Thursday, March 5, 2020

National Quilting Month Scrap Challenge

I got all my English paper pieced blocks appliqued to the backgrounds over the weekend and now that I'm home with them up on the design wall, I'm hesitating.
One quilt with all twelve, two quilts with six, three quilts with four -- twelve big pillow covers?
So the best strategy is to leave them up there staring at me and do something else.
Let my subconscious work on it for a bit!

It's National Quilting Month here in the USA and so lots of quilters are gearing up for that with special projects, sew alongs, and retreat days!  Meg, @teaandbrie on Instagram, is leading a "Sew the Scrap out of March" and her first email got me all wound up to tackle my scraps, too!  She had lots of ideas to share and the hashtag #nqmscrapchallenge on Instagram is full of inspiration!

Getting quilt fabric scraps under control and using them up is a universal form of entertainment, don't you agree?  There must be hundreds of blog posts and tutorials out there for how to organize and how to use fabric scraps.  For at least 25 years, perhaps more, the 2 1/2" strip stash has been my main "go-to" strategy.  When the box is full, it's time to do something with them.
(The box is full . . . . again?!?)
There's also a 2 1/2" squares stash which actually pre-dates the strip box.  I put a big dent in this basket last fall with the Scrappy Triple Irish Chain quilt I made -- you can revisit that post with a brief tutorial on my strategy HERE! 
I just came down from my studio (I yelled down but Willie, my cat, wasn't willing to bring lunch up to me) where I've been sorting and chopping and stitching for half the morning!
Bright scraps are going into this cute box.
They are destined to be stitched into little slabs for cat faces! 
I made a cute quilt to donate in 2018.  The blocks were so much fun to make that I've wanted to do another little project for myself -- perhaps a couple pillows?  The pattern was designed by Elizabeth Hartman for the Janome Sewing machine website -- HERE is a link to it.
This was a seriously cute little quilt and a bit hard to let go but I did in the end! 
As usual, if I'm in the studio, I can't stay away from the sewing machine for long -- either "I just have to sew this together to see what it looks like" or the cutting is getting boring!?!  
For the past couple months, I've been stitching the leftover triangles from the hexagon quilt I cut last summer from a layer cake into pairs. The triangles were just "chopped", no template used.  I've sewn them into pairs of light and dark.  There wasn't a plan and it got tedious more than once but they were just sew-offs so I persisted.
Here's where they came from -- I chopped the "hourglass" leftovers in two to get the triangles.
Once I started to join the pairs into rows and put them up on the design wall, "chevrons" started to appear -- now I'm glad I persisted!! 
Today, I stitched the rows together as sew-offs while I assembled some old teaching hexagon blocks into a quilt top.  It's fun!!  I'll set it aside to quilt later and I'm thinking it will become either a pillow cover or a tote bag front?
Scraps busted!!
This is the quilt I'm piecing -- it's destined for donation to a local veteran's project.
Then it was back to the pile of scraps -- all pressed and ready to chop up.
2 1/2" strips or squares are always first.
For some time I've been cutting colorful squares for this block -- there are several tutorials for it floating around -- I'm using the one from Purple Poppy Quilts (link HERE) because it uses lots of  2 1/2" squares and strips which I already have cut! 
I have enough of the colorful squares to start but need lots more light 2 1/2" squares so those are a priority with the scraps I'm busting these days!  I'm anxious to get started on the piecing this one so it's up next and will start as sew-offs while I finish up a few more UFO's -- still finding teaching samples that needs to be eliminated one way or the other!!
So go check out the @teaandbrie feed on Instagram and follow the hashtag #nqmscrapchallenge -- be inspired and make another assault on your scraps -- you won't be done with them, but it will be fun!!

The triplets are 9 months old!!  
Lots of smiles, sitting up and starting to move around on their own!?!

Hope your weekend is full of good things!


  1. Wow, so many fun things in a single post -- and look at those cute babies!! Aww.

  2. You saved the very best for last. They are so cute!! And look at them - already sitting up on their own. What gorgeous smiles. Ahem, now to the quilting, lol. Every project looks like fun and so right for getting rid of scraps.

  3. 1. I vote for all 12 blocks in one quilt. Nothing beats the visual impact of a large quilt like that, and so many of us quilters get sidetracked these days and “downsize” our projects just to get them finished when we can’t bear to make another block... Your blocks are gorgeous together, and the sum is definitely worth more than the individual parts on their own.

    2. I love your chevron triangles all in shades of blue! That would be a neat way to use my AccuQuilt tumbler die, instead of alternating color.

    3. TRIPLETS?! Oh my GOODNESS, they are precious!!!

    1. Most of my waffling about size here has to do with the fact that I quilt all my own work and size is becoming an issue for my body so while it would be great to use all 12 in one quilt, I might not?!?