Some Thoughts and, of course,…….Clue #2

The other day when I posted my scrap organization system, I told you that I save a lot of different size squares.  I didn’t want to scare you off.  So what I didn’t say is that I save them in 1/4″ increments from 1 1/2″ to 6″.  I also save some 3/8″ and 7/8″ sizes of a few squares that I find come in handy for making half square triangles. You have a multitude of possibilities with your sorted and cut scrap stash. Here are a few ideas to use those sizes. If a pattern calls for several squares of the same fabric, I cut up the larger squares.  I’m working on one now that calls for 8- 3″ squares that need to be the same.  I sorted through my 6″ blocks finding doubles and cut them up. I have 8 – 3″ squares just like that!  And what fun I have sorting for doubles!  There’s that chance to pet, fondle and remember again!  When I find too many of an odd size square that never seems to get used, sew them end to end and use as sashing or as a border or IN a border.   WHALA!  You’ve created some brand new interest and added some pizzaz!  And cornerstones!!!  They all come in handy for that!  Make your sashing fit the size of your cornerstone!  Who says the sashing has to be 2 1/2″?  Be creative!  Got a pattern that uses a 4 patch?  Do some math and make it a 9 patch of smaller squares, or a 16 patch!!  Have some fun!  I love figuring out “Just What Can I Do With ALL These Scraps?!!!”

OK, You’ve been very patient!  Well, at least some of you have……..you know who you are!  Lol!  So here’s Clue #2.  Remember the larger size is in ( ).  Also, I used one colored fabric for the pieces used below in part 2.  I commented that if I had to do it over I would use assorted colors.  Some of you have chosen to do that.  If you are using one fabric you may cut and sew strips to use a short cut.  Otherwise you are doing it the long way.  Sorry, I don’t want you to be confused.

Surrounded by Scraps  –  Clue #2

1. Using one 1 1/2″ background square and one 1 1/2″ assorted colored square, sew together and press to the dark side. Make 48 (80).

2.  Sew one 3 1/2″ x 1 1/2″ background section and one 3 1/2″ x 1 1/2″ assorted colored section together  as shown.  Press to the dark side.   You will need 96 (160).  If you are using a single contrasting fabric you may cut 1 1/2″ strips, sewn together lengthwise to 1 1/2″ background strips and cut to 3 1/2″ bricks (3 1/2″ x 2 1/2″). 

3.  Sew one brick to each side of the two-patch made in #1.  Make sure that the colored square lines up with the background color as shown. Should measure 2 1/2″ x 7 1/2″ Press to the center.  Make 48 (80).

4.  Sew one  3 1/2″ x 7 1/2″ background section lengthwise to the colored side of the above piece.  Should measure 5 1/2″ x 7 1/2″.  Press to the background side.   Make 48 (80).

Next clue will be on March 8th at 7pm EST.  As always, have fun and Happy Quilting!

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THANK YOU FOR YOUR COOPERATION!

© 2016 Charlotte Hawkes. All rights reserved.

Written permission is required to copy and/or distribute copies of this pattern whether or not you profit from it.

A Hearty Welcome to my New Quilty Friends and Newbies!

My!  This site is growing!  I want to say “Thank You” and “Welcome” to all the new members and quilters from all over……we’re not just the USA but EVERYWHERE!!!  You amaze me!  Isn’t the internet mind boggling!  Just think!……and we all have the same things in common……AND we all love to quilt AND we all have lots of scraps!  Got to love those scraps!!  If you haven’t joined up on Facebook, check out my site  MakingScrappyQuiltsWithCharlotte.  It’s a spot where you can interact and ask questions or show your progress on the mystery.

Since there are so many new quilters here, I thought I’d share my scrap organization system and  my thoughts on putting a scrappy quilt together.

