Joys of an empty scrap basket!!

One of the first jobs that I wanted to do when I got home was to finish cleaning out my scrap basket. Before we left I had used my new Accuquilt machine and finished all of the strips but still had to cut the squares.

The cutter made life SO much easier and, before I knew it, I had tons of 1.5″, 2.0″ and 2.5″ squares!!

As I was storing all of them I realized that it is probably time to make something with 2.5-inch squares……

…..either that or get another box!!!

The bottom line is that the basket is EMPTY….

….and now I get the enjoyment of filling it up again!!!

Bye for now……I’m headed to the studio…….

Scrap Heaven….

I have continued to work thru the stack of 200 six-inch squares that I received from my guild charity bee, making two quilt tops so far.

Now I was down to some rather dull and uninteresting browns and reds!!

I started by cutting them in half on the diagonal…..

Then I sewed a 1.5 inch strip of light brown fabric to one edge…..

It was pressed to the strip and then another triangle was added to the other side of the strip…..

Now it was time to trim the blocks down to a usable size. I used a trick that I had learned when making the pinwheel quilt a few weeks ago….

First, I used a water-soluble marker to draw a line 1/2 inch on each side of the ruler diagonal…..

Now it was easy work to line the drawn lines up to the actual block…..

…and they were all quickly trimmed.

Next I did the same thing with the lighter fabrics, this time using a dark strip down the middle.

As I laid out the first few blocks, I KNEW what I was going to do with them…..

I pulled more squares, adding some green into the mix as well, and also added a few fabrics from my personal scrap square box.

After I had all of them made, I wanted to ensure that I laid out the blocks in a fairly random pattern so put them into plastic tubs that I would pull out of without looking…..

After I got it on the design wall, I made a few tweaks to the placement and started sewing.

As I sewed the blocks, I did notice two holes in one of the squares……

….so I had to do a bit of rip and replace!!

Before long, the quilt top was finished……

I love the depth that comes from the mixture of darks and lights and am super happy with this “Hugs and Kisses”….”Naughts and Crosses”……”Tic, Tac, Toe”…..quilt!!

For the record, I have used 142 of the 6-inch squares and this is what I am left with……

Hmmmm….wonder what will come next!!!

A Better Way of Piecing

As I was working on the pinwheel top and bitterly complaining about how hard the setting piecing was to do…..

….. my friend Sylvia Schaefer from “Flying Parrot Quilts” commented that, if I had not pieced the pinwheels first, then the entire top could have been pieced in rows……

And, of course, she is right!!!

I got so carried away by my pinwheel excitement that I didn’t stop to plan!!!

Does that ever happen to you?

By the way….you should check out Sylvia’s website and all of her amazing quilts and patterns!!

Well, that is it for the pinwheels…..for the moment. Who knows when they will surface again!!

I LOVE my pinwheels

I finally was able to get upstairs and put the finishing touches on the Pinwheel Quilt……

The first step was to trim the sides down…..

…and it was extremely helpful to have the 45 degree lines on the ruler to match up to the angles in the blocks.

Once trimmed, it was time to think about borders. If you haven’t figured this out yet, I really love to use a bright yellow inner border and this quilt just called out for one…..

Now it was time to audition some outer border fabrics…..

I momentarily debated about making a scrap border but then remembered my resolve from Monday’s POST to start using my yardage and not keeping for a “better” quilt!!

I chose the yardage and happily cut it into border strips and even made the binding as well!!

Here is the final top which will be donated to our Guild charity bee, quilted out, and presented to a Women’s shelter that needs twin-size quilts…..

If you have been following the making of this top, you know that it started out as a way to use some donated 6-inch squares. There were 200 to start with….I used 4 for pinwheel practice and 63 in the quilt so I still have 133 to play with……

I have LOVED learning to make the pinwheels and want to do more quilts with this pattern. I feel sure that some of these remaining scrap squares will end up spinning away!!!

It’s scrap clean-up time!!

When I moved into my “new and improved” studio last March, I searched thru all of the boxes and bins and pulled out ALL of my scraps, dumping them into a large basket. As the year progressed, I continued adding bits and pieces from the projects that I worked on. At the start of December, the bin was overflowing…..

I started to work thru it a number of times but just couldn’t get motivated because I knew that it would take a LONG time to do!! Finally, I pulled out the fabrics and sorted them by color…..sort of……

The next step was to iron each color and group into three stacks….the bits, the chunks and the hunks!!

Bits are the pieces that can only be cut into small squares….1.5, 2.0, 2.5 or 3.5 inch.

Chunks are pieces that can be larger squares……5+ inch.

Hunks are longer pieces that can be cut into strips…. 1.5, 2.0, 2.5 and 3.5 inch.

Once I had everything ironed, I started cutting the two smaller groups….orange and yellow/gold…..

It was a good start, but then the holiday s came and I didn’t get back to this particular project!!! The ironed fabrics were carefully laid back into the basket…..

If nothing else, it looked a lot better!!

Last week I decided that I wanted to start the new year with this basket completely cleaned out so I made this task a priority and, although I didn’t quite make it by the 1st, I did get it finished on the 2nd!!!…..

Doesn’t that look great……

As I was cutting, I started wondering exactly WHY I was doing this but remembered someone saying that you pay the same for the scraps as you do for the yardage. That spurred me on!! But also the thought of having all of this cut and ready to use just makes me happy!!

The question now is whether I can set a schedule and clean it out every few months rather than waiting 2+ years!!! As with all things…..time will tell!!!