SCRAP BONANZA #1

Scrap Bonanza #1 completed quilt top

Scrap Bonanza #1 (AKA a quarantine quilt) top is done !!! And I managed to go from 4 scrap bins to 3 after completing this top !!!!!! Yippee……

This top started two or three years ago with sewing together scrap Birds in the Air blocks from 3″ squares sewn into HST. A complete block took 16 HST. See https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2017/12/birds-in-air.html

1 Bird in the Air block made of 16 HST

The Bird in the Air quilt that I had given me the idea had lots of blocks all set together in rows with narrow sashing and posts. There is nothing wrong with that, but once I had enough blocks made to start playing with how I would set them together that “look” just did not inspire me. Um….now what?

Finally after some time of playing around with different settings, I came up with this by putting four blocks together:

4 Birds in the Air blocks sewn into one "Scrap Bonanza" block.
The grand daughter likes it too and started laying out her own quilt.

So I made a total of 16 large blocks (each made with 4 of the original Birds in the Air blocks). At this point I did not want to make anymore of these blocks. I sewed the 16 large blocks into four rows of four large blocks. The top of Scrap Bonanza #1 was about 60″ square.

Scrap Bonanza #1 before borders

It is really cheerful and bright and busy at this point. I love it but wow, I need somewhere to rest my eyes. So I will add a solid border – I still have lots of 2.5″ strips. Just FYI, the brown border is linen left over from another project.

I added a thin medium brown border around the blocks.

Now What To Do?

So I have the center done and one border added. Now what?? It is totally the wrong size at this point for anything I wanted to do. It’s too late to go smaller, so that means bigger, right? I get to use more scraps, right? See https://indianaquilter40.com/are-you-drowning-in-scraps-too/

I have two plastic containers of 2.5″ strips for log cabin blocks. What if I made a piano key border to complete this quilt? Can I be honest – I am not a fan of piano key borders. They are time consuming to make and right at this point, I just wanted this quilt top done.

So I looked around at my stash of UFOs – was there other blocks that could be used as a border? Not that I wanted to use for this. How about just a plain old solid border? That would be quick and easy. None of the fabrics I auditioned for an outer border looked right.

Yep, back to my first idea – make a piano key border. So I just started pulling strips out of the container. No rhyme to the colors I just sew the strips end to end into a long, long, long strip.

Cut the strips into 15″ lengths. Sew those lengths together in pairs down the long sides. Make enough to add to sides of top so this border goes all the way around.

First side of piano key border.
Piano key border done on one side of quilt.


Close up of piano key border and the triangle blocks of the Scrap Bonanza #1 quilt top
Close up of section of top.

I added the border to one side, then opposite side. Made a lot more border which I added to the remaining two sides. It was time consuming, but really easy. This quilt top “Scrap Bonanza #1” is done and I am really happy with it.

I also did not stress that all my points were not perfect. The “quilt police” are not coming after this quilt (I would not listen to them anyway). It was fun to make and really made a dent in the scrap problem I am trying to conquer.

Your Mission

Your mission should you decide to accept is to make a dent in your scrap bin. Step out of your comfort zone, do something fun (and maybe a little wild) with all those scraps you have been holding onto because they are just too nice to throw away. Have fun. Be creative. Enjoy the quilt journey you are on.

Challenge to myself

When I made up my list of projects to do for 2020, cornovirus was not on the radar. My time is usually limited with my job, and travel for my job so the list was what I knew I could do in a “normal” year. See https://indianaquilter40.com/quilting-goals-for-2020/

Now I am confined to working from home until further notice. It is so much easier to be productive on my quilts when I am right here at home. So I am challenging myself to see how many “quarantine” quilts I can make during this time.

Feel free to join me in this if you want. We can always give the tops or quilts away to friends or family. Or we can donate them to a worthy cause.

Other ideas for scrap quilts:

https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2018/10/little-gems.html

https://tallgrassprairiestudio.blogspot.com/2009/10/this-post-is-brought-to-you-byscraps.html

https://dordognequilter.blogspot.com/2011/10/first-there-were-scraps.html

https://cedarfork.blogspot.com/2015/02/scraps-be-gone.html

QUILTING DURING A CRISIS

Quilting during a crisis

The past few days have been interesting to say the least when it comes to the media panic over corona virus and how people around the USA are re-acting. I live in a rural area and am currently working from home instead of traveling for work. Any excuse for taking time to quilt is always good, but quilting during a crisis is productive and helps relieve the stress.

