More Scrap Wrangling

Monday I finished putting the two DayBreak tops together and thought I would grab a scrap container/bin and see what I could find.  IMG_1606

I don’t have an “after” picture yet, but here’s the before.  I didn’t realize how many strings I have, three quarters of this pile is string-y.  I was wondering where all these came from, then I remember  going through this bin to get scraps for two Bonnie Hunter mystery quilts.  The smallest sizes for those quilts are around two inches, so everything that is in here is between 3/4 and 2 inches wide.  I think I am going to make a string quilt, starting with 6 ½ papers, scrappy. I managed to cut some squares and HSTs out of this mess too.  Check out the great quilts at Confessions of a Fabric Addict that Sarah has made with her green scrap bin.

Tuesday the handyman I hired came by to create my sewing table.  He was very nice while I was explaining what I needed done, didn’t laugh once.  The conference table is in my garage for the moment, so he worked on it there.  It took about two hours, it probably would have been a bit less if I had measured my machine a bit better.  There is a slight bow out in the back panel which makes the machines foot print about ½ inch wider than the actual rectangle bottom.  The table is quite thick, about an inch and a half thick, with heavy duty legs, not your everyday conference table seen in hotels.  I’m going to lightly sand it down and give it a flat black paint finish.  I have been wavering on sewing room wall colors, I found a nice periwinkle blue, but my daughter pointed out that there are already 4 blue rooms in the house.  I’m thinking blue-green-teal now.   I saw one yesterday while at the hardware store.  I forgot to grab the color swatch before I left, I have to go by there today so I can stop in.

This weekend I signed up for a two day embroidery class using Anita Gooddesign’s designs.  Machines and lunch are provided.  Should be fun, I haven’t been embroidering much these days I think I need a push  in that creative direction.

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Design Wall today

This past week was productive.  I got four Farmers wife blocks done, Lucy, Magnolia, Malvina and Marcella.  I feel like I’m entering the doldrums with this project, the middle with no end in sight.  I still like making the blocks, each one is different and some are really a challenge.  Wish I were in the eighties not the fifties though.

I also started the first of four quilts for my DH’s coworkers who are having babies this year.  Two boys are due in May and July, plus a set of twins in October.  I had this cute FQ set called Storybook by Kate and Birdie (Moda).  I am using the Jaybird Quilts pattern called “DayBreak”.  Its coming along nicely, although the blocks are large and there are only six in the baby size, each one has 54 pieces.

I also managed to make this months Gravity BOM blocks, correctly YAY.  Here it is the last week in March and I have not made any 365 Challenge blocks yet.  Looks like that’s what will be on my to-do list this week.

In other news, my sewing room move is beginning to take shape.  I’m slowly emptying the closet and dressers currently in there, donating thing and tossing others.  The floors are going to be refinished on 4/11.  I still have not decided on a wall color though. I did find someone who will try to make a sewing table for me out of a large conference table I recently adopted.  I’d like to cut a hole in the top to suspend my machine into, so that I don’t have to reach up to sew.  Say good bye to “mantis arms” and shrugged shoulder pain!  I am thinking that I could put this table in the center of the room and have my cutting mat on it too.  It’s large enough to accommodate both stations.  It would be nice to be able to cut from three sides of the table rather than my current setup which has one.  I’ll try to get some pictures of the table transformation.

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times for Design Wall Monday today.  Thanks for reading!

Points, Strings and Scraps

This week I made “Pointy” a pattern by Elizabeth Hartman.  It was a relatively easy top to piece, large rectangles and precut strips, about 70 inches square.  Most of the pieces are cut from the fabric length-wise, less stretching that way.  The background fabric is sort of a rough weave cotton, it’s soft to the touch though.  It reminds me of the reverse side of denim fabric.

Also this week I started sorting scraps.  My system is simple, not too much thought behind it.  I don’t consider a 5 or 10″ inch square a scrap but more of a large piece, also I have a “few” charm packs and layer cakes in stock. These pieces are put into my fat quarter drawers that are organized by color. I also have drawers that are for yard or more pieces. Any extra triangles or squares that I have cut while making a top also have a bin.  Strings (less than 2 ½ ” wide) are kept in a bag.  I have an art-bin full of 2 ½” squares and HSTs.  I am going to make Bonnie Hunters “Split Nine Patch” one of these days.  My personal rule is “no scraps from scraps”,  I tried saving crumbs but I just don’t use them.

 

Before and after pictures of the great scrap sort, part one.  This is what I made from two grocery sacks of scraps.  The white bag in the back is full of strings, anything less than 2 ½ inches wide and more than 6 inches long. I cut the rest into 2 ½ inch squares and HSTs.  There were a bunch of precut triangles and squares in the mix, those got sorted and stacked.  Next week I have a larger shopping bag full of scraps and maybe I’ll get to a bin…

Linking up with Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict for “Can I Get a Whoop Whoop” and Crazy Mom Quilts for “Finish it up Friday”.

