Welcome New Followers!

I want to thank all the new quilting friends that have signed up for the email.  I can’t believe how many of you have found me and want to join in on my scrappy  passion/addiction/or whatever is it!  Who ever thought that I’d be doing this.  This little old lady from upstate NY who collects scraps and actually uses them (some who know me are rolling their eyes right now) and now people from all over the world are doing her mystery quilts!  But who knew?  This will be my fifth mystery quilt! My how time flies!  And for all of you out there who think you could never do this……..I never thought I could do this!!! What a learning experience I’ve had……From putting together a mystery to figuring out how to do a blog to selling patterns on Craftsy!  You are never too old to learn something new!

OK, after that brilliant opening, my original thought was that I would write this post to tell my new readers and maybe refresh some older readers on just how I organize my scraps.  If your scraps are wadded up in a bag or stuck in a box somewhere under the table how are you ever going to use them?  My scraps are cut and ready to use……boxes of them!  Well, actually shoe boxes that I purchased from the dollar store are all labeled by size and lined up on a shelf over my cutting table.  But I started small with sandwich bags pinned to a cork board. I save my scraps by size and not by color.  As you may notice, I usually do not have a color pallet in mind when I make a quilt.  I prefer to use anything and everything, mixing all colors, patterns and textures in my quilts.  So, as I get a piece of fabric scrap, I decide what is the largest square I can cut from it.  The largest square I cut is 10″ and then 6″ on down.  I cut out as many difference size squares as I can until there is only a crumb left.  I don’t save crumbs although many people do.  Mine go into dog or cat beds for the animal shelter. The smallest square that I cut and save is 1 1/2″.  I also save strips in various sizes.  Start by figuring out what sizes you use the most and cut them.  You’ll be surprised how fast they pile up.

So, if your scraps have multiplied into a ridiculous pile how do you start to get them under control?  Well, you can’t eat an elephant in one bite.  But one bite at a time will work!   People literally give me garbage bags full of scraps……..a huge pile!  When that happens, I grab a handful and press/iron them flat and place them on the corner of my cutting table.  They are then ready to cut up as I have time. You probably don’t like to cut up scraps for hours and neither do I.  But if I have a few minutes here and there I will cut a few.  If you are waiting for that load of wash to finish, that cake in the oven, or you have ten minutes before you have to leave for an appointment……cut some scraps!  Play a game with yourself.  Every time you have to trim a square….cut a scrap!  Set a timer and cut for 15 minutes before you sew or get up to move around!  Before you know it, that scrap pile will be gone and you will have to iron up a new pile and before you know it all your scraps will be cut and ready to go!  You will have made your own layer cake or jelly roll!  Your very own pre-cuts!  The best thing is to cut up those odds and ends as you get them!  Don’t throw them in a pile to cut up later!  Because, you know it, that pile grows and grows and then when will you take the time to Cut The Scraps!?!

I hope this has inspired you.  Just have fun with it and stay tuned!  Wednesday will be here soon!


Happy New Year

As the hours and minutes count down to the new year I want to wish all my quilting friends abundant peace and joy in 2018.  We have such an opportunity to give to others.  There is such peace as we snuggle and rest under the warmth of a handmade quilt.  The joy we get from the planning and building a quilt, in most cases, just to give it away is reason enough for many of us to keep on quilting.  We are a special group.  So, my friends, keep up the good work.  We make the world a better place!  And Yes!  Only 10 more days!  Happy New Year!



Welcome quilting friends!  Our numbers have grown since last year and I want to thank you all for joining me in my new fun mystery – Summer Stars At Fawn Lake.  I changed the title a bit since the stars aren’t really in the lake….lol!

The snow is flying here in upstate New York with temperatures dropping into the 20’s next week.  Christmas is around the corner and then a New Year will begin a new journey. I say Bring It On!

Life has been full this year.  I’ve found a new friend to enjoy “camp” with.  My son who previously lived in Michigan moved to Las Vegas.  I just got back from visiting him and his family at the new house in Henderson.  My little grandkids are growing up so fast and going to school now.  Time is flying by!

And oh, I almost forgot.  I bought a mid size longarm with a 5′ frame.  So now those piles of unfinished quilt tops can hopefully become something useful!  I’m working through the learning curve.  As some of you know, I’ve been a hand quilter for many years.  I have never sent any of my quilts to the longarmer and I’ve never gotten the hang of free motion. I’ve always preferred to make my own quilting designs as my quilt “speaks to me.”  So now a new set of skills need to be developed so I can hear them whisper to me in longarm….lol!

