Butterflies dancing across the quilt

I decided to use the inspiration of the butterfly landing on my Scrap Dance Pachanga quilt when I was taking photos recently. I took the quilt back out to the sewing room and knew exactly which fabric I would use. Perhaps you remember the senior quilt I made and posted about here – https://stitchinggrandma.wordpress.com/2021/03/31/senior-quilts-circa-2021/ .

I pulled a few “leftover” blocks out of the fabric storage bin, and applied Heat & Bond Light to the back. I simply cut the butterflies out with scissors and fused them to the quilt.

Prepping for fusible applique

If you are wondering why, do go back and read about the SAGA of this quilt I shared a few days ago. https://stitchinggrandma.wordpress.com/2021/08/17/scrap-dance-pachanga-saga/

I carefully placed the first seven around the quilt, trying to make them look as though they were “pre planned” instead of an effort to hide those problems left over from the SAGA.

Thinking about how many

Once those were balanced around the quilt and stitched down, I decided that MORE were necessary to make them seem “like an intentional design choice.” (Those words came from the One Block Wonder Woman, and I think she is right!) In all, there are 13 scattered around the quilt, dancing the Pachanga!

more butterflies

I used a creamy yellow thread, designed for the embroidery machine to blanket stitch them all down.

various size butterflies

I am a little fond of the smaller groupings of butterflies. Those small ones near the top border would have disappeared if they weren’t grouped I think.

When I took the quilt back outside to take a couple more pictures, there were 3 butterflies flitting around but I didn’t manage to catch one land on the quilt this time !

butterflies doing the Scrap Dance Pachanga

I’m quite pleased that Mother nature helped me solve my quilt troubles and the quilt is now “restored” and completely finished. This one is so full of memories and I will enjoy using it!

Scrap Dance Pachanga pattern was a “mystery quilt along” by Carole Carter, From My Carolina Home.

Now, I think it is time to clean off my desk in the sewing room again before I dig out another UFO to work on.

What’s on your agenda this week??


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 .

More fun with Scraps

I’m still “dancing” with the Scrap Dance Pachanga mystery quilt by blogger Carole at From My Carolina Home. Last week was Step 7 in the mystery. We got the instructions (still available on the blog) for Block A. It was fun to put some of the bits and pieces from previous steps together. Here are my blocks.

Block A Scrap Dance Pachanga 2021
Block A Scrap Dance Pachanga Mystery Quilt

This block used some of the 4 patches, 2 patch rectangle units and some of the half square triangle units. It was fun to play around with the colors and try to balance them out a little bit. These blocks went together quickly. I am doing the throw size this year. (In the past I have done the king size for most of the Scrap Dance mystery quilts).

Next step comes out on May 14th and I am looking forward to what we do with the other units left in my project basket.

I was inspired by my friend Nancy to do a bit of “cleanup” in my sewing room. She & I were working through some donations for the quilt guild, sorting and organizing. Alright….Nancy was doing all the sorting and organizing and I was playing with the scraps, trying to save as many as possible. One donation I picked up in March came with a bunch of plastic drawer units. These units had been stacked up all over the place in my garage, and needed to be emptied of the contents. As we did the emptying, I realized these drawers would fit just under one of my cutting tables, and might help me better contain my own scraps.

New scrap storage plan

Since the guild is not currently meeting, and storage space is at a premium here, I sold those drawer units…..to me. We usually sell this type of thing for at the guild, at a “fair price”. Because they are bulky to transport and store, I often sell them for considerably less than what you would pay for them new. (If I have to drag them to a meeting to sell, I don’t want to drag them back home !) We probably won’t meet until the fall at the guild to sell anything, and I decided I “needed” those draws! I guess I can always “donate” them back later if the system doesn’t work for me. But, for now….I am happy~!

I took all the scraps that have accumulated for sorting/trimming and sorted them by color into the drawers. Previously, these were piling up in an open basket stacked sorting system and it was starting to overwhelm me. In the process, I also emptied out a “laundry hamper” of scraps, and cleaned my cutting table.

Cleaning up the cutting table
Cutting table is cleaned!

