Wednesday, March 30, 2016

I May Have A Scrap Problem... But At Least I've Started!

Hi, all!

Well, it's been four weeks since I confessed (and showed) the overwhelming amount of scraps that live underneath my quilt frame.  In that time, I have discovered that this tub...

...held an ENORMOUS amount of scraps!  My goal for the month was to press and fold all the scraps in that tub - about 20 yards worth.  For bonus points, I wanted to cut it up into usable sizes if I had time.  So I started on a Sunday afternoon, pressing and folding the scraps.  As I did so, I discovered a lot of "string" pieces - 2" wide or narrower and 10" long or longer.  Those went into a special box to be made into string blocks.

Then I saw Maria's comment about making bow-tie blocks!  These seemed simple and very do-able, so I took some of the scraps that I had already pressed and started cutting the pieces to make bow-tie blocks.  Next thing I knew I had 100 sets cut, ready to be paired up with a solid I had on hand!

A few days later, this quilt was finished, and I was hooked on scrap quilting!!  

Proof that it's really finished - because I just found out I haven't taken
a full sized finished photo of this quilt!
I did learn, though, that for me it was easier to process the scraps if I had a plan - a specific project I wanted to make.  That gave me an end in sight, and not just an unending pile of scraps to deal with.

String blocks came next.  I found out that we have a commercial paper cutter at church that will cut the spine off of a phone book, so I took an old phone book and, in just a few minutes, turned it into a pile of foundation papers for string blocks.  A handful of white-on-white strips for the center of each block, and I was off to the races!  I haven't made enough for a whole quilt yet, but I do have twenty that are ready to become part of something wonderful someday soon!

Then I saw this quilt on Pinterest, and got an idea for another scrap quilt...  And I'm happy to say that this quilt top is now finished!  Green scraps from the tub, and a piece of vintage Irish linen that came out of my grandmother's stash many years ago.

In the process of making this quilt, I cut a whole mess of 2.5" squares and 2.5" x 5.5" rectangles - enough to make probably four more quilts!  Can you say overachiever?  But they are all tucked away in this box, ready to be made into something.  I'm already trying to come up with some new designs using these sizes....

And even though I've made twenty string blocks already, there's still a big pile of green strings ready to be turned into more blocks!

In the end, this is all that's left in the green tub.  Quite a difference from the way it started out four weeks ago!!!

So I have to say that this is a success, at least for me - knowing that I have to own up to my progress (or lack of it) each month helps motivate me to actually work with the scraps.  And I've had a lot of fun searching out inspiration and techniques to share each week!  

Now I'm hoping that many of you have found some inspiration and done something with some of your own scraps this month!  Maybe you've made blocks or a quilt, maybe you've started organizing your scraps, or maybe you've just made a plan - whatever it is, I hope you'll share!  And in hopes of encouraging you to link up and share, I'm offering a little incentive - - - 

I have two Olfa Splash rotary cutters to give away to two lucky linkers!  Just link up below to a blogpost or Instagram photo showing what you've been doing this month to tame your scraps, and your name will go in the hat.

And maybe you've been following along, but you haven't been sewing long enough to build up a decent scrap stash.  Feeling a little scrap stash envy?  If that's the case, I've got something for five of you - - - 

- - - a small flat rate envelope stuffed full of scraps!  This envelope will hold about two yards of scraps by weight, so it's enough to give you a nice start on something scrappy without being overwhelming.  I'll send one to the first five people who comment that they want one - but be sure to leave your email address so I can get in contact with you for your snail mail address!

OK - are you ready?  I can't wait to see what you've been up to!  The linky party will stay open until Monday, April 4th at midnight, and I'll announce the winners on next Wednesday's Scrap Problem post.  And if you're thinking this might be a fun bandwagon to get on, next Wednesday's post will have a linky for you to share your April scrap plan!  So start thinking about what you'd like to accomplish - set a reachable goal, and if you get inspired to do more, think how good it will feel!!



Monday, March 28, 2016

Make-A-List Monday - A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That...

Hi, all!

