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The Scrap Bucket July 26, 2011

Posted by Pam in KC in scraps.
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Part of the cleaning of my sewing room resulted in all of the scraps (and larger pieces)  from the last 6 or 7 months getting corralled into one place.  To be fair, most of the popcorn tin contains “crumbs”  too small for me but I know there are quilters who love crumbs.

So, yesterday after sewing ONE of the two seams needed for the backing of the Crossword Puzzle quilt, I started working on this pile. I filled a 2 gal bag with crumbs from the tin (had to start there so I’d have a place for the crumbs I’ll generate working the scraps).  There was also a good bit a fabric which was too big to be called scrap which I’ve put away. So I’m actually down to just the plastic box which needs dealing with.

I put the lid on the box and set it over in the basket of thrift shirts which still need cutting up.

What can I say — I’ve got a pile of batting scraps which need to be dealt with — not to mention another seam on the backing for the Crossword Puzzle quilt (and all of the stuff I had spread out on the ironing board Sunday night.


Return of the Leaders/Enders January 22, 2011

Posted by Pam in KC in Bonnie Hunter, Fun with Bricks, scraps.
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Or, how I solved two problems at once.

I’m a big fan of Bonnie Hunter and her Scrap User’s System.  I really like Leaders & Enders.  I’ve used these two systems to get rid of my scrap basket, waste less thread and make more quilt tops.  I  have one quirk (ok, many, but only one I want to talk about today) which I haven’t been able to overcome — I don’t like sewing leader/enders unless I know where the patches will end up.  I haven’t been able to just make light/dark 4-patches and throw them in a box to be used in some quilt yet to be identified.  As a result, when the new year started, I didn’t have any leader/enders sitting by my sewing machine when I started working on UFO #6.

Although I  have a lengthy list of UFOs which are still in the piecing stage, there is nothing which mindlessly lends itself to Leaders & Enders.  So, as I worked on my Sister Choice blocks for the UFO Challenge, I tried to keep the chain going.  It wasn’t entirely successful,  but I wasn’t clipping thread tails every 6 or 12 inches either.

Now I’m sewing the blocks together into rows.

There’s no getting around it, I’ve got thread tails much more frequently and it’s driving me crazy.  I’ve got to find a Leader & Ender project.

I pulled out my 2″ Brick and Block box.  It’s stuffed.

Look at all of these 2″ x 3 1/2″ bricks.

Next, I  visited Quiltville.com to look for a pattern.

I found Fun with Bricks! It uses 2″ strips sewn together and subcut into 3 1/2″ squares.  I’ll just sew two bricks together — and worry about the 3 1/2″ light square later.

So there is just one question  left.

When do I count my Leader/Enders as a new start?

Scraps in Review May 27, 2010

Posted by Pam in KC in Bonnie Hunter, goals, scraps, Star Struck.
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Over the years my scraps multiplied. I didn’t really use them — they just sat in boxes and bags. Then I found Bonnie Hunter’s Scrap User’s System.

Around 2008 I started cutting up my scraps into usable pieces per Bonnie’s system. I started off with plastic shoe boxes for my pre-cut pieces. After a year, I finally got all of my scraps into a single laundry basket. For the past 11 months this basket has seen it’s ups and downs.

This year I decided that one of my goals was to empty the basket once and for all. I’ve been piddling with it since the beginning of the year, but this month I set my mind to getting it emptied.

I actually do make quilts from my scraps. Last fall I started Oklahoma Backroads because I couldn’t get my 2 1/2 inch bricks/blocks box closed. As I worked with my scraps this month, I was inspired to pull red, white and blue 2 1/2 inch bricks for a Star Struck quilt.

One thing I have noticed is that I don’t have a lot of “light” scraps. With this last push to empty the basket my 2 1/2″ and 1 1/2″ strips got larger boxes and I pulled the lights out. They are still in the shoe boxes.