My cutting table has been buried in stuff for a while, but now, the big baskets are projects, and the smaller ones are things I still need to trim. I unearthed several things I set aside for later and gave them their own big basket. A couple of bits ended back up on the design wall for inspiration.

leftover blocks
Inspiration pieces

I really am inspired to turn that big block with the checkerboard border into a pillow. The house blocks are leftover from a class at the guild, and I want to keep making some.

During the “scrap sorting” I set aside a basket full of “leftover block/units” for crumb quilts.

I busied myself for a couple of days, inspired by Pat Sloan, making crumb blocks. You might recognize some of the pieces in the crumb blocks below from the big block above. That center house block may come out and end up on the wall with the other houses too.

I never “got to the bottom” of the crumb block basket. Really I just skimmed the surface and have made about 25 blocks. I will have to find a cohesive way to put them together and turn them into a quilt at some point. Meanwhile, they have been assigned to their own project basket and I moved along to something else.

I had lots of scraps to work on for the guild, things that were donated. I set a timer and worked on them for one hour, and got them all ironed.

Now that these small pieces are ironed and sorted by color and general size, I will trim them up. If they are of a size that I can price and sell at the guild meeting then they will get folded and priced. There were a lot of “fall colors” and I think I see a nice “bundle” coming together.

Speaking of fall colors, you might recall back in November I mentioned I was “Stuck in the Middle” of quilting my Autumn Jubilee quilt. This is another pattern by Carole/From My Carolina Home. Thanks to my friend Nancy, this past week I was able to FINALLY finish the quilting. It has languished on the frame for 5 months, all while I picked out poor stitching. The quilting is now DONE! The quilt is off the frame, trimmed and ready for the addition of the label and binding.

making binding
Binding for Autumn Jubilee

The binding will go on fairly quickly, as it is all done by machine. The main color of the binding is the stripe, with just that little green flange showing on the face of the quilt. The method I love is called Susie’s Magic Binding. I love sharing the link to Aunt Marti’s 52 Quilts in 52 Weeks blog. It is where I first saw this type of binding and the directions are so well written, along with a subsequent video. I was a fairly new quilter when I learned this method and love to share with others. The “hardest part” of the method is joining the two ends, and I just recommend you take your time, use a basting stitch to make sure you have a nice alignment. I know with a stripe pattern, some may not be happy with diagonal stripes not aligning, but personally, I am not worried at all. Time to go make my label and next blog you will see the finished quilt top!

Speaking of labels, I finished and attached two more for the Senior Quilt project I was working on. The volunteers at church got together and tied the quilt two weeks ago.

Emily's quilt
Tied and ready to trim
Senior Quilt labels Emily
Modified a label from Kreative Kiwi

I used a label from Kreative Kiwi and eliminated the line where you might hand write the name. I inserted the names using fonts from my software.

Senior quilt labels 2021

The verse on the back of the quilt was digitized by Designs by JUJU. I’m not happy with the stitch out on this label, too many puckers but I figure it will have to do on a deadline. I am certain I had stabilizer pulling in the hoop as the stitch-out took place. I think once the quilt is washed and all that stabilizer “softens up” and the quilt crinkles it will not be so noticeable. I guess if you aren’t a machine embroiderer it wouldn’t matter, but it makes me a little nuts when I see that puckering.

I had to do a little bit of machine quilting on that quilt before putting the labels on the back. Our group tied the quilt, but the borders needed more “anchoring”.

adding some quilting
Stitching in the ditch and in the borders on Emily’s quilt

I used my walking foot and did a serpentine stitch, stretched to it’s maximum length on the yellow and blue borders, along with some basic straight stitching in the ditch along the borders. The wide backing came from Marshall’s Dry Goods (Batesville AR). If you are ever shopping for wide back, they are my preferred location, with quick service, and great prices.

Time to get busy and make that label for the Autumn Jubilee quilt and get the binding on. It is going to be a hot sunny day, and the pollen count is very high, so I think hanging out in the sewing room with the A/C running will keep my allergies in check.

What’s happening in your sewing room this week?

Playing with Scraps

This has been a lovely relaxing sewing week, playing with two scrap projects.

