Monday, January 30, 2012

Wanna See What I've been up to ?

There is so much talk about fabric scraps on the internet. I see it on blogs, in Yahoo groups and even on the Facebook groups. What size should I cut? How small of a piece of fabric should I keep before I just throw it away? Whats the best way to store your scraps? How do you store your scraps? On and on the questions go.

I personally do not throw anything away. I resew the small under 1.5 inches into squares. Anything not usable as a scrap(the trimmings from blocks, cut threads, batting that cant be used for anything.) I stuff in to a bag until I get enough to make a pillow. Here is a bolster that is completely stuffed with the unusable bits.

Here is a few of the blocks I've made using fabric smaller that 1.5 inches. Yes I did throw in a few bigger pieces, but that was only when I didnt have enough to finish the block. These are all 6.5 inches. Most bits used in these are from trimming things down or trimming the end of a yard of fabric, etc.

These are my small bits yet to be sewn into blocks.

There are many, many followers of Bonnie Hunter that are using her Scrap Users System. I am a huge fan of Bonnie and am trying to make my own usable scrap system based on hers. Here is what I have done. I collect used Ice Cream Buckets from Freecycle. I store all my different size squares and tiny scraps in these buckets.

They are easily stacked and stored out of the way in a closet.

I do keep my 1.5 inch squares in a square container purchased at the dollar store. This box is constantly emptying because I participate in many trades to build the variety I have to make my Postage Stamp quilt someday. Still need alot of these.

Here are all the sizes of blocks I have cut so far. I just cut the biggest size I can get from a scrap. Then I keep cutting squares until I cant do anymore out of the scrap.

2 inch
 2.5 inch
3 inch
3.5 inch
4 inch
4.5 inch
5 inch
6.5 inch

These are some of my strings. Still working on organizing them. These are all sizes that would work for string blocks. 

I have all of the 1.5, 2.5, and 4.5 inch strings folded up and put into tissue boxes that I have taken off the top. When they are neatly folded I can fit about 40 in then and be able to see the colors available to me. 

Boring I know but I just had to show. I like to recycle things and I have read other using meat trays and old cookie trays and those plastic containers that special lettuces and fruits come in. Ill show you one way and Im sure others will come up with 100 other ways. That is what makes all of us unique. Sooooo, thanks for visiting my little show of storage...LOL

How do you store your scraps?

Friday, January 27, 2012

Below you will see my very first attempts at Free Motion Quilting. Remember back on January 7th, I shared with you about  the sites that where doing FMQ alongs. Well I have been procrastinating for weeks now and finally took the plunge. After a few starts and stops these are what I finally came out with. There is much improvement yet to be had. 
This is my attempt at Stippling. This is the front view.

This is the back view. 

See those places where I put the word "here"? Those are places where my machine skipped stitches. I don't know why that happened and hoping someone will have a suggestion on how to fix it.

This one is my attempt at circling around everywhere. It is horrible.

Here is the view from the backside.

I have alot of practicing yet to do to make these two presentable. I will be taking the lessons slower that they are actually doing on the two blogging lessons. I am having trouble getting my head, hands and foot to all go at the same speed and where I want them to do...LOL So back to the sewing machine I go.

Hope you are having better luck than I am!!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Crabapple Top Finally Finished - Yeah

Well its official. I finished my Bonnie Hunter Crabapple quilt. Those little 1.5 in pieces where tough for me until I figured out my problem. I didn't have a true 1/4 in seam. Ugh. So had to go back and resew alot of these. But that is all behind me now...woohoo.

 My Dad's jaw completely fell to the floor when he saw what I made...LOL. A true mind blowing reaction!! Wonderful!! Without further ado, here it is...

I have to find me a reasonable Long Arm Quilter to get this finished.

This is such a beautiful quilt. I am going to have to make myself one. I have to thank Bonnie Hunter for coming up with this beautiful pattern. It fits our family both in beauty and in storytelling. You can find this quilt in Adventures with Leaders and Enders .

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Giveaway – Resolved to Sew 2012

Oh my, what fabulous prizes await the lucky winners over at.. 
I would be happy recieving any of the prizes being offered. There are two chances to win, the main drawing and the bloggers drawing. Hop on over and check it all out.

