Wednesday, May 4, 2016

I May Have A Scrap Problem... May Goals and Small Inspiration Projects

Hi, all!

It's the merry month of May, and time for a new scrappy challenge!  I think I'm going to continue my goal from last month, which was to take this tub full of blue scraps...

...and get it all pressed and folded, pulling out the strings for string blocks, and cutting pieces for another scrap quilt.  I did pull the pieces and make another quilt - this pretty orange peel quilt...

...and the strings are separated, but my string bucket is so full, I left them in the blue tub.  Here's what it looks like right now...

...still awfully full!  So this month I'd like to make at least one more quilt out of this tub, plus some string blocks to add to the pile, and maybe cut some more 2.5" x 5.5" blocks to add to the green ones I cut in March.  That should bring this tub down to a manageable level, and then I can move on to another color!  I spotted this quilt earlier this week, and it's calling my name - maybe this will be what I work on in May!

So that's my goal for the month of May.  What are you hoping to do with your scraps?


And now for some inspiration - but I thought I'd go small this time. Here are some of my favorite small projects using scraps that I found out and about this month!

Check out this cute tiny pincushion - a very quick little project!

And isn't this a clever idea?  The perfect clock for your sewing studio!

And look at this adorable alphabet - it would use not only fabric scraps, but batting scraps, too!  I really need to make a set of these for my grandkids....

There are so many babies being born right now, these bibs would be a great quick scrap project!

I love rope baskets, and this one made with fabric wrapped rope is so cool!  

And check out this neat piece made with fabric leaf shapes and wire.  I can totally see this in my entry hall!

I have several paper bead necklaces which I love to wear, but if they get wet, they tend to disintegrate.  These beads made with fabric are so colorful, and I want to try making some, experimenting with techniques that might make them less likely to ravel!

And of course, Crazy Mom Quilts is the queen of the scrap project - I love this pillow cover she made recently, and her pincushions are just perfect!  She did 100+ scrap projects last year on her blog, and is working on it again this year, so she's always a great inspiration for not only scrappy quilts, but smaller projects as well.

Are you feeling inspired yet?


And now it's your turn - you can link up below and share your own goals for May!  Even if it's just a small goal about dealing with your scraps, it's something to work towards - and even baby steps get the job done sooner or later!  The linky will remain open until next Tuesday night, so I hope you'll take time to link up!



Monday, May 2, 2016

Make-A-List Monday - Welcome, May!

Hi, all!

Welcome to the first Monday in May!  I love May - spring is (usually) finally here for good, the rain dies down and the beautiful days start becoming more frequent, and it's still a comfortable temperature!  It's hard to stay inside and sew in May - I always have grand ideas about doing things in my yard, but I've learned to temper that urge with sensibility - I never buy more plants than I'm willing to plant that day!  Then I make myself actually do it until they are all in the ground, no matter how I feel... it does keep me from throwing away a bunch of dead plants that never made it out of the planting trays!  Am I alone here, or are there others out there like me?

But no matter how pretty it is outside, there's always time to sew!  Here's how last week's list progressed...

1.  Make backs for the five quilt tops for the big project.
2.  Quilt at least three of those quilts.
Done!  All five backs were completed, and I quilted
not just three, but all five of them!  Woohoo!!

3.  Finish the orange peel quilt top in time for the "I May Have A Scrap Problem" month-end post.
Done!  And not only did I finish the top, I finished quilting and binding it today!

4.  Write a post about Paducah!
Done!  You can read about our trip, and meet our newest sponsor for Hands2Help, by clicking here.

5.  Start cleaning up the house - it's even beginning to bother me! (and that's saying a lot....)
Started!  I've moved some furniture in the den while cleaning up, re-covered my rocker seat, put away a bunch of stuff cluttering up the kitchen, cleaned out more of my closet - and it all barely made a dent!  But it inspired my sweet husband to sweep and vacuum the whole house - even my sewing room!  He's a keeper!

6.  Do a little yard work... a very little...
Done - but that little bit of yard work has come in handy, as I needed fresh basil for our soup last night!  I planted two small container gardens with seven tomato plants, two eggplant plants, and five basil plants!  Yum!