I worked on Step 7 of the Scrap Dance Pachanga Mystery quilt from Carole’s blog, From My Carolina Home. Steps come out on the 2nd and 4th Friday of the month, so I was a few days late getting mine done. This was an easy step for me as I love making half-square triangles. Some people don’t but I do. I like that they are sized enough to “trim” easily. I use the June Tailor Perfect Quarter Square/Half Square triangle ruler when I make mine.

small half square triangles PACHANGA

We now have quite a collection of elements for this mystery quilt, but still have many pieces left for future “steps”.

Steps 1-7 Scrap Dance Pachanga

I am resisting the urge to play with the elements. Banished to the basket to await the next step coming at the end of this week!

I continued to play with the scrap basket that I took on vacation. I have made quite a few more “Traffic Jam” blocks. This time I picked the 2.5″ squares out of my never ending basket and put together lots of combinations. I’m up to 24 blocks made. I had to “trim” these blocks to 12″ as some of the ones done on vacation were a tad “wonky”. I think some of that had to do with 2.5″ squares that didn’t quite measure up, or fat seam allowances.

Traffic Jam blocks
Traffic Jam blocks

The pattern is available on Pat Sloan’s website for free. I love doing scrappy quilts. I also like to see what others have done with the sashing and borders on Pat’s website. If you take a look you will see all different ways this block is finished off into a quilt. I haven’t quite decided how I am going to sash it, but I am gathering ideas.

I am using a bit of the Bonnie Hunter scrap saver system for my bits and pieces. I seem to have a lot of scraps that need to be “cut up” into that system, but I am lazy about doing it. My sewing space has gotten cluttered and it is time for a bit of “clean up”. Do you save scraps for projects? How do you collect and store them?

Edit — forgot to add this — Linking up to OH SCRAP! If you like to work with scraps, check out all the fun things others are sharing there!

Scrap Dance Pachanga Update

I’ve been working off and on getting the various units done for Scrap Dance Pachanga, a mystery quilt offered this winter/spring by Carole, at the blog From My Carolina Home. I’d forgotten to update my progress, so prepare for photo’s.

My last update was on Clue 3 – https://stitchinggrandma.wordpress.com/2021/02/21/cold-february-days/ when we made a bunch of two patches.

Since those cold February days, we have done Clue 4; which was background bars with 2 patches.

Clue 4 Scrap Dance Pachanga
Clue 4 Scrap Dance Pachanga

Then in mid March we were on to the next step; Clue 5 — lots of half square triangles!

Step 5 Scrap Dance Pachanga
Clue 5 Scrap Dance Pachanga

Then, just this past Friday, Clue # 6 came out – 4 patches

Step 6 Scrap Dance Pachanga
Scrap Dance Pachanga Clue 6

So, now I am once again caught up with you on these clues. I’ve enjoyed working with these bright fabrics. There are still lots of pieces we cut in the very beginning, and I have it on good authority that we will progress towards completion before it is time to open the swimming pool for the summer. Don’t these look like bright summer colors?

Here are the completed units thus far –

Scrap Dance Pachanga
Steps 1-6 completed

The next clue will be out on the second Friday in April, and it is NOT too late to get started and catch up. I am glad I decided to go with the throw size (48×60), as I have some other projects still in the works.

Since that “cold February” post we have been experiencing a wild array of spring weather. Rain, thunderstorms and some 70 degree (f) days and some nights still at the freezing mark. The daffodils are in full bloom out in the yard. I’ve labored a couple of times getting leaves out of the big flower bed, dead heading the sedum and uprooting the wild cherry trees that have tried to take root. There are endless hours of yard work to be done, but I can’t do it more that every few days. Thankfully the hubby has a little trailer that hooks to the back of the riding mower, and I can fill it with debris from the big flower bed. Saturday’s work required him to empty it 3 times of the leaves and debris. My legs are telling me today how hard I worked! But, at least now I can admire the daffodils, and see signs that the tulips are coming up.