My resolutions for 1012 are to learn how to free motion quilt so I can finish all these tops I have. I also have joined in a few follow alongs for the year to use up my scraps. I am trying to get my scrap system under control…WHAT?…LOL. Will that ever happen? Oh and one more thing. I need to finish the quilt I have made for my dad, he has cancer. So those are my resolutions for 2012.  Leave me a comment and let me know what are your resolutions.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Gifty from a Quild Member

I put out a request for scraps at my quilt guild. That is the Silver Thimble Quilt Guild. I was gifted a huge bag back in November, but haven't been able to do anything with the bag. Today I sat down and started cutting squares. I am desperately in need of 1.5 squares so that I can make the pieced border for my Dad's Crabapple quilt. Got alot of 1.5, 2.5, and 3.5 squares cut. As I went digging deeper in the bag I found a bunch of these...

These are not your typical

I thought about these for days and finally tried to sew them together the way I thought they would go. Lo and Behold, they came out just like I thought. 

A cute little circle!! 

Now I have to figure out how to make a square to be able to put them together in a quilt. I am going to go with scrappy circle centers. Not sure yet how many I will end up with. This one goes along with the Sew Scrap Along. Using up those scraps. 

I love scraps. I don't throw away any scraps. I keep all of them and eventually have enough to fill  a pillow. Quilty Pillows stuffed with left over batting, unsewable (is that a word?) scraps and threads. What a way to recycle!!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Scraptacular Picnic Quilt - Pieced backing

Here is the backing I was able to come up with. Not perfect, but hey its mine!! Still think I need to learn to take better pictures. Hahaha.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Things I Have Been Working on This Week

I have been a busy busy beaver this week. I haven't been able to sew for quite a while due to a tear in my shoulder and then having to have surgery back at the beginning of December. I couldn't stand it any longer and have been furiously sewing for days. I have had to ice my shoulder but it is holding up pretty well. I am so happy as I was missing sewing so badly. Below are a few more things I have been working on.

1. I made some more houses for the Scrappy House Leap Year Quilt. I am still a few behind but I figured out the best way to chain piece them. I can get 4 done in a 30 min sitting. I should be able to get caught back up quickly.

2. 2012 Monthly Challenge at FabLoversSwap . This month we were to make a cover for our sewing machine or serger, etc. So I went looking online and this is the one HERE that I decided to make. I did however modify mine a little as it seemed to be a bit short. I added a ruffle to mine.

3. I joined in the Rainbow Swap over at Strawberry Patch Ramblings . I chose to do two spots. We are to send in 56 5x5 charms to swap and you get back 55 different charms. Did  you see that? 55 DIFFERENT Charms, all in the colors of the rainbow. I was assigned green and yellow.

4. The other thing I have been working on is my free motion quilting. I am having a time of it learning how to move the fabric at the same time as I sew. ugh. It is definitely a learning curve. I am embarrassed to show what it looks like. I will have to work up the nerve. That will be a post for another time.

As I said a busy beaver is me. So I am off to get the binding finished on some more pot holders and watch a movie with the hubby. Night all!!

Scraptacular Picnic Quilt - Take Two

After reading all the comments about the last border on this quilt, I finally decided to take the last border off and replace it with the yummy yellow fabric. I intend to use the other border to make a binding to finish off the quilt. I think this is much better, don't you agree?

 I also am working on making my first pieced backing for this quilt. I had one block left over when I was piecing the quilt. I also have the unused border, so I am trying to decide on how I will design the back. Thank you everyone for your wonderful and kind opinions. I auditioned alot of your suggestions and found that the yellow just makes it pop. I can't wait to finally have this one finished. It is going to be a much used quilt, I am sure of it.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Sew Scraps Along - Scraptacular Picnic Quilt

Sooooo, I have been following the posts on Pleasant Home. I joined the Sew Scraps Along. In the first week Jodi has talked about All Things Patchwork and Postage Stamp. I liked the look of her Scraptacular Picnic Quilt and followed the tutorial at Freida's Hive. I made my center much smaller and used several boarders. I have to admit tho, I'm not sure I like the last border. I guess its OK, but I wanted to get some opinions before I go ahead and stitch-in-the-ditch this one up to completion. I think if I keep the last boarder I will bind it with the same yellow I used in the first border. So please feel free to post comments below.