I know some of you are anxiously waiting for the first clue.  Actually I’m getting excited to get this thing started too!  So I’m picking a date!  Clues will be given on the second Wednesday of each month with the first going out on January 10th. So get ready! It’s going to be a fun and interesting time!

Until then, enjoy the Holidays!



Where did September Go???

Well, I’m glad to be posting again!  As some of you who follow me on Facebook know, I had the info all ready to go and I couldn’t access the WordPress site.  I was up at my camp and had left my password etc. home thinking I knew the password.  Hello!!!  I guess I must have changed it last year and it was nothing that I ever would have remembered in a million years!  Oye!  But!  I have it now!  I’m on the site and it’s time to get this show on the road! WooHoo!!!

But first a little info you might enjoy.  A few years ago I acquired a piece of property on a small man-made lake in upstate New York near the Adirondacks……..Fawn Lake.  I had a “camp” built and I did most of the finishing work myself.  It is peaceful and quiet.  No motors allowed other than a trolling motor, no jet skis, no loud anything except an occasional four-wheeler going by.  There are neighbors sometimes but usually no one is up there.  No city lights.  Stars everywhere in the black sky at night.  This is one of my favorite places on this earth……my happy place!  A few years ago I figured out a pattern that I wanted to make someday.  It sat on the back burner, patiently waiting.  When I was thinking about this years mystery it came to mind….why don’t we do that pattern?  It will finally get made!!!!  And so here it is…..Summer Stars On Fawn Lake!  I hope it turns out as wonderful and beautiful as this  “Happy Place” of mine!  (And now, I hope, you are all just saying…Awwwwwww.)  LOL!!!

I want you all to know up front.  This quilt may be a challenge to some of you but if you persevere you can do it!!!  The layout is very different as is the piecing.  There are baby flying geese!  And on the Lake too!!!…… for real!!!  But not to worry, we will be doing no waste flying geese, making 4 at a time with no half square triangles to think about.  Don’t know how to do them?  I will walk you through it! Easy Peasey!  Also, I have been asked could we use 2 1/2″ squares.  Yes, you can…..with a warning…….lots of little pieces here….so no whining!!!  There are two sizes to this quilt and it can not be partially made or cut down due to the layout.  The size of the quilt is determined by the size of the pieces used in the square.  So here goes!

Summer Stars on Fawn Lake

Quilt sizes with NO borders:

84″x 96″  has 12″ finished squares

63″ x 72″ has 9″ finished squares  – amounts will be in ( ).

Fabrics and Cutting Requirements:

152   –  3 1/4″  (2 1/2″) assorted colored squares

32  –  1 1/2″ (1 1/2″) assorted colored squares

384  –  2″ (1 5/8″) assorted colored squares

24  –  4 3/4″ (4″)  Bright Yellow/Orange (for Star Center) or approx. 1/2 yd.

24  –  4 3/4″ (4″)  Bright Colors (for Star Center)

Background Fabric  –  You can use scrappy if you keep the same color and value or my Electric Quilt software says you will need approximately 6 yd. (4 1/2 yd.).

36 – 6″ (4 1/2) squares

8  –  6″x 12 1/2″ (4 1/2″x 9 1/2″) logs

120 – 4 1/2″ (3 1/2″) squares

152  –  3 1/4″ (2 1/2″) squares

96 – 3 1/2″ (2 3/4″) squares

384 – 1 1/2″ (1 1/4″) squares

120 – 1 1/2″x 6″ (1 1/2″x 4 1/2″) logs


Please feel free to direct others to this website for the information and clues. 


© 2017 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.





We’ve Got Em Surrounded!

On October 17, 1777, British General John Burgoyne was surrounded and surrendered in the Battle of Saratoga.  This was said to be the turning point of the American Revolution.  The Burgoyne Surrounded quilt pattern symbolically represents the event of the Americans circling around the British and breaking through the British lines.  “Surrounded by Scraps” is an adaptation of the this old traditional pattern.  So……. Congratulations!  You have persisted……..broken through heaps of scraps…….and you won!  Some of you whined about all the little pieces (ahem). Listen.  This was easy peasy….no flying geese, no points, no weird angles or curves and no set on point!   But, I hope you have had fun on this journey with me.  Thank you all for your comments, your pictures on Facebook, your encouragement and your dedication to taming that growing scrap pile!  Ok, down to business!!  Let’s get this bad boy put together!  Here is the last clue:

Surrounded by Scraps  –  Clue #4

 Using the sections below, sew one to opposite sides of each of the 12 (20) center squares.

