Friday, August 30, 2013

Back In Business

My background fabric arrived.  School has started and I'm back in business working on the DWR challenge.
I'm a quarter of the way done here.  I've spent the last couple of days making fabric from my crumbs.  Today I plan on cutting them into arcs and adding to my quilt top.  Using the EZ Quilting templates makes this a cinch, no inset seams.  The further along I get on this quilt the more excited I get.  Does this happen with you?

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Scrap Happy Summer Meet Nedra

Summer is winding down and soon Scrap Happy Summer 2013 will be over.  I've appreciated all the wonderful bloggers who have participated.  I have learned so much from them.  I hope you have too.  Our final guest is Nedra from Cactus Needle.  She is a talented quilter with such a sweet personality.  Her blog is one of the first I found when I started blogging.  And imagine my surprise while garage sailing with my parents coming upon Nedra's garage sale.  It was a double bonus.  Not only did I get to meet her in person; I now own her antique ironing board.  And come to find out my dear friend Gayle, who got me into quilting, is also friends with Nedra. Small world isn't it?  

Did you know that for the past two years Nedra has had a challenge to use what she on hand.  She said, "It's been a creative process on several levels, from finding patterns that fit within my goal, to looking at my scraps with a new perspective."  I bet it has saved her money too.  Don't know if I could do it.  But Nedra has sure created some lovely quilts following it.  Now for the part you are all waiting for Nedra's wisdom on scraps.

What do you consider a scrap? What's to big/small?
I save just about everything bigger than 1-inch wide.    I now look at those small pieces of fabric for their future use as "color".I've noticed there are two types of scrap quilts. One is more like a Potpourri where any color will do. (See Mumbo Gumbo).

  Fabric is used in terms of "value",  separating lights from darks.  The other type of Scrap quilt is where that piece of fabric is used for it's "color".  For example, a block might be done in bits of blue, or a combination of lights can be used as a strata background. (See Modern Chevron Baby)
Do you prefer big projects or little ones when using your scraps? Or do you use a combo?
I used to mainly focus on making larger quilts, because I had a strong desire to minimize my stash pile.  But now that I work for Triangles On A Roll,  and I've been playing with our Sew and Fold papers,  I can see so many fun ways to use smaller bits of fabric in sections on the Tri-Angle papers or for flying geese and braids. 
How do you keep your scraps form taking over your sewing area?
I have boxes near my cutting table where I toss my scraps, separated by color. One thing I have really noticed is how much my taste in fabrics have changed over the years.  I went through my stash and identified a lot of fabrics that were no longer "me" and donated them to my guild.  It felt good knowing they would be used for charity projects, or appreciated by a new owner.  At the price of fabrics, I used to think I had to hold onto everything, even though it sat hidden in boxes. I've learned to not be afraid to 'destash' even with my scraps. They can be happy in a new loving home!
Any tips you would offer others when using scraps?
Bring them out to play often.  They can get lonely sitting all by themselves, tucked away in a box or bag in the back of a closet.  Scraps Have Feelings Too :) 

Monday, August 26, 2013

I Wonder

Recently I was looking at old pictures with my grandma and we came across this one.
It is a picture of her older brothers and sisters on their first day of school getting on the school wagon.  On this first day of school I thought my how things have changed but still stayed the same.  As I sent my own children off to school today then went on a walk and say all the mothers walking with their elementary school children to school.  There was a buzz in the air and lots of pictures were being taken to commemorate this great day.  I wondered as I got home, showered and cleaned up if my great grandma felt as I do?  A mix of joy and sadness.  Did she think now I can get something done?
She was a great quilter.  I feel so blessed to have two of her quilts.  This one that I've reproduced into a pattern, Love Ida in her honor.

