Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Why I save scraps

I love it when I have a great day! And yesterday was a great day! I got loads done and was able to check a few small things off the lists.

Remember how I'm always saying that people get out and walk and they don't really notice things? Well - look at what I missed! I mentioned that our house was the only one in our neighborhood that didn't have grass in the front yard. I LIED!! Here's another house that has no grass in the front yard. It looks awesome.

NO grass in the front yard

The amount of energy that I see people expend keeping their lawns immaculate is beyond my comprehension. Cutting the grass at least once a week, installation of sprinkler systems, weeding, trying to put their grass clippings in the city compost system when the city has said they are no longer collecting grass clippings. I think the city should be sending a message to residents encouraging them to plant wildflowers in the front yard, use mulch and rocks, or whatever, but let's go for maintenance-free (or mostly) front yards. That's a HUGE mindset to change. I swear some people think that a green lawn with thick, lush grass is a sign of prosperity!

The city could send out a list of addresses - a garden tour of yards with no grass so people can envision what it's like. Time to think outside of the box!

I've got another yard story at the end of the post! Wait until you see that!

Back to Studio B to get some stuff tidied up. I dug out the little ruler that I use to mark seam intersections. This is tucked inside the bag of fabric diamonds so I can work on the tumbling blocks quilt at the retreat. I've also included a pencil so I can do the marking. It's much easier to use this tool than to eyeball the intersection. A ton of extra work, but well worth it. OH -- I have a call today, perhaps while I'm listening, I could mark the intersections then. YES - I'll dig it out!

Ruler to mark the intersections of the weird angles

I dug through the blue fabric stash baskets (I have two of them), and I found a piece of the medium blue fabric, as well as some of the dark. They are now in the tumbling blocks box. Hard to believe that I bought this in 1998. This was my first foray into making a REAL quilt. Turned out that fabric has cost me a bundle since!!!

More of the decorator fabric for the tumbling blocks quilt
 I rifled through more boxes of stash fabrics to get some kits ready for Diane to piece. Diane has been going gangbusters on sewing together the community project kits that we assembled back in January.  I think there are 9 kits left after I give her the three that I have prepped. Don't worry, Diane. I can easily make up more! I think Diane might be converted to making scrap quilts! Diane - thank you so much!!!!  I have a ton of tops to find backings for, but no rush at this moment. I still have lots to quilt.

Time to get to work. I cleaned off the paper piecing station so I could start making a mess with a new set of scraps. I should say that paper piecing is one of the reasons that I began to save scraps. I'm working on quite a few small blocks for my next project, and ALL the fabric for the blocks has come from the scrap bins.

Getting ready to paper piece
 These are the fabrics that will also be used in the quilt. And guess what? ALL of them came from the scrap boxes.

Scraps pulled to make a quilt

I was working on another quilt on the long arm. I hope that my blog is not only entertaining but informational as well. So when I make a note of something on a quilt, I'm in NO WAY blasting that person. It's easier to show things than to just tell you. My observation today is the threads on a quilt top. I know it's a challenge to remove all the threads on a quilt top. As a matter of fact, you cannot. As the quilt top is rolled, many of the loose threads from the backing get displaced onto the front. I'm OK with removing those while I'm quilting.

What I dislike are the threads that are stuck in a seam. I won't remove them from a customer quilt. If they didn't remove them during the pressing process, it's certainly not my job to do that while I'm quilting. Not being mean - just being realistic!  This was a quilt for Quilts of Valour. There were a few stuck in the seams, and I did get rid of them.

Threads caught in the seam

Most of the threads are caught in the seam and are easy to remove, but I have visions one day of pulling those threads and have a seam pop open! That would be bad!!!!

And here it is - one more quilt done for Quilts of Valour. This one just needs to be trimmed. I now have a stack, so I better tackle that stack today. I don't have to put the binding on this one! Yeah!

Quilts of Valour quilt - DONE

By the late afternoon, I was starting to fade. Gasp! That never happens. I don't think it was the heat. I was in Studio B wearing a sweatshirt, so I wasn't affected by the weather. It just that when you start the day so early, well - who knows. But I plugged away, and I completed ten 9-patch blocks. Just wait to see what I do with these.

9-patch blocks

They are made with solids, and I have to say that I LOVE them. I have a whole whack of solids - I should dig them out and make a quilt because the look is fantastic!!!!

Then I continued on and dug out some fabric for the backing. Next up was to dig through the labeled pieces of batting scraps, and I found two hunks of batting that would work for the backings of the 9-patches. It's so easy to find something when everything has a home. If you keep batting bits and they are NOT labeled, do yourself a favor and measure them and stick a note on each piece with the size. That's the biggest time saver, EVER.

