“I May Have a Scrap Problem” July wrap up

DD and the Grandboys spent a little over a week here at the beginning of July. DD was in the mood to sew, and sew is just what we did… twenty blocks later (with a bit of help from the Grandboys, especially Older Grandson; and even Grandad sewed a little) we had enough for the central part of a new quilt.

spider web detail

We also sewed the equivalent of seven yards of 4.5-5.5″ strips together to make a border.

In the week after they left, I sewed the blocks into rows, and the rows into a flimsy. I then added a solid inner border and the pieced outer border. Because I had learnt to do Y seams while making Attic Window blocks, I was very brave and decided to mitre the corners of the border! It turned out quite well, if I do say so myself! (No the strips aren’t meant to match at the seams — we used strips of varying widths randomly)

Spider Web mitred corner

So, may I present, for your viewing pleasure, our team effort — the flimsy that will soon become our Spider Web Quilt.

Spider Web flimsy

Sarah, of Confessions of a Fabric Addict, didn’t run the “I May Have a Scrap Problem” challenge this month but I’m still pleased with our response to the challenge I set myself. My goal, at the beginning of July, was to use scraps instead of storing them — the container has gone from filled almost to overflowing, to looking quite bare! All the strips that remain are under 5″ so I will have think of a different project for them!

How about you? What have you been doing with your scraps?

See you soon with a knitting-based post (shock!)

In the meantime, may your stitches bring you much joy.
Lynne

 

“I May Have a Scrap Problem” July goals

This month I would like to focus my scrap goals on actually using some of my scraps rather than storing them. DD and the Grandsons are here with us for ten days (school holidays) which has helped me focus my attention.

Last time they were here, I promised the boys we would make ‘spider web’ blocks. The blocks looked complicated so I read several tutorials online and have modified what I learnt to suit my needs.

My plastic shoe box of these scraps was neatly packed with piles of ironed strips but we’ve already started on the blocks so the container has been tumbled a few times. This is what it looks like after two days of sewing. We’ve made seven and a half blocks so far; with twelve and a half to go.

9 july 2016 less than 6 inch strips in use     9 july 2016 less than 6 inch strips in use 2

Sarah, of Confessions of a Fabric Addict blog, is not running the scrap challenge this month due to her commitments with the “12 Days of Christmas” blog hop but I want to stay in the groove, so to speak. It may be summer in the northern hemisphere but it’s a cold, wet winter (so far) here in NSW (Australia) — perfect weather for staying inside and sewing.

What about you? Are you taking a summer break from sewing or are you pressing on, regardless of the weather?

Whatever the temperature, may your stitches bring you much joy.
Lynne

 

“I May Have a Scrap Problem” June goals check-up

Confessions Of A Fabric Addict

I’m linking this post with the end of month ‘reality check’ post over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict as I revisit my June goals.

In my post at the beginning of the month I listed my three goals as follows:

  1. to press, cut and store the mound of scraps currently on the spare ironing board
  2. to deal with the box of long strips — find a new home for them, press them, roll or fold them and store them
  3. to press and cut (if necessary) then store the scraps given to me yesterday

Let’s take a look at my progress:

  • the scraps on the spare ironing board (goal #1) and the scraps given to me the previous day (goal #3)

scrapsonironingboard_thumb.jpg scrapsinbag_thumb.jpg

Most of the scraps from the ironing board and some of the donated scraps have been cut into the sizes used in my scrap storage system.

Here’s a photo of my cutting table after the job was done and before I put them all away.

First, the scraps that got cut into squares: 4.5”, 4”, 3.5” 2.5” and 2”. the scraps that were cut into 3” squares were added to the container that holds my leader/ender project-in-progress (not seen here).

scrapsintosquaresJune2016_thumb.jpg

Scraps that were strips sorted into two piles: those under 6”, those between 6” and 12”; plus some scraps that are small triangles (less that 3.5”).

scrapsintoshortandmediumlengthstripsJune2016_thumb.jpg

Finally the crumbs sorted by colour: these are less than 2” in one or both directions.

scrapsintocrumbsJune2016_thumb.jpg

  • the box of long strips (goal #2)

scrapsinbox.jpg

This was the first pile I tackled so it seems a long time since I dealt with all these. They are now stored in a drawer in four piles: cool colours, warm colours, light neutrals, and blacks. a few more have been added since that photo was taken on 8 June.

longstripsorganised.jpg

In the same drawer are the ‘brown’ strips I made in February for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge then abandoned my original idea. I am still trying to decide how to use these strips but they are now easy to find and not being constantly moved from one point of my sewing room to another.

brown long strips June 2016

So, not all goals have been achieved but it’s not too bad an effort considering that WM has been home on annual leave since 17 June and we’ve spent a lot of time together, mostly working in the garden (despite the cold winter weather).

