Scraps defy nature

How do you take something that is full, take things out of it permanently and repack it and have it be just as full? No, I didn’t add anything to it.

It isn’t really a trick question, but any quilter knows the answer – somehow scrap baskets follow their own laws of nature.

Yesterday I dove into the pastel/floral scraps. Just like my kids brights, they are in a cloth bin/basket that fits on the bookcase in the sewing room and it was pretty full. And the process looked pretty much the same as the day before.


Generally I start with the smaller scraps and once a center is made I add the scrap strips around the outside like a log cabin until they are the right size. I make them to be 8×8′ finished.


Trimming blocks

I made better progress than with the brights.  I managed to make 24 blocks which is enough for a small charity quilt (prefer 28 blocks). But I have a stack from the last time I made blocks upstairs so I’ll mix and match them when I get around to making tops.

But how could I make enough blocks for a lap sized quilt, have a half a small trashcan of trimmings that are too small to use and even toss a couple pieces of fabric and still have this full bin?


How is it still full?


For Thanksgiving I started stitching a Christmas present. It’s a team effort with a friend and me.  She got the fabric and got it cut out (things I still can’t do) while I have taken on the sewing. No pictures yet. I have to see if I can show pics here and still keep it a secret.

No weekend post

No posts this weekend. Quite honestly it was too ____________ a weekend (insert your favorite negative descriptor.)

The only good things about the weekend – the purple quilt and these stars.

Happy stars, at least when they are going the right direction.

Happy stars, at least when they are going the right direction.

The purple quilt is assembled. It still needs a border and I’m not sure what I want to use for that. And I can’t get a picture of it on my own. But the stars are bright and cheery.

The pattern is Cathedral Stars by Bonnie Hunter.  I started this in a workshop with her almost 2 years ago, but just didn’t love it. (Which is weird, I’ve made several of her patterns.) It was great taking a class in person, but I knew from the beginning I wasn’t going to finish it full-sized. So I planned it out to make it lap sized and it just got packed up into the box of lost projects.

Once the purple quilt was done I went looking for another UFO to start getting done. I know that my piecing accuracy on this is lousy and it’s going to go together all kinds of wonky, but I’m going to give it a shot.

Bye bye pictures

Well it hit that point that I needed to switch ISPs. And while the WordPress export takes all the written comments, it doesn’t take the images. Of course I didn’t realize this while I could still get to the account.

So my apologies, lots of labels without any images.



can’t count

Somehow I got it in my head that I needed 2000 white and 2000 purple pieces for this next project.

Now my first clue that this was wrong should have been that I *know* there aren’t an equal number of purple and white pieces in each block. Nope. I’ve been blithely buying and cutting white-on-whites. I had 800 cut and have been acquiring more to get up to 2000.

I knew I was still short on purples too. I was guessing I had about 1500 of the 2000, so I’ve been buying FQs of purple as well to add to the mix.

Yesterday I washed up the last of the purples so I was going to get them cut this morning. I hauled out the pieces parts and decided to count the purples to see exactly where I was.

700. Whoa. That’s was far less than I had expected.

Then I looked at the pattern and saw my note – 200 of each unit.  Each unit has 3 pieces, so I should only need 1,800 TOTAL.

Doing some quick (scribble) calculations – I needed 400 whites (not 2000!) and 1400 purples. That means I have twice what I need for whites, and about half of what I needed for purple. Those are very different numbers from what I had in my head.

The uncut whites will go in stash – guess I’m going to be stocked with those for a while….

Declutter #9

It’s amazing what one box of obsolete papers  can do for the count.  The flip side of that, is that it is amazing how close the count is to complete now and how much I’ve still got to go through.

Over the last week or so it was another 434 items out. That puts me less than 100 from the goal – an easy weekend’s worth of work.

But I’m thinking maybe I should continue. I didn’t start until July, so maybe I should recommit to another 2011 to take me around to the year mark. I think there is still enough around here to do that.

Declutter #4

I haven’t been doing as well with my Decluttering, but that is going to change. I’ve been doing serious quilting for the last week, but I’m approaching a good break point and  this week is going to be a transition over to the cleaning out.

I do have some from the last couple weeks to report.

There are 5 less cones of thread in my sewing studio. These were almost empty, so I deliberately used them up to clean them out.  Since they were the big, serger cones, it helps.

I dropped 10 stuffed animals and a blanket at the local drop box to benefit Northeast Parent and Child Society. And I dropped a box of heavy paper and assorted posterboard for recycling off at Habitat for Humanity for their project where it is turned into insulation for their current projects.

And I have to admit some things did go into the trash. I threw out a few shirts and pairs of shoes that were just too badly worn to pass on.

So 24 to add to the count.

Cyber Retreat – Sunday morning

I didn’t post anything at the end of last night because I was pretty much sewing until I fell asleep at the machine!

E’s pink and purple quilt is coming along nicely.

Pretty bright, huh? So is the original! I might be able to start assembling the top this afternoon – which would have to be some type of record for getting a top like this done.

But this is what I am really excited about. Even with using up the odds and end pink thread today, I am seeing the end of my big cone of neutral thread. This is always an exciting point, because when the cone is full you can fill half a dozen bobbins and it doesn’t even look like the cone has shrunk. I can usually sew off one of these cones for a couple years, so finishing one feels like a major accomplishment.

Quilt #2 of 2010

I am happy to report quilt #2 of the year is done. At first glance it suggests that I may be able to keep to my (unrealistic) goal of a quilt a week. Realistically I would be happy with 2 per month, which means at this point I am good for January.

Though this technically meets the criteria for the UFO challenge (it was in a state of partial completion on 12/31), I don’t get to count it because my registration for the challenge has not been received. Dang.


This is made from a layer cake of Moda’s Wildflower Serenade and coordinating fabric. The pattern is “Ashley’s Journey” from Piece of Pie: 10 layer cake friendly quilt patterns. (