts that I spent a little time with the printed pattern and my felt tips markers planning.  My choices were made, and even the hubby got involved in the fabric decisions. (He really is a smart guy when it comes to this planning !)

Once I got all those “scraps” put away, I felt free to sew again!

I also have finally beaten the bronchitis that has laid me low for 3 weeks, so hanging out for hours in the sewing room has been a joy!  I worked on Row A on Friday.

Row A Grandma's Kitchen

The yellow strips are those “filler strips”.  I am using the yellow where ever the pattern called for a dark strip.  The white strips around the 2nd block (the candy dish as Pat called it) are a coordinating print.  I chose it for where ever the pattern called for a light strip. I used this white in several blocks during .

The friendship stars (4th block from the left) were “filler blocks”.  I used a bit of that red in another block near the end of the process, so I thought it would be nice to bring it near the top of the quilt. Balancing all these fabrics is kind of fun.  I want the colors not to appear to heavy in one area.

The next photo will show Rows A – C made.  I worked on Rows B & C late Saturday.

Rows A - C Grandma's Kitchen

Row B has more “friendship stars” in the first block, and I was glad the red was spaced out a bit, and glad I did not use the same fabrics for the filler blocks.   Row B has filler blocks (orange and purple checkerboard made with 2″ squares) and strips of white and yellow, and a “repeat” of the last block in the row that I had to create.

Row C had a much larger “checkerboard” that was a full block.  These were made with 2.5″ squares. Following the pattern, it was interesting to work this one, because the bottom row was to be all the “dark” (red)checkers, and it continued on, under the next block as a filler.  I went with it, and find it is interesting. I was surprised, because I would have thought making them the light (yellow) checkers would be more logical. Who am I to argue with the designer!

I’m having fun putting this part of the project together.  There are a lot of decisions yet to be made on fabrics as I approach the remaining stack of blocks.  I know which “colors” I want to use for the upcoming filler blocks, but not which fabric yet. I’ll get there & give you another look as I make further progress.  While I am making these filler blocks, there are scraps being generated! I’m keeping everything together so far, as I don’t know which bits & pieces I may work into the project.

Scrap Storage System – more info!

Speaking of scraps…here are some pictures from my last round!  It never ceases to amaze me how much “good stuff” is left at the end of a quilting project!

Ready to put away

This is the “last” of the pieces out of my yellow stacker.  They are cut and ready to put away!

Someone asked me how I “store” my scraps once they are cut to size.  I like “uniform” containers and am trying to get similar containers for all my scraps.  I like to size the container based on the size of the cut piece. Too big of a container means the little pieces get bounced around and messy.  I’ve already ironed these, and don’t want to do it again. I want to reach in the container and USE the pieces without going back to the iron.  I need to “invest” again in containers and house my 2.5″ squares and my 2″ squares. I have an over abundance of both and have resorted to cardboard boxes and plastic baskets.  (I also have a container the size of the one on the bottom left FULL of 2″ squares in ziplocks…leftover from 2 of those “watercolor” classes. UFO!!!)

Scrap Management Storage containers

I am using “shoeboxes” for strings.  Generally I consider a string anything that is 2″ or smaller.  These tend to be pieces that are not “width of fabric” and are the first thing I grab when I feel like making string blocks.  Mostly they are sorted by color family. The reds and oranges and yellows are together, the blues and purples are together and the neutrals are together. The boxes aren’t labeled yet, but are easy to figure out. I like them in color families because I like my string blocks more “orderly”.  I do have a container of 1.5″ strips in the previous photo and that box gets full rather fast, and when it does, the remainder end up in the string box. String pieces may not be as carefully trimmed to size, as I don’t care if the piece is 1 3/4″ or 1 5/8″…the precision is not necessary.

Shoeboxes for strings

In my previous post, Scrap Decisions , I included a chart with the range of sizes that I cut and store.  Someone commented about the “bricks”…those are the rectangles.  I don’t cut a lot of them, but I do use them from time to time, and find them handy to have on hand.