Now I need to look around my sewing room and see what goals I want to set for July – it’s time to turn the ‘scrap storage system’ into a system for using (not storing) scraps! DD and the grandsons arrive next Wednesday (8 July) so we’ll be using strips to make spider-webs, that’s a good start…

How about you? Are you finding ways to store and use your scraps?

Until next time, may your stitches bring you much joy.
Lynne

another finish

In November last year, I began strip-piecing monochrome 8.5″ blocks in preparation for our grandsons arrival at Christmas time. They like to sew (for short periods of time) and strips are more forgiving than squares! I had intended to make spider-webs, knowing that they would appeal, but mistakenly cut 60° triangles instead of 45° triangles — ending up with hexagons!

hexagons — no thanks

Our grandsons were not really impressed but we sewed anyway.

stack of triangles as at 31 Dec
stack of triangles as at 31 Dec

DD and I, inspired by Emily Cier’s pattern, Slices, in her book “Scrap Republic” chose to make our version of the pattern without the use of the lighter coloured blocks.

Emily Cier's "Slices"
Emily Cier’s “Slices”

When the family visited for the April school holidays, we sewed some more. By the time they left, there were only a few blocks needing completion, so I finished them.

Sewing the triangles into rows was fairly easy, once I realised I had to match the points that extended beyond the seams. Joining the rows was more complicated. I tried really hard but some are not good. However, as my mum used to say, “a blind man on a galloping horse wouldn’t notice!” Oddly enough, the more seams I sewed, the better my point matching got!🙂

Seriously, getting the quilt finished was more important that perfectly matched points, although I would really like those. The quilt is not going to an exhibition; otherwise I would take it apart and start again. The truth is, most of the points are pretty good and a few of them are perfect. The recipient, probably a patient in the palliative care unit of the local hospital, is probably not going to be studying the points — they’ll be glad to have something bright and cheerful on the bed to keep them warm.

I love this quilt, it’s so much more exciting to me than the previous two finished quilts — more my style really in that it’s bright and a little less traditional.

Rainbow Wedges finished front

I decided to strip piece a panel for the backing — there are enough matching points where six blocks meet on the front of the quilt without adding more bulk in the backing.

Rainbow Wedges finished back

I wanted to quilt along the diamond lines with a row of double stitching but I didn’t want any other quilting to show so I decided to do horizontal in-the-ditch stitching. That was fine where the rows met but because the individual triangles were made of various width strips, it just didn’t work. I bit the bullet and did diagonal quilting across the diamonds using a clear monofilament thread.

Rainbow Wedges quilting detail

This was the first time I have used invisible thread and I was surprised that I found the right tension straight away! I had read some web pages about using invisible thread and they all suggested lowering the tension to 2 and working from there to get the correct tension. My biggest problem is that the very fine thread kept slipping out of the thread guides and, one time, it tangled so badly that I had to unthread the machine and cut off a huge knot. But the quilting was done and, like most learning experiences, the more I did the more I remembered to keep an eye on the thread guides!

Of course, then I had to remember to return the machine to ‘standard’ tension settings to put the binding on!

In the winter school holidays, which begin on 1 July, DD, the boys and I will probably make spider webs!

This post links up with Thank Goodness It’s Finished Friday which is being hosted  Whims and Fancies this week. Why not check out what other people have being working on?

What about you? Are you making quilts? Or has some other form of stitching grabbed your fancy?

Whatever your choice, may your stitches bring you much joy.
Lynne

“I may have a scrap problem” June goals

Confessions Of A Fabric Addict

As I said back in my March post about this linky party, my scrap problem is not organisational, it’s disciplinary! That is: I have an organised system for storing my scraps, but sometimes I am not self-disciplined enough to put them away! Like most quilters, I prefer the making part to the tidying part!

