Wednesday, January 31, 2018

I May Have a Scrap Problem... January Results and February Goal

Hi, all!

It's hard to believe, but we've already plowed through the first month of the year, and the first month of Scrap Attack 2018!  

At the beginning of January, I drew out my first monthly task, and I have to say, it wasn't the one I hoped I'd draw first!  

Truthfully, I was dismayed - my least favorite part of dealing with my scraps, and it was my first task!  But I vowed to do my best... and here are my results!

I now have a lovely stack of squares cut to various sizes - 10", 5", 2.5", 2", and 1.5", plus some 4" squares and some strings thrown in for good measure.  I also found those wonderful plastic containers which are perfect for sorting these pieces and keeping them neat, which allowed me to keep track of all the scraps I cut this month.  I've now placed them in the appropriate shoebox-sized containers for each size!  (I got those containers at Target - 2 for about $10.)

AND I have a wonderfully empty tabletop scrap tub, which I now find I crave at the end of the day!  I guess what they say is true - that which you can set your mind to do for two weeks will become a habit!  So I've managed to learn a good habit - let's see if I can keep it up....

So today I went back to my little box of monthly tasks (thanks to my husband's habit, I have a lot of cool little boxes to choose from!)...

...and this is what I drew out!  You may remember the t-shirt beach blankets I made last year...

 I made this using the leftover pieces from all the t-shirt quilts I made last year.  I didn't realize just how many I had - but I still have a large tub of leftover pieces that I need to work through, plus this bag...

...running over with pieces to put to good use!  My husband's garage is already well-stocked with rags, so this was the best use I could come up with!  I've got another design plan in mind that I've been looking forward to using, so this is a good time to work on that.  And hopefully, I can get that bag of scraps off the floor this month!


So how did your January Scrap Attack goals go?  Did you make any progress?  You can link up below and share your progress, and also show off your new task for February.  And if you need inspiration - new quilts to use up your scraps - I'm doing a series on Sundays called Scrumptious Scraps.  Six beautiful scrap quilts, each one simple to make, just perfect for charity quilts - and conveniently enough, Hands2Help starts in the middle of March!  

Take that, little guy!!



Monday, January 29, 2018

Make-A-List Monday - A Good Week!

Hi, all!

I had such a great week last week!  The stars aligned and I got so much accomplished - so let's see exactly what happened...

1.  Finish the second t-shirt quilt top.
Done!  Here are both of them (since I don't remember which one I finished first!)

2.  Quilt the second Scrumptious Scraps top.
Done!  You can see a teaser in the Scrumptious Scraps quilt-along button in the right sidebar...

3.  Piece the third Scrumptious Scraps top.
Done!  I really love this top - it was a collaborative effort! (This is just a teaser...)

4.  Quilt at least one of the t-shirt quilts.
I'm so happy to say that this one is DONE!  I was afraid last night that I wouldn't be able to get to this, but I had some luck today and managed to get to it!

5.  Keep cutting up the scraps!
Done!  I think I've developed a new (and good!) habit this month!   Take a look at all the pieces I've cut out of my daily scraps so far this month...

6.  Do a cleaning and re-set in the office so I'm ready for Hands2Help.
Done - and this is why I didn't think I'd get around to quilting the t-shirt quilt this week.  This job ended up taking a lot longer than I thought - probably because I decided to move all the bookcases from one side of the room to the other! But it's done now and I'm really happy with the way it's set up.  it should be a pleasant place to work on all the administrative part of H2H! 

These two pics show the "library" end of the room - a little cramped, but a nice place to sit and read!

And here's my desk area - nicer now by the sunny window!  I still want to hang some mini-quilts on that wall over the desk...

And here's my most recent acquisition - a beautiful old wardrobe (sadly in need of refinishing, but that'll come someday!) that now holds H2H giveaway items and my mailing supplies.

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

This quilt went to a mother whose daughter died unexpectedly...

This quilt went to the 4-year old daughter of that same woman.

This quilt went to a new baby girl!

This quilt went to a woman whose cancer recurred...

This quilt went to a woman who lost her brother.

This quilt went to an elderly gentleman who has been put into hospice care this week.

Whew!  What a busy week!  And this week looks to be busy too.  Here's what's on my schedule in the next few days...

