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!

 

Happy New Year!

Yayee!  Happy New Year to all my quilty friends!  A new year and if you didn’t notice…….a new name for this site!  Scrapitude was trademarked (sorry, I didn’t realize) so I had to make some changed to be in compliance.  Hopefully, no one has trademaked ME!!!  Good Luck with that one!  Thanks go to my son who made the changes for me and now we can enter the new year on a new note!  Yippee!  Next week starts the clues for my new mystery…..Surrounded By Scraps!  I’m excited to get going on this new adventure.  But, (sigh)  I have to wait just like you…..heh! heh!  Welcome to Charlotte Hawkes Quilts!  Where we make Scrappy Quilts with ATTITUDE!   Not sure if that means the quilts have an attitude or we do!  I’m thinking BOTH!!  LOL!  I say bring it on!!  Stay tuned!

Two weeks to go!

Can you imagine?  Two weeks from now it will be the middle of January!  Our winter has been so warm the cold weather only arrived yesterday.  Finally, we have some snow but it’s mostly melted already.  That’s ok with me,  I’ll take the warm weather any day.  Although I do like to sit and sew when the wind is howling and the snow is blowing outside.  Looking at it is much better than having to go outside in it.  One really advantage of being retired! YeeHa!  But I’ll adjust to sewing when its not snowing and blowing  there’s always some other excuse I can find if I need one.

I found a, hopefully, minor error in the cutting instructions.  The background 3 1/2″ square was listed as needing 20. You really need 80.  I had it listed correctly in my notes but apparently I typed it incorrectly.  So that makes the background yardage to just a little over 3 yards instead of 2 3/4 yards.  I hope you all have enough.  I went through and checked all the other numbers and they look to be good.  My apologies.

Here are a couple of I Spy quilts I finished for gifts.  The back of each is the racetrack panel.  They turned out pretty well and were a big hit.  It always makes you feel good when the quilts are well received and you know they will be well used and loved.  These were made for two four year old boys that were just adopted from Uganda.
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The colors of this one look all washed out but they are all shades of blue. This was a long time UFO from a block of the month that we did in my quilting guild years ago. My UFO pile is getting way out of hand so I decided to finish up some of the smaller ones so that I felt like I was making some progress. I feel better now…..LOL.  As some of you know, I am a hand quilter so this was fun to do.  Each block is quilted with a different design and pattern.  Too bad you can’t see my handiwork!  My mother is always cold so I gave it to her for Christmas to “warm her body and comfort her soul”.

I know most of you don’t need a reminder……lol…..the first clue for Scrappy Stars Around the Corner is two weeks away from tonight 7pm EST. If you loved Scrapitude I think you will love this one too!
See you soon!
Happy Quilting!

It’s November!! Already!!!!

Wow, how time flies! It will be the holidays before you know it. And with all THAT comes the new year! And the new mystery!! Woohoo!!! Of course, if you are like me, you have a million and one things to do before that gets here. It has been a busy time already……closing up the “camp”, putting the flower gardens to bed for the winter,  mulching endless leaves and harvesting the apples, squash and anything else of value in the vegetable garden.  I did find time to do some quilting though. I always try to squeeze some of that in, OF COURSE! I finished a couple small UFO’s, made a tractor pillow for my new to be grandson and this week I pounded out a baby quilt for a baby shower tomorrow.

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2015-11-13 10.47.42Now that the weather is getting colder I’ll be able to spend more time inside and hopefully getting more accomplished.  I’ve played with a couple of scrappy ideas that I’ll share with you when I have something to show.   I’m still working at doing machine quilting but I think it’s a losing battle.  Anything more than stitch in the ditch, that dreaded meander or echo stitching just doesn’t measure up.  I know……practice, practice, practice.  Bah Humbug!  Give me a needle any day!

September!! Already!! Are You Ready??!!!

Wow! How time flies! I hope everyone has enjoyed their summer. I surely have had a busy one. But I have been working on………guess what!!!???? A new mystery quilt!!!! AND the cutting instructions will be given next week! The mystery will begin in January just like we did last year. So if you are working and cutting for those holiday items don’t forget to cut those scraps! Stay tuned!!!!

WooHoo! ScrapitudeQuilts is on Facebook!

Who said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?  Sometimes I just amaze myself…………..  Thank you to Delwyn for suggesting Facebook so we can all share progress and chat!  Some things you think you may not be able to do are just sooooooo simple.  Just a word to you all out there……..you know who you are………….don’t ever say “I don’t think I can do that.”  Because PROBABLY YOU CAN!!!!!  Thank you all for your encouragement and your support!

So get on Facebook and give ScrapitudeQuilts a LIKE and a comment! Thanks!

It Was Just A Goof-Off Kind of Day

So what do you do when you want to sew but you just don’t want to sew what you’ve got?!  I had one of those days last week.  I just wanted to goof-off sewing.  But I wanted to be productive with something too.  So, what’s a girl to do?  I didn’t want to start some big project or look at a bunch of patterns to figure out what I wanted to do.  I didn’t want to go through my stash and pull stuff out.  I surely didn’t want to clean my sewing room!  Hmmmmm.  So what to do?

I saw my miscellaneous strip box was overflowing.  So I thought, what could I do to get rid of some of that?  Well this is what I came up with.  Let’s make some wonky squares!  So first, I guess I’d better explain what my miscellaneous strip box is.  It’s all the strips that are wider on one end and narrower on the other, or a little bit crooked somewhere, or just don’t fit into the size range for the other strips sized boxes that I keep (like 2″, 1 1/2″ etc.).  Some are short and some are long.  Doesn’t matter.  They all go in there.  They just need to be wide enough so that something still shows after I get my two 1/4″ seams sewn off either side.

So I started with a little fat piece in the center and I sewed around and around like a log cabin.  Mindlessly picking up strips.  Don’t care if they’re straight or not, hence the wonky.  Different widths.  Don’t care.  I decided 6 1/2″ square would be a good place to stop since that was the size of my square ruler.  I squared them up and WhooHoo!  What cute little wonkies they are.  I like em!

Wonky squares

Wonky squares

So I sewed and sewed.  Fun, mindless, goofy, wonky fun!  So, I don’t know……thirty squares later I figured I better think about putting them together because I don’t want another pile of “something else I have to get back to”.  And you know how I do love on point.  So, I went to my trusty EQ and put in my 6″ square on point quilt and it told me the size squares that I needed to cut for the sides and the corners.  I love my EQ!  No math! No hassle!  Life should be so simple!

Well, “A Little Bit Wonky” was born!  I sewed and I played. And I have a cute little wonky top to show for it.  It still needs borders and quilting and such and it’s still in the must get back to it pile.2015-03-21 14.04.28 2015-03-21 13.59.50But, someone somewhere will stay warm under a strange little wonky lap quilt.  I hope they enjoy it as much as I did making it.  And look at all those crooked little strips that didn’t end up in a landfill.  BTW, my miscellaneous strip box is still full but at least I can get the top to stay on. Lol!2015-03-21 14.00.12

 

I hope you all have a wonky kind of day.  Goofy and fun! Sometimes it’s ok to be a little bit off and wonky.  Our points don’t always have to match and we don’t always have to be coordinated.  Sometimes its just fun to take it as it comes right out of the miscellaneous wonky strip box.

Happy Quilting!

Too much “pruning”!

This has been the coldest winter here in recorded history (since 1875!).  And that year Lake Ontario froze.  Zero degree mornings and below have become the norm.  I’m feel sorry for the poor animals this year.  There has been so much snow just continuing to pile up with no thaw. that all the food sources have been pretty much  covered for months.  The deer are scrounging for edibles anywhere they can find some.  I have pretty large rhododendrons in my yard that are completely picked bare and the branches even getting eaten.  The deer have been between the juniper bushes and my house and have eaten all the green needles off.  They are even eating my hugh azalea in the front by the walkway.  I have never seen so much “pruning” in the 45 years that I have lived here.  I wish there was something I could do but I guess providing a meager lunch on my bushes is all that they can expect.  I just hope my rhodies come back.  They were surely beautiful last year.   Surely Spring WILL come!  Someday!  Soon, I hope!

But, busy I have been!  I have been teaching several classes at Mount Pleasant Quilt Shop in York and I have also signed on to teach some quilting classes at the JoAnn Fabric store in Greece.   We’re planning to do some fun quilty stuff with scraps, of course.  So anyone in the area…..”C’mon down!”  I’d love to see you there!

BTW, Clue #3 will be out on March 10 at 7pm EST.  (Is it still EST even though its daylight savings time?)

Are You Ready?

Well, are you ready??  Got your clue #1 pieces all put together?  Got your pieces all cut and ready for the next step?  Clue #2 comes out in two days.  I think I have it all figured out so the clue will be released on Tuesday at 7 p.m. EST.  I think I got all the buttons and clicks this time so that it will work.  So stay tuned.  Tuesday will be here before you know it! I’m excited!

Happy Quilting!

It’s a good day to be inside!

Our official total of snow so far is 15″ since this storm started last night.  We have more than all the surrounding area!  As I let out my dog Bailey this morning, the door pushed about 4″ of snow and there is a step down from there.

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She looked at the snow, looked at me and said” Nope!” So we had to shovel a spot so she would go out and take care of business.  She is smarter now, she learned her lesson because there have been times when she just went out and there she was…..stuck…..in neck deep in snow.  I don’t blame her I wouldn’t want to go out there either.  Thank God for indoor plumbing!

So what does a girl do when it’s snowing and blowing outside?  Well, first of all she’s very grateful that she doesn’t have to go anywhere! and then of course…….she QUILTS!!!  May you enjoy your day!  May your scraps be plentiful, your corners meet and all your blocks be squared.

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