But, there comes a point where my sewing room looks like a tornado swept through! And that point has been reached. Right now there is a project which is the process of being quilted on the back of the lounge (sofa). There’s a UFO on the floor — it’s there because it was on top of the box of wadding/batting pieces and I needed to access the box from one side of the cutting table and it fell off on the other side of the table where I can’t quite reach it. There’s a flimsy and it’s associated too-small backing waiting for me to enlarge the back. There’s a donated quilt top on another piece of furniture — the blocks don’t line up properly (which is probably why it was donated) and it’s waiting for me to take it apart and put it back together again.

There’s a too-wrinkled-to-wear tee-shirt on the ironing board — it fell off the hanger onto the floor of the wardrobe (closet) so needs pressing but I haven’t been in the sewing room since I found it, therefore the iron hasn’t been switched on in days! (Just so you know, I spend weekends with WM and I’m in class on Mondays so I generally don’t spend time in my sewing room between Friday and Tuesday).

There’s a second ironing board, used to hold WiP trays and (sometimes) scrap containers, near my cutting table. At the moment it has project trays but there is also a growing pile of scraps which need pressing, cutting and/or storing.

scraps on ironing board
scraps on ironing board

On the floor, near my sewing table, there’s a cardboard box containing long strips — those pieces of various widths which are longer than 12″. Up until recently that box hasn’t really bothered me but now it’s overflowing onto the floor.

scraps in box
scraps in box

And yesterday, I came home from class with a small bag of scraps donated by one of the owners of my LQS  — I haven’t even looked at the scraps themselves yet!

scraps in bag
scraps in bag

I guess you get the picture — even without more photographs!

So, my “scrap solutions” for this month are:

  1. to press, cut and store the mound of scraps currently on the spare ironing board
  2. to deal with the box of long strips — find a new home for them, press them, roll  or fold them and store them
  3. to press and cut (if necessary) then store the scraps given to me yesterday

The colour for June for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2016 is aquamarine and related colours. I don’t know if I have many scraps in those colours but I know I have lots of green scraps. Green was the colour for last month but I missed it so I may find myself making some green blocks instead.

When Mum came to live with us in March last year, I inherited her one UFO! However, her knitting during the thirteen months she lived here gave me plenty of work as I tried to keep up with her output (see these posts here, here and here). But it must have sparked something in me because I’m trying very hard to work only on my UFOs; and I have chosen one project at a time and seen it through to completion — not bounced around from project to project!

The green blocks I mentioned for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge would be used to complete one of my most recently started projects: in March, I began the blocks for Oklahoma Shoo Fly, a quilt I designed while playing around on EQ7. I made the units  for the ‘Shoo Fly’ blocks from the colour of the month (brown) and had always planned to make the ‘Road to Oklahoma’ blocks in green.

The ‘Shoo Fly’ blocks are not finished; the ‘Road to Oklahoma’ blocks are not even started but, you never know, there’s still three weeks of June left and maybe this UFO will get it’s turn this month! Then again, I already have a UFO/WiP plan for this month, so perhaps not!

What about you? Do you have a scrap problem? Why not take a look at this month’s post over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict? There are some great inspirational ideas there – even if you’re taking a month or two off to enjoy summer! For we folks down-under, winter has just begun with some horrific weather here on the east coast; but it’s a great season for stitch-based projects: the perfect time for curling up under quilts and hand-stitching that binding; or for joining strips of knitted fabric together into blankets!

Until next time, may your stitches bring you much joy.
Lynne

two finishes


At the beginning of April, just in time for Caring Hearts Community Quilters’ annual Airing of the Quilts (9 and 10 April),  I finished the quilt which had been begun by Older Grandson last September. Tired of sewing strips as he had on his previous visit, he decided to sew squares and the “Road to Whoopi” quilt was born. (“Whoopi” is the nickname given by the locals to the town in which DD and the family live). Of course, once Older Grandson started, Younger Grandson and DD had to get involved.

It didn’t take long for Older Grandson and Younger Grandson to learn that sewing squares required more care than sewing strips and they soon lost interest. But I can’t let a project die because two young children don’t want to work on it any more. I showed you the finished flimsy on my old blog back in November. The top is based on a Road to Oklahoma block but I have rearranged the lights and darks slightly.