If you are just starting out with “saving your scraps” – you might not want to keep as many sizes etc as I do.  You have to figure out what you are going to use!  Because I follow Bonnie Hunter, I mirrored my system along the lines of hers, using sizes she typically includes in her patterns.  On her blog, she has a tab called Tips & Techniques, and on it you will find a blog post about her Scrap User’s system – Bonnie Hunter’s Scrap User’s System

The link to Bonnie’s system is very lengthy, so get a cup of coffee, and read (after you finished reading my post of course)!  And bookmark her blog, and LOOK AROUND at the wealth of free information she willingly shares with her readers!  She has a tab for FREE PATTERNS and at the top of that page is a handy chart which sorts her patterns by “strip size and block and brick size”.  This might help you chose what to store!  And it might help you decide “how” you want to store your scraps.

I also follow other quilters, like Pat Sloan who offers lots of sew-alongs that include free patterns. (Fore example Grandma’s Kitchen!)  On her website http://www.patsloan.com/  you have to “work a little harder” to find her free patterns.  She has a ton of stuff, so spend some time there as well.

Lastly, I mentioned in other posts, that I used information from Joan Ford as I developed my “Scrap Storage System“.   Joan’s website https://hummingbird-highway.com/ will give you links to books she has written on the topic, and why she saves what she saves as well as freebies and fun stuff.

What ever system you follow or develop for yourself, make sure it is one that will work for you and that you will find yourself USING your scraps!  I also have fun posting my scrap projects periodically and sharing the post with OH SCRAP!  

I find lots of other “like minded” scrap quilters projects on the weekly link-up and enjoy perusing their blog posts!  (In fact…I am linking up today!)  (You might have noticed a button to OH SCRAP on the sidebar!)

I have had a great time making projects using patterns that Carole – https://frommycarolinahome.wordpress.com/ has come up with, and I have USED those scraps from my Scrap Storage System in every one of her “Scrap Dance” projects.  My scrap boxes are full right now, and I am looking forward to the Scrap Dance Square Dance project she has on her blog.  This is a monthly project.  I may “increase” my size from twin to something larger if the mood (and the overflowing boxes) call to me.  (There is a button on my sidebar to Carole’s blog)

Do you save your scraps?  How do you do it? Do you follow other scrap quilters?  Who ??

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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.

 

 

 

SCRAP HAPPINESS- Strings and 4 patches!

I’ve managed to assemble a twin sized quilt using the string blocks I made in August.  There is no “official pattern”, I just worked out the sizes as I went along. I was inspired by several different string quilts I saw on  Becky Petersen’s blog, Quilted Twins.  Becky finished up a string quilt recently and set the string blocks with alternate blocks and surrounded everything with white.  I decided I liked the way the white played with the bright fabrics, so that is how I came to sash these blocks, using scrappy white fabric.

String quilt assembled

The top currently measures at 58″ x 87″.  (Sorry, but the lighting washed out the colors.  Maybe if the rain stops before my ark floats away, I can get a decent daylight photograph after I get the next round of borders on.)

The blocks were stitched on 6×6″ phone book papers, and set with 2″ white sashing and 2″ cornerstones. I tried to use a wide variety of white fabric with print for the cornerstones.  The “strings” came from my scrap user storage system, as did the 2″ cornerstones.  I was able to get many of the 6″ sashing strips from scrap fabric, but needed so much I resorted to cutting a nice 2″ strip off of many pieces of yardage I have set aside for my “next” Bonnie Hunter project.

I’ve done all of the sewing on this project on 2 machines, both my Brother 6000i and my 1949 Featherweight. Last week I had to take a break and let the hubby do a little servicing of the Brother. Seems the “timing was out of whack”, with the needle striking the bobbin case, and he was able to make the necessary adjustments. (Thank goodness for Google and You Tube).

Adjusting the timing

He is pretty handy to have around. He does a lot of “micro work” with electronics for his model railroad hobby and has an excellent mechanical and troubleshooting mind.  The next photo is one of hubby’s little projects.  And I mean little.  He is wiring LED lights into an assembly for an HO locomotive. Note the scale of the project.

LED project

He asked me to take a bunch of photo’s, so of course, I used a piece of scrap white fabric for a background. Those are 1″ squares on my cutting mat showing around the fabric.  Needless to say, he is quite talented.  (I think I hurt his feelings when I would not let him work on my Janome 8900, which is STILL in the shop, awaiting parts.  I’m sure he would have had it running by now if he could have gotten schematics and parts.)