1.  Quilt the second t-shirt quilt.

2.  Make a special quilt for a 2-year old with cystic fibrosis.

3.  Start contacting donors for Hands2Help.

4.  Keep cutting those scraps, and write the Scrap Attack 2018 monthly summary blogpost.

5.  Quilt the third Scrumptious Scraps quilt.

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

I think there's something I'm forgetting, but this is certainly enough to keep me busy!

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



Sunday, January 28, 2018

Scrumptious Scraps Quilt-Along - Making The Most of Binding Scraps!

Hi, all!

Is there anything with more potential than a big pile of fabric scraps?  Most of us have them - some of us have way too many - and all those scraps are like free fabric.  They are left over from other projects and crying out to be used - and this year's quilt-along will give you six great ways to use them!  

As you may know from past years, I've been hosting a "quilt-along" in the six weeks before the Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge.  Now I call it a quilt-along, but it's not really that - for six weeks, I'll share six quilts that follow a theme.  In 2015, it was Sweet Sixteen (all sixteen-patch quilts), in 2016 it was Nifty Nines (all nine-patch quilts), in 2017 it was Stunning Stars (all star quilts).  Each of those posts had a tutorial so you could make the quilt if you wanted to.  All the quilts are designed to be simple enough to be made quickly and used for charity quilts - perfect if you want to participate in the Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge that follows.  

This year, the theme is Scrumptious Scraps - six great quilts designed to use up those fabulous scraps we all have sitting around!    So let's get started with our first Scrumptious Scraps quilt - designed to use up your overflowing binding scraps!

A long time ago, I decided that if I was going to use my binding scraps, I should stop just throwing them in a tub all higgledy-piggledy and get them organized.  The picture above shows what my binding box looks like today.  All the pieces are measured, then wound up and pinned with a post-it note stating the length of the piece.

This way, when I want to make a scrappy binding, it's easy to pull out just enough pieces to make the length I need!  But even using those binding scraps, sometimes my tub starts to get over-stuffed and I know it's time to make a quilt.  Since I always use the same size binding (2.25" is my favorite size), I can sew those strips together to make a jelly roll quilt.  Here's one I made recently using all my solid binding pieces, and I added a red cornerstone between each binding scrap for a little extra punch.  

This quilt was made using a variation of the super-easy and ever-popular Jelly Roll Race pattern.  You can find a video tutorial showing the original Jelly Roll Race pattern here.  Once you've mastered the basics, it's easy to find ways to vary the pattern, and that's what I've done with today's Scrumptious Scraps quilt!

This quilt started with a basic Jelly Roll Race quilt top, made using my binding scraps.  I pulled out a bunch of print pieces from my tub, cutting anything longer than 40 inches in half or thirds (or more if it was really long) and pressing them flat.  Then I threw them in a big basket and mixed them all up.

Randomly drawing out pieces (just making sure I didn't repeat colors too close together) I put these together and created a jelly roll top using the basic method.  

Using this picture as my inspiration, I cross-cut my finished jelly roll quilt top into four 5.5" strips, two 10.5" strips, and one 15.5" strip.  Then I found a piece of fabric (mine was about a yard) to use as the horizontal sashing to separate the strips.  You can use a solid, but I found a near-solid Cotton + Steel print in my stash that I really liked.  I cut my strips 2.5" wide for the horizontal sashing, and also cut two pieces of the sashing fabric to put into each row of the jelly roll fabric.  

Now comes the fun part!  You can mix up the prints in your jelly roll strips so that they aren't right over each other by opening the seams to add in your sashing strips.  Feel free to flip the jelly roll pieces, or move them from their original positions (end to end) to vary to positions of the fabrics.  Stagger the vertical sashing strips in each row.  They serve to move the eye across the quilt and provide visual interest.

Assemble the quilt with two 5.5" jelly roll strips at the top, then a 10.5" strip, the 15.5" strip, then the second 10.5" strip and the two remaining 5.5" strips.  If you have enough of your sashing fabric left, it looks really good as the binding (as you can see in the inspiration piece) but as you can see in mine, I didn't have quite enough, so I had to find a coordinating fabric.

The "pickle" color of the sashing strips was hard to match, but I found just enough of it in this stripe to echo both the sashing strips and the jelly roll fabric!  Sometimes it pays to have a big stash!