Rescued from the flower bed

I love looking out my sewing room window and seeing all the bright daffodils. We have so many varieties and I brought a few inside yesterday. I have to be careful where I put them when we step out of the house, as one of my cats enjoys a nibble and they can get very sick from eating the leaves and the flowers. I guess it is better to just leave them outdoors to enjoy as I drive in.

March blooms

I still have many more hours of work to do out in those beds. I liberally sprinkled PREEN around the three sections I worked in. I still need to clean up where the iris come up and the asian lilies bloom. I’m not sure if my hostas and azaleas survived the winter.

We have two trees in the front yard that MUST come down in April. We have put it off long enough and need to suck it up and call a professional in for the work. ($$$$$$) One died at the end of fall in 2019, and keeps dropping dead wood. So far it hasn’t taken out our main power, and we pick up the dead branches and haul them away. It was a walnut tree that made us quite sad to loose. The other was a much smaller maple out near the road. Just yesterday, as we sat on the porch watching the traffic, we pondered our beautiful old sugar maple and wonder how much long she will last. Hopefully a few more autumns to enjoy the glorious color it gives. 2020 was a bust for fall colors, so I hope it isn’t a sign!

I do enjoy the view out my sewing room window. What’s happening in your sewing room?

Cold February Days

Never doubt that little ground hog they call Punxsutawney Phil (https://www.groundhog.org/ ). Back of Feb 2, 2021 we were told “6 more weeks of winter”. I think no matter where you live in America, you will have to agree that the old ground hog called it right this year! While we have had a total of 4 days “above 50 degrees” so far this month…it is the COLD days we remember the most. We have had 11 days where we never got above the high 30’s, and only one night above freezing. We have been inundated with rain, sleet, ice and a sprinkling of snow. And yet, in the mid-Atlantic region of the US, we are fairly lucky to be on the warmer end of things on the DelMarVa peninsula. On Saturday (Feb 20) I went for a drive, and just 14 miles north of us, there is still ice in the branches of the trees in the forest that lines the highway.

Thankfully, the coming week is a turning point in our weather with much warmer weather and today is our last COLD day! Nights will still be cold for the next couple of weeks, so we are reminded it is “still winter”.

So what have I been doing? A lot more cooking to be sure. I won’t bore you with a lot of photos, but just know that the Emeril 360 Air Fryer I blogged about recently is getting a workout every day.

Cooking with Grandma

My youngest granddaughter (4) arrived one morning with an agenda. First up was getting her nails polished, which she is showing off here so cutely. Second up was to bake something. She does love to crack eggs and whisk them in a big mixing bowl. We baked a cake while she was here. (It was in the food photos above)

I’ve done a bit of hand sewing too during the cold evenings. Some days have just been too cold for me to want to venture out to my sewing room or too icy, so I was lucky to have my English paper piecing bag in the house. I usually save working on these hexi’s for sea days on a cruise, but that is another subject! I had given up on hand stitching at home because the cats want to pester me the minute I thread a needle. The night I worked on this double diamond I had to fend them off mightily, but I did win. I actually got two done in the course of two evenings. It is something to keep my hands busy while watching t.v.

Hexi hand work

Another project I have been working on is clue 3 for the Scrap Dance Pachanga Mystery Quilt brought to you by the blog FROM MY CAROLINA HOME (See the link above). This was an easy clue that went quickly, because every thing had already been cut during clue#1.

Clue # 3 Scrap Dance Pachanga
Clue 3 Scrap Dance Pachanga

While all of the above has been going on, my “over 65” friends are seeking out the vaccine from local providers. We are a very small state, with a population just under 1 million (974,051 according to the state website). Our state has a website where you can track what is going on (https://myhealthycommunity.dhss.delaware.gov/locations/state/vaccine-tracker#vaccine_tracker ) with the vaccine. So far we know that 176,959 doses have been administered. No way to know if that is first & second dose. We can also see that there have been NO doses delivered in Delaware since Friday, Feb 12th. I have friend who have had one shot, some who have been scheduled for a second shot.