Sew the remaining sections below as shown.  You should have 24 (40) when finished.

Place one section on top and bottom of the center section and sew together to make 12 (20) blocks.

Lay blocks out side by side.  Sew together using 1 1/2″ x 17″ sashing pieces and the remaining 1 1/2″ colored squares for cornerstones.  You should have enough background fabric to make a 5″ border.  I’m thinking that I’m going to make….OH NO!!!!…..more silly little nine patches to make my border wider so that has more drop for my bed.  AND I’ll probably need ANOTHER boat load of 1 1/2″ squares for that!

Since my backyard is still a muddy mess and I have no place to display my quilt with decent lighting, I laid it out on the last snowfall that we had so you could see the reveal.   I look forward to seeing yours on Facebook  –  MakingScrappyQuiltsWithCharlotte.  If you haven’t joined yet…..come see!  I’d love to see your progress and posts!  So until next time………..Happy Quilting!


Please feel free to direct others to this website for the information and clues. 


© 2017 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.


Stuff Happens and Then There’s a Clue!

Those of you who aren’t on Facebook are probably wondering why there was no clue last week.  Well, last Wednesday when I was working on the clue, we started having a wind storm.  And this wasn’t just your average windstorm………This was gusts up to 80 mph and continued for about 5 hours.  I looked out my window and there were tractor trailer trucks stopped in front of my house.  Cars were turning around in the street.  A tree had blown down on top of a tractor trailer truck, knocking down the wires and blocking both sides of the road.  Everything east of the tree was down and had no power.  Luckily I kept power but the cable was gone.  No cable = no internet, so there went your clue.  The storm raged and 130,000 people in my area lost electric.  Some are still out.  Trees and poles came down everywhere.  Traffic lights weren’t working and some even came crashing down. Crews have come from all over to help get power lines back up and working.  Yesterday my cable was restored.  And I have TV, yayee!   Now we are under a winter storm warning that may land us up to 2 feet of snow! Oye!  Up until now we’ve had a mild winter with some really warm weather.  My crocus are blooming!  They’re frozen and confused!  Crazy, crazy weather!  I’m ready for Spring!!!

So, sorry about the delay but there was nothing to be done but wait!  And what do they say?……good things come to those that wait?  Well, I hope this is good and worth your wait!

Surrounded By Scraps  –  Clue #3

Choose 4 –  3 1/2″ assorted colored squares, arrange and sew 2 together with a background 1 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ rectangle, twice. Press to the background.   Sew 2 –  1 1/2″x 3 1/2″ background rectangles with one 1 1/2″ colored square as shown below. Press to the background.   Assemble together as shown below to make a 7 1/2″ square.  Press. Make 12 (20).

Using the four patches that were made previously, sew on 3 1/2″x 2 1/2″ background rectangle to  one side of the four patch.  These are direction specific so make sure that half of your units have the colored patch to the top left and half of the units are to the bottom left, as shown below.  Press to the background.   You should have 24 (40) of each.

Using the nine patches that were made previously, sew one 3 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ background rectangle to the side of one nine patch, as shown below.  Press to the background fabric.  Make 48 (80).

Using the four patch units and the nine patch units, sew together as shown.  Press to the four patch unit side.  You should have 24 (40) righties and 24 (40) lefties.

OK, I know you will be chomping at the bit to put this block together!  But don’t get ahead of me here!  Just remember……good things come to those who wait!  LOL!  I know…….April 12th seems so far away……….  But it will be Spring!  I hope!!!!  And the mystery will be revealed!  Ah Hah!  As always, Have fun and keep quilting!


Please feel free to direct others to this website for the information and clues. 


© 2017 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.


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!


Please feel free to direct others to this website for the information and clues. 


© 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!



(Drum Roll……….) Here goes!

Well, I guess we’re ready!  At least as ready as we’re gonna get!  But first, I want to tell you about my new find.  I do a lot of black stitching on black fabric.  My machine has a light but it’s really hard to see those black stitches.  A friend of mine “enlightened” (HaHa, I like that!)  me to an LED light strip that you can attach to your machine.  It has a sticky backