Scrap organization

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This week I did two things: work on organizing one of my scrap bins and worked on quilting a block or two of a really simple baby quilt.

The baby quilt is just 16 10″ blocks all sewed together. They were leftover from my summer quilt here. I found a large floral for the backing which frankly, hadn’t inspired me for anything but a quilt back.

Quilt I'm working on this week.

For each block, I’m quilting a different design, working my way through Free-Motion Quilting with Angela Walters. When I need a break from the computer and desk work, I just move myself downstairs to the sewing room and quilt a block or two. That’s usually long enough for a readjustment. (mentally, physically) Although, one day this week I had a scheduled call and almost forgot to go back upstairs. I was just about to quilt another block but decided to check on work instead. Good thing I did!

I should just call this my @angelafmq sampler quilt ... ;) every block is a design from her first book.

I did quilt about half the blocks this week.

For the scraps, I lugged a big bin upstairs near my desk. For short break, I just wander over and fondle fabric for a bit. I mean.. carefully go through the pile and sort.

Still sorting scraps. Kicking myself but glad I got rid of another scrap bin already.

It’s a bit overwhelming but eventually I made decisions based on the kind of scraps I had – not trying to fit in someone else’s system.

Then I had to clean some up because the husband wanted to sweep the floor. Crazy guy. So I took some piles to the sewing room to sort further.

Don't be fooled, it only looks organized and like I know what I'm doing.

Turns out I have a lot of strips and some blocks. I tried not to trim too much, just to even things out. Anything bigger than a fat quarter of course was not a scrap. Anything slightly less than that I called a chunk and also set aside. I figured there was no point cutting up larger chunks into preset sizes if I wanted to do something else with them.

So, that left me with the rest.

I sorted strips into under 2.5″ to 1″ and short medium long piles. Medium anything over 12″, long was selvedge to selvedge or near enough. If I had to fold it to pile it on my cutting board, it was long.

I also had a pile for 2.5″ strips and a pile 3″ or wider.

For squares, I sorted two piles – 2.5″ or 3″ squares, then 4″ or larger.

Anything smaller than any of those was a snippet. If it was really long I placed it in a strings bag. The bag of string is going to my mom, because she loves making string quilts, and I don’t.

I have other fabrics sorted by color and felt for my scraps, sorting by size made more sense *for me* because that was how I chose fabrics for quilts – by what I had, not by what colors.

Organized scraps

I did spend a large chunk of Friday and Saturday ironing and trimming scraps. It sounds a little obsessive but I feel so organized! And so ready to make a pile of new quilts, just based on what is there.

I even – oopsie – started piecing Scrapper’s Delight out of Sunday Morning Quilts.

My overriding goal here is to actually build a new stash by using up what I can with the stash I have. The stash is more a reflection of what was cheap / found in thrift stores & yard sales and stuff my mom didn’t want, to build up my stash. I just took some fabrics because they were cheap / free. A lot of it doesn’t actually reflect my taste, so. There we are.

(I will say I do have a drawer full of fabrics that are more reflective of my tastes, but I haven’t used much of them yet. That’s why most of the scraps are not really me – I used the fabrics I only sort of liked first, to use them up. And in this sorting, I’m ditching fabrics I really do not like.)

So… how about you? How do you sort and organize your fabrics? What do you do with your scraps?

More Rock Candy quilt table toppers and Hex n more ruler

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I have been on fire this week with piecing and quilting – all small projects and of course new ones.

I decided to try out the Rocky Candy pattern using a scrap I had forever that was a gradient solid. I just cut strips I needed, then the diamonds from that. The triangles and borders I purposely cut from the darker end of the fabric. This was a really wide strip too, about 60″ long. No idea where it came from.

So I kinda pieced the #rockcandyquilt table topper today. Fabric is some gradient blue strip I had from somewhere.

After the piecing, I got inspired by the quilting on the cover (done by Angela Walters, naturally) and since it had been a while, I went to town on it to get back into the groove, I used a gradient grey thread I had. I wanted the quilting to be noticed.

Quilted and ready to finish binding.

Some more of the leftover strip for the binding. I was actually pretty impressed with how it turned out.

For the second one, I had set aside some blue fat quarters that were wintery or Christmassy. I had a specific idea in mind for how I would lay out the fabrics and cut out different amounts of the diamonds accordingly.

Same #rockcandyquilt pattern different fabrics and arrangement.

Then it was just a matter of making sure I sewed them together according to the layout I wanted.

Another #rockcandyquilt topper for Still Winter.

While I was playing around with these, I realized that the pointy end of each triangle piece of the table topper was similar to the Hex N More ruler. I bet Julie did that on purpose. 😉

I quickly came up with an idea for a table topper using the largest gem size and picked out some rainbow solids.

Now with borders! Somehow I stretched the seams so it won't lay flat and it's cut the border first time and well...

Sorry for the very poor yellow – I’m really low on yellow in my stash since I use so much and I’m trying not to buy too much fabric. And for the background and border, I had mis-cut one of the strips too narrow so I had to cut them all down because I was out of this black fabric. (again, a scrap pice. I have a HUGE stash of scraps.)

When I looked at the image after I posted it online, I realized two gems made a heart shape, so I had another idea and pulled some pink fabrics, which I am also short on. I’ the mom of three girls and have 3 granddaughters – I’m always running out of pink fabrics.

The two gems looked like hearts so I had to try this.

I think I’ll write up a free tutorial for the gem topper if there is interest.