Friday, December 6, 2019

Giving to the pets

At one point, not long ago, I said that I wanted to get all those scraps (destined for pet mats) cleaned up by the end of the year. I'm not sure if that's exactly what I said, but I would like to get rid of them. End of the year? I'm trying.

To backtrack - several years ago, I decided it was a good idea to make pet mats using up the scraps from cutting and trims squares - not HUGE hunks of fabric as some are want to believe! Simple scraps. I put a plea out to the quilting world for scraps. Oh boy - that was a mistake - I got everything but the kitchen sink.  NOTE - this is NOT a plea. I will NEVER NEVER NEVER do that again. If I want something, I'm going to be extremely specific about what I want and even then, people hear what they want to hear and totally ignore the original request. But I digress.

SO - a huge pile of bags and boxes starting arriving at my door or at guild meetings and before I knew it, I was saddled with a huge mess. I've been whittling at the pile over the years, but nothing serious. With my little decluttering tirade, I'm tackling this mess. There are five zippered IKEA bags of scraps (all the zippers are closed and not bursting), as well as five big tubs (which I plan to get rid of when they are empty).  The IKEA bags are in the cold room and the tubs are under the stairs in the basement. It's all tucked away, nice and neat, but I want that space. I don't want to put anything there - I don't have anything to put in those spots. I just want the areas to be clean.

I also inherited a LARGE, heavy box of decorator samples. The world is FILLED with these samples. I can't even begin to imagine the waste these samples bring to the landfill sites. It's HUGE and all because we want some pretty fabric in our houses.

Through the years, if I didn't have pillowcases, I sewed some of the samples together and made the pet mat to put the scraps in. Well - it's time to clean out that darn box.

The box with the decorator samples

I sorted through everything - mostly by size. There were a few odds and ends that I had thrown in the box as well.

The samples are sorted

Some of the samples were too small or too large to make one pet mat on their own. They had to be joined and then cut down. But there was very little measuring involved here. Soon I had three bundles that after being sewn together would make two pet mats per each bundle.

Bundles to be serged together for pet mats
Then before I knew it, I had six pet mats done - well the bag is done - they still need to be turned and filled.

Six bags for the pet mats - DONE
 I found several pieces of yardage. Some were 1-meter cuts and some were larger. Hmm - I don't really need these and I know of a group of women that use pretty much anything so I put these in a bag (that I pulled from my "easy to assess" bag storage area) and put the yardages into the bag to be delivered later. These would make good tote bags or gift bags or toiletry bags - I'm not sure what they make. Not my concern. Consider this GONE!

Yardages of fabric
I found this lone piece of orange fabric. It's not big - about 12" square. Because it's orange, I decided to keep it so I need to find a use for it. Any suggestions??? I might some machine embroidery on it. But what to put on it?????

Orange fabric sample that I'll keep

I also found this table topper. It's cut out, but not hemmed. I decided to keep that as well - only because I want to practice making a rolled hem. It'll be perfect for that!  Should anyone want it when I'm done - you're welcome to it!

A table topper piece to practice a rolled hem
I had even stuffed a couple of my own pieces in this box. This was something that M pieced years ago. I think it was to be a mat for the dogs or a quilt for her dolls. Oh well - it's now one side of a pet mat. Seriously????  I didn't get the least bit sentimental. Why? It's nothing special. I took a picture  - I'm blogging about it and acknowledging it, but then it's time to move on!! I know she won't be broken up about it. And now some kitty cat is going to have a nice bed to sleep on. The bottom line - this piece is now going to be USED. Let's move on from being sentimental. I love you M and you're welcome that I'm cleaning up the mess now.

M's piece doll quilt is now part of a pet mat

Once I got all the small pieces used (because I did!!!!),  I was left with two piles of samples. The pile on the right which I'll show you in a minute and the pile on the left. The pile on the left is the perfect size to make zippered pouches and I know someone who would love them to do just that. So that's in the pile to be delivered. Yeah!!!!!

Two piles of samples left
The pile on the right are HUGE pieces. Mostly florals - does anyone still decorate with all those flowers????  These must be old - I can't imagine having this in my house. Oops - sorry if you have florals in your house. Couldn't the prints have been funky geometric prints? Then they would have made great modern totes or something. Anyway - I'm digressing again!!

I counted these - there are 71 HUGE sample pieces (about 24" square). For the moment, I've put them back under the stairs. At some point, they'll also be assembled into pet mats unless someone out there is desperate for huge floral samples. For the moment, I now have a nice collection of pet mats that I can fill.

HUGE sample pieces

I was in desperate need to make some bags as my scrap box on the cutting table is a tad overflowing. Just a wee bit.

The scrap box on the cutting table 

And the serger waste tray is jammed.