Both the Brother and the Featherweight machines require me to use a leader/ender to start & stop the sewing, so I dug into the 2″ basket and made a significant amount of 2 patches, and then gradually sewed them into four patches.  I now have somewhere near 133 4 patches ready for another project, yet still the 2″ basket is quite full.  I have a nice stack of 2 patches to press today and pin together for the next round of sewing.  I learned all about using leaders & enders on Bonnie Hunter’s blog .  Bonnie has 2 books about how to use your Leaders & Enders, and you can find them on her blog for sale. She also has lots of free patterns on her blog if you are looking for something fun to sew.  (Right now, my 4 patches are going to “ferment” for a while)

133 Four patches from 2" squares

I enjoyed this string quilt project, and think it needs a bit more in the order of a border, so I will be doing some more of those fun string borders that I did on my Scrap Dance Two step.  I figure, why not use up the strings when the phone book paper is plentiful?  I love sewing the strings. The sashing was a bunch of work!

Yay for foundation papers

In the last 2 days I have had 2 more phone books arrive in the driveway and I did a little quilter cheer that I hope would make Bonnie Hunter laugh!

Before you go, do go take a look at Becky Petersens blog post  – Quilted Twins blog

I will be linking this to Oh Scrap!

And linking up at the end of the month to the OMG – One Monthly Goal .

If you haven’t seen those blogs, hop over and take a look.  If you found me from one of those blogs, please let me know!

What’s happening in your sewing room?

Strings and Grandma’s Kitchen blocks 9 and 10 and more

I have “put off” working on my Pat Sloan – Grandma’s Kitchen blocks while my Janome has been in the shop.

I heard from the repairman last Thursday that it will be at “least” 2 more weeks. My poor Janome 8900 is awaiting parts.  Apparently one of the feed-dogs broke (go figure), and bent the bobbin case “cushion” which caused a terrible clatter and was beyond our “tech skills” to fix.  I can’t go a whole MONTH without a machine, so I got out one of my other machines.  (And thanks to all my friends who have offered to share a machine during this time of desperation ! )

I’ve been sewing on my Brother 6000i since the big machine went into the shop.  Brother 6000i  has primarily been my travel machine, until I got the Singer Featherweight.  I was able to set the Brother in the sewing table the Janome fits in, using the Brother extension table, and sew at a reasonable “height” that doesn’t make me feel like my elbows are adjacent to my ears.

Anyway,  I got allowed myself to be distracted last week, playing in the strings that have accumulated.  

STRING BLOCKS 

If you remember, I was prepping donated fabric for sale at the Ocean Waves Quilt Guild Show for most of the last year.  Anyway, the show was in July, and the leftovers were dispatched to the person taking on the committee following my reign of terror. The new chairperson did not want the 2 cribs full of leftover scraps, so I boxed them all up, and carted them home. (Hey, being a scrap-a-holic is something I readily admit to!)

I spent the last month sorting those boxes out by color.  I dumped boxes, one at a time on my work table, and smoothed, ironed, trimmed, again, and into my plastic storage containers.  About 1/2 way through the 8 or 10 boxes, I started pulling the “strings” out and into a separate container.   To me, a string is anything less than 2.5″ wide.  I pressed and put them into shoeboxes. Before you knew it, the shoe boxes were overflowing and I decided to get busy and make some string blocks.

I follow the Bonnie Hunter – Quiltville –  string block method, using old telephone book pages to act as foundations.  (Yes, I still get phone books, and this is my preferred recycling method.)  (Check out Bonnie’s book STRING FLING).   I got out the paper cutter, pulled pages out of a smaller phone book, and cut 6″ blocks from the pages.  I started with 30 pages and quickly used them up.  When I stitch on the phone book pages, I shorten the stitch length significantly, so the paper comes off quite easily, after squaring up the blocks. Someone commented to me on Facebook about using fabric for foundations. I have done that, and I have also used a Pellon interfacing for foundation.  I really just wanted to recycle what I had, and the phone book pages and strings are doing that without buying something else.

I was also inspired by a quilt I saw on another blog – Quilted Twins .  Becky Petersen does scrap quilts and was working with a bunch of 2″ strings and the quilt in her blog gave me some ideas for my strings.  She hasn’t published a pattern yet for the quilt in the blog post, but I am certain she will soon.