7.  Keep up with any quilt ministry needs that come up.
Done!  This quilt went to a gentleman diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer...

...and this one went to another man diagnosed with stage four cancer throughout his body.

This stack of eleven quilts went to our local General Hospital for use in their cancer and NICU wards...

...and this pretty bright quilt went to the new granddaughter of one of our quilt ministry members!  She was born early, but healthy and happy and beautiful!

So, all in all, a productive week!  It really feels good to mark those things off the list!  Now let's see what's on tap for this week...

1.  Photograph the quilts for the special project and prep them for delivery.

2.  Choose my goal for May's scrap challenge.

3.  Work on a quilt for a friend who is collecting auction items to benefit St. Jude's Children's Hospital.

4.  Deal with the scraps created by the flurry of finishes I've had in the last few weeks - press and put into the correct color tubs, or cut up into useful sizes!  Do. it. now!

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

It's a bit of a short list this week, but the St. Jude's quilt is a very fast turnaround and if I'm going to be able to get it done, I'll have to work on it almost exclusively.  And my niece is graduating from college this weekend, so I'll be driving to Kentucky to watch her walk.  How exciting!  But it does make for a short week...  And keep your fingers crossed for pretty weather and a great place to take photographs this week - I've got a whole lot of quilts to take pictures of!

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



Sunday, May 1, 2016

Hands2Help - Guidance From An Expert!!

Hi, all!

Sunday has rolled around once again, and that means it's time for a little Hands2Help action!  This week we have another great guest blogger - Sharon from Vrooman's Quilts.

"The Airing of the Quilts" at Sharon's house in 2014

Sharon's was one of the very first blogs I started following, and I'm so glad I found it - she is the most prolific scrap quilter I know!  She's always working on beautiful blocks, sharing her storage tips, and creating beautiful quilts, all from scraps.  She's my hero - especially since I started on my own scrap odyssey!  She's got some great tips and ideas for us today - so I'll turn the blog over to her!


Thank you Sarah for inviting me to guest host one of the Hands2Help posts.  I'm Sharon and blog over at Vrooman's Quilts .  I love to play with many techniques and styles of quilting, but my passion is SCRAPS.  I have developed my own system of fabric/scrap storage using a modified version of Bonnie Hunter's.  BUT I will never tell anyone how to cut down to a specific style.  You have to define yourself as a quilter and how you use your fabrics.

I am here today to discuss 'management' of scraps.  In other words - USE THEM.  You can't cut down or store them in any kind of system if you don't know how you are going to use them.  Do some research of basic blocks, beginner blocks, blocks that use a specific unit, blocks that use a specific technique.  File them or print them off and use them to form your system.

I love how Sarah has used the very basic 9-patch this year to showcase some stunning quilts by pairing them with another block or varying the setting to give it another look. I love playing with basic blocks and working with blocks that use squares  (a huge part of my storage system), but did you know that the 9-patch can be made using different techniques?


Using single scrap squares either mixed scrappy, planned scrappy, or left overs from a project.  You can sew them single piecing or use the web method.


Great way to use up those left over jelly roll strips, strings, and left over binding pieces.  If you need a tutorial or math chart - Good One HERE 


If you are like me, you have an over flowing tub of strings meant for string blocks.  Two strips together, math is easy.  Mine here are 2" strips and I need four sets plus one single - 2 x 5 + 10"  plus 1/2 wiggle, but that strip set was long so no worries.  Lay them out as shown, piece the 'twosies' in a row, add the single to that one 'twosie' and add to the side.


And yes, you can make two 9-patch blocks using two squares.  Easy math and great way to use up those left over layer cakes or your larger scraps.  Rather than do up a mosaic, HERE is a great tutorial

Remember, scrap management isn't just 'how do I store them' - it really is about using them.  Thank you for visiting today.


Thank you, Sharon, for a fabulous and truly helpful post!  Just a reminder, if you use scraps to make your quilt, it's like getting a free quilt - and giving those quilts to charity makes it so much sweeter!  

Be sure to come back next week when we'll have another great guest blogger!  I really enjoy seeing what others like to share with us - things I would never thing of sometimes, and always interesting.  And if any of you are interested in trying a guest post, keep it in mind for next year - I'm always looking for interested parties!