And this beautiful scrappy top.  
Grandma has told me stories of where she got fabric from.  I love hearing about her and her resourcefulness.  I wish I could have known her.  Sadly she died the year before I was born.  I am thankful for her heritage.  And I absolutely love this picture of her with her handiwork.
Isn't she amazing?
I hope as you send you kiddies off to school that first they have a great day and do well.  Second that you have a very productive day in your sewing room.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Stormy Seas

Truth be told I love the beach.  Something about the sand and water, the crash of the waves, the salty smell relaxes and refreshes me.  Maybe that is why I liked Julie's Salt Air line so much.  I made five or six quilts with it.  Many you can find on my website.  But one you will find in this magazine.
I've always loved the storm at sea pattern.  The way the angles play and create motion and the deception of  curvy lines fascinates me.  I was thrilled when Fons and Porter wanted it for their magazine.
Get  your copy today.  

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Scrap Happy Summer Meet Brenda

Today our scrap happy summer guest is Brenda from Scraps and Strings.  I have followed Brenda's blog since I started blogging over five years ago.  She is a great scrap quilter.  She does everything from art quilts for AAQI to full sized quilts.  She does a lot with strings as her blog name suggests and word quilts which I love and get a lot of inspiration from.  So whatever your scrappy pleasure Brenda has a little something something to meet your pleasure.  
Now let's hear from the talented Brenda.

Me-     What do you consider a scrap?  What's too big/small?
Brenda-For me, scraps are fabrics that aren’t foldable. I buy half metre and metre cuts, and fold them lengthwise into quarters and fold them around my 6 by 12 ruler. So anything big enough to fold would go back into the fabric cupboard. Almost nothing is too small for me. I’ve used ¾ inch strips to make free-pieced letters, and I’ve made several AAQI quilts out of the garbage can. Mostly, I throw out bits under an inch wide, but sometimes I do keep them.

Me- Do you prefer big projects or little ones when using your scraps?  Or do you use a combo
Brenda- I make both little and big projects from scraps. I used smaller bits in needle books, place mats, tea cozies, AAQI quilts, zippy bags. Recently I made four single-sized quilts entirely from string blocks I collected from local sewing friends. I’ve also made a double-sized spider web quilt, a throw with Dresden plates from scraps sent to me by Victoria of Bumble Beans, and large string quilts.

Me- How do you keep your scraps from taking over your sewing area?  
Brenda-Well, I’ve never post a picture of my sewing area because the scraps are taking over. I have eight of those plastic shoeboxes which hold scraps sorted by size and colour. At one time I subscribed to Bonnie Hunter’s scrap user system, but I found I didn’t really use many of the sizes she suggested cutting scraps into. Now I have a bigger bin close to my cutting table where I drop miscellaneous scraps. I keep a bag of binding scraps for binding a scrappy quilt. The stuff that falls to the floor usually gets thrown in the garbage or the dog blanket bag.

Me-  Any tips you would offer others when using scraps?
Brenda-  Let them speak to you. Swap them with other people. New scraps are like spark plugs for the stash – they bring energy to your stash fabrics. I’ve been inspired by scrap swaps and playing with bits and pieces from other people’s scrap bins, forcing me out of my comfort zone and getting me to play with colours and prints I might not buy. The flip side of this is that sharing your scraps gives other people joy, and it clears out your own sewing space to work on new projects. After all, anytime you make a quilt, you also make scraps.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Where Did Summer Go?

Where did summer go?  It seems like yesterday school let out and DD and I went to see my sister, Lori.  We had so much fun with her and her daughter, Hannah; the beach, Alcatraz, Jelly Belly outlet, Apple campus, etc.
We barely got home and we were off to girls camp; hikes, smores, and lots of giggles.

Last night we got home from our family vacation to the Oregon coast.  We crabbed, built sand castles, boogie boarded, and just had a ton of fun.
But sadly it must come to an end.  Josh starts school on Wednesday and Neil, Alex, and DD start next Monday.  How did that happen?  It was only yesterday they got out.  Well, maybe now I'll be able to get some sewing in.

