Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Getting Serious With Scrap Reduction!

I have a confession to make.

Due to an extra busy life, there are parts of my fabric stash that are COMPLETELY out of control.

Oh, I’ve been very consistent with tackling scraps as *I* make them – from finishing up quilts and working on projects.  That is such a habit that my Scrap User’s System is FULL.  Drawers are burgeoning.  There is pre-cut fabric a plenty just waiting for projects.

But this?  This is the “holding pen” for things I haven’t had a chance to cut down.  Mostly because even if I DID cut it, I’d need more drawers to store it.  And sometimes you need bigger or different sizes of pieces than the 4 core sizes my Scrap User’s System provides.

BUT how did this get this way? Fabric gifts from friends and readers, or fat-quarters I wasn’t in love with any more and they hit the bins to be cut up so I could use them.

At least I HAVE sorted things by color family, but this isn’t good enough.  Something else has to happen, and I’m about ready to get busy with this.


From the purple bin.

I am ready to start the rectangle process of this year’s Checkerboard Rails Leader & Ender Challenge.  And a challenge it is --

Either I could completely deplete the 1 1/2’’ strips I have on hand by cutting them into 6 1/2’’ lengths for this project – or I can do better.  And I decided to do better and process a lot of these odd hunks AND kit for another project I’ve been wanting to do for a long time.

At the far left of this photo – a 6 1/2’’ strip which will be cross-cut into 1 1/2’’ segments just perfect for Checkerboard Rails AND some Little Monkey Blocks that I’ve been wanting to do.


Much better than sub-cutting 1 1/2’’ strips to 6 1/2’’!

And whatever is left is getting quickly sliced into Scrap User’s System size widths so that purple fabric is in the bin NO MORE.

Once I have a whole bundle of 6 1/2'' strips - they will be run through the Accuquilt Studio with the 1 1/2'' die making this process even speedier.  I don't own a 6 1/2'' die at this point. Don't really see the need for one.


Dancing Dashes from 100 blocks, vol 11!

Those 1 1/2’’ x 6 1/2’’ rectangles for Checkerboard Rails are also just the right size for doing the “twosie” units for these blocks.  Some for this project, some for that project – and much taming of the scraps in the process.  Is that a triple-win?


This set is ready to go!

The half-square triangles are cut in already-matched pairs with the red and neutral fabric right sides together. I used my Essential Triangle Tool to cut the triangles.  There is more on this block tutorial by scrolling down to Little Monkey under the Free Patterns tab at the top of the blog.

I need a lot of variety for the Checkerboard Rails.  I want those units cut so I can continue with the leader & ender-ing when December finally calms down enough to let me sew. 

And when I can’t sew, I can grab 15 minutes or so every now and again to press and cut and tackle what is in the bins, cutting for 2 projects as I go.  Scrap USER'S rejoice!

As for that basement closet?  It’s pretty embarrassing, and you are not likely to see the entirety of it! I have also told Mona to “Have at it!” and help herself to anything she needs.  My STABLE (STash Accumulated Beyond Life Expectancy) is full to bursting. It's ridiculous.


From yesterday morning’s walk with Sadie.

This little cottage sits under a HUGE tree just as you turn out of my neighborhood.  Every time I stop at the stop sign to look both ways, I smile.  Just like the Mona Lisa, the window “eyes” follow me whichever way I turn.  The house always seems to be smiling back at me.  I’ve often thought that if this little house went up for sale I’d buy it and move my business into it so I could go to work during the day, and leave work at work in the evening and come home.  There’s something to be said for leaving work at work!  I’m doing my best to accomplish that here leaving my evenings and weekends (when I am not gone teaching) free for myself.

Son Jason arrives this evening.  He is driving up from Columbia, South Carolina when he gets off of work.  We fly to Idaho tomorrow morning early.

With two sides of the family, Dave’s and mine – about 70 miles apart from each other, it’s a bit of a kerfuffle trying to find time to see everyone, squeeze everything in.  The plan is to see MY side of the family for a long lunch tomorrow upon arriving in Boise.  And then we will drive on to Payette, Idaho / Ontario, Oregon from there.

