Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Love those scraps!

Gee . . . where to start . . . had a wonderful Christmas in Virginia. The kids are healthy and bright, and growing. Very entertaining little people . . . especially Ben, the 4-year-old. He's the family entertainer, for sure. I've got an airline ticket to use, and I asked him if he would pick me up at the airport. He said, "Of course . . . it's close to Target"! He loves to go to Target. We took them shopping there before Christmas, and he was to pick out something for his parents. As soon as we walked in the door, he descended upon a DVD of the Simpson's movie, and tried to tell me that his "Mom and Dad always wanted this!" We settled on Shrek Third, because the family does a lot of movie viewing together, and I knew they had the first two versions.

We were blessed with good weather on our trip out, and back home. The most snow we saw was in our own yard when we left. I managed to visit a couple quilt shops and yarn shops, and refrained from going completely nuts. I got some sale fabrics at Rachel's, in Staunton, Virginia, and a few fat quarters at Cottonwood, in Charlottesville.

Since returning home, I have been slogging through the stuff in my studio. I need one of those little Bobcats to go in and just scoop it all out. I have most projects in individual containers, so the first thing I did was pull all of those out of the stacks in corners. I began to review them to see what each project needed. One just needed the outside border to be attached, so I did that New Year's Day. The next was a group of Kansas Trouble blocks, with all the components cut, and 12 of the 20 blocks assembled. So, I sat down and put those together in a couple days.

Next up was some Contrary Wife blocks cut from scraps of blues and neutrals. All the half-square triangle units were assembled and pressed, and even paired with a set of blue squares for each box. I made 12 of those one evening . . . and 52 the next day! Sat down with EQ5 on Sunday evening, and played with a setting block. I have 85 Contrary Wife blocks; of the setting blocks I dabbled with, I liked the hourglass block best. I have the fabric to make those. Might be a project to take to Miss Mary's Quilting Cottage at the end of the month, if I don't get it going sooner.

Presently whizzing through the machine, (again, most of the components cut) is a Snail's Trail with a black background, and deep yellow and orange "snails". Eighteen were assembled, so I made six more with the cut pieces, and laid them out for a preview. Calculated that I could cut 24 additional blocks, and have a nice sized finished piece. It was late at night when I made this decision, and it didn't occur to me until I started sewing last night that the additional cutting will actually make 48 additional blocks, because only one unit of the color components are used in each block, but two units of black. Fortunately, I have an adequate supply of the black fabric . . . but I need to do some cutting! And, it will be an even nicer sized finished piece.

Looking into the drawers, I found an applique piece I barely remember making, and it needs only an outside border. In that case, I remember wrestling with an idea for the border, but I think the concept that was a stumbling block will be ditched in favor of a basic border, but with some piping for interest.

Scouting around the internet, I stumbled onto a designer who is new to me. Her name is Sindy Rodenmayer, and she has a wonderful selection of patterns. I was bowled over by her new Block of the Month, Blatimore Blues. Among the dozens of things I dream of making is a blue and yellow quilt. I rumbled casually through my stash, and pulled out my collection of Benartex squares from Mr. B's Fabric Club. There were packets from three fabric lines which fit the color palette, and other individual pieces from other collections that will suit, so I tucked them all in a container, started a journal, cut the templates. The background is one that I found on sale, and bought the remainder on the bolt, about eleven yards. I had already selected it to use with the Contrary Wife blocks, but it will be perfect as the neutral for this quilt. Anyway, I needed another project . . . after all, I have emptied three project containers!

This morning, I was glancing at my friends' blogs. I almost hyperventilated when I read in Laura's blog that she is tidying up her studio, and THROWING AWAY anything smaller than 6 x 6 inches. That seems HUGE to me. I go through my scraps, and keep anything that I can cut into a 2" half-square triangle. Have nearly a shoe box full, and when it "grows up", it will be a scrappy Ocean Wave.

It's a very gloomy day, rainy, and in fact, some of the county schools have had to close because roads are flooding. It seems like a perfect day to continue going through my studio. Need to try to get it more presentable before my sister-in-law arrives from Texas in two weeks. Actually, seeing it tidy will be more of a shock than seeing it in its present state of disarray!


Quilt Pixie said...

I too have a collection of hst moving towards ocean waves one day -- its a long time coming though and many of the squares don't have a good contrast so I'm a little worried about how it'll look :-(

Dawn said...

Kathie sent me an email to tell Laura NOT to throw those out and send them to me! I can't wait to see what you bring to Miss Mary's!

sossy said...

I had the same feeling to throwing stuff away, but did you ever hear Laura's story about how they cleaned out the garage?:)

atet said...

Wow -- you have been a busy bee. I'm feeling like a slug here!

Shelina said...

Thanks for the link - they certainly are beautiful patterns. I can't imagine throwing away such big pieces of fabric either! I'm sure there are plenty of scrap quilters - myself included - who would be willing to take them off her hands.