Friday, August 16, 2013


I've always loved the churn dash block.  It's simple and sweet.
So I've been playing with it.  Varying color placement and size.

I see a quilt evolving.
What simple block do you love to play with?

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Scrap Happy Summer Meet Beth

Beth is our first guest that I have not met in person.  But through her blog Love, Laugh Quilt, I have gotten to know her.  She is generous.  She is always making a quilt for someone; a baby, a graduate, a friend.  All of them scrappy wonderfulness.  She is innovative.  She uses scraps to fix problems like here and here.   If you have not visited Beth's blog you are missing out.  Her sweet personality and creative style is sure to inspire you.  
Here is what Beth has to say about scraps;
Me: What do you consider a scrap?  What's to big/small? 
Beth: I keep almost ALL the scraps after each project. Nothing is too small.  ;)  
Me:  Do you prefer big projects or little ones when using your scraps?  Or do you use a combo?
Beth: Projects can be BIG or small. EVERY project needs some scraps!  Even when using precuts (charm packs, etc.) I always add scraps. I think it improves the quilt to have the fun surprises tucked in! 
Me:  How do you keep your scraps form taking over your sewing area?  
Beth: If I'm lucky I pause before diving into another project and "FILE" the scraps. I have drawers for 2", 2 1/2", 3"...squares.
I have a basket where I keep LONG strips that are NOT trimmed and another drawer where 2 1/2" strips are stored. I LOVE having the 2 1/2" drawer for unusual bindings and other projects.  I also have baskets that I think of as "fat quarter" baskets, even though they're ALL DIFFERENT in size.  I try to keep these organized by color. 
Of course, There are some UNFILED bags in  my sewing room.  You've got to have some of those!!
Me:  Any tips you would offer others when using scraps?.
Beth: Use your scraps! Make a rainbow quilt using ALL of them. Make a BLUE quilt with just the blues. Follow the colors in a charm pack and fit them in!  Cut a bunch of squares and sew them together.  Think about the light and DARKS (VALUE).  Enjoy your scraps!  Swap scraps with friends.  That's my advice.  ;)

Good advice I'd say.  Now go enjoy your scraps!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Cutting it up

I ran out of background for my DWR and have been wanting to start a few new projects to use up some scraps.  So while I wait for my background fabric to arrive I'm diving into my scraps.  My lights and blacks bins were overflowing.  I had seen a cute little log cabin block on pintrest that I thought would make a cute quilt using this color way.  So I started cutting 2 1/2" strips from my bins.  Then cut a few 2 1/2" red squares for the centers.
I had been cutting as I go pieces for my funfetti quilt.  Since I had the light bin out I decided to get it all cut out.  After the lights were cut I went through all the color bins and added 1 1/2" strips for the chain pieces.
 I had several scraps of varying shades of grey and decided they would make a great, simple masculine quilt.  So I cut them into 3 1/2".  I'm looking forward to seeing how this comes together.

With all this cutting done I'm ready to sew, sew, sew.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Book Lover's Day

Welcome to Book Lover's Day.  I was thrilled when Sarah asked if I wanted to be a part of this fun day.  Next to quilting I love to read, and perusing quilt books is a favorite past time.
When I first started quilting.  I took a class through my church were we would learn to make a different type of block each month.  I took the class as more of a break from three busy boys and a way to get some adult time than because I was interested in quilting.  But after the going to the fabric shop with a friend to pick out fabric and taking the first class I was hooked.  For Christmas that year my wonderful hubby got me this book.  It is full of eye candy, instruction and helpful tips.  Perfect for the beginning quilter.

I still like to leaf through it for inspiration.  I've added many more titles to my quilting book library.  My favorites at the moment are; Freddy & Gwen Collaborate Again, 15 Minutes Play, and Material Obsession.

