Saturday, February 22, 2020

Scrap happy

Another AWESOME day. It's hard when you're an optimist to have a bad day!

My typical genre of book is a murder mystery that I've gotten away from in the last little while so I was quite excited to get back into that. I had a paperback that I must have picked up at a used book sale. I went to read it last month, only to find that the first 6 pages were missing. It could easily happen, but this is the only time so far where pages were missing. I did find the book electronically through the Libby app at the library. I swear it was an audiobook, but no - when it arrived, it was an e-book. I'm not good with e-books, so I read the first 6 pages on my phone and then went to my paperback!

I'm well into the book now - it's a thriller. It's gruesome - but I'm OK with that. It's called The Poet by Michael Connelly.

Yesterday was also a good day because we had a community project sew day. There were five sewists and John came to help with the pressing. Now does the day get any better when you have someone to press your seams as you work? I think not!! Thanks, John for all your help. I also had two laundry baskets with scraps that needed to be dealt with. Bless his heart, but John went through and sorted one of the baskets.

The other one - well, it was a mess and when I went through it this morning, I realized that this is probably NOT the stuff that we want to be making scrap quilts from. I mean scrap quilts for community projects. However, that doesn't mean that I won't make something from it. I love the small pieces. I technically have a free day today so I might just finish sorting through the basket. I'll show you in a minute.

The sewing table this morning

I haven't finished trimming the blocks so I'm not going to show you what was made until they're all trimmed. That's a job for later today. Each person who came got to choose a color to work with. Liz was the last to arrive, so she got miscellaneous. I haven't trimmed those yet.

The strips that we used yesterday still need to be put away and several of the people who were here are returning tomorrow for Sit n Sew, so it looks like they never left!

So after seeing how the others processed the strips, I realize that I'm pretty anal, but also extremely thrifty. Use the SMALL cutoff bits for the corners of our diagonal blocks, NOT another big strip. Totally waste of a good strip. Flip the pointed end of the strip around so you can maximize how the strip fits the foundation square. I mentioned my thriftiness a couple of times and I don't think they got it. I know - they are HELPING ME, so BITE YOUR TONGUE and keep quiet. It was HARD!

Being thrifty is just part of my nature and I hate to see things go to waste. But I'm over it - I think! I already know that most of what we worked with yesterday, that the average quilter would throw away. It's not just about being thrifty, but it's about reducing waste and if you can rotate the strip to reduce how much gets wasted, then why not? But I digress. We made good progress yesterday and that's why I have so much to trim.

After the experience of the sewing day and I went through the remaining basket of scraps, I think I'll work on that second basket myself since I know that some of the others would have a hard time working with so small of pieces and besides, you really don't want to make a quilt that takes forever to make for community projects. The quilts I'll make from that second basket will be good ones to add to my scrap quilt trunk show. I bet John is jumping up and down that he's not going to have to sort through that basket!

Scraps sorted into piles by color
The laundry basket was full and that was intimidating so I dumped it on the floor and sorted through a small bit at a time.
Scraps dumped on the floor
I don't think it'll take too much longer to get the last of the scraps sorted by color. Then I'll bag them and work through a bag at a time. The best part is that they will be sorted and not just a daunting huge heap in a laundry basket.

More scraps to deal with

Like everything, when you have a better idea of what you're dealing with - it's much easier to deal with it. I think that's the deal with my office - there's so much here - I don't know how to deal with it. Once I start, I hope I'll be OK. I can see my note on the computer - taunting me! It's like the studios - it was daunting when the entire thing was staring me in the face. Now that it's mostly organized, I don't find it hard to deal with at all. I know where stuff is.

First thing in the morning, I got a small quilt quilted. It's too small for Quilts of Valour and it was too difficult to make it larger. I'm going to walk down to the giant senior's home a few blocks away and ask if they would like to be the recipient of some of these quilts. They would be perfect for a senior's lap.

Community projects quilt quilted

So I get daring on the long arm. Is there enough backing? This one had a piece of 45" yardage for the backing and it was JUST big enough to quilt the quilt, with barely any room to spare. Thankfully, the pattern cooperated (or was that just operator luck?) and the pattern generated by the robot cooperated and fit exactly on the quilt.

There was less than ONE inch at the top.

Less than 1 inch extra backing at the top
And there was only the selvage as extra on the bottom.

Only the salvage was extra on the bottom

I do NOT recommend doing this at all. I got lucky and the quilt was small. It makes a huge difference in the size of the quilt. Smaller is much easier to deal with. So don't do as I do and make those backings 4 inches larger on all sides.

I started to make the new backing for that other shirting quilt that is going to Quilts of Valour. Hmm - I emptied that bolt of blue. The second backing is short a wee bit of fabric, but once I quilt the other one with the same backing, I can use the leftovers and add to this one. That works perfectly and no or very little waste. It's just my nature to be efficient and thrifty in everything I do. It's part of who I am!!!

One more bolt - GONE

Then I was off to teach a class last night at Oh Look Fabric. I have the show and tell from that class which I'll share this coming week. For the most part, I have a free day, but there's an errand in there which will take a bit of time. But I have to make a couple of totally scrappy blocks, get the homework instructions written for last night's class, clean for ONE hour in the office and I'm sure there are other things so the day is going to zoom by!!!

On that note, I'd better get started.

Have a super day!!!!



  1. I do backings that way all the time. It's the frugal in me. Maybe 3/4" on the top, 1.5" on the Left and right and the bottom depends on whether I cut the backing from yardage or pieced it.

    Years ago, an online friend sent a box of fabric for my kiddo charity quilts. I had a bunch of tops that were just under WOF. So I pressed and loaded the whole thing without measuring length. I put on 1 piece of batting and a top, quilted it, repeat. When I got to the end of quilt 4, I had to hold back the leader to tack down the bottom of that quilt top. I trimmed off 1/2" and that's it. It was meant to be! My Karma was good that day!

    Better to be lucky than good right?

    Happy Saturday :-)

    1. Elle --- OH MY GOD - I love your story on the backings. I have no issue to go small with my own stuff in the event that the clamps get in the way. But for a customer? It happens and I grind my teeth in frustration! But I find that it works out like it did for your four charity quilts!! Good for you. Do you still do the kiddo charity quilts?