ROYGBIV and a couple more

…. I don’t think the rainbow normally features teal, pink, black, white, beige, grey or brown.

The scrap tangle is conquered! We are down to manageable proportions, and the boxes, baskets and buckets are all sorted. I had to add a box for brown (a colour that does not generally please me much) because I had an unaccountably large number of brown scraps. Who knew? I shall have to find a way to use these not so lovely fragments. The beiges and greys, cream, black and white in another box, and then finally, the rampant individualists, who refuse to be categorised and are too multicoloured to go anywhere else.

After the browns, that last box is going to the most challenging to use up, the special needs scraps which won’t fit just anywhere, being too quirky, too bright, too complex. There aren’t too many scraps that defied sorting, luckily. I shall try and regard them as the leaven in my scrappy dough, the ping of colour that lifts what might otherwise be just… OK.

A rainbow scrappy quilt is now on the horizon. A scrappy block a month isn’t a big ask, and I’ll just let it grow till I think it’s time to stop or I start repeating myself – or indeed, I run out of scraps in that colour. Grab a box, sew some pieces together, trim to size, job done. And then we’ll see how many scraps are left! It’ll have the virtue of dealing with the very smallest bits (because obviously I’ll make a point of using those), leaving me with the more versatile larger pieces which almost attain the status of ‘fabric’ rather than ‘scrap’. I’m not abandoning the Anemone scrappy quilt, but it’s a different kind of project, and doesn’t eat up these smaller scraps.

Not looking forward one little bit to the pressing and trimming bit that comes next, no sir… On the upside, the Bird finger is on the mend 🙂

Scrap Blindness

OK, well, the idea was to find a project that wouldn’t need nimble fingers, because Bird.

We’ve been talking about scraps, the care and management of. As I’ve confessed on more than one occasion, mine are like unruly children: they leave a mess everywhere, they’re into everything, they spread out of their allocated space and they darn well keep on growing. I have an uncanny ability to  ignore this growing problem and a deep-seated reluctance to address it. My current inability to sew seemed a perfect opportunity to bring about a bit of order without having to feel guilty/ tempted by a sewing project, because I can’t do that yet, but pulling scraps out of boxes and buckets, no problem.

Here’s only about 50% of the problem. Now, my classification of a scrap is anything smaller than about 3 inches square. Bigger than that, it’s fabric. Usable. It gets put away into my stash, without fail. So, these boxes, baskets and buckets are full of really small bits. Some of them tiny bits. There are one or two garments in mid-deconstruction, being  harvested for the fabric. The only way to bring this lot under control was to arm myself with some plastic bags from my dwindling supply, tip out one of the boxes and get sorting.

My brain seizes on colour first, rather than size, pattern or any other form of organisation. So that’s how I’m approaching the problem. The blue bag is done. There isn’t a scrap of blue left in any of those boxes. So are the aqua/teal and green bags. I’ve actually emptied enough of the boxes to transfer these colours back into them so I can see what’s there more easily than in a nasty grey plastic bag. Next will be yellow/ orange, then red, then pink, then purple, neutrals/black/white and finally all the multicoloured stuff that doesn’t have a strong lead colour. I thought about trying to sort all the colours at once but it didn’t work, I kept getting distracted.

Once they’re all done, I shall sort the individual box contents so they’re sorted, pressed and trimmed, tidy and colour-coded and ready for use. This is how it looks after the blue, teal and green were extracted from the overall mess.

There’s still a long way to go… I wonder how far I’ll get before I lose the will to live get bored.

ScrapHappy March

Time for more ScrapHappiness 🙂

Once again, it’s the day my friend Gun in Sweden and I host ScrapHappy, a day for showing something made from scraps.

This month, I’ve done something completely different. I’ve had very little time for the Anemone hexies, and have thrown together a scrappy block selected from a handful scooped out of my most recent scrap bucket. I have many teal scraps (big surprise there!), and this is going to be one of the final TWX blocks, a good use for them, I feel.