I want to encourage you to take care of yourself including eating properly, getting enough rest, some form of exercise, and of course quilting. If you are not sick, the most important thing is to stay well. If you are already sick, rest and allow yourself to get well.

This is great time to drag out those quilting UFOs you have shoved to the back of the closet. Pick one or two to work on and get busy. Busy hands tend to help us have better moods and being able to see progress on a project is always great.

Another important thing to do during this time is check on other people to see how they are doing or if you can help. Obviously the best way to check on people right now is using the phone or other technology. As quilters we tend to be generous and this is a great time to show that.

It looks like I will be working from home at least two weeks. I am understandably happy to not be traveling right now. Here is what I am doing that is quilt related during this quarantine time:

  1. Weeding old quilt magazines
  2. Binding quilts
  3. Cutting scraps into standard sizes and putting into plastic containers
  4. Catching up on reading other quilting blogs
clip art: Cabin Fever Reliever

Some encouragement about Quilting During A Crisis:

https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2019/08/just-do-it-or-encouragement-to-quilt.html

https://indianaquilter40.com/quotes-to-start-your-monday/

https://indianaquilter40.com/getting-more-time-to-quilt/

https://www.diaryofaquilter.com/2020/03/sewing-in-times-of-uncertainty.html

QUOTES TO START YOUR MONDAY

Quotes to Start Your Monday – The first day of the work week can be tough, after all, we would rather be quilting or doing something quilt related than going off to work. But we have to work to pay those bills and support our quilt habit – right?

Today, I just thought I would share a few of my favorite quotes that bring a smile to my face and encourage me as I am at work and wish I was quilting instead. Hopefully these quotes to start your Monday will encourage you as well.

QUOTES TO START YOUR MONDAY
Quote: Live. Laugh. Love....Quilt
Source: Pintrest
Quote: My mission in life is not merely to survive......
Quotes to Start Your Monday
Source: Pintrest
Quilt block with a quote.

Fellow Quilters, what are some of your favorite quotes?

https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2018/11/just-for-fun.html

https://indianaquilter40.com/what-started-my-quilting-obsession/

Note: The Source for all the photos on this post are from Pintrest.

GETTING MORE TIME TO QUILT

Clip art - triangle quilt block

Getting more time to quilt – in our crazy, busy lives this can pose a real problem. People have emailed me recently asking me how I get so much time to quilt each day. I don’t have any more time than you do.  However, I have learned to be a very good time manager and multi-tasker. We must make each minute count. Here are some simple things to help get more time to quilt each day.

Don’t:

compare what you get done or not to anyone else. None of us have the exact same responsibilities, schedules, or lives. Do what you can do. Remember that quilting is supposed to be fun.

Clip art - Never measure your progress using someone else's ruler.

get discouraged. Look at Pintrest, quilt shows, Facebook, magazines, books, etc as ideas for yourself. Look at the colors and patterns and enjoy.

Do:

keep several projects going simultaneously. I try to have a project in cutting stage, another in sewing stage, another in binding stage.  Also, one that can be completely by hand like English paper piecing or applique.

Tumblers and Hexagons are ready for sewing

always keep the sewing machine maintained and threaded so it is ready to be used whenever I(or you) have a few minutes.  Keep a project that is ready to be sewn beside the machine (right now I have a stack of tumbler blocks ready to go). I keep a container with all the pieces cut (and pinned) there ready to be sewn.

Get more time to quilt by being prepared.

use assembly line sewing if possible.

set a timer for small amounts of time to sew.  Even 5, 10, or 15-minute blocks give you a little more done on a quilt.

Making time to quilt - supplies are ready by sewing machine.
I have my timer set for 15 minutes and the project is ready to go.

limit social media and TV time.  If you are not good at this, set a timer and be firm with yourself about stopping when the timer goes off.

limit time talking on the phone, especially if you cannot multitask while visiting. I iron and sort fabric while on the phone. I put the phone on speaker while cutting.

Multi task while on phone.

keep a small project and supplies in a bag always ready to go along.  While waiting on the doctor, picking kids up, at the airport, at breaks between meetings, etc work on a project.  Small amounts of time add up quickly to a completed block or project.

Take heart:

Quilting should be fun. Even a few minutes each day brings enjoyment into your life. Have a wonderful day.

