Friday, January 16, 2015

A Funny Thing Happened...

...on the way to a distraction. I got distracted.

The other day I was reading blogs and perusing Pinterest to get my quilting engines revved up, when I spotted this quilt on Pinterest:

Obviously, I HAD to pin it. I stared at it for a little while, trying to piece out the easiest way to make a similar one. But that took too much brain power so I moved on to some blogs. All the while I'm wasting time savoring a peppermint mocha and reading, I know I should get busy on the list of quilts that I just publicly committed to finish! That's when I clicked on Pat Sloan's blog and read this post:

Seriously, I've been wanted to make a postage stamp quilt in the worst way! I haven't ever started one because I was afraid I would be overwhelmed by all those little blocks. But the way she's got it coming together looks so doable! So off I scurried to find a background fabric and the perfect scraps. (At this point, that recently published list of finishes was the furthest thing from my mind.) I found this great cream fabric with tiny brown dots (dots - just like Pat Sloan encouraged us to use!). The fabric looked "fall-ish" to me, so I decided to look for brown, green, orange and gold scraps for a warm, fall quilt. I  whipped this block out in record time:

I was flying high! This is going to be a fabulous quilt. So I take off to find green scraps and while digging around, I pulled a big handful of these out of the bottom of a bin:

These are the arm cut-out pieces from some of the 400 little kids aprons I blogged about here. I was pulling them out of the bin, thinking this will be great - I can get a 2-1/2" square out of each. Otherwise, I can't imagine what I could ever do with all these half-curved squares. Suddenly I stopped dead in my tracks and remembered the quilt I had pinned earlier. For that quilt, I would need a bunch of circles cut into quarters and randomly sewn back together for a scrappy look. OR......I could use these already-cut quarter circles.

I dropped that postage stamp block like someone had blown their nose on it and started sewing quarter circles together. So far, I've got almost enough blocks to make a child's sized quilt. Of course, I had to finish a few blocks and sew them together to see how it's going to look:

Right now, it looks a little more messy than scrappy. But I'm counting on the magic of "scrappy" to pull it all together in the end. I can't wait to see it finished. And then I'm going to get right back on that postage stamp quilt...or my list of finishes.

I hope. ;)

Monday, January 5, 2015

Another group to join

I plan on participating in the 2015 Finish-A-Long (FAL). I think posting my intentions is the best way to keep myself humming along and using up my stash. With this group, you post a list of quilt projects to finish each quarter.

My first quarter list has 10 projects on it.

The first one above is the Aurifil Designer Block of the Month from last year. I was zooming along just fine, completing each month until month 9 when I created this mess:

The 2 fabrics that make up the stripes shooting out from the star blocks are supposed to look like 2 different fabrics. And then I pretty much nipped all the points off the stars. I just got frustrated with this block and gave it (and the project) the boot! The thing is, that I really like the way the quilt was looking through block 8. So I'm going to try and fix this.

Then I have 2 rail fence quilts cut from Dr Suess' The Lorax fabric.

Next to them are the fabrics I have bundled to make a wall hanging of houses. It will have a Mediterranean feel (I hope).

Row 2 starts with a Disappearing 4-patch.

Next is a Paddington Bear quilt I'm making for my sweet 1-year-old grandson.

The 3rd one in that row is a scrappy kid's quilt (the quilt is scrappy - not the kid).

Last in row 2 is a Summer in the Park partial quilt top. I followed Missouri Star Quilt Co.'s tutorial for this one.

The bottom 2 are scrappy quilt tops that have been completed for a while, but need to be sandwiched, quilted and bound.

I probably should get busy!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Joining groups

To keep me on track and accountable, I'll be joining some quilt along groups. The first is A Lovely Year of Finishes (ALYoF) run by Melissa of Sew BitterSweet Designs and Shanna of Fiber of All Sorts. This is a monthly finish group.

I have selected the following project to complete in the month of January. It's a small quilt and should be an easy finish - seems like a good idea to set myself up for success this first month!

It's a Disappearing 4-patch that I did a couple of years ago. I finished it up in a bit of a rush and the quilting on it was awful. I'm not talking a few uneven stitches or some squared up curves. My tension was off, the front was a terrible mess and the back was full of eyelashes.

Shortly after I finished it, I sat down for a couple of evenings and ripped out all the quilting and then never went back and re-quilted it. What?!?!! I have no excuse. That's just ridiculous!

So this month I'll make it right when I turn this bound sandwich into a real, live quilt!

Friday, January 2, 2015

The first one I see

I've decided to start with a couple of kid's quilts. To avoid long hours spent trying to pick fabrics, I told myself I would use the first whimsical print I came across. I opened a box and right near the top was a stack of Dr Suess' The Lorax fabrics.

I have enough to do 2 rail fence quilts.  I'll divide the prints and use two in each quilt, along with some coordinating solids so the blocks don't get too busy.

Here are 2 sample blocks and the cut fabrics for the first quilt..

Each rail fence block will finish at 8" square. There will be 42 blocks in a 6 X 7 block layout. I cut 4 rails for each block, measuring 2-1/2" X 8-1/2. And I'll use the 2 prints in every block, varying the solids to keep it more interesting.  So here's what I cut:

  (42) 2-1/2" X 8-1/2" red print
  (42) 2-1/2" X 8-1/2" blue print
  (28) 2-1/2" X 8-1/2" orange solid
  (28) 2-1/2" X 8-1/2" yellow solid
  (28) 2-1/2" X 8-1/2" green solid

This quilt should finish at about 48" X 56 ".

Thursday, January 1, 2015

I seriously thought it would be a lot

I have somewhere north of a gazillion yards of fabric. Occasionally I buy more. Usually, I just stare at my stash and tell myself I really need to use what I have (isn't that the quilter's mantra?). Mine is so ridiculously big that when my daughter asked me to make aprons for the little kids at the Head Start where she is the director, I jumped at the opportunity without even considering how many she needed. I was intent on whittling down my enormous pile of fabric.

I searched for inspiration and free apron tutorials on the internet and came up with a simple full (and reversible) apron that would use up 2 fat quarters per apron. I whipped one up, mailed it to her and waited patiently for her response.

She loved it and said, "can you make me about 400?" (...crickets chirping...)

Then I did the math - 400 aprons, 2 FQs each = 200 yards! YES! Certainly that'll reduce my stash to few measly scraps. So with the help of a fabulous group of ladies I completed the task and, unfortunately.........

.......did very little damage to my stash!

However, I remain determined. So this is my blog about scrap quilting and using up my stash. I'll be posting lots of scrappy inspiration, some tutorials and maybe a little babbling :) and I'd love to hear your thoughts and ideas along the way!