GIVEAWAY: Calling All Friends Of Flannel

***This Giveaway is now closed. Thank you to all who entered and congratulations to our winner: Sandy Clarke***

Sometimes we have to look at our fabric and ask, “When will I use this?” If I don’t know the answer, then it is time for it go to someone else.

What I have here is A LOT of beautiful flannels. They fill a size LARGE Priority Mail box, pressed down hard. And they can be yours. There are three quilt kits/fabric bundles, several fat quarters and five pieces more than a half-yard.

Just leave a comment here letting me know you would like them. The giveaway closes end of the day on Saturday, January 8. If you are able to cover the postage (US $21.90) that would be appreciated.

Good luck!

Final Countdown: Task Three

How to wrap up the year? With the Final Countdown, of course.

Task Three is to Organize One Area Of Your Sewing Space.

Well, that means it is time to stop procrastinating that task.

I have for a long time had color-sorted bins for small scraps. And those bins are on a shelf.

But those bins look something like this.

It was time to give them a sort and fold.

It turns out that fabric neatly organized takes less space than fabric wadded up. I am not ready to do the other seven bins right now, but I will as time allows. My goal is to do one every couple of weeks. That is probably realistic.

Thanks again, Shelly, for a great end to the year. Happy 2022!

Scrap “System”

After the previous post on Cleaning Up, a number of you asked about my scraps and the system I use to keep them organized and usable.

So, here I am with a very realistic (but not necessarily pretty) guided tour of my sewing space and the ways and means used to keep those scraps usable and used.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We start to the immediate right of my sewing machine.  Here you see a little basket with scraps to cut and organize.  Usually these are small pieces created by trimming quilts when I bind them, or small batches of inherited scraps from friends.  When it gets full, it is time to address it.  You can see this is nearly ready for a workover.

Also shown is my current leader-ender project:  Sweet Sixteen.  It is going to be a simple checkerboard quilt of alternating colored and background 2″ squares in 16-patch blocks.  I have 73 blocks finished.  It will take at least 144 to create a good-size quilt (72″ x 72″).  If I needs to be larger than that, I can always keep going.

Having a leader-ender quilt constantly running along with a primary project is one of the most important ways I use scraps and create quilts out of so many small pieces.  I don’t think I could stand to just do the tedious and repetitive day after day.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

If you keep going to the right you go past the shelf of big pieces of fabric sorted by color.  Nope, it isn’t very glamorous.  The shelf was $15 at a surplus store and the fabric bins came from a number of different places–garage sales, second hand stores, etc.  You can tell.  But, they do hold fabric.  The top shelf is larger pieces that could be backs.  The bottom shelf you can see is background fabrics in various sizes and planned projects or works-in-progress that are not actually making progress at the moment.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Next is the “scraps cut to size”.  I have shoe boxes with 5″ squares (which I hardly use any more and probably need to get rid of, cut down or reconsider), 2-1/2″ strips and 1-1/2″ strips.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We continue the “cut to size” theme with 1-1/2″, 2″ and 2-1/2″ squares.  Yep, one size in a shoebox, one in a vintage metal tin and the babies in a decorative paper box.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

There is also this cardboard shoebox with small strings and strips, meaning smaller than 1-1/2″ wide but more than 3/4″. I use them occasionally but also share them with people who love string quilts.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Now for the part that I hate to admit to, but this is the box of scraps waiting to be cut.  If you want to know where to get scraps, I’ll tell you:  Let people know you use them and they will give them to you.  This is a 10-ream paper case stuffed full.  I do get into it regularly.  Just two days ago I dumped it and sorted out all the black and grey to cut for the Sweet Sixteen quilt.  I needed some black and grey fabric and was all out in the “cut to size” 2″ bin.  Today I  picked out two pieces for background fabric on the newest blocks of the Circa 2016 quilt along.  This box will probably never be empty and I am not sure I would really want it to be.  But, it isn’t a museum or a hoard.  Fabric is happiest used.

So, there it is!  Any questions?  I’ll try to answer them, maybe in future posts.

ps–If any of you love strings or would really like a bunch of 5″ squares (NOTE:  ALL SCRAPS HAVE BEEN CLAIMED.  SORRY!) , let me know.  I would share them with you for the cost of postage.  A small Priority Mail box is $6.80 in the USA.  It would come stuffed!

 

 

 

Cleaning Up

After finishing a project it is easy to just move on to the next thing, leaving a pile of “leftovers” in your wake.  That is fun, of course, but it isn’t productive in the long run.  I work well in the excitement of creativity, but it can get to be just a mess. No one really likes living messy.

After I finish a project, I spend time cleaning up.  So, I thought I would share a bit of my cleaning up procedure with you as I am moving on from the Fancy Forest quilt.

My sewing space is in a combination laundry room, second guest bedroom and fabric hideaway.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

There is a bed that doubles as a staging area for organizing works in progress or next ideas.  This is what the bed looked like last week.  You can see Fancy Forest on top with a few other project peeking through in layers.  Embarrassing, yes.  But this is the truth about my “system.”  It isn’t perfect, but it works for me.

I throw nothing away except the tiniest of trimmings while in process.  Sometimes you end up needing those little pieces and I realized on this quilt that would often be true.

But, once it is done, it is time to sort.  I love scraps, but I love to be able to use them, and that happens most often when they are organized.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Here is most of my gold/orange pile.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I sort it into pieces to refile large pieces by color and smaller ones by size:  5″ squares, 2-1/2″ squares and strips, 2″ squares, 1-1/2″ squares and strips.  Anything larger than 5″ is generally re-filed in bins by color.  Smaller pieces are cut into squares and put into tins by size.  Pieces smaller than 1-1/2″ square are thrown away.  This might seem wasteful to some of you, but I have to be realistic about what I really will use in the future.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Here is the blue pile before…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And after.

