Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Scrappy Mountains in Trumbull!

Yesterday was the Scrappy Mountain Majesties workshop in Trumbull! I was really glad they chose this for a workshop---When trying to get stash and scraps under control, it is sometimes daunting to a new scrapper to tell them to bring a large variety of fabrics cut into 2” strips, or 2.5” squares and 2.5” X 4.5” bricks…if you haven’t already started your own Scrap User’s System….it can be a HUGE undertaking to start cutting for a class that uses smaller pre-cut measurements and feel like you have the variety that an interesting scrap quilt requires. I understand this…so where is a good place to start?

With BIGGER pieces! Scrappy Mountain Majesties uses 8.5” squares that can be easily cut down from a collection of Fat Quarter cuts you have always wanted to use in “Something”---and after cutting some squares from the Fat Quarter, it is then easy to take the left-overs and start slicing them into the strip sizes that you want to use in your own Scrap User’s System. You can cut for a project for the workshop --- be ready fairly quickly---and have the beginnings of a good variety of strips and units in usable sizes as you continue to cut down the left-overs as you make them.

This is a question I get asked again and again and again….”Where do you suggest I start?! There is so much! There are boxes, and bins and it is too much to deal with---“

Start with a project you have always wanted to make….cut for it from your scraps…and as you clean up the left overs from that project…slice the remaining fabrics down. Make sure that NOTHING you take OUT of the “scrap box” gets puts back IN that “scrap box” again. We are going FORWARD, not BACKWARD! With the leftovers from this project being purposed into good sizes, they will be ready accessible for future quilts.

From then on, get into the habit of taking care of your leftovers just as you would take care of cleaning up dishes after a meal.

You can make your own rules as you go along….for instance, you might decide that anything bigger than 6.5”, or half the size of a Fat Quarter may remain whole, and be folded in and stored with the Fat Quarters by color, or style or what-have-you. But if that left over piece is smaller than that 6.5”…it gets sliced into sizes and filed away into the strip bins. Do what works for you! Once you have various sizes of strips, and a good variety of them, you will want to always be on the lookout for quilt designs that use the sizes of strips you have ready at hand.

It was a happy moment yesterday morning when I asked the group for a show of hands—who here this morning is sewing from at least 75% stash fabric?!? Lots of hands went up, and many also yelled that they were 100% stash users for this class. This makes me feel so happy!

And of course, I had to pose with the Millenium Fabric that found it’s way home with me after the scrap feeding frenzy the other day!

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Somehow I never ended up with THIS one in my stash….let’s just say….that I’m going to have to cut this one REALLY SMALL if it is going to work in any future quilts! LOL!!!!! At this point, 3/4” strings are looking REALLY GOOD! Smile with tongue out

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There has been binding activity happening in the evenings. Last night I finished binding the sampler quilt that has the Japanese fabrics on the back. I've got one side bound on the Scrappy Bargello that is also going to Japan. We keep plugging away! And they should be ready to mail off when I head back home.

I’m on my way to Poughkeepsie, NY! I’m visiting with the First Dutchess Quilters for a guild meeting on Wednesday night, and a Nine Patch Split workshop on Thursday! Come on Spring, send some warmer temps our way!


  1. "Make sure that NOTHING you take OUT of the “scrap box” gets puts back IN that “scrap box” again." - I've been living by this rule lately as I have been challenging myself to make a few gift quilts entirely from my stash, using Kim Brackett's books on sewing from 2 1/2" strips (ANYTHING in my scraps can be cut into at least a 2 1/2" square!). For each piece that comes out, I've cut what I need, and then the rest gets sliced into 2 1/2" or 1 1/2" strips. I've also used your bonus triangles method on a quilt I'm piecing now and have 160 little 2" HSTs that may just go into a pretty little basket quilt. Finally, I've started using your leaders & enders techniques and have yet to decide what to do with the 1 1/2" strips I'm piecing together. I have my eye on the Center-Nine star pattern at Quilter's Cache, but am bookmarking lots of free patterns that call for pieces in the 1 1/2" or 2 1/2" sizes. Thanks for so much inspiration!! It comes at a great time with cotton prices being so high and yet I still want to make as many beautiful quilts as always!

  2. The other night, I couldn't sleep, so I cut out a quilt kit completely from the stash! It's nothing fancy - just a basic double 4-patch - but it's a "free" quilt from my box of charm squares! Setting up a scrap system seems daunting at first, but it's totally worth it and not too cumbersome to maintain.

  3. Those photos of Scrappy Mountains Majesties are so fun to look at! What a great block - that works up pretty fast too!

    Bonnie, it looks like you scored enough 2000 yardage to last you at least another hundred years. If anyone can cut it up and "UN-UGLY-IT" you can! ;)

    Love from Texas! ~bonnie

  4. Great workshop and great quilts in progress. I just bought a 3 drawer rolling storage bin so I can start cutting up scraps and getting them organized for some scrappy quilts. Course I am still working on RRCB.

  5. Anonymous11:11 AM EDT

    My scrap collection is small, with a lot of random fat quarters. With moving every 3 years, I try to keep it into 1 storage container. I recently saw a rainbow string quilt, and fell in love. It started out white in the top left corner and ended with black in the lower right. Now I'm motivated to downgrade my 7 year old stash, and started making the single colored blocks as I go, and store them in the guest room dresser (we rarely have guests). I also have a lot (enough for a decent sized quilt) of 8" tissue paper squares that were leftover from my grade schooler's Valentine's Day project I headed up, so everything is just waiting for me. It is my ongoing project.

  6. Thanks for coming, Bonnie. We all had a great time at your lecture and class. Enjoy NY and get home safe.

  7. Whoo hoo see you tonight!
    Ha, I may have to find my millennium fabric to bring to you :0) because it is different from all the others you have.

    Safe travels and Happy Sewing

  8. Unfortunately, I am adding scrap boxes instead of getting rid of them. I must listen to the gurus and get hopping..or cutting..

  9. Hey, Bonnie. That's exactly the approach I've taken to conquering my scrap bins. Some days, when I don't know what else I want to work on, I'll pull down the bin and just cut for a few hours (or a few minutes). By the end, I usually am inspired by something I've pulled out that I had forgotten was in there. After I finish piecing a quilt, I cut all the leftovers to go into the sized bins. My current scrap project is your Texas Braid! Lovin' it. Lane

  10. Love the scrappy mountains.
    I use your scrap saving/sorting methods and now have ALL 3 of your wonderful books....so many quilts so little time.Thanks for all your great ideas in your books and here on your blog.

  11. This is one I need to make. I have all those pastel plaid cotton shirt fabrics from my family member who passed last year. She would have love to see those get used up.
    I really like the big polka dot quilt and also the patriotic one that only a partial block was shown. Those ladies really did some power sewing that day!
    XOXOXO Subee

  12. We really need to get you to NYC one of these years. So close and yet so far! These people are having entirely too much fun!!!

  13. I think you offer good advice on organizing scraps. Though I am not a machine user or high tech quilter I keep my "collection" organized in buckle boxes by color. They stack nicely in a hallway. The smaller scraps I cut into 4,3,2,or 1 inch blocks (with half inch over for seams) and put into tins. Anything bigger I can cut as needed and those blocks are the first place I go for take-along-work.

  14. I have enjoyed following you on your trip and visits with the guilds.
    What fun to go to new places and meet new quilting friends.



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