I say ‘most recent’ because I have multiple scrap buckets, and have added to my ever-growing To Do list a plan for a serious scrap manage-ment session once I’ve got a couple of projects out of the way. I’ll start by sorting them into colours, which seems the simplest plan of attack, followed by cutting them into useful sizes, and if not big enough to cut to a useful piece, I’ll sew them into one of these random blocks again.

I’m never going to be the kind of person who cuts to size and files away the minute I create a scrap, but if there’s a system going (apart from ‘toss it in the bucket’), I’ll try and use it. Try. I make no promises 😉 When you’re going with the flow, who has time to cut her scraps into tidy shapes?

ScrapHappy is open to anyone using up scraps – no new fabrics. It can be a random or formal quilt block, a pillow or pincushion, a bag or hat, a collage or rag rug. Anything made of scraps is eligible. If your scrap collection is out of control and you’d like to turn them into some-thing beautiful instead of leaving them to collect dust in the cupboard, why not join us on the 15th of each month? Either email me at the address shown on my Contact Me page, or leave a comment below. You can also contact Gun via her blog to join. You don’t have to worry about a long term commitment or even join in every month, just let either of us know a day or so in advance if you’re new and you’ll have something to show, so we can add your link.

Here are the links for everyone who joins ScrapHappy from time to time (they may not post every time, but their blogs are still worth looking at):

Usually has a scrappy post:

Gun at https://rutigt.wordpress.com (in Swedish and English)

Titti at http://tittisquiltlek.blogspot.se (in Swedish only)

Heléne at http://quiltochsom.blogspot.se (in Swedish only)

Sometimes has a scrappy post:

Eva at bambisyr-evaj.blogspot.com (in Swedish only)

Sue at sewingmagpie.blogspot.com (in English only)

Nanette at http://stitchandsow-homeandgarden.blogspot.com.au (in English only)

Lynn at https://thetialys.wordpress.com (in English only)

Norma at https://shesewsyouknow.wordpress.com (in English only)

Lynda at: https://pixilatedtoo.wordpress.com (in English only)

Birthe: http://birthesrom.blogspot.no (in Norwegian only)

Turid: http://densyendehimmel.blogspot.se (in English and Norwegian)

Susan: https://desertskyquilts.wordpress.com/ (in English only)

Cathy: http://nanacathydotcom.wordpress.com (in English only)

Debbierose: https://sewrosey.wordpress.com (in English only)

Tracy: https://itsatsweetsday.wordpress.com/ (in English only)

Jill: http://nicepieceofwork.wordpress.com/ (in English only)

Claire: https://knitnkwilt.wordpress.com/ (in English only)

Jan: http://thesnailofhappiness.com/ (in English only)

Karen: https://mewithptsd.wordpress.com/ (in English only)

Deb: https://abearsthimble.wordpress.com/ (in English only)

See you again, same time next month!

Oh……rats!

I do hate wasting time and effort.

Quilters will look at this photo and quickly understand what I’m talking about. Yup, I’d pin basted the whole thing before I noticed*.

I spent a solid 15 minutes trying to think of ways to avoid unpinning it all and doing it all over again. I couldn’t think of a satisfactory solution, especially as this my Secret Sewing, a bonus quilt which will be donated to Ovarian Cancer Australia once it’s done and the finalised pattern has been revealed by Teresa at Sewn Up. I’m just not OK about a very obvious fix-up on the back. So I unpinned the whole thing, gnashing my teeth as I went, and rearranged things and pinned it all. Again.

It’s OK this time, I’ve checked. Three times, to be exact.

Still, it’s down off the design wall, it’s ready to quilt, and that means I’ve been able to put up and arrange all the TWX blocks I have so far. Three still needed, two on their way from Margaret at The Crafty Creek. Once I have those, I’ll make the final one, and then I can start sandwiching and quilting the blocks.

And once that’s done, I’ll be able to spend some quality time on Miz Lizzie and her interior décor 🙂

*For the non-quilters, I’d laid out the backing of the quilt back to front, so the seams were on the outside… duh. In mitigation of my folly, this is the first time I’ve ever done it in over 10 years of quilting.

I just can’t help myself

I think it must be a character defect. I just can’t seem to control it these days.