17% of our population is OVER 65 (data source – https://myhealthycommunity.dhss.delaware.gov/locations/state/community-characteristics). That’s 165,588 people in our state over 65. So, one would hope every over 65 has gotten at least one shot. NOPE. My hubby is registered on the waiting list and still hasn’t been “INVITED” by the state. He gets lots of emails from the state, but has yet to be scheduled, and I know others who are still waiting. I signed him up the first day they had an online registration. I am in what they call “group 1C”, as I won’t be 65 for a few months, yet have “underlying health conditions”. So, I will patiently wait my turn, but will be in line when my turn arrives. Hard to even forecast when that will be if the state isn’t getting any vaccine delivered. The state is blaming vaccine deliveries (https://www.delawarepublic.org/post/state-announces-delay-covid-vaccine-rollout-focuses-second-dose-delivery ) Not sure what is delaying other than “demand and weather”. I thought the “new” president was going to speed things up, but you can look at the above graph and see how that worked out for yourself. This week, there are second doses being delivered – and I am scratching my head at how “excited” the state is. On the Delaware Department of Health and Human Services Facebook page, they posted ” Day 1 of Delaware’s second-dose COVID-19 vaccination event at the Dover International Speedway is underway. With the assistance of FEMA, DEMA, and other local partners, the goal is to give second-dose vaccinations to 3,000 Delawareans each day for the next six days.The Dover International Speedway’s event is by appointment only and all spaces are currently full”. I comment that I thought 18,000 shots in 6 days is a pretty low goal to have when we have 165,588 over 65 year old people.

According to one source “Phase 1c, scheduled to start in March, includes people 16 to 64 with medical conditions that make them more vulnerable to the virus, such as diabetes, chronic lung or heart disease, and cancer; people in high-risk group settings, such as homeless shelters, prisons and group homes; and essential workers in other fields. The rest of Delaware’s 50-plus population becomes eligible in Phase 2, which is expected to start in mid-April.” Source – https://states.aarp.org/delaware/covid-19-vaccine-distribution .

Curious what is happening in YOUR state? What are you doing to stay busy during this cold weather? Are you looking forward to any changes as the vaccine rolls out?

A flock or a flight of geese?

When you see a field of geese is it a flock? What about when they are in the air flying in a group are they a flight? The things I ponder before my 2nd cup of coffee……

And so, I learned before my second cup, that on the ground they are a GAGGLE, not a flock! Again, thanks to wikipedia “The collective noun for a group of geese on the ground is a gaggle; when in flight, they are called a skein, a team, or a wedge; when flying close together, they are called a plump.[2]

This isn’t a blog about wildlife, it’s a quilting blog, so of course my geese have no feathers and are made of fabric! 😉

I am working on Step 2 of the Pachanga Scrap Dance Mystery Quilt and making quite the gaggle of geese. These are nice large flying geese units, made using the no waste method that Carole refers to on her blog post linked above.

No waste flying geese

My goal was to go quite scrappy with the geese, and I worked on them in small batches, trying to mix things up a bit.

Geese needing trimming
Ready to trim this gaggle of geese

Trimming them up, I used the Studio 180 – Wing Clipper ruler. It seems that I have two of those on my peg board, both the same size. The ruler is quite nice for these larger units. Any local friends need one of these for this project?

Trimming tool

Given all those proper terms, I present to you my plump of flying geese!

PLUMP of geese
A plump not a flock of Flying Geese

If you haven’t started the mystery quilt, it is NOT too late. Step one was just cutting instructions so it is easy to get started if you just cut for step 2 to catch up. This year I am doing the throw sized project. It is a very scrap friendly project, and the only yardage I cut was for the background (white) fabric. I did cut one fat quarter to get a little extra variety in my bright fabrics. The fat quarter I cut was that geometric orange & pink on cream you see in some of the wings.

Here is a peek at some of the other fabric I am planning to use in future steps –

Fabric pull for Scrap Dance Pachanga

I think it will make a nice cheery throw.

It is fun to share on the Friends of From My Carolina Home group on Facebook. I enjoy seeing the color choices others have made for this project. Several are using dark backgrounds. If you are a reader of Carole’s blog, do ask to join the Facebook group and share your progress on this project.

Happy stitching.

Linking up today to OH SCRAP – Quilting is more fun than housework!

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.