I made a couple of blocks and then got an idea to “sort those strings by color”.  (They had been all stored together.). So, I went for blues to start with, and got busy. Then on to reds, pinks, oranges and yellows, browns and greens. Before you know it, I had 98 blocks.  The first 2 random blocks are still “waiting their turn” for a project; but they are not going in THIS project.

Working on String Blocks

I did not “duplicate” Becky’s pattern, rather, I used her setting as inspiration.  I liked the way the white set off the brilliant colors of the string blocks.  My hubby is not crazy about the “chaos” of string blocks, but he likes (I think) this setting –

4 rows string block quilt

I’ve been doing all the sashing on my little Singer Featherweight along with some of the sewing of string blocks.

Stitching string blocks on the featherweight

The Brother got tired of string blocks, it started acting crazy, so hubby carried the Featherweight upstairs to the sewing room for me. (I usually store it down at the bottom of the stairs in my to-go trolley).  Hubby spent 4 or 5 hours dismantling the Brother 6000i, and determined it was a “timing issue”. Thank goodness for the internet & you-tube videos.  I was ready to chuck it down those aforementioned stairs.  He has infinite patience and mechanical and troubleshooting skills, so he FIXED it.  Today, I will set the Brother back up, in my sewing table, which will give me “more space” for joining those two big sections together, and for adding sashing to the remaining 64 blocks.

GRANDMA’S KITCHEN 

Anyway, in between the “making of the string blocks” and the “sashing” of the string blocks, another Wednesday rolled along.  I decided to get busy and knock out blocks 9 & 10 of Grandma’s Kitchen.   Since I was pulling fabrics for “both” blocks at the same time, I pulled out LOTS of fabrics.

For block 9, I decided I wanted to “see something” out the kitchen window panes.  What would Grandma see looking out?  I think she would be keeping a watchful eye on all the grandchildren!

The Kitchen Window - block # 9 of 25

BLOCK 9 – GRANDMA’S Kitchen –

This block was fun to make!  I got to use my “design boards” for the first time.  I kept seeing Pat Sloan promoting the ones at the Fat Quarter shop, and I thought, heck, I can make those.  I even found a tutorial from the Fat Quarter shop on You Tube.

(If you aren’t familiar – check out  Lori Holt Fat Quarter Shop Design boards  )

I found other tutorials to make the design board, and one used pretty duct tape.  I decided to go for the duct tape, so I spent $2 at the Dollar Tree store, for the Foam Core Board and the pretty duct tape.  I got 2 boards measuring 15×15 with one little strip left over. I also used Elmers Spray Glue to hold my batting in place instead of hot glue.  Since I had the spray glue and batting already, I ended up with 2 – 15×15 boards for a total of $2.  (See the end of the post for a link where you can buy ready made 18×18 boards for a mere $12.98 EACH.….)

15x15 design board

The duct tape is pretty, but was a challenge to put on straight. It is sticking well to the paper on the back, but it wants to “lift” off the batting on the front. I have “smoothed it” back down a few times, so it is sticking, but I may “re-engineer” my boards. I didn’t want to use hot glue, but may have to.  Thus far, no fingers glued together with hot glue or spray glue.  And, other than popping into the Dollar Tree on day when I went for groceries at Redners, it took me about 20 minutes total!  

On to Block 10 of Grandma’s Kitchen

I had a pile of fabrics out, and I was looking at all my other blocks too.  I decided it was time to pop a little orange into the project.  I did my usual with the black and white photo’s so I could be certain I got my light, medium and dark right.

Plan B Block 10

I think it worked out after a “few” tries.  I was up to plan “D”  & “E”, but I will spare you the photo’s. You “get” the concept!

Block 10 Grandma's Kitchen

I took an extra minute and did a 2nd line of stitching on the “stitch & flip” corners, and got 4 bonus half-square triangles, which I trimmed up to 2.5″. No waste for me.  I tossed them into my “OOPS block” container that I am using for this project. They are not an “oops” but that’s ok.  I have a plan in mind for those little bits at the end of the quilt making!