Friday is for family time.  It’s a sad yet blessed occasion for a reunion and seeing so many folks I haven’t seen in more than 15 years, but it will be good.

Saturday is the memorial service.

Sunday we will drive back up to Boise where we have been invited to my brother Mike's house for lunch.  (Not Mark, he is in AZ and I am going there after Thanksgiving.) There will also be some time to see Dave’s cousins that we are close to.  Monday we fly home arriving home late Monday night.  Jason will stay the night and drive back home on Tuesday.  Wednesday we’ll head up to the cabin for Thanksgiving.  Every day is just planned to the hilt.

SO!  There are a couple of things going on here that are being written ahead!


Quilty Box Gift-Away TIMES TWO!

This is being set for tomorrow, so you’ll want to come throw your name in the hat.  Quilty Box is now offering the MINI – charm pack, thread and pattern!  I’ll be drawing for 2 winners of this month’s Latifah Saafir boxes, the full size and the mini – whoowhooo!  Come by tomorrow for that!


It’s nearly time for THIS!
Quiltmaker’s 100 blocks, vol 16!

In fact, it’s already going on!  It started Monday.  My day is Friday.  Catch up with all of the current excitement on Quiltmaker Magazine’s Quilty Pleasures blog and be sure to come back here on Friday for what I have planned for you.


Sneak Peek!!


Quiltville Quote of the Day!

No matter the stresses happening in your life, and we all have them - decide before your feet hit the floor how this day is going to go.

Your first thoughts prepare you to meet the day ahead!

Have a Wonderful Wednesday, everyone!


  1. Bonnie,
    I am thinking about getting an accuquilt machine...which dies do you use?

  2. I know you are extra extra busy but...Each of us that takes a class from you would just die to have a bag of your scraps. Perhaps whatever pattern you are using for the class and a packet of scraps cut to size for each of us, however small. I would volunteer to cut before the class and I am sure quite a few others would too. Just a thought. I would have a "piece" of Bonnie Hunter in my quilt.

  3. Can I just say THANK you for that photo of the tubs!!! I do so good organizing and then.. bam - things explode - so glad to hear that a scrappy superstar like you even has a *don't look in there* space - ha ha!!!

  4. Good luck with your trip Bonnie. I've been to Ontario Oregon. We watched the eclipse there last year. Sweet little town!

  5. I thought you were going to see your dad and brother after the memorial, you are a busy woman, I do not know how you keep up everyone including yourself. I know it is shame for us to only see each other at funerals. Be safe, We love you.
    Bettie Sue in Middle TN

  6. We watched the eclipse in Ontario Oregon too! I feel for you having to be gone and then do Thanksgiving. If I was closer I'd volunteer to grocery shop for you!

  7. Be sure to "wave" at me from I-84 as you drive by Caldwell on your way to Payette! There's a new Dutch Bros drive thru coffee at the Franklin road (the one with the Flying J truck stop)exit, just in case you need something hot to drink for the drive.

  8. Blessings for a safe trip, remembering with family and your return for Thanksgiving. Plans made are also plans to be altered as situations occur....you do so well with your scheduling and making everyone feel loved. I too, was glad to see your "tubs" as I am trying to get to that stage in a small 2 bedroom duplex which does not have much in the way of storage. How high can one safely stack the tubs? Like you, I have more than I can possibly sew up in my life time which is considerably shorter than yours by 25 years. Savor the time with your families and remember to take care of yourself, also.(this is a Mom talking)

  9. Wishing you safe travels, hope everything goes as planned. Take care of yourself and your lovely family.
    Love and quilty hugs

  10. I love the cottage!!!!What a great idea to think of it as a place for your business. Maybe that idea will one day bloom into reality. Love your quilts and all the fabulous scrappy ideas you share with us!

  11. Safe travels for you and your family. It is a time to see all the people you haven't seen for ages. And celebrating your father in laws life with family will be happy and sad. You are going to be so busy. Take care of yourself. We all are thinking of you and send hugs.

  12. About that little house. Go visit the owner and mention (ha!) that you’d be interested in buying, if they’re interested in selling. Good things do happen!

