Monday, August 19, 2013

Happy Birthday, Joellen, Melissa and Ally, Too!

We had a crafty birthday party with Joellen recently, that's the birthday girl seated in the center. Doesn't she look great? Two of Joellen's daughters joined us and they are seated with her. That's me standing on the left, then Ellyn and Melissa...we clean up pretty good!

Joellen loves greys of all shades - they look fabulous on her, too! So, I whipped up a little mini quilt to hang on the wall or use on a tabletop.

The title is 'Crossed Paths' and I mentioned on the label how I was glad that our paths have crossed.

This was a Stampin' Up party at Sharon's house and we made two quick cards, fun huh? Afterwards, we did lunch at Jason's Deli...yummy!

I missed Melissa's birthday party last month because of a family funeral. Yellow is her fave color so, I made her a fun wristlet out of denim and lots of yellow things. This is of my favorite ways to use scraps!

Ellyn's teen daughter, Ally, had a birthday recently as well. Her favorite color is sparkle! Here's the skinny wristlet I made for her:

These crafty birthdays are a new tradition for our group and I love it! Raquel is next in November. What crafty things do you do to celebrate special events?

Monday, August 12, 2013

Scrap Storage - How I Do It

I was fortunate to be introduced to the Bonnie Hunter scrap saving method right as I started quilting. My delve into scrapbooking proved that some sort of scrap saving method would be crucial to my sanity! It has become my habit to address the leftovers as I complete each project - it's part of my clean-up process and just takes a few minutes.

However, If you have been sewing or quilting for any length of time, getting the scraps organized can be daunting! Start where you are right now and gradually work in what you have stashed. My system has evolved a bit over the last few years and I think letting it evolve in the future is crucial for success! Currently, I don't do all the sizes that Bonnie recommends. This is what works for me:

- Bulk yardage (over a half yard, that isn't part of a project) is sorted by color and stored 'flat fold' in drawers. Yes, I am guilty of buying fabric without a specific project in mind...maybe I am more of a collector than a true quilter!

- Less than a 1/2 yard? Cut a fat quarter if possible. Then, 2.5 inch strips at least 18 inches long. Or, 10 inch squares.

-Irregular strips or those less than 2.5 inches wide (or less than 18 inches long) go into one big bin regardless of color (for string pieced blocks).

- I save selvedges into another bin. I want to make a selvedge quilt someday, but even if I don't they are great for tying cords, bundling up my squares, even staking tomato plants!

- My next priority in the cut down process is 5 inch squares and 2.5 inch squares.

- The little odd shapes (minimum 1.5 inches) that remain from cutting down the squares are sorted by color as well for liberated or improv piecing.

Tons of them will go in a quart bag - all the quart bags are in one tub under the bed.

- I do have a stash of the little giblets that are smaller than 1.5 inches because I have used them in making homemade paper in the past. Although they take up very little room, I no longer save them. I just don't see me making paper anytime soon (it's so messy and time consuming) and I save a few minutes in the clean up process that can be spent sewing!

The fat quarters, strips, 10, 5, and 2.5 inch pieces are the sizes that most pre-cut patterns list. That is the bulk of what I do right now and being able to grab and go is wonderful!

Everything (but strings) is sorted by color and size and stored in clear shoeboxes. A shoebox will hold up to 36 fat quarters depending on how you fold/roll them...I have 15, you may only need 4 or 5. Hundreds of 5 inch squares and thousands of 2.5 inchies fit into a shoebox...I have one for each size and they are seperated by color inside. I also have a shoebox that holds pre-packaged charm packs.

I try to get everything put away immediately when I've been shopping, but that doesn't always happen! I have 3 shopping bags to go through - I suppose I will do that now...