Each is full of colorful inspiration that get my creative juices flowing.  
What's your favorite quilt book at the moment?  Would you love to win another great quilt book?  Hop on over to Moda fabric blog for a chance to win, and a list of other participating in Book Lover's Day and favorite quilt books .

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Scrap Happy Summer Meet Melissa

I first met Melissa at a sew in for the SLC Modern quilt guild.   She was so friendly and down to earth we hit it right off.  She was working on her Dresden plate challenge and it was inspiring to see her creative mind work. She is so good at juggling her quilting and family.  I really admire her for that.  I thought it was awesome when we taught at the Panguitch Quilt Walk that she brought her family along.  When she wasn't teaching she went hiking with them in Bryce Canyon.  Now that is one fab mom.  

Melissa has a great mind for design.  She has some really great tutorials on her sight.  Many that are scrap friendly.  Also check out her patterns found on her sidebar.  The quilt below is one of her free tutes and is on my bucket list.

Now here is what Melissa has to say about scraps...   

Me- What do you consider a scrap?  What's to big/small?

Melissa- Fat Eighth's and up stack neatly on my shelf.  Once I start cutting into those Fat Eighth's and Quarters, the remnants go into the scrap basket.   Except for the "trimmings".  I consider a trim anything smaller than about 2" square .  I have a little trim box right next to my garbage can where those tiny little pieces go.  Once it is full, the trim box is given to a lady in the neighborhood who collects it to make dog beds for the local shelter.  Yippee Skippee for no waste :)

Me-  Do you prefer big projects or little ones when using your scraps?  Or do you use a combo?

Melissa- I love to use my scraps in little projects.  I use them for swaps, bee blocks, and wall hangings.  I keep thinking I want to use my scraps for a large project, but I just haven't gotten around to it yet.  But there are quite a few planned . . . for someday :)

Me  How do you keep your scraps form taking over your sewing area?  

Melissa- As I mentioned, once the fabric is cut it goes into the scrap basket.  This is a basket that sits on top of my Scrap bins :)  When the basket starts to get full, I take a half hour and sort all the scraps by color.  There is a drawer for each color in the bin.  Super organized and super easy :)

Me- Any tips you would offer others when using scraps?

Melissa- I would suggest signing up for a bee that uses scraps.  I love, love, love the quilts that I have made put together with all of my friends scraps.  And I am using my scraps every month to make their blocks, double bonus :)   And all in all, scraps are always fun when shared with friends!

Monday, August 5, 2013


There are many rewards when it comes to quilting and sewing.  A few may be; the creative process, a finished project, time with friends.  One of my favorite rewards is sharing what I've learned with others and seeing them find joy in it.  In my classes I watch people get excited about a project.  I love seeing how their choice of fabric, and layout give personality and uniqueness to their project.  I don't often get to see the finished project.  But once in a while I get lucky and someone will bring it back to the retreat the next year or send me a picture.  Which is what Rolene did.  Rolene took my class in June and I was thrilled to receive her email and pic showing off her great finish.  Didn't she do a great job.  She loves it so much she is making more.  That is rewarding.
Yesterday DD asked if I would help her sew some clothes for her American Girl Dolls.  Any time she wants to sew I jump at the chance.  I want her to love it like I do.  So she picked out this pattern I bought her a while back.  We cut it out.  And started to sew.

Her is what she has done so far.

She is so excited about how it is turning out.  She wants to make one of each of her dolls in different colors.  She has four dolls.  So it looks like I get to share my sewing room with her for a while.  Now that's rewarding!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Play Creates Progress

In between painting, rearranging, and redecorating I've been playing in my scraps.  Adding to my DWR challenge.  It's almost as big as I was planning.  But something Victoria said yesterday stuck with me.  She said she makes her quilts big so she can sleep under them.  I got to thinking I would like a new quilt for my bed.  And I'm really loving how this is progressing.
So I'm making more fabric.

Putting a serious dent in my crumb bin.  
If they hold out I may just get me a new quilt for my bed.