9-patches are basted and ready to quilt

I guess I must have got my second wind because I didn't stop there. I got this small wall hanging basted. Again, I dug through the batting bits, found a piece that would work once I cut it in half and joined it.

Christmas wall hanging ready to quilt

I'm not sure about this backing fabric. It's hideous. OK - it looks OK, but it's revolting to touch. It's got a layer of glitter on top, and it feels sticky and very thick! I know I should do myself a favor and just get rid of it, but NO - I had to try using it. So I stick it on the back of a quilt where it'll likely cause issues with the bed of the sewing machine. I'm using the Dual Feed foot for quilting it, so hopefully, it won't be an issue.

Backing for the wall hanging

When I went for my walk last night, I noticed that the city has added temporary bike/walking lanes to another busy street. Yeah!!!!!

The street is partially blocked off

There are a LOT of people who walk here in the morning and evening, so this is all good news. I spend half my time in the street anyway, trying to avoid people, and this is going to make things a whole lot better.

Temporary bike/walking lanes

The cleaning lady is coming today, and I'm so excited! But that meant a wee bit of tidying up. It wasn't a whole lot that had to be done considering that she hasn't been here in months. I got a few more quilts on the Princess and the Pea bed! I wonder how much weight that bed frame will take?

Anyway - this quilt is in the current issue of Quiltmaker. I don't have my copy yet, but you can find the quilt it there. Perhaps, I'll have to take a walk and get a copy today. WAIT - it's too hot to walk this afternoon. But this week. Check out the link to see my quilt in one of the photos.

My bicycle quilt

Not sure if you can see in this photo, but I quilted bicycles on the quilt. It looks great in person!!!

Bicycles in the quilting design
 Here's two more of my purchases from Lens Mill last week. Holy - this one is amazing. It's tough to tell where the darn swatch is! It's a good match. I was pleased with that purchase.

Great swatch matching
This one wasn't as successful. But that's OK. I've got a plan on how I'm going to make this work. You'll have to wait for that. 

The fabric match wasn't that successful

I dug through the laundry basket that I'm supposed to be finding a home for everything in it. I found 4 Christmas panels. Any takers? They are free, or they are going in the giveaway box.

Four Christmas panels

I also found a big hunk of green fabric and two skeins of embroidery floss. Was I going to embroider on those panels and then make cushions? I don't know, but the fabric and floss are in their respective homes. The panels are in the giveaway box unless someone wants them.

Fabric and floss

I also found a WHITE T-shirt. Why?? I wouldn't ever wear a white T-shirt. I'll put it with the things to embroider. I can embroider on it, but I won't wear it!

White T-shirt
 There are still a few things in that laundry basket. A little bit each day! I'm OK with that.

I have to share this backyard with you. This is my friend Karen. She moved into this townhouse late last year. I've always admired Karen's gardens in her previous two houses. They are so beautiful. So here's a picture of her backyard. Not impressive and pretty darn unappealing. She has already started some work. I couldn't find the picture before she started.

Karen's ugly backyard
Starting work on the backyard

Look at it now!!!! She had some guys help her with the deck, but she basically did all the rest herself. She's a fantastic person and if you think I'm a busy person? Well, Karen puts me to shame!

Karen's NEW backyard

It took her two months to get it in shape. I'm impressed.

Yesterday was an exciting mail day. I found this box on the front step. Oh, good - it's my fabric. Nope - that's two quilts that were being returned to me. I send these quilts out, and then I forget all about them. I need lists!!!

Two quilts that got returned

Then the doorbell ran again. AHA - this is the package with the fabric. This is part of the quilt that needs to be in the US by July 7. I shall cut this up, so it's ready to go when the rest arrives!!! Nothing like cutting it short!!!

Package of fabric

On that note, I've got paperwork to do, another quilt is loaded on the long arm, and well, deadlines are looming!

Don't' forget the Virtual Retreat on Saturday, June 13, and Sunday, June 14. I'll be posting the links for the Zoom meeting tomorrow. You can join for all day or just pop in to say HI!!! I can't wait to see who joins this time. I had so many comments from people - "I had a great time, I don't know why I didn't join earlier." So here's your chance. Just pop in to stay for a while - you don't have to work, you don't have to entertain. Just listen to the chatter or just sit and talk. It's a lot of fun, and I'm learning how to get a lot done while I chat online. I LOVE it.

On that note, I'm out of here!!!

Have a super day!!!


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