Sunday Stash

I splurged a little and bought a fat quarter pack of Honor Roll, a recent line by Anna Maria Horner.  This line was inspired by her Great Grandmothers handkerchiefs, and I do believe that that is what I love above it.  The prints are a mixture of florals, geometrics, and whimsy little prints and remind me of prints in my grandmother’s quilts.

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I absolutely adore the vintage florals and the starlings.  I haven’t nailed down a plan for this line yet, but I am leaning towards making a quilt for snuggling on lazy Sunday afternoons.  They read more traditional to me than what I’m typically drawn towards, but I am expanding my horizons.

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I found this fat quarter bundle of Honor Roll on Massdrop for a great price.  They are able to order in larger quantities and therefore offer a product at a discounted price assuming they have a confirmed number of items sold. They are currently offering another fat quarter bundle called A Feather in Your Quilt by Birch Organics that are adorable.  Ohhhh!  Should I or shouldn’t I?

I am also taking an online class on Crafsy.  It is a machine applique class with Wendy Butler Berns.  I have done quite a few applique quilts already, but was looking to learn something new.  Although her book is out of print, I was able to find a used copy on Amazon.  In the next week, I plan to start a quilt using her technique.  I am challenged by it, but am excited about the possibility of how it will turn out.  I likely won’t show it to you until it is finished and delivered.  But, it will be different than anything I have ever done, which both scares and excites me at the same time.DSC_0170

Linking up with Sunday Stash at Molli Sparkles.

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Sorting Scraps

I have been keeping my scraps in a large drawer of an antique buffet (cabinet).  This is probably my most single favorite piece of furniture.  Unlike modern day furniture, it is sturdy, HEAVY, and holds a lot of fabric scraps at the moment.  I have batting scraps in one drawer, things like duck canvas in another, and quilting cotton scraps in yet another drawer which brings me to my present quandary.

I recently signed up to participate in the Gypsy Wife quilt-a-long at Factotum of Arts.

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As you can see, the Gypsy Wife quilt pattern is rather scrappy looking.  So rather than buy fabric, or use the larger cuts of my stash, I decided that I would rather use my scraps for this quilt since it appears to use such small pieces of fabric.  And we are talking small scraps here.  Anything around a fat-eighth or larger I typically fold up and put in a shoe box (or 3) with my regular fabric stash.  So, what I would be pulling from this drawer is anything smaller than that.  Also, I am not organized enough to have already cut my scraps into standard sizes – i.e. 2-1/2″ squares, 2-1/2″ strips, etc.  So, how am I to sort through this crazy mound of fabric to arrange all this into some sort of usable concoction?

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Should I sort by color — all the blues in one pile, pink in another, yellow in yet another?  Should I sort by shape — all the strips in one pile, triangles in another, squares/rectangles in another?   Should I also sort by tone — warm colors in one pile, cool colors in another?  Hmmm….

After pondering my pile of scraps for a while, I decided to sort by size.   These scraps are all different sizes since they are such wonky cuts of fabric.  So to make it easier  I decided that if I could get a 4″ square or more out of a piece of fabric it went in one pile.  Somewhere between a 3″-4″ square went into a different pile.  2″ in another pile, and 1″ in yet another pile.  So, no matter if it was a triangle, square, strip, or just a wonky piece of fabric, I added it to the pile that would provide the largest cut square.

1" fabric pieces

1″ fabric pieces

2" fabric pieces

2″ fabric pieces

I’m pretty good at planning so that when I cut larger pieces of fabric for a quilt, I end up with as little scrap as possible, so I wasn’t too surprised when the 1″ and 2″ piles ended up being the largest piles.  I was surprised however to find some 5″ and larger pieces of fabrics in the pile.  I must have thrown those in before I decided to fold them up and keep them with my regular stash.

So far, the sorting has worked pretty well.  Once I opened the pattern I was a little surprised at how the designer has you cut the fabric.  She has you start with a larger, around 4″ square, and then cut into half or fourth’s diagonally to get the smaller triangles.  And like I said, I have much more 1″ & 2″ scraps, than I have 4″ scraps.  So that kinda put a damper on using my small scraps.  But, I was able to improvise and  have cut the fabric for the first 12 blocks and put each in a little baggie.  There is a mixture of cool, warm, print, solid, bright, and muted.  This quilt is a lot of work, so I sure hope when it’s done, it looks wonderfully scrappy and not like fabric vomit.  I might just have to find room for a design board so I can lay it out and get a feel for it before I start sewing everything together.

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Now that I’ve made it this far, I decided to search the internet to see how others sort their scraps.  As usual, I’m a little backwards and try to invent my own method before seeing what other great quilters have already determined to be the best method. Haha. One day I’ll learn to stop reinventing the wheel.

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Bonnie Hunter has a great tutorial here.  I would say the method I came up with is similar but much more simplified.  She has 1″, 1-1/2″, 2″, 2-1/2″, 3″, 3-1/2″ piles, and then further sorts by strips, squares, or bricks.  Maybe I’ll follow this method once I get more scraps and more space to keep the different sizes.  I guess anything is better than the method I had last week, which was to jam them all in one large very stuffed and overflowing drawer.

And if you are one of those crazy people that just throw scraps away, grab yourself an empty cardboard box and place it near your cutting table and throw the scraps in there.  When it gets full, tape the top closed, put my name and address on it, and ship it to me.  It will be like Christmas morning when the postman gets here.  Oh, and then find yourself another empty cardboard box and start the process over…   (By the way, I am VERY serious about this!! LOL.  No really, I am!)  🙂

So, how do you sort your scraps?  I’d love to hear from you.  Maybe you have found an even better method.

Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday.

Bento Box Charity Quilt

YAY!  I’m so excited to have finished this quilt this week.  I made this quilt in just 2 weeks, which is a record for me.   I’m sure picking a simple pattern, rather than designing my own, expedited the process as well.You may remember from a couple of weeks ago that I picked up some free fabric from one of our quilt guild members.  She had cleaned out her stash and her only request was that we use the fabric to make a charity quilt.  So, I picked up purple, blue, yellow, and pink and figured I could make something cheery and fun with that.  I ended up with about 4 yards and decided I better get started soon, or otherwise it might end up like one of the other projects that I never get around to.  (Please tell me I’m not the only one that buys fabric for a ‘special’ project and then years later end up using it for something else.  And if I am the only one, please don’t tell me… ignorance is bliss!  I just keep telling my honeyman this is normal.)

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So, within a few days, I had all the strips cut, spent the next week making the blocks, and then quilted it over the last few days.  I also love the fact that I was also able to use just under a yard of scraps from my scrap bin.

I quilted it with wavy diagonal stripes using a light grey Aurifil thread.

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This is the third quilt I have machine sewn the binding onto, and I did a much better job this time.  A few more quilts and I might be an expert at it.  I love that it’s much faster.  My sister said she loves to hand sew binding onto quilts.  I will avoid hand sewing at almost all costs.

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So, next weekend I get to turn it in at our next guild meeting and it will go to a lucky little girl in foster care in Durham county. It finished at 48″ x 64″.  I sure hope it brightens her day!

front - ignore the shadow crossing it

front – ignore the shadow crossing it

back - there's that pesky shadow again

back – there’s that pesky shadow again

Linking up with Finish it Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts, Link a Finish Friday at Richard and Tanya, Can I Get a Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, and Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation.

Charity Quilts in Progress

As if I didn’t already have enough projects, I started two new quilts this week.  As usual, I have created my own busyness.  Thankfully, however, I find this type of busyness very stress relieving rather than stress causing.

First I picked up this stash of fabric from a member of my guild.  She had cleaned out her stash over the holidays and her request was that if you take any, then you use it to make a charity quilt.  Our guild makes and donates charity quilts to the foster care program in the county.  So I took what ended up being approximately 4 yards of fabric, and decided to make a lap quilt.  Some of these are already made blocks, some are smaller than a fat quarter, and there are two pieces that are just over 1 yard in length.  I also decided that I have to make it right now or I may never get around to it!

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So, I cut the fabric into strips…

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I decided to make the quilt using a bento box pattern.  This is where you sew the strips into a large square and then cut the squares into fourths, mix them all up, and sew them back together again.  I didn’t have enough of the fabric that I picked up for all the strips I would need, so I have been using fabric from my scrap box to fill in where needed.   I love that I’m able to use some of the scraps I’ve been saving!  I would love to make an entire quilt with scraps.  Maybe one day… so far I’ve only been able to fit them into projects here and there.  Edit: I remembered that I have made a quilt with all scraps.  I made a wonky star last year.  I just have so many scraps, and I keep adding to it, so it doesn’t look like I’ve even put a dent in it.  So my goal is to make another quilt with just scraps.  🙂

I just finished piecing all the squares last night… today after work I’ll trim them up, cut them into fourths and lay them out to determine how I want to rearrange them.  Hopefully I’ll be sharing another finished quilt with you next week.

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I haven’t gotten as far on the second quilt I started.  I picked up two charm packs last fall during a shop hop, which gives me four 5-inch squares of each of these fabrics.

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Well, that in itself isn’t enough to make a lap quilt.  So I either need to add a neutral, such as cream or white, or more fabric.  I have decided to follow what Aspen Hill did here with her charm pack.  This means I need to add both white AND more fabric.  So I went through my stash and found fabric that I think matches and cut an additional 74 5-inch squares.DSC_0532

So that’s where I am with this quilt.  I have 154 5″ squares cut out and ready.  I still need to cut the white strips.  My plan is to do that and start piecing once I get the other quilt finished.  I probably won’t provide many updates on this quilt since it is for a friend that may read this blog.  But, know I’ll be working on it and will share it with you when I can…

Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday.

Wonky Star

A couple of months ago, March I think it was,  I took a class at Spoonflower with Nicole at Mama Love Quilts    Nicole makes beautiful quilts, so not only was it an opportunity to possibly learn something new from a great quilt maker, but I was intrigued by the sample quilt.  Here is her quilt.
8568723788_18519fb6fbAlso, if you’ve not heard of Spoonflower, check out my post here.

None of the seams for the stars lined up so I was very interested in how this pattern was written.  And the class was free, so I really had nothing to lose.  Imagine my surprise when I found out that it used improv piecing and wasn’t a pattern in the typical sense.  I have never really done any improv piecing, but it didn’t take me long to get the hang of it.  And it was quite fun and freeing.  There are no rules, and no pattern — in fact, the wonkier, the better.

I decided to use scraps rather than cut up some of my stash, so I pulled out all my bright scraps from past projects.  I also decided to make my quilt large enough to be a baby quilt.  What’s really exciting about this quilt is that I have fabric from at least 8 other projects represented here.    I still need to bind it, but that should be done later tonight.

DSC_0278I used scraps for the back.

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Also, one of my goals this year was to practice my free motion quilting and get somewhat better at it.  So I used 4 different free motion quilting techniques on this quilt.  By the time I got done with the quilt, I was certainly better at the FMQ patterns I had decided to do.

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DSC_0285DSC_0286Now to start the binding.  Have a blessed weekend!

Linking up with Finish it Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.