Design Wall Today

Now that I’ve finished RDG, I have time to start something new.  I recently got a kit to make “Pointy” by Elizabeth Hartman, it was on sale so I figured “why not?”.  Its simple enough, strips and triangles, chain piecing.  I should have it together in a few more days, but I couldn’t resist putting one arrow together.IMG_1541

Next to it are the latest 1930’s Farmers wife blocks, Lily(51) and Lola(52). I’m trying to come up with an alternative setting for these blocks.  In the pattern they are set on point and have zig zag white rectangle blocks in between the rows.  I was thinking 2 ½ ” white sashing strips with assorted 30’s print corner stones.  The final size would be a little smaller, but not as much open space for quilting.  Good and bad, but I’m not sure if I want to do something custom on this quilt.  The blocks are small and there are many seams, it would be trying to even stitch in the ditch on some.  If I did use the white rectangles, I could quilt a motif or something in it.  A layout similar to the Hampton Ridge quilt I did last year.  I still have time to figure that out though, I’m officially past the halfway point.

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times for Design Wall Monday.  Thanks for reading!

Red and White All Over

YAY! its done, finished, over, the top at least (or most).  I am through with my red and white quilt phase now. I worked on it most of the day yesterday, finishing up the last 116 HSTs I needed for the sashing strips.  Then finishing 36 more sashing strips, then putting it all together.  IMG_1515

It’s large, I didn’t have a place to fully lay it out, so I am going to put up a bunch of picture/parts.  The name of the book/pattern is Rubies, Diamonds and Garnets Too by Bernadette Kent.  This is the larger version, I think its 106″ x 106″.  I did this as a BOM over the past 27 months.  The blocks are large 12″ finished size, with the three stars being 32″ square.  There are 1728 – 1 ½ ” HST’s in the sashing.

Here are the three large stars.

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I’m so happy its finished, its joining the queue in the TBQ pile.  I’m linking up with Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I get a Whoop Whoop today.  I am dancing a happy dance!

On a side note, I promptly cut up my scraps and added them to the appropriate bins.

Scraps and Me

Or maybe I should say the scraps and I.  Sarah over at Confessions of a Quilt Addict is starting a monthly challenge “I may Have a Scrap Problem” to help people deal with their scraps.  Pick a challenge for each month and try to accomplish it.  Say sorting a bin, ironing and/or pre-cutting scraps.  Let me start by saying that I have a few bins of scraps, a few bags of scraps and a drawer or two of scraps.  I also have scraps specific to in-progress projects with their respective blocks/tops.  I do have an Art-bin full of 2 ½ cut scrap squares, but thats about as organized as it gets.  I don’t feel overwhelmed by them, just that I need to get a handle on whats there.  For the month of March I would like to get the bins organized a bit more.  I don’t think by color, maybe by size would be better.  I generally don’t keep anything under 2 inches square.  I will go through a bin and cut more 2 ½” squares out of the larger pieces, discard/recycle the small bits and whats left will stay in the bin.  Labels will be applied.

I am in the process of moving my sewing room.  My oldest son, who lives in Boston, has conceded that he doesn’t really need a room at our house now.  He stated that he will be happy to stay in the guest room when he visits.  The room is on the main floor of the house and has a large window, a closet and about 30 % more room.  More natural light and storage space, YAY!  My current space is on the lower level, which is OK, its cooler in the summer and quiet all year long.  It has very little natural light though, I did install eight natural light fluorescent tubes which help somewhat.  I’m posting this photo as a before shot. Its kinda embarrassing, especially after doing a search on Pinterest for “Sewing Rooms”.  I could call it “Cozy”, but seeing it here, I would have to admit, it’s a bit cluttered.  It’s mostly functional though, really. IMG_1607

Moving to a new space is going to force me to evaluate, organize and possibly purge my collection.  Thats going to be the challenge, but I’m thinking of how nice it will be when I can spread out a bit and have a nice size design wall.

First I have to empty out the new room, box up DS’s few remaining belongings and then get the wood floors refinished.  I have a guy coming next week to give me an estimate for the floors.  I probably want to repaint the walls, although they are a nice vanilla right now, maybe periwinkle blue.  My husband recently brought home a large, sturdy conference table from his office, which will become my sewing a cutting table.  I have plans!

These are my two main March goals, along with finishing my Rubies, Diamonds and Garnets top, keeping up with the 365 challenge quilt, and my other BOM.

Feburary Blocks

This is the center block for the 365 Challenge Quilt.  Once again I found myself doing catch up work for this challenge.  I think part of the problem (for me) is that these blocks are small, 3 ½ X 3 ½ .  So putting them off for a few days is, well, easy.  I start thinking about taking the batiks out and cutting them up and then putting them away again and I’m convinced that it will be worth it to do a few at a time.

IMG_1504So here I am, again at the end of the month and I find myself sewing 31 blocks to catch up again.  They are pretty cute though, and I am anticipating the look of them all together.  I’m also awaiting the 6 ½ inch blocks to come.  These tiny HST’s are tough.IMG_1503

I’m linking up with Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I get a Whoop Whoop today.  Thanks for reading!