  13. We don't fly often but missing you in the air again! Someday I'll be on a flight with Bonnie Hunter!

  14. Flying is the best way to go! Mona is Lucky you have such a STASH. Love that Purple bin. You used up a bunch of the Purple for last years Mystery. I got the 100 Blocks at Albertson's and found your block on the cover. Who else uses the kitchen sink for Background?? I can use up some scraps and make your block while I wait for the 1st clue. "1 more week and 2 more days...parle vous" singing the song my FIL used to sing, lalala.

  15. Bonnie! I love the STABLE! I have not heard that, but is so true at this house. I just need a Mona to help me use it!

    Safe travels quilt friend! Happy that you will be able to see family and spend a bit of time.

    May your memories and celebration of a life well lived bring you and your family peace and comfort in the coming days!

  16. Love to you and your family during these sad days, Bonnie. Thank God for family to help us all through trying times.

    I hope some day you do buy your little cottage. I love that her "eyes" follow you as you turn the corner. I used to drive a little Colt Vista mini-van to work every morning. As the sun rose behind me, my side view mirrors and car made a shadow on the road in front of me and darn if it didn't look like the shadow of Mickey Mouse. It certainly put me in a peaceful place to start my working day. I always thought I was being silly, but hearing about your "happy face" cottage" lets me know I am in good company.

    Peace be with you and yours and you're all in my prayers.

    Loretta McDermott McGinn

  17. Safe travels, God bless you and your family . Enjoy your family and holiday.

  18. Prayers and safe travels I'll be thinking about you and family.

  19. I'd be grateful to take scraps off anyone's hands! I am currently collecting to make 3 Quilts of Valor for 2 friends now in there 70's, and one for my husband. The 2 friends both served in the Army, and then re-uped in the Navy during the Vietnam Era. I plan to use greens and tans in their quilts along with reds-whites-and blues. My husband was in the Navy during the Vietnam Era. His quilt will be reds-whites-blues and blacks (Their dress uniforms where black and white at that time. Their work uniforms were denim blue jeans and blue work shirts). My son also served in the Navy - he will have to wait his turn (age wise) for his quilt!☺

  20. My "STABLE" is horrific as well (has been for a long time) and since downsizing 4 yrs ago, I have also been on a mission to tame the STABLE. That, however, hasn't been happening as swiftly as I'd like. But instead of doing it your way, I've been filling shopping bags and taking to the quilt group at church. They've probably had enough of my gifts..need to find other opportunities for gifting.

  21. Bonnie, I don't know you find the time to do it all. I'm sorry for your family's lost. Save travels.

  22. Me either, How do you manage to do ALL that you do? It's an amazing feat.
    My condolences to you & family..I'm continuing to send my prayers..God Bless.

  23. Your stash is calling me.....will be right over,lol :)

  24. STABLE! I love it. My stable isn't corralled quite so neatly. I've got some stuffed in two dressers. I have some stuffed in cardboard boxes on shelves. I have some stacked in bookcases under the stairs. And, I have assorted boxes stuffed and stacked in my studio and under cutting tables and quilter. Each year I do get it organized a bit better so that I can at least see what fabrics I have... this year I have almost exclusively used my stash ... even for the mystery!

    Safe travels and enjoy your family through the holiday and this sad time.

  25. My STABLE got so bad, I filled eight copy paper boxes of scraps and smaller than 9 inch pieces and took them from Phoenix, AZ up to the Navajo nation quilters above Winslow, AZ. They have three groups on the reservation and are always looking for fabric. I, also, take many items to an elementary school there. When you have plenty, share with the ones who don't.

  26. Bonnie-

    I am so sorry you have to go through this now, but, your dear FIL is no longer suffering.

    You are heading into your home area and my family area, also. Is the funeral in Ontario, Payette or where? I have family in all the areas you mentioned, and also New Plymouth, ID; and of course Boise, too.

    My you go with God's Speed, and have safe travels. Enjoy time with your family, too.

    Kasilof, AK

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  28. I sure am ready for the mystery. Love them. The Rally Quiltmaker block looks like fun.

  29. Dear Angela Fox

    Tell Dr. Akhigbe he picked the wrong thing to enlarge. Get back to us if he invents a stash closet enlargement cream. He can retire he'll be so rich.

  30. Bonnie, can I come play in your stash 😄.


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