Distraction Sewing

Sometimes, I need a simple sewing project to work on, whether I’m procrastinating working on homework or just feeling anxious and need a distraction.

For each of these projects, I started out with a scrap piece from a Square Dance Panel, and added scraps of solid strips to the sides to simply frame them or make a log cabin block.

It was relaxing to start with a small piece and challenge myself to keep adding to it without a plan.

I haven’t decided yet what I’m going to do with these blocks, maybe just a fun set of mini quilts for our end tables or mug rugs.

I love these panels, and I especially love to imagine what they would look like as a doodle page in a sketchbook. That’s next on my list of distractions.

A Package From A Friend

I received this package recently from a friend. The envelope didn’t have a return address, but I had an idea who it came from when I looked at the postmark. I know my sewing readers and fabric hoarders out there will appreciate this package.

I had forgotten she offered to share some of her Flea Market Fancy fabric scraps with me. I never bought any of those fabrics the first time they came out, so she was kind enough to share some from her stash. I love the flat, soft colors in this collection, and the simple, whimsical designs. They make me think of gardening and summer days. Some of these prints work well as basics, enhancing a variety of solids and other prints, so it will be fun to incorporate these pieces in a project with more fabrics from my stash. I’m hoping to get a few fat quarters when the second round comes available. Thanks, friend!

A Project for a Project

I fell in love with the idea of this project, where you sew scraps together into strips, then sew solid fabrics to either side of those strips, and arrange the new blocks to look like a forest of birch trees. I went through my scrap bin and cut up snippets measuring 2.5 inches wide by varying lengths.

I decided I needed to make some new storage cubes to hold my new pile of snippets, separate from my scrap bin.

These storage cubes are so fun and quick to make, and quite handy to have around.

Now I can just reach into one of these cubes to easily pick out random snippets to piece my birch tree forest together. Should be a fun project to work on here and there, when I have small chunks of time to sit at my sewing machine.

Making New Fabric From Scraps

I am always inspired by what Victoria is doing with her scrap fabric stash. I especially loved this project, where she pieced together new fabric with her bits of scraps, and turned it into a fabulous notebook cover.

In my efforts to figure out interesting ways to use my scraps, I made some new pieces of fabric. I tried to end up with a larger square so it would be big enough to make something fun, like a new Artist Tote. This piece below came to be an 18-inch square, so far. Not sure where I’m headed yet. I might stop with this piece. Or I might keep going and make a bunch of new patchwork bags for my shop.

It was so freeing for me to sew like this, just picking a scrap, any size scrap, out of my bin and adding a little here and a little there.

It’s going to be a fun challenge to think of unique ways to use these new pieces of fabric. I have lots of fun pieces to use up, so I’m excited about scraps again!

Chocolate Lollipop Scrap Inventory

I found a few moments of free time recently, so I decided it would be fun to take inventory of my highly treasured chocolate lollipop scrap stash.

It was so fun to lay them out like this to see what I have in each print. By the way, these are just my scraps! I do have larger pieces in my fabric stash.

Since I am terrible at using scraps from my fabric stash, I dove right in and pieced together some patchwork. I think these might end up being a pencil case for art supplies or maybe a notebook cover.

You know me, I love the chocolate lollipop fabric collection designed by Anna Maria Horner back in 2007! I love the bright colors. I love the whimsical designs. I love the name  – chocolate lollipop. Who wouldn’t want to have a chocolate lollipop? Makes me want to run out to the old fashioned candy store to get one. Right now.

Playing With Scraps

I am terrible at organizing my fabric stash. I am even worse at scrap management. I wish everything was organized by color, but for now it’s just shelved where it fits.

I recently sorted some of my scraps by color and cut them into strips. But so many strips are a little too small to make log cabin blocks or string blocks.

Maybe those small pieces should end up in my snippets bin. But then what?

I also realized I don’t have many light value prints in my stash.

So I find playing with scraps frustrating.

I have even considered chopping up some of my stash just so I have a better scrap pile!

I do have a separate bin where I keep my Sis Boom fabric scraps, which inspires me so much more than my other piles!

And yes, I have another couple bins where I keep my Anna Maria Horner fabric scraps but I have another post planned for that.

Besides a Ticker Tape Quilt, I have been looking for ideas on using small scraps, and guess where I ended up? at this amazing post by Amanda Jean, of course! I’m thinking maybe I should start out with some mug rugs that I could use for gifts. And then some scrappy notecards like these and this one. What do you make with your scraps, especially smaller pieces?

I think I might make some storage cubes to sort my scraps better. How do you organize your scraps, especially smaller pieces?

Playing With the Color in My Scraps

I have been challenging myself to get reacquainted with my stash and my scraps. A couple color-coordinated patchwork blocks seemed like a great use of my time.

I started out with the blue scrap pile.

Since I was on a roll with the cool tones, I continued to dig through my stash for greens, which was really fun.

Then I decided it was time to warm things up a bit, so I pulled out my color wheel to see what was opposite of blue and green. Turns out I needed to find red-orange, so I looked for fabrics that ranged from red to orange. I thought it would be fun to include some pink splashes too.

How fun was that?! No, seriously, it was great fun. I’ve had zero inspiration to use my scraps, so this was a fun challenge. What better way to mix up my stash to really see what I have.

I am hoping to float these three blocks (about 10 inches each) in a solid fabric to make a quilt, something similar to this beautiful quilt, but I haven’t decided yet which solid color to use for the background. Have you challenged yourself lately?

I Spent the Weekend With a Rockstar

Okay, so maybe she’s not a rockstar in the music world, but she is a rockstar in our quilting/blogging world! Since we live in the same state and within driving distance from each other, we made a spontaneous decision to get together this weekend.

I felt so lucky to get to sleep under this beautiful quilt.

We made a mess in her clean house.

We pieced and quilted.

We traded fabrics and and the tiniest scraps.

It’s so nice to have a fresh pile of scraps because now I’m even more excited to make my own ticker tape quilt after seeing her masterpiece in person. I stopped and stared at it every time I walked past it. It was more fun than an I-Spy quilt.

We brainstormed new ideas.

We never left the house! (thank goodness she fed me very well) It was great fun!

Pinwheel Options

Ever have too many options, and get paralyzed in making a decision? I have been working away little by little on my pinwheel play.

I made this variety of pinwheel blocks using scrap squares of these fabrics by Jennifer Paganelli and adding white squares to some and solid squares to others.

They look cheerful and colorful hanging on my design wall, but beyond that, I’m not sure which direction to go next.

Depending on the layout, I could easily make more blocks, but I don’t really feel like it. I could also add sashing, but I’m not a fan of  doing sashing. I might end up making a set of cute mini quilts like Vicki did.

I find it humorous that my 15 minutes of play with scrap squares left me with a UFO, darn it! Suggestions welcome!