Without further ado, here is  our scrappy version of a traditional quilt — the Road to Whoopi.

"Road to Whoopi" finished front
“Road to Whoopi” finished front
"Road to Whoopi" finished back
“Road to Whoopi” finished back

I tried hard to get another quilt finished before the Airing but it just didn’t work out. I showed the finished flimsy on this blog on 2 March so it seemed that I was on track to get it finished in time for the Airing. However, two weeks away from home during March followed by a difficult time with mum after she returned from residential respite put paid to many of my plans.

Finally, in the first week of May, I finished sewing the binding on to a quilt I had started in class last year. It is based on the Attic Windows block but I put it in a different setting to make my “man quilt”: Attic Window Pinwheels.

Attic Window Pinwheels finished front
Attic Window Pinwheels finished front
Attic Window Pinwheels finished back
Attic Window Pinwheels finished back

I have two more finished tops ready for quilting, I just have to make backings. The first quilt you saw back in February; the other is the subject of another post.

Hopefully I’ll have that post up next week!

Linking up with Thank Goodness It’s Finished Friday, which is being hosted this week over at crazydutchbirdquilts. Why not pop over and see what other people have finished this week?

In the meantime, may your stitches bring you much joy.
Lynne

still here!

Hi (if there’s still anyone out there reading my blog) — long time, no post!

Life has been busy and eventful. On March 17, WM took two weeks long service leave — we just needed to get away. We put mum into residential respite for two weeks then went to the state of Victoria for the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show. We had forgotten just how far it was to Melbourne and how long it would take us to drive the 880 kilometres (550 miles)! Just as well we had allowed two days for the journeys there and back.

blended native and exotic garden
blended native and exotic garden
more formal garden
more formal garden
Exhibition Building
Exhibition Building
floral arrangement
floral arrangement
cottage garden
cottage garden

We were home for 36 hours, then we caught a train north to spend the Easter weekend with DD and the family.

YG Easter Egg Hunt 2
YG Easter Egg Hunt 2
YG enjoys the Easter Egg Hunt
YG enjoys the Easter Egg Hunt
OG enjoys the Easter Egg Hunt
OG enjoys the Easter Egg Hunt
OG Easter Egg Hunt
OG Easter Egg Hunt
How many so far?
How many so far?

We picked mum up from respite on 31 March — she was very unhappy and had all sorts of tales of woe to share. Despite having DD and the Grandboys here to visit for ten days from 10 April, she never got any better.  It was with a thankful heart that I received the offer of a room in a dementia-specific facility nearby on 13 April. Mum went to live there permanently on 21 April; WM and I have spent the last four weeks getting to know each other again and work out our life as “Darby and Joan“! Mum was with us for a bit over thirteen months; caring for her was one of the hardest things that we have ever had to do!

While mum was still living here and after she left, I continued to sew quilts for the Caring Hearts Community Quilters group; we make quilts that mostly go to the palliative care wards of local hospitals. I will write a separate post about those because I have too much to say here!

Since mum left, I have had time to knit something other than ‘her’ blankets, so I have been making hats for the under-privileged. The opportunity to donate the hats came sooner than I was expecting so I didn’t end up taking photos of any of them! The last collaborative blanket that mum and I made is in her room at the aged care home but sadly she never uses it!

I plan to be back soon with more photos of our trips to Melbourne. I also have at least two posts planned to talk about my quilting.

I leave you with Older Grandson’s first school photo: he looks much older than six (although those baby teeth give it away)! Most schools in Australia have a school uniform — that shirt almost gets lost against the background which makes his face the focal point (as it should be)!

Older Grandson first school photo
Older Grandson’s first school photo

Until my next post, may your stitches bring you much joy.
Lynne

Happy 30th birthday

Happy birthday, darling daughter. I love you more than I can say!

DD aged 3
DD aged 3
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
DD aged 30

It’s certainly not the best photo ever but we were having too much fun sharing a quiet birthday dinner to remember to take a formal photo. In this picture, she was looking at her birthday cake.

DD has grown into a kind, caring, compassionate woman who wants the best for everyone — not so much different from the child I remember!

blanket and participation

A few night’s ago, despite the warm, humid weather we’re having, I finally finished sewing in all the ends of mum’s latest blanket. I chose to knit the sashing and borders in yellow instead of white for a change and I think it looks quite effective.