Here’s the tour:

Left – Top to Bottom:

  • 1 1/2″ dark strips.  The Christmas tree box contains 1 1/2″ red and light squares for the center of a log cabin quilt.
  • Strings — the shoe box was overflowing.  I really liked the string blocks I made a while back but boy does working with strings make a mess.

Middle – Top to Bottom:

  • 1 1/2″ light strips
  • 2 1/2″ light strips
  • 2″ strips —  mixed and almost can’t close the box.  I’ll use these since I’m making my Texas Braid longer
  • 3 1/2″ strips — this started out as purple and yellow leftovers from Old Tobacco Road.
  • 2 1/2″ bricks and blocks for a red, white & blue Star Struck.  I want to use gold for the accent.

Right – Top to Bottom:

  • 2 1/2″ dark strips
  • 2 1/2″ brick and blocks
  • 2″ bricks and blocks.

Now that my scraps are usable, I’m going to have fun playing in them.

But, to answer your question — No, I do not want your scraps — at least not until I make a dent in these!


QA Wednesday May 26, 2010

Posted by Pam in KC in goals, scraps.
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Last week I had a simple goal — Get the packages in the mail!

I’m happy to report that 4 packages went into the mail late Wednesday night and as of Monday afternoon they had all arrived at their destination.

Also on the list was “something”. I did a bit of machine quilting on Dancing Flowers, completed another 10 or 20 blocks on Oklahoma Backroads and started 2 more braids on Texas Braid.

But the biggest accomplishment which is on my 6 month list, but not last week’s list was I EMPTIED the scrap basket!

This basket has now been hauled to the bedroom to be used for LAUNDRY.

Ok, I admit it, I still have a bit to cut, but it’s been pressed and some it simply needs to be sorted.

I got side tracked Tuesday tonight. Earlier in the week when I was cutting the red scraps. I thought “I could make a Star Struck quilt using red and blue as my dark.” So there was nothing to do but dig through my 2 1/2″ bricks box and my 2 1/2″ dark strip box and pull red and blue bricks and strips. I have enough red bricks pulled/cut for 40 blocks. I need to cut some more blue strips to have enough blue bricks, but while I’m cutting….

So my goals for next week are:

  1. Finish cutting up the purple scraps
  2. Cut the remaining blue bricks
  3. Make a decision on the pink Carolina Christmas blocks — I’ve got pink fabric scattered about the room and I want to get it put up.

Now, if I could do as well on my Sylvia’s Bridal Sampler blocks and my Double Wedding Ring. Maybe they’ll go on my list next week.

See what others are up to by checking the links over at Bari’s.

Scraps May 12, 2010

Posted by Pam in KC in goals, scraps.
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One of my goals for this year is to clear my scrap basket. It’s really only a six month goal, as this is one of my guild challenges and we have to have our challenges completed by the July meeting. This is what is left in my scrap basket. Purples, Pinks, Reds, Greens, Yellow/Orange/Brights, Lights/Browns, Blacks and wait — is that a pile of Blues? I thought I had them taken care of.

From this you might think I make a lot of purple, pink and red quilts. There might some truth to that, but it’s more a case of last year when I made my way through the basket I stopped before I got to the pinks and purples.

My scraps do not get tossed into the basket by color. Somewhere along the way I read that one way to keep motivated is to do all of a single color/style so you can see progress. I started following this when I was working on my Old Tobacco Road quilt. I dug through and pulled all the green and yellow. Obviously I’ve made some quilts with green since then.

The next time I have the urge to chop up fabric, I’ll pull one of these colors from my basket and start cutting. I really do want to see the bottom of that basket without me throwing the scraps on the floor or ironing board.

False Start May 9, 2010

Posted by Pam in KC in scraps.
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It started simple enough — my 1 1/2″ box of strips is overflowing and I’ve been hankering to make a Log Cabin quilt. Not that I don’t have at least 3 projects that I’m actively working on, or that one of my goals this year was to finish anything new I start, or that I have several projects waiting in the wings that are on my list to finish this year.