Now it is all sorted, piled and filed and I can move on to the next thing.

I’ll share that soon.

 

 

Tiny Pieces

Sometimes I look and what I am sewing and think, “Wow, that is a lot of little pieces.”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

No wonder people wonder about quilters.

This is going to be a block.  Yep, just one.  And a little one at that.  The pieces are 1-1/2″ squares.

Tiny pieces…they may make me shake my head, but they do make me happy.

Good Thing I’m Not On A Diet

…A fabric diet that is!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

When I got home from ballet (with Sparkle Jane) Monday night there was a large box on the counter.  “Something came for you,” said Husband.

“Oh, it’s fabric!”

“I figured that,” he replied.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Now, that was not strictly fair.  First, I almost never buy fabric.  I, for  years now, mostly sew with scraps.  Even other people’s scraps.  I only buy backgrounds and backings and not too many of those.  Second, I didn’t say I WOULDN’T buy fabric.  Third, this was a Very.  Good. Deal.

Last year I was the most fortunate winner of the 350 Block Challenge prize:  A gift certificate to the Fat Quarter Shop.  Wow!  What luck.  A person could get lost there, but I finally decided on (what else?) a grab bag.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Using the gift certificate and a discount coupon, I was able to get this lovely stack of beauties.  Much of the fabric is solids and small prints or basics that I was thrilled to see.  And just enough novelties to make it fun.  Those hippos are darling.  I hear something for grandbabies calling to me!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Thanks to Shelly, the sponsor of the 350 Block Challenge, and the fine folks at the Fat Quarter Shop.  Ah, the delight of stash enhancement!  I am certain there are at least 25 yards here.  No guilt.   Good thing I wasn’t on a diet!

300 Posts And A Giveaway

***GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED.  THANK YOU TO ALL WHO ENTERED***

Well, two big events suggest it is time for a giveaway.

First, this little blog has reached 300 posts.  Some of you have been with me nearly every inch of the way.  Thank you.  Some of you are brand new.  Thank you, too.  It is very encouraging that anyone takes the time to read this stuff.

Second, I posted a tutorial, the 100-Patch Quilt (see yesterday’s post or click TUTORIALS above).  The last few tutorials, I have had a giveaway to get you started on a project that you might want to make using the tutorial. 

What to give away this time? 

Well, it has to be 2-inch squares for  your very own 100-patch quilt. 

It will just be an assortment, about 1 pound worth.  Sorry, cute container not included.

So, if you would like some (quite a few, really) 2-inch squares, just leave a comment.  I would love it if you were a follower, but that is not required.  Just leave me a comment and I will draw a lucky winner Monday night and announce it Tuesday morning, July 12.  Good luck!

ps–If the 100-patch seems a little much for you, I have a different idea using 2-inch squares coming up soon, possibly in August.  So, you still might want to start cutting 2-inch squares out of your scraps.  Just in case you don’t win.  But, then again you might…

Thank you again for being part of my blogging life.  Deanna.

Scrap Management Day

After the arrival of the Fabric Fairy last Wednesday, my scrap basket was again looking like this.

So, some sewing time had to be spent in creating order where there was none.

Some I cut into 5″ blocks.

Some I cut into 2 1/2″ strips.

Some I stuffed in color sorted bags (that is still managing, right?)

At least it is ready for spur-of-the moment projects, or even ones with a bit of planning.  Some ideas are brewing….we’ll see what happens.

Thrift Store Confession

I know a lot of you do and I’m happy for you but….

I rarely shop thrift stores.

Shopping is not my favorite thing to do.  Usually when I go shopping I know pretty much exactly what I want/need.  I walk in the store.  I pick it up.  I pay for it.  I go home. 

I don’t have time or patience for much more than that.

But, occasionally, I will visit a thrift store.  This week I had some items to take to the thrift store.  So, as I was already there, I did a quick walk through. 

Look what I found. 

Nine yards (in three bundles) of quality quilting fabric for a total of $12.  That is only $1.33/yard.  It is Cinnamon Girl by Robyn Pandolph.  (Less orange in real life–more brownish) It is such a basic look that I know it can be a quilt back or SOMETHING.  For that price I am willing to take a chance on it sitting unused for a while.

Trips like this make me understand you thrift store types more. 

Thank you for rejoicing with me over my great bargain.

NOTE:  It should be known that, while I do not thrift store shop very often, I am the queen of cheap.  Part of being cheap is simply not shopping at all unless there is a plan.  It wasn’t a bargain if you didn’t need it in the first place.  Just my opinion.

Oh, scrap…

how you do pile.

How you take over shelves and bins.

I must tame you.

I must use you.

Or, you are junk.

No, you cannot be junk. 

I paid good money for you.

You are memories of dear friends.

You are dear friends.

Do not be junk.

Be my friend, again.

**********

Ok, that was just silly, but the problem is real.

A few months ago, if you had asked, I would have said, “I have a little scrap, but, really, not very much.”

This was my scrap.

One little shoebox.  Cut neatly into 5-inch squares and 2 1/2-inch strips with a few orphan blocks at the bottom.

SO, where did this…

and This…

and THIS…

come from?

Actually, I can tell you where it came from. 

It came from finishing projects.  It came from friends who were cleaning out and gave them to me.  It came from giveaways.  It ganged up on me.

It is time to tame, sort, cut, organize and otherwise get the scrap under control.  I may have to set aside work on the Unfinished Projects list and get this in order first.

Ah, if there were only more hours in the day!