Mum's Blanket #10

~~~~~~~~~~

As for the participation mentioned in my title, I was reading a post by The Joyful Quilter (alos mentioned in my last post): it contained information about a quilt-along at Justquilting with Denise Russart. This “Barn Dance” quilt looked so pretty and so right for scrap-busting that I can hardly resist it! You just might find me sewing some “Hole in the Barn Door” blocks (aka “Churn Dash”, “Monkey Wrench” , “Puss in the Corner”, etc) in the near future!

barn dance quilt-along
barn dance quilt-along

I don’t need to make such a large quilt but it’ll be fun to join in and figure out how to use the blocks in a single (twin) bed sized later! Plus, I thought it would be great for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge which I join every now and then (I’m trying to be more consistent this year but don’t hold me to it!).

RSC16
scraps on edge of cutting table
scraps on edge of cutting table

Most scraps were sorted by size and shape but a couple of strong gusts of wind when I wasn’t home put paid to that: my friend, who was keeping mum company, picked them up off the floor and put them randomly on the table.  My fault for not putting scraps away as I go!

green scraps awaiting cutting & storing

What about you?
Are there any challenges, quilt-alongs or scrap-alongs you’re involved with?
Do you think you might join either of these?

May your stitches bring you much joy.
Lynne

Do you have a scrap problem?

In response to a comment left on my last post, I was exploring The Joyful Quilter‘s blog, where I found a link to a blog called Confessions of a Fabric Addict. Sarah, the owner of the blog, has started a new linky party, encouraging us all to deal with our scraps:

Confessions Of A Fabric Addict

Now, my scrap problem is not quite the same as most other quilters: my problem is that the quilters I know keep giving me their scraps because they don’t want to use them nor do they want to throw them away. Here in Australia, quilting fabric starts at $24 a metre at my LQS (yes, you read that right; although it is between $12 and $20 a metre at the Big Box Store), so I can’t understand why anyone would want to throw away any potentially-useful fabric! I can’t predict when scraps will come my way, so just when I think I have the scraps under control, along comes another bag or two and there’s more pressing, cutting, sorting and storing to do. This organising of scraps can eat into my sewing time in a big way so I’m happy to join in this scrap-along which basically involves setting a monthly challenge for the scraps (posted first Wednesday of the month) and sharing my success (or otherwise) on the last Wednesday of the month).

Surprisingly, given that the first Wednesday of March was a week ago, the link up for this scrap-along is still open: so that got me thinking about my scrap goals for what’s left of March, given that I won’t be here most of the last two weeks.

My scrap storage is organised; if you’re looking for how I do it, please refer to the scrap storage system tab at the top of my home page.  Organisation is not the problem, getting the scraps into storage can be! They tend to accumulate along the edge of my cutting table as I cut both the scraps that are given to me and the pieces I need for particular projects. I just don’t stop long enough to put it all away! So my first goal is to cut what is necessary then store all these scraps.

scraps on edge of cutting table
scraps on edge of cutting table

Most scraps were sorted by size and shape but a couple of strong gusts of wind when I wasn’t home put paid to that: my friend, who was keeping mum company, picked them up off the floor and put them randomly on the table.  My fault for not putting scraps away as I go!

While tidying my sewing area (there comes a time when I just can’t stand the clutter any longer), I lifted a basket containing elements for two current works in progress, and found this:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
green scraps awaiting cutting & storing

These scraps were ironed and placed in this basket so long ago that I can’t remember when! So my second goal is to get all these scraps cut and stored.

I think, however, my greatest problem, is using the scraps. February was the month of brown over at the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. I started twelve “Shoo Fly” blocks but never finished any of them. I have the centres and the corners but still need all the ‘middles’! Goal #3 is to finish all 12 blocks.

Shoo Fly parts in waiting
Shoo Fly parts in waiting

So, that’s it for me for March:
Goal #1 cut and store all the scraps lying on the edge of my cutting table
Goal #2 cut and store all the green fabrics in the basket
Goal #3 finish the Shoo Fly blocks

What about you?
Do you have a scrap problem?
Do you want to join in the fun and whittle down your pile of scraps?

May your stitches (and scraps) bring you much joy
Lynne