Are you looking at your binding scraps a little differently now?  Or maybe you don't have a stash of binding scraps - there are still ways to make this quilt.  You can always use that jelly roll you've had stashed away forever - - - or you can pull out your stash and cut a 2.5" strip off each piece.  We've been doing that at church lately to create jelly roll kits and it's amazing how great those quilts look!  Scrappy always looks best when you don't think too much about how the fabrics work together - don't ask me why!

And now, how about a little fun?  I have WAY too many scraps in my stash, and I'm looking to share.  So - I'm going to give away a box of scraps!  If you're feeling a little scrap poor, or you want to supplement yours with some new scraps, leave a comment below and let me know.  I'll draw a name next Saturday and announce the winner in next Sunday's Scrumptious Scraps post!  Please be sure to leave your email address in your comment if we don't regularly correspond - I'd hate to be unable to send it to the winner because I couldn't contact you!  And if you want to comment but don't want any more scraps, just let me know in your comment and I'll exclude you from the drawing.



PS - if you are interested in checking out the previous years' tutorials, you can find the links on the Tutorials page under my blog's header photo!

Friday, January 26, 2018

Can I Get A Whoop Whoop? A Pair of Quilt Tops...

Hi, all!

It's hard to believe, but Friday has rolled around again, and you know what that means - it's time to get our whoop whoop on!!  I honestly don't know where this week went, but I've been doing a lot of sewing - some I can share now, some that will have to wait for a little while.  So let's get started!


I have had the joy and pleasure of making a pair of t-shirt memory quilts for a customer this week.  Her sister died recently and she wanted to use her t-shirts to recall the wonderful memory of her life.

I only finished the tops this week - quilting will have to wait for a few days because I have other time-sensitive projects - but I love the way they turned out!   

And I just noticed I put the "Texas" blocks in the same place on each quilt!   These will be quilted in the next few days and off to their new home.


My scrap bucket is STILL empty!  I've kept up with cutting up all my "daily" scraps all month and I feel like I've developed a new habit - let's hope I can keep it up after January!


You may notice the two new buttons in the right sidebar - one for this year's pre-Hands2Help quilt-along, Scrumptious Scraps, and another for this year's Hands2Help Challenge!  

You can grab either or both if you want and add them to your own blog (the HTML code is in the little box underneath each button) to help spread the word!  And I just checked and there are already four people signed up for this year's Challenge!  Scrumptious Scraps starts this coming Sunday (January 28th) so be sure to check back in...

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


And now it's your turn!

What's making you whoop it up this week?

What got you doing 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!



Wednesday, January 24, 2018

I May Have A Scrap Problem... Let's Talk Strings!

Hi, all!

Oh, it has been a scrappy week at my place!  I've been keeping up with my daily scraps - they are all neatly cut and in a box - and we even did some major cleaning and sorting at church!  I wish I had taken a "before" pic of the pile of scraps we are sorting right here...

...but it filled up the empty spot on this floor - I'm guessing about 64 cubic feet of scraps!  The photo above is just at the beginning of the  scrap sorting - we well and truly covered about 14 feet of table top with huge stacks of scraps sorted by color, and this is what we uncovered...

One of our ladies even said, "There are BOOKS back there?!?!?!"  It's probably been more than a year since we have had that spot cleared!

But today I want to talk about strings. We've all got them - those strips of scraps that are too good to throw away, but if you are like me, your strings may be starting to run you out of house and home!

Just to keep it real, this is my actual string hamper, taken about fifteen minutes before I started writing this post.  Pitiful, isn't it?  But I have found a great cause that may give me some inspiration to use up some of it, and maybe you'll join me!

My friend Kat over at Kat and Cat Quilts runs Covered in Love, a charity that gives comfort quilts patients who pass away in the hospital.  Placing a quilt on the bed warms up the room, and is taken home by the family as a memento and transitional object.  She is holding a block drive right now for...  you guessed it...

String Blocks!!!  The drive is going on until the end of February, and she's got a tutorial for these particular blocks (they are foundation pieced) right here.  You know the great thing about foundation pieced blocks?  You can use up that absolutely hideous yardage you bought because it was just too good a deal to pass by - but when you got home and came to your senses you said, "What was I thinking???"

And your donations will help Kat create lots more beautiful quilts to spread warmth and comfort!

So how about it? Will you join me and make a block or two (or more!) for Kat's block drive?  Let's see if we can make a dent in our string collections while helping others!


And remember, it's almost the end of the month - next week it will be February, and time to share how we did on January's goal and see what February has in store!  

Have you got your scrap monster on the run yet?