Saturday, September 13, 2014

Summer Sewing Catch Up - Scrap Fabric Elimination

I did TRY to focus on cleaning this summer.  HA!  I would rather do anything than clean house.  I managed to clean out a couple of closets but let us face reality, I just have so many useful things that I am not ready to part with just yet. I feel like my house is the family storage center.  My husband and I both have multiple hobbies and we have tools and gadgets that are useful.  I was overwhelmed before I could get started. Maybe when the weather turns cooler. Maybe when we both are retired. I need a helper to tackle this.  Until then, I will carry on and hope for the best.

I turned my focus on my sewing area.  Here is a place I want to be! I organized stacks of fabric.  I picked up scissors and rotary cutters and placed them in bins.  I organized spools of thread. I looked at my scrap bins and decided it was time to turn all that into quilts.  

I searched blog land for any and all ideas pertaining to scrap usage. A lot of quilters have had the same idea this year.  Lots of folks want to be able to clear the clutter.  I found this tutorial from Lori of Bee in My Bonnet.  She had a form of consolidation that I decided I could work with to fit my need.  Take every scrap and cut it into squares or strips in sizes that I would find useful in a quilt.  I cut 1.5 inch, 2 inch, 2.5 inch and 3 inch squares. I used leftover binding strips and random strips from other projects. A whole day of cutting and more. I put the squares into clear jars and when the jars got full I made a quilt.  

First, I used plastic bins to sort my scraps into lights and darks. 

 Next, I placed cut squares in jars marked 1.5, 2 and 2.5 inches.

Cut, cut and cut.  

Sew, sew and Sew.

Darks and lights.

Let me stop right here and give a shout out to my old Viking Designer II sewing machine.  For years she has been a hard worker.  Those scraps are full of dust and lint.  Please clean your machine often.  I had no idea how fast lint collects and often I had to clean this area while sewing scraps.    

Use your brush to clean your machine in all those tiny spaces.

And this is what I made from all those scraps.

I call this Chain Mail.  The background fabric is a yard cut novelty print from JoAnn's and has French postal markings.  The pattern is a Double Irish Chain.    This is from 1.5 squares.  I practiced some straight line quilting and it looks nice.  

This quilt is a four patch using Kona White with lots of pretty colorful 2.5 inch squares.  

This next quilt used strips and scraps of various sizes. I was creative and used some beginner improv in the center and created a scrap happy border.  The colors are actually quite nice.  The photo doesn't fully capture the depth of the dark colors.      

With some of my reds and lighter beige scraps, I worked on reducing some of my older fabric collections.  I like chickens and I have several fat quarters of chicken prints. I have been saving them for that special project, but it is time for them to go.  I will add some borders and it will be cute.

None of these quilts are finished.  This winter, I will have a marathon longarm quilting week.  I seem to do that every January and February when recovering from a busy holiday season.

I will wrap this up for today.  Take care.

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