But would this be a new start if the strips were already cut?

Anyway, I pulled a bunch of 1 1/2 inch red squares or pieces which were at least 3 inches long out of the box. I spent time last night separating the lights from the mediums, brights and darks. I pressed my lights and then decided “dark” would be anything that wasn’t “light” and mixed my mediums and brights back into the dark pile.

At that point, I should have put everything back into the box and sat on it to get it to close if necessary.

I made 40 cute little red and light 2-patches.

Then I sewed them to dark strips. — some times with the light square on through the machine first, sometimes with the red square first, sometimes with the dark fabric right side up.

I pressed and trimmed the blocks only to discover that I didn’t always have the 2-patch oriented the same way and I had a couple of the dark fabrics with the wrong side of the fabric up.

It wasn’t until I came back to my computer to figure out whether I needed a dark fabric or light fabric next that I discovered my biggest issue. My first strip should have been light!

This is when all the strips got put back into the box.

The box is no longer overflowing, but I think it’s because I pressed the light strips, not because I used that much fabric.

No More Blue Scraps May 7, 2010

Posted by Pam in KC in scraps.
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It’s taken 3 days, but I have no more blue scraps. Instead I have 3 1/2″, 2 1/2″, 2″, and 1 1/2″ strips; 4″, 2 1/2″ and 2″ squares and HSTs – most which finish at 3″

Click here to see what I started with.

I’m off to see if I can get them into the appropriate boxes, then I’m going to go piece!

QA Wednesday May 4, 2010

Posted by Pam in KC in goals, scraps.
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This week I’m getting the Quilting Accountability report done on the correct day 🙂

Last week I outlined several things that wouldn’t need much to complete.  When I finally remembered to do my QA Report I simply wanted to make progress on at least two of these tasks.  I’m happy to report that I succeeded.

The label is on the quilt and I got the pillowcase made. I also finished the Dancing Flowers quilt top.

So what needs to be done this week?

These blue and neutral scraps need to be cut up for two reasons –

  1. I need blue and neutral pieces for the Blue Ridge Beauty workshop I’m attending in two weeks
  2. I need to empty the scrap basket by July.

Also on the list is making progress on the Carolina Christmas quilt top — I’m going to aim for at least half the blocks sewn together by next week.

Check out Bari’s and others’ lists of weekly goals over .

This is Sad… April 30, 2010

Posted by Pam in KC in scraps.
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I have things I want to finish with self-imposed deadlines of next month. What am I doing? Cleaning my sewing room and digging through my scrap basket for blue and light scraps. However, now that I’ve found all the blue and light scraps (need them for a workshop next month), I think I will go make myself make a pillow case. At least I haven’t started a new quilt…yet.

Retail Therapy? March 13, 2010

Posted by Pam in KC in Bonnie Hunter, scraps.
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After a tumultuous seven weeks, today was the first day I didn’t have to be anywhere or have anything that absolutely had to be done. That’s not to say that I didn’t have things which needed to be done — there’s always the house which needs to be cleaned – and it’s getting deep even for me — but I couldn’t sit still and didn’t want to stay home. Ultimately, I got out and headed to one of the thrift shops (then came back and napped).

I’ve been resisting shopping for thrift shirts, but today was the day. The store had a sale — all yellow tag clothes 5 for $5. Pictured above are 9 of the items I bought today, a few shirts which I bought last summer and a couple I’ve been given. The tenth item from today is a ladies Christmas jumper which I hope to recover enough fabric for a border on a Christmas quilt I’m working on.

So now I’ve got questions:

  • After I cut up my shirts/shirts  Bonnie Hunter style, do I mix it in my bin with the rest of my pre-cut fabric, or do I start a new bin for pre-cut shirts?
  • How do I count this fabric for my weekly stash report?
  • Do I count the fabric in my husband’s old shirts when I pull them out of the “outgrown” closet and add them to my stash?

I’d love to hear how you handle your thrift store finds.