I know, don't laugh, I'm not the best picture taker. Gotta find somewhere better to get good pics.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A Baby's Quilt and Potholders

The past couple of days have been very productive for me. My sewing area is completely cleaned. I am steadily organizing. I have been surfing the net looking for creative and unique ideas for quilty/sewing storage. So many really cute and ingenious ideas. I need to utilize my pinterest account so I can keep track of all the wonderful ideas. I want it all so I can have the Perfect sewing area!! Will have to take my time.

While I'm taking my time I want to share with you my latest top finished. It started with those cute colored blocks with the black in the center. These 8 blocks were left over from a swap I did. I wanted to used them so they were not just laying around any longer and this is the creation I came up with. The original blocks were 6.5in. I traced a template to get the butterflies and this was born. It is the perfect size for a baby. I need to applique to butterflies and then I will gift this to the ladies in my guild who quilt so that it can be donated to the local Catholic Women's Home for Pregnant Moms. Such a cute quilt!

(The yellow is my design wall color)

The two pictures below are potholders that I finally finished. The first is from a set and I have about 5 more of these to make. The second one is made from scraps. I just can't let a good scrap go!! Here is my remake of several fabrics.We are rough on our potholders and these scrappy ones are always put to good use.

My challenges for the next few days...

1. Finish my Sewing Machine Cover
2. Make my scrappy picnic quilt for the Sew Scraps A Long
3. Quilt and Bind two Christmas table runners.
4. Keep leader/endering the pieced boarder for Dad's quilt.

What are you up to the rest of the week?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Crabapple Quilt - Bonnie Hunter

My work for Sunday!! Whew, this took some time. I hope to get the boarders done today. Gotta get on the pieceing of the 1.5 border. This is coming out beautiful.

I think that Dad will be quite please with this quilt.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Quilt for My Dad

My dad has had a rough couple of years health wise. Because of his health and medications he is on, he tends to stay cold all the time. So I have decided to make him a quilt. After a few months of looking for just the right quilt to make for him, I came across the Crabapple quilt by Bonnie Hunter. The pattern is in her book Adventures with Leaders and Enders. So I purchased a copy and have been sewing together a gazillion little 1.5 in squares. I sewed the 25 blocks needed to make this quilt today as part of the Stitching Bee over at Stashbuilders.

Tomorrow I hope to get all the sashing and corner stones cut and the top put together. Depending on how long that takes I will be aiming to get the boarders on the quilt as well.

I have to share with you, the name of this quilt will be memorable for my family as my maiden name is Crabtree. When I was growing up, the kids would torment me by calling me crabapple. This is exactly what happened to my dad and siblings. So when this quilt is finally finished it will be called the Crabtree quilt.

Free Motion Quilting

Here are two Free Motion Quilting Challenges/Follow-alongs that I plan to keep up with for the year of 2012.I have a ton of flimsies that I can't afford to send out to a Long Arm Quilter.

I have run across, through my meandering blog world, several post about the Quilt As You Go Free Motion Quilt My Life Project. There will be a post each month HERE outlining a new quilting motif for you to try on your sewing machine. I plan to follow along and try out each motif per month.

Also I found this Free Motion Quilting challenge. Check back HERE each month for updates to this challenge.

Perhaps I will be able to translate these motifs from these two challenges to some of the tops I have and finish these babies myself.

Click the buttons on the left to bring you to the first post of each one. You will find  all the information you  need to follow along as well as occasional opportunities to win Quilty Treasures. This is going to be a huge learning curve for me. Wish me luck!!

Friday, January 6, 2012

New Years Eve Quilt

Tada!! Here is the finished quilt. I myself am not sure of the fabrics but my mother loves it. Thanks Ann Smith for a wonderful quilt yet again!!

Im not sure how to finish it. What color boaders to use or should I just leave it as it is without any borders? I guess I am going to have leave this one out and stew over how to finish it. I am pretty sure I will be able to finish this one myself by stitching in the ditch. The finished size without boarders is 50x70. I would greatly appreciate some ideas. Thanks.

Here is a better picture of the fabrics.

This is also a finished Thursday and Friday goal during a Stitching Bee here at Yahoo Group Stashbuilders . Saturday and Sunday I will be working on my fathers quilt. More about that tomorrow.