I’m talking about doing fabric pulls and starting new projects with three already on the go and nowhere near complete. I have the Secret Sewing job, the TWX Ovarian Cancer quilt to get done by the start of May, and Sea Glass. And that doesn’t even take into account the Hat-box BM&I quilt, the Anemone ScrapHappy quilt, my embroidery, and two entire sets of F²F quilt blocks waiting to be assembled. I have never in my entire life had such a log-jam.

So I’m knuckling down to get at least the Secret Sewing quilt top completed. Not too much left to do still, but it’s meticulous work and I want to get it right. Quilting will be very straightforward and simple, so I hope to have it done in a week or two. Then I’ll have to get cracking on TWX. There are a couple of blocks still to come in, but I can certainly start sandwiching and quilting the ones I have. My lovely SIL is, she promises, happy to wait for Sea Glass, which is perhaps just as well…

Anyway, no prizes for guessing what the fabric pull is for. Yup, a pair of bunk quilts for Lizzie. Simple pieced squares, some small, some larger; dark and light blues, taupes, greys and creams and pale brownish pinks. Nice.

Now, let’s see how long I can hold out before I succumb to the urge to start pressing and cutting.

Curtain down: Foot²Freestyle draws to a close

For the past 21 months, an unusual swap bee has been quietly unfolding.

Screen Shot 2015-03-14 at 7.32.54 pmIt hasn’t been well known or publicised at all, but it has produced some extraordinary creativity, exciting use of colour, and inspiration to try our hands at something a bit different. Foot²Freestyle, or F²F as it has been familiarly known, required its members to produce three foot² (12×12 inch) blocks each month, in the recipient’s designated colours, but in any design, hence the Freestyle. Each member took it in turn to receive the month’s blocks, and while the rest of us could see and enjoy the blocks we were making in the F²F and then the F²F² galleries, the recipient stayed away, to enjoy the surprise when opening her envelopes. After the first 12 months, there was sufficient interest in the process to go again, with some new and some existing members from the first round.

The result is a pair of block galleries of great beauty and variety, a source of inspiration and ideas for future quilts for all of us. If you haven’t been following F²F up to this point, I encourage you to go and take a look, using the links in the previous paragraph and scrolling down month by month to see what everyone made. The galleries also show some finished quilts, demonstrating the amazing results a collaboration of creativity can produce. I also hope that members who complete their quilts at some future stage will let me have photos so that they can be added to the roll of honour.

To all those who have participated in either or both sessions, Sue and I as the originators of this block swap would like to extend our thanks and very best wishes for the future. We have greatly enjoyed working with you all, and hope that we will have an opportunity to renew that pleasure at some future stage.

Until we meet again around the F²F campfire, happy sewing, may your creative juices never run low, and see you on the other side of several fun new projects!

 

Please note that I am on the road most of 2 and 3 March, and may not be able to respond promptly to your comments or messages. I will do my best to catch up quickly!

Bee, Myself and I #12

The end of the month has come quickly this time!

hatbox-21 hatbox-22 hatbox-20Of course, February is shorter than all the other months, but even so, I’ve been madly busy. Not too busy to get my lovely hat-boxes done, though… You’ll remember that Lynn from Tialys and I are making hatbox blocks together; I’m doing it so I keep going till I’ve got enough to finish the quilt, and Lynn because she’s started making a wall-hanging for her bedroom, using fabulous Liberty prints.

We worked out that three blocks a month was workable and not too demanding of our time. And once the blocks are made, we can continue to encourage each other through the Quilt As You Go assembly process. I suspect that with 36 blocks rather than 12, I’ll be needing a lot more time and a lot more nagging encouragement… We shall see.

I particularly like the fabrics on the top two boxes. A little bit of hippy-chick fun, and the colours work in really well with the rest of the collection.  If you want a reminder of what all the previous ones look like, take a look at the photo below.

hatbox-halfway-collage-3

Bee, Myself and I is a forum for ‘selfish sewing’; any stitchery which is purely for pleasure and not for anyone else. The original concept belongs to Carla of Granny Maud’s Girl. To find out more, you can click through on either her blog link, or using the button in the left hand column

And that’s my BM&I post for this month. See you in March 🙂