Saturday, July 30, 2011

Dealing with Scraps

     I have spent many hours the past week dealing with fabric scraps at home and at my church quilting group.  For the church group I felt frustrated by the growing pile of small pieces crammed into a bin.  I wanted to use them to piece crumb blocks but did not enjoy digging to find what I wanted to use.  So I pulled them all out.  Sorted them by shape, some by color family and pressed.  When I came home, I was motivated to tackle my own stash of scraps, plus the fact that next week I will be leading a crumb piecing party for my sister’s NC quilt guild charity sew day.  I was amazed at the stack of triangles I came up with.  They easily make half-square triangles and are also great for forming stars, flying geese, hearts and churn dash blocks.  

     In my organizing effort I came across a bag of scraps donated by a quilter in GA.  There were a few nine patches finished and many strips so I took the time to complete more and now have 20 which will be a good number for a small comfort quilt.  

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

More Quilted Postcards

     This was our second Wednesday sew day at church for our quilting group.  It was a productive day even though I did not do any sewing.  I spent the whole 4 hours sorting and organizing our fabric scraps.  We have a lot.  Several ladies sewed but Beverley cut odd pieces into more 2 1/2" strips and I sorted.
     Recently I did make a couple of quilted postcards.  I pieced skinny scrap strips and then sub-cut and re-pieced them for a stained glass effect behind a brown piece for reverse applique.  I machine quilted the piece then I used fusible applique to add the dove and stitched around it. 

Friday, July 22, 2011

Classes Offered at MTC in Fall

    In September through Midlands Tech I am offering a one night quilted postcard class, a 3 night free-motion quilting class and an 8 week sampler quilt class.  You can check out there web site here: 

Use the labels on the right to see some examples of quilted postcards I have made and some free-motion quilting ideas.
I have taught the sampler quilt before and below are some of my students quilts. 

Playing with More Crumbs

        I have been busy this week with my quilting sister Irene but we did not get any sewing done.  I did find a few minutes this morning to finish 2 more crumb pieced double pinwheel blocks.   

Then I used some of the trimmings from them to make a free pieced crumb churn dash block.  Notice that I just estimated the size of sections and did not worry about seams matching so when I squared it to 6 ½” I lost points.  When it gets sewn in with other pieces, it will lose more points but I like the free piecing. 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Fun Afternoon with Crumbs

      This morning before church I was reading quilt blogs and found P’s blog “The Way I Sew It”

Her double pinwheel from an old post inspired me. So this afternoon I started on mine.  P has great directions but I wanted to use crumbs and do more free piecing.  I did not make any templates although I did estimate the size components I would need for the block to finish 6 ½”.  I string pieced 2 - 4” squares and cut 2 - 4” squares of light.   The light could have been more scrappy but I had a 4” wide light strip.  If the size was off, I could always add strips or trim down; but I prefer not to trim off pinwheel points.   It is still difficult for me to be really free and not match points when I can.  I plan to make more double pinwheels similar to this. 

      I also tried making a crumb rose starting with the center and sewing log cabin style except in a hexagon. I like how it turned out.  Later I will try some other colors.  

      I finished the evening adding sashing and cornerstones for a small crumb top for my church quilting group.  I would like to try crumb piecing the border but I may save time and use one fabric if I can find one I like.  

Friday, July 15, 2011

Strips and More Strips

      I took advantage of the cooler temperatures the past 2 days to finally get my lawn mowed.  Then I spent the afternoon in the house.  I tackled the pile of weird shaped pieces again to cut them into nice regular 2 ½” strips. My church quilting group has numerous patterns that can use 2 1/2" strips.  Wednesday we also looked at Bonnie Hunter's scrappy bargello and scrappy trip around the world, both of which can be made from these strips. 
      My legs started aching from standing so long so I decided to quit for now.  I have made a nice stack of strips.  The sad news is that there is about as much left to cut.  This is the pile that’s left and it is full of strange shaped pieces. I'm tired of cutting strips now so they can wait. 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Organizing Fabric and Scraps

             Wednesday morning was sew day for my church group.  After searching in our fabric bins for border and backing pieces, we decided to reorganize our stash of fabric.  Most of it has been donated and is in all shapes and sizes.  I sorted the bin of “large pieces” to be only pieces of over a yard.  In the bin of “WOF” pieces I put only selvedge to selvedge pieces of less than one yard.  The biggest job was the bin of “Fat Quarters”.  I found many that had a small section cut off so were really no longer a fat quarter and probably not usable for patterns calling for a fat quarter.  Another lady and I decided that we could more easily use 2 ½” strips so as she started cutting strips, I sorted and pulled out all the odd size scraps.  I brought many of the odd scraps home and spent a couple of hours before and after helping a friend move cutting them into 2 ½” strips, strings ( long pieces of odd widths ) and crumbs ( small scraps larger than 1”  but less than 6” long ). 

I am an advocate of using crumbs and we have finished 2 small crumb quilts and have enough crumb blocks for 2 more.  We plan to use our crumb stash on the next sew day to piece crumb blocks.  After sorting and cutting strips, we will have a larger stash of crumbs to use. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Day Bee Tuesday

     On my guild charity sew day we started more pillowcase dresses as part of the Little Dress for Africa.  We have a local missionary who visits Zimbabwe about every year so we made the dresses to support her work.   They are very easy to make and you can find information on this link:

 I finished 3 little dresses Monday and turned them in today for the next trip to Zimbabwe. 

      We had a great Day Bee meeting this morning and received part 3 of our mystery quilt project so this afternoon I finished sewing the flying geese units for part 2.  Part 3 is making lots and lots of small half-square triangles so we purchased Triangle Paper from .  I am looking forward to using it.
      I also had time to piece 3 more sets of batik blocks with a positive and the reverse.   I think Irene and I only need 3 more sets to have enough for the whole quilt.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Starting on Day Bee Mystery

  I still have not decided which big UFO to work on; instead I started something new.  I agreed to participate in my Day Bee Mystery quilt.  This weekend I got started.  Step 1 was just collecting fabrics and cutting strips.  I have a great collection of blues which I love so decided to use all blues.   
Step 2 was making flying geese units.  Our leader provided the directions for the “no waste method”  which I wanted to try.  I don’t have them all finished yet but I’ve made a good start.  

Each large square and 4 small squares  makes 4 flying geese units.  You do need to mark the diagonal on the back of each small square which takes time.   From there the sewing is very easy.

You can find the directions for the “no waste method” for flying geese units at

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Many Types of Sewing

    It is definitely July.  We either have a hot and steamy afternoon or a thunderstorm. For the past few days I have done many types of sewing.  I made a couple of clothing items for my granddaughter,  I’m making myself a new summer dress, and I also pieced a couple of UFO charity blocks whose pieces were donated. 
    For the July 4th holiday I enjoyed shopping the special fabric sales.  A friend and I found a terrific price on a selection of fabric we plan to use for comfort quilts for our church quilting group.  We were very pleased to only pay 85 cents per yard.  A couple of pieces are great quality so I did not understand why it was so inexpensive but I’m glad we got it.  Some pieces are better quality than others but none was bad.  I have spent several hours washing and ironing a lot of what we bought so it is ready to use.  There is still a pile to iron.