The serger waste tray is jammed

But look at the table from when I started. By the way - I started on Giving Tuesday right after all the pillowcase sewists left the house. All that's left is my orange scrap and the piece for practicing the rolled hem. All that technically got put back in storage were those big pieces, but they are organized and I know what's there. Everything else got dealt with!!!  Now if that doesn't excite you - well, nothing will. I'm jumping up and down knowing that one more piece of that mess is under control.

I don't know why, but I love taking scraps and making something from them. It's just my nature and I can't help it. I'm sure my family roots has a HUGE influence on me. This is one "set" of pieces that went together to make three mats. After I sewed them together, I realized that each row would make a good-sized mat (folded in half) so I cut them apart again. There's no finesse to these mats which honestly is a great thing. I don't worry about matching colors - I don't worry about matching sizes (if it's too big, I serge off the excess). I don't worry about pressing or flipping seams. In fact, it's rather therapeutic.

One of my wonky pieces made with lots of scraps

I seriously doubt if the cats are going to care what they get to sleep on as long as it's something fabric related.

Here's one more scrappy panel that I made. Again - I realized after I serged it together that each row was good on its own. I even looked at it before I serged it together. Once it was together, I cut it apart. DUH!!!! There are days!!!!  Hey - did you notice that I made a 9-patch??? I made a tote bag (years ago) with that blue floral. I have no idea why - it's ugly as sin, but it's a great tote bag. There are no scraps left. I used them all and that feels great!!!!

One more wonky piece

All that remains are these 7 bundles to serge together to make pet mats. Once those 7 bundles are together, I'll have lots of pet mat bags to work with and that'll make it easier (and faster) when I start going through the tubs and bags of scraps to get some pet mats made up before the end of the year. I have a lot of other stuff to do before the end of the year, but seriously - I have to get this under control. I'm very careful now about what I wish for!!! These bundles are NOT scrappy like the previous two, so they should be very fast to serge together.

Seven bundles to sew together

In case you're wonder what Studio B looks like these days (it doesn't take long for me to fill those tables), it's a mess. But these are things that I'm currently working on. Yep - all of it.

I took two pictures to show you. This one is boring.

The work in progress tables
But with the new camera (in my Samsung Galaxy s10) and the wide-angle lens, you get a shot like this which I think is way more exciting. The mess is actually not that bad - there are currently five machines on the table. I haven't had a chance to put them away yet and I might not until I have to as I'm using them. Well, I'm using the two sewing machines and one serger. I could put the other two sergers away.

The table from a bird's eye view

I also emptied an IKEA bag (filled with projects) that was stored upstairs. It's time to get working on those UFOs before the end of the year. If I could STOP doing all this paperwork, I might get to the sewing machine. Today is a sewing day and a quilting day. I have a custom quilt on the machine and I need to get that off today.

I found this pile of fabric in the IKEA bag. Why was it there?? I've no idea, but I sure could have used that when I was making my North Star quilt. Sigh......   That's why things shouldn't be taken out of their home place - like the appropriate basket of fabric. Anyway - it's on the cutting table so later today, it'll go into the appropriate fabric basket. Gosh - I wondered why I had nothing in this color range. Because it was hiding somewhere else!!!

Bundle of fabric found!

Don't forget the craft sale at The Hobby Horse. I sorted through my finished things and took up some quilts and zippered pouches and other stuff. Here's one of the quilts that went up. It's a mermaid panel with a side border. It's got a hanging sleeve so could be used as a wall hanging or you could use it for a quilt. It's up for sale!!!  Quilted on the long arm by me.

Mermaid panel for sale

And a couple of zippered pouches that I made.

Zippered pouches

The sale runs today from 10 AM - 7:30 PM, Saturday during store hours and Sunday during store hours. Be sure to check it out. YES - you could make your own gifts, but you know you're not going to get them done - go and see what's available.

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

Have a super day!!!!



  1. I love that nothing from your studio goes into the landfill!!! I save all my trashy scrap for a girlfriend who makes doggie mats. Last week I handed over 3!!! 2 gallon bags that were stuffed!!!!! As of now, I have another half full.

    I am one who keeps batting scrap 4" wide to make frakenbatts! It just takes seconds to zigzag together. Monday I used up 4 pieces for a baby quilt :-)

    So satisfying NOT to put fiber in the landfill.

    Cheers Elaine!!

    1. Elle -- Now you've peaked my curiosity. Frakenbatts??? Do tell.......

    2. Elaine, I save all batting pieces at least 4" wide. I straighten the edges then, using my walking foot, hold 2 strips together and do a very wide zigzag. This way only narrow strips of batting go into my doggie mat bag for my friend, and I get more mileage out of my $$ for batting in quilts. I generally use these for smaller kiddo quilts rather than bed size.

    3. Awesome - thanks for that!!!! Great idea. That's what the lady who got my donated bag of scraps is going to do!!!! I've got a lot on my plate at the moment, so if someone else wants those smaller bits - I'm happy to give them to her. Then I don't end up with tons to use in jelly rolls rugs.