Other helpful ideas:

https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2019/07/waste-not-want-not-or-tips-for.html

QUILTING GOALS FOR 2020

Celebrate clip art - completed quilting goals

Quilting Goals for 2020 – I cannot believe how fast 2019 flew by! It was such a crazy busy year on so many levels: job, personal, and quilting. However, I can honestly say that I completed all my quilting goals for the year. I need to really pat myself on the back!

So how did you do on your quilting goals for 2019? It’s alright if you didn’t get them all done – any progress is better than nothing. If you are one of those rare people who actually got more done than what your goals were – yippee for you!!

People celebrating completing quilting goals.

I am a list maker, and it really does help me get things done in my life. I made myself a new “fancy” list template for quilting projects in 2020. You are welcome to use it too if you like:

I spent yesterday going through UFOs (Unfinished Objects) and deciding which ones I wanted to get done in 2020. Here are my quilting goals for next year:

List of Quilting Goals for 2020
Page 1
List of quilting goals for 2020
Page 2

My 2020 list is hanging in my sewing room where I can easily see it. I didn’t write any “prizes” in yet because I will decide on that as I go.

I don’t necessarily do the UFOs in any order – a lot of how they get done depends on my time and travel. The ones that need a sewing machine I have to do while home, but the ones I can do by hand (like applique, or bindings on small items) can go along on job trips.

The important thing is that I am working on the items all year and staying focused – it is so easy to get distracted and want to move on to another project before one is completed. Yep, that is how I ended up with so many UFOs in the first place….

Hopefully I have encouraged you to get busy on those projects you want to do for 2020, whether they are UFOs or a new item. Set quilting goals for 2020. Remember to have fun with your quilting.

Happy Stitching.

clip art sewing machine

P. S. Another helpful source on writing down goals for 2020:

https://prairiemoonquilts.com/its-that-time-of-year/

WHAT STARTED MY QUILTING OBSESSION?

Beginnings

I was in that difficult 10 – 12 year old stage and was totally stopped in my tracks by an Amish Lone Star quilt that my Aunt Fran had hanging in her antique shop. Wow!! The colors were so bright and the design was beautiful and I can still see the vivid turquoise colored background of that quilt in my mind. This was not a scrap quilt like the one on my bed or in my surroundings. I remember telling Aunt Fran that I wished I could make a quilt like that for myself. Her response was that I “could do anything I set my mind to”. That encouragement was the first step. Little did I know then, but I hold that beautiful quilt responsible for starting my quilting obsession.

I learned the basics of sewing from my grandma and one year of Home Ec in school. My grandma had her sewing machine in a corner of the kitchen, and it always seemed there was some project on it. I don’t remember her making quilts, but she made a lot of clothing. Once I expressed an interest in quilting, she would give me her cotton scraps and lots of encouragement to make a quilt (for many years, she was my biggest cheerleader).

I don’t remember learning the actual quilting stitch. Grandma exposed me to quilting bees. I do remember loving the texture of the quilting.

Clip art - cheer leader

My mom owned 2 sewing machines but hated to sew and avoided it at all costs. She was glad to let me use her machines but was no help when it came to what needed done on the quilt piecing. I think she believed that I would do one quilt and give it up.

Money was not readily available for extras in my younger years and so it took awhile of saving scraps from Grandma, and buying fabric or good used clothing (it had to be interesting fabric) at yard sales to have enough to make my first quilt, and that one just fueled my need to quilt.

Keep at it…

The years have taught me that anyone who wants to can learn to quilt. I have heard many people say it requires patience. Yes, I suppose but more than that it simply requires the need to not give up on one self. Quilting has helped me through tough times, happy times, and just day to day life.

Clip art - sewing machine with quilt pieces and sewing supplies.

I hope I can encourage and inspire you in your quilting journey:

  • This is not a stuffy office job, have fun.
  • Do not break the piggy bank.  Basic sewing supplies are fine – just use the best you can afford.
  • Check at a local fabric store, the extension office, or the library to find other quilters. You are not alone in this journey. 
  • Start with a simple project. Something small like a table runner or baby quilt is usually quick to finish and boosts your confidence.  If you really want to start out with a bed quilt, the easiest patterns are squares or rectangles.

The best thing is that after all the hours that go into a single quilt I have something wonderful to show for it. Each quilt is an individual object. I also do not have to follow the rules when quilting – other than using good quality supplies and making sure my seams are even. This is a wonderful hobby and stress relief and I fully enjoy it.

And the journey continues…

I have never regretted my journey through quilting. It brings great joy to my life. I hope it gives you great joy in your life too.

Quote: When life hands you scraps - make quilts!