I hope everyone had a spectacular Easter weekend!  Facebook and Instagram were full of pictures of families and kids all shining bright with Easter joy - a lovely sight!  I had a personal visit from the Easter Bunny...

She was a little hard to catch - the batteries had run down on her cochlear implant processors so she couldn't hear - but that didn't stop her from having an awesome Easter egg hunt!

But as always, it's time to review last week's list and see what's coming up this week - so let's get started!

1.  Work on two commission twin-size bed quilts.
Done!  I put together the centers of these two jelly roll quilts, and am ready to proceed with the next step now that my fabric order has arrived!

2.  Make a dress for Emmy for her 4th birthday!
Done!  I had so much fun making this - and I think Emmy will have fun twirling around in it!

3.  Must. Do. Taxes. (boo!!)
Done!!!  Hooray!!!!  Every year I think I will do them earlier, but always end up waiting.  They're done now, though!

4.  Must. Change. Oil. (really!)
Done!  My Honda Element turned over 100K miles earlier this month, and she got new spark plugs and new oil - because she deserved it!

5.  Make more string blocks.
Done!  I now have twenty string blocks done!

6.  Inspiration post for I May Have a Scrap Problem.
Done!  If you missed it, be sure to check it out - there's a lot of scrappy quilt inspiration there!!  Here's just a sample...

7.  Keep up with any quilt ministry needs that come up.
Done! We gave away a few quilts this week...

This quilt went to an elderly woman with brain cancer...

And this one went to a 2-year old girl who will be having open heart surgery in April...

This quilt went to a baby boy who had surgery last week...

And this quilt went to a single mom with multiple health and life issues...

This quilt went to a grandmother who fell and broke some bones and is now in rehab.

So it was a good week for getting stuff done!  I even got a little something extra done, but I'm saving that for Wednesday.....

And here's what I'm hoping to do this week!

1.  Finish the two commission quilts.

2.  Make more string blocks.

3.  Set up the link party for results in the I May Have A Scrap Problem challenge.

4.  Spend a fun day with my grandkids during their spring break so their parents can have a "date afternoon"!

5.  Make a scrappy tote bag.

6.  Quilt at least one quilt for my special project.

7.  Bind some quilts for the quilt ministry.

8.  Keep up with any quilt ministry needs that come up.

It seems like I'm forgetting something important, but at least I have a plan for the week - we'll see what else comes up in the meantime!

So now, the question is - - - what are YOU working on this week?



Sunday, March 27, 2016

Hands2Help - Tips, Tutes and Tasty Things Linky!

Good morning, everyone!  Happy Easter!!

As I woke up this morning, it suddenly occurred to me that I did not write my H2H post last night - oops!  We had a late evening - date night and Easter services - and it just slipped my mind.  But there's still plenty of time now for our annual Tips, Tutes, and Tasty Things link party!  

This week is designed for us to share those things that make our lives easier - the sewing room tips, the great tutorials we've written or found on-line, and the wonderful food or snacks that we like to make to help keeping our home lives running smoothly (or to pacify us when we make a major sewing boo-boo and have to do some "frog-stitching" (i.e. ripping out - rippit rippit!).  I hope you'll share your favorites - you can do this by linking to a new post, an old post, even someone else's post (for example, a tutorial or recipe you love)!  So let's get started!!

This doesn't look like much of a tip, does it?  Just an ordinary box of Kleenex, like most of us have hanging around the house.  And when it's empty, we throw it away, right?  Wrong - at least around my house!  Take out the plastic liner on the top, and it makes a fabulous mini trash can for your work surface!  Great for holding trimmings as you square up blocks - I don't know about you but if I aim for the trash can on the floor, I almost always miss!  This collects up all the little bits, and you can then either empty it out when it gets full and keep using it, or just throw it away and start another one!  And they come in such pretty colors and designs, too.  Even quilty patterns sometimes!

For tutorials, I'll point you towards the Nifty Nines Quilt Along, from earlier this year on this blog.  Six great nine-patch quilt designs, simple enough to use for charity quilts, but interesting enough to keep your attention!  Just click on the picture above and it will take you to all the linked posts.