As some of you know, the scrap fairy must come at night and multiply all of our scraps!  So if you wake up some morning and your scrap bin is overflowing what do you do?  First of all take a few minutes, take a deep breath, and then iron those scraps flat.  I make a small pile on the corner of my cutting table (not the whole bin! maybe an inch or two high)  so they are available when I have a few minutes to start cutting.  If you don’t love cutting scraps, set a timer for 10 or 15 min…..cut for that long….and then do something you like.  Play a game, every time you have to trim or cut something….cut a few of those scraps.  Got 5 min. before you have to leave, or make dinner or take the laundry out of the dryer?…cut some scraps! Before you know it the pile will be gone and you’ll have to iron some more and your scrap bin will be looking empty.  Remember, when you are cutting pieces for a new quilt don’t throw those odds and ends in the scrap bin……cut them up right away and get them usable!  You wouldn’t dirty all the dishes in the house before you washed them or wear every piece of clothing in your closet before you did the wash, would you?  Probably not! Sometimes I just don’t want to get into a project or I just want something mindless to do. So cut up those scraps before the pile gets out of hand and you are overwhelmed!

So, where should you start?   If this is new to you, first, think of the size squares that you use all the time.  Probably 2″, 2 1/2″, 3″…..you decide.  OR you could be like me and just cut everything!  Yes, I mean I cut a lot of sizes…. from 1 1/2″ to 6″.  When I first started to organize my scraps I had a cork board on the wall behind my cutting table.  I marked sandwich bags and pinned them to the board.  As I cut a scrap it went into the appropriate bag.  I have since graduated to plastic shoe boxes from the dollar store.  I also keep various size strips and half square triangles.

No wall behind your table(?)…use those salad boxes from the grocery store, brown paper lunch bags or whatever.  Don’t be intimidated!  The object here is to get those scraps into a manageable state so they can be used.  As someone said at one of my talks, I’m basically making a kit for a future quilt.  And it’s true.  Don’t you love a kit? When I have enough of a certain size…when my box gets full…..I start thinking about what I can make and lo and behold….another scrappy attitude quilt is in the works!  When I see a quilt pattern that I like I automatically think…how would this look scrappy?  Hmmmm!

Lets define what is a scrap.  To me, anything smaller than a fat quarter is probably a scrap. Anything larger gets folded up and put in the stash. Sometimes, if I have a ragged edge on a large piece of fabric, I will “even” it off and add that as a scrap.  Ok, so you ask, how do you cut them??  After I have ironed my scrap nice and flat, I determine the largest square I can cut from it (6″ is the largest I save although if it is really large and I want to get rid of it I often cut 10″ squares).  I cut as many as I can get. Then, I cut the next largest size square and I work my way down size wise until I have a scrap smaller than 1 1/2″ square. Some people sew those crumbs together but anything I cannot squeeze a 1 1/2″ square out of goes into the dog/cat bed pile.  If the scrap is width of fabric I will cut strips.

I do not sort by color, only by size, because I like the way ALL the colors work together in my quilts.  I do have a stash that is sorted by color but I like my scraps “all mixed up”!  And I put everything in my scrap boxes……thirty’s prints, civil war, batiks, children’s, stripes, dots, Christmas…..everything goes into my quilt.  If it’s ugly…cut it up!  If the print is too big…cut it up!  I do not discriminate! In the grand scheme of things, it all works and guess what!  When you are putting those blocks together…… it doesn’t need to match!  You can get over your matchy match self.  Get out of your box, live dangerously and have some fun! Yes, it will all go together….trust me!  Just cut those scraps!  The key to eye catching, dynamic scrappy quilts with attitude is diversity.  On occasion I do “audition” what goes together but it is just a quick glance and if it absolutely is not what I’m looking for it goes in line for the next selection.  I try to not have like colors, patterns or prints in the same square or next to each other in adjoining blocks.  Value and intensity is important to achieve that diversity and pop to make your quilt stand out and have that winning scrappy attitude.

I know, a lot of people have their own system of how they like to do things and I applaud you if yours works for you.  This is mine.  I’m not in a race to see how many quilts I can pump out each year.  My scrappy attitude quilts are a labor of love.  Each of my pieces are cut individually (and lovingly, lol) cut and accumulated over a period of sometime years.  Each one is fondled and remembered, both when they are cut and then again as they are sewn.  Can you hear the violin music playing in the background…..lol!  You’re probably thinking “Oh, oh,….she’s lost it!”……..but I’m just havin’ fun!  LOL!  I LOVE my scraps and making my scrappy quilts!

I hope this has helped some of you to get organized and keep ahead of the game.  Have fun and Happy Quilting!   Stay tuned!  The next clue will be out next week!