Bonus Blocks from Block 10

For Grandma’s Kitchen pattern information – check out http://www.ilovetomakequilts.com/grandmas-kitchen-sew-along.html

To purchase a “ready made” design board – look at https://www.fatquartershop.com/teal-happy-text-bee-in-my-bonnet-design-board

I hope you enjoyed this post, and that you might venture into “recycling” fabric scraps into quilts or “crafting your own design board”.

Linking up to Oh Scrap!  and  Pat Sloan’s link up  and OMG – one monthly goal for September

Quick note – I am establishing my One Monthly Goal for September – getting the String Quilt FINISHED….yes, you heard that….sashed, rows joined, and QUILTED & BOUND.  My heart wants me to get this ready for a Hurricane Harvey donation as quickly as possible!

Mystery is close to being solved!

Greetings — I’ve been away from the blog for almost a month!  I disappeared but now I am back!!  A round of bronchitis has kept me low for a few weeks, and I am just getting back into the swing of things.  I was totally out of commission for 2 weeks, not venturing to the garage and up the stairs to the sewing room.  Finally last weekend I had enough energy to make the trek.  Off and on all week I have worked on trimming up flying geese (216 of them), and building “string blocks” for the borders of my Talkin’ Turkey Quilt (Pattern by Bonnie Hunter – String Fling book).  Now, the geese are trimmed, and 108 of them sewn into one of 3 rounds of borders.  The string blocks are made, and cut and sewn back together with the papers removed. Those will make the 2nd border.  I have over 400″ of a string block border made.  They wait patiently for me to get the quilt off the design wall and sew them on. The last border will be another 108 of the geese.  I have them ready to stitch, but I have other priorities currently.

I’m still prepping donated sewing items and fabrics for selling at the Ocean Waves Quilt Guild quilt show in July.  So far we are approaching 40 boxes of fabrics ready to go!  I have such great helpers trimming, pressing folding, pricing!  I was able to work one day this week finally, and will go full force the week after next.  Check out the info for the quilt show here – Ocean Waves Quilt Guild Quilt Show.  Dates – July 21 & 22, 2017, Cape Henlopen High School – Lewes DE.  About 300 quilts and LOTS of vendors!  Come to the beach, and stop by the show! Visit me at the Second Time Around booth where I will have 7 tables of wonderful fabrics & notions, and 2 tables of books and magazines to sell.  Bargains all around at my booth.

Yesterday was….the 3rd Friday of the month!  You KNOW I love the 3rd Friday, because Carole releases the next step in the Scrap Dance Two Step Mystery Quilt.  If you are unfamiliar, check out her blog – From My Carolina Home  . She writes clear, easy to follow instructions, and includes a PDF file you can take to the sewing room with directions and photos.  I didn’t get a chance to sew yesterday (LIFE happens); but I got a chance this afternoon, and after dinner.  I have 12 blocks together for Part 6 of the Scrap Dance Two Step.  Check out this fun group of blocks in Part 6 –

12 Scrap Dance Two Step Blocks - Part 6

PART 6 – JUNE

When you put these blocks from part 6 with the blocks from part 5 below, (which I wrote about LAST month ~ I Love the 3rd Friday……. ), you can really see some scrappy fun. Many of the same fabrics are scattered in Part 5 & Part 6 blocks.  If you read Carole’s instructions for Part 6 you will note that Carole cautioned us that NEXT month we will be cutting more scrap fabric and more background fabrics….so stay tuned!  From my standpoint, all scraps have been used with the exception of the neutrals.  I am struggling to avoid setting these blocks in any type of layout.  I will wait on Carole & July’s instructions.

Scrap dance two step Part 5

Part 5 – May

The solution is becoming more apparent, but it is not solved yet…..maybe in July!

These are BIG blocks, and I am doing the “Twin size”.   Usually I go “BIG” but I have several BIG quilts waiting for borders & quilting, so I decided to sew along with the mystery, but in a size that is less time consuming.  I like getting the steps of the mystery knocked out in a day or two and then I can “get back to other projects”.

Do you enjoy working on a mystery quilt?  Carole’s projects are fun.  If you want to peak at the fabrics other people are using for this mystery – check out the group FLICKR page!  Scrap Dance Mystery Two Step GROUP photo’s .

Happy Stitching!

PS – linking up with OH SCRAP! – Quilting is More fun than housework – check it out!

PPS – did you know that the word SEW is found in the word HOUSEWORK ???