And now for the tasty thing!  Look at all that yumminess - can you believe it's a slow cooker recipe?  I found this recipe on the Shugary Sweets blog, and it's amazing!  It's called Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Chili.  Definitely easy and a great way to start supper and go away to sew for six hours!  I highly recommend it.  You can find the recipe by clicking here.

So now you have MY tips, tutes and tasty things for this year - what are yours?  Link up below and share them with us!  Anything that can make our lives easier as we make our H2H quilts is fair game - so let's see 'em!

And be sure to come back next Sunday, when we'll find out who our fabulous sponsors are this year!  You won't want to miss it!



He Is Risen!!!

"Can you imagine the divine appointment as God called out the names of two of His cherubim and beckoned them before the throne, then sent them to earth to guard the most precious body that ever lived?  Surely as the body of their beloved lay in that tomb, those two angels stood constant guard, one at the head, one at the feet, facing one another with wings outstretched, feet practical melted into position, eyes cast solidly in one direction.  Surely their gaze never wavered from the One they adored.  Their eyes were fixed securely on His own.  Not a single angelic muscle must have twitched, awaiting the Father's promise.  

Then those eyes - - - those penetrating eyes that saw the pain of a leprous man, the eyes that set free a woman at a well, the eyes that saw a "rock" instead of a fumbling disciple - - - those piercing eyes began to open.  And with the sound of mighty, rushing waters, their wings propelled them straight into the heavens with the dearest cry a pair of spiritual ears would never hear:  HE IS RISEN!"

Quoted from A Woman's Heart, God's Dwelling Place
(updated edition) 
by Beth Moore
Copyright 2007 by LifeWay Press


In the midst of family, food, Easter egg hunts and new clothes, 
keep in mind the true reason we celebrate.  

Have a joyous Easter!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Can I Get A Whoop Whoop? A Twirly Dress...

Hi, all!

It's Friday again - - - and that means it's time for us to get our whoop whoop on!!  Ready to do a little happy dance?  I know I am!    It's been a good week here...

Whoop #1: I did the taxes, and we're getting a refund!  (And it's not even April yet!)  Whoop whoop!!

Whoop #2:  102 people have signed up to participate in the Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge so far!!  That is AMAZING!!!  There's still plenty of time to join in if you want to see that number rise up even higher - you can read more about the Challenge here.  The signup form is available in the upper right sidebar, too!

And my next whoop whoop is because this sweet little munchkin...

...will be turning four in just a few days!  I can't believe she's that old already!  One of her main joys in life is pretty twirly dresses - she loves to show everyone how her skirts twirl when she's wearing one.  So of course, I had to make her one for her birthday!

Unfortunately, for it to be a surprise, I don't have any action shots today... I'll post those after her birthday!  But this skirt will definitely twirl - the chest measurement is 25", but the skirt is 115" around the hem!

And isn't the fabric cute?  It's a Japanese double gauze from Fabricworm, and the little cats are wearing hipster glasses!  I bought it way back before Christmas, so it still fits the bill of sewing my stash - even the teal rick-rack was in my tub of miscellaneous trims!  That's when you know you have a stash problem - when you have the absolutely perfect color on hand!

So - - - can I get a whoop whoop???


And now it's your turn!

What's got you whooping it up this week?

What's making you dance a little happy dance?

Share - we want to dance right along with you - 

And it's always more fun to dance with friends!

The party will stay open until Sunday midnight.

Hope to see you there!



PS:  Want a great reason to whoop whoop this weekend?  Craftsy is saying a sweet farewell to National Craft Month by offering you the chance to get any online class for just $19.99!!  Check out all the classes on sale before the offer ends on Monday.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

I May Have A Scrap Problem - Some Quilty Inspiration!!

Hi, all!

How are your own personal scrap issues coming along?  I have barely made a dent in my overflowing pile of scraps, but I do feel more encouraged by what I've done.  I'm finding it's fun and I have so. many. ideas. rolling around in my head that I want to do!  It seems like everywhere I look, I see another great thing to do with my scraps....  So I thought I'd share some of what I've found with you this week.  Maybe it will inspire you too!


I love love love this scrappy flying geese quilt - the ones I've made in the past use a 6.5" rectangle and 3.5" squares for the corners, which might be large for some folks' scrap baskets, but you could reduce the size (4.5" rectangle and 2.5" squares) and achieve the same effect.  This quilt was made by Dorthe, who blogs over at LaLaLa Patchwork - her site is in German, but there's lots of gorgeous eye candy there!

And Staci, over at The Confused Quilter, is making this absolutely gorgeous version of Elizabeth Hartmann's Sparkle Punch quilt.  Wouldn't it look fabulous scrappy?  I am so inspired....

This beautiful Scrappy Chains quilt caught my eye - I can see this in a smaller block size, too, and I love the fact that it doesn't have a consistently colored chain.  Truly scrappy!  There is a video tutorial available for this quilt - click here to see it!

And look at this beauty!  What a great way to use up a rainbow of strips.  It could be as small as a baby quilt, or go all the way up to king-size!  It's also a great alternative to a traditional string block, if you want to do something a little "out of the box".

And isn't this cute?  It's the pattern I'm using currently for a couple of commission quilts, but it could easily turn into a scrap quilt - because don't we all have quite a few 2.5" strips left over from other projects?  A sweet and simple alternative to a traditional jelly roll quilt too, for that jelly roll you've got sitting around that you bought because the fabric is!

This is a great rail fence quilt, which looks like it uses bricks and random squares.  I haven't had a chance to graph this one out yet, but if I had to guess, I'd say it's 2.5" x 4.5" bricks and 2.5" squares in the darker zigs, and 2.5" squares in the light zags.

Isn't this amazing?  A great way to use up leftover strips of binding, I think!  I save mine for scrappy quilts, but there are always times when the bin starts to overflow - and this would be a very different way to use those pieces!

And here's another strippy block quilt, with a little twist - tiny block strips!  I can see two ways to make this - one would be to use up all those tiny pieces of fabric you just can't bear to throw away, the other would be to make strip sets and cross-cut them to create those strips of tiny blocks.  Either way, you're using up scraps!

And is this not just the cutest quilt?  I love the use of different prints in the same colors for these woven strips - simple, but it adds so much depth and interest to the quilt.  2.5" squares in colors and 4.5" white squares would make this quilt quickly!

If you don't have time or energy to make a whole quilt, how about these adorable pincushions made by the queen of tiny scraps, AmandaJean of Crazy Mom Quilts?  I love seeing her cheerful bowls full of pincushions, and her blog is a great resource for easy quilt ideas and beautiful scrap creations!

Emily Bailey of Em's Scrap Bag has been sharing a lot of gorgeous scrap quilts on Facebook these days - and this is one of my favorites!  Notice that the horizontal strings are repeats of one of the fabrics in the coin strips - it gives this quilt a great geometric effect.  And the cross-hatch quilting is amazing!

And speaking of Emily, have you signed up to participate in the Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge 2016 yet?  Emily collects quilts for Quilty Hugs For Happy Chemo, and that's just one of the charities we are spotlighting this year.  There's also Covered in Love, spearheaded by Kat Drinkwater, who collects quilts for terminally ill patients in Tyler, Texas.  And for our Canadian quilters (and anyone else who wants to send a quilt to the frozen North) there's the Yukon Women's Transition Home, which serves women and children escaping from abusive home situations.  The Challenge runs until the end of May, so you've got plenty of time to dig through your scraps and make a beautiful quilt to wrap someone in love.  I hope you'll consider joining in if you haven't already! You can sign up by clicking the link in this paragraph for the Challenge and scrolling down to the entry form, or just fill in the entry form in the top right sidebar!


Are you feeling inspired now?  I am!  Can't wait to get back to my scrap bin and see what comes out of it next!  Let's go scrap!!



PS - remember next week is our first linky party to show off our scrappy progress - I hope you'll all link up and share!  No matter how much or how little, progress is progress, and a little encouragement goes a long way!  And for those of you who just wish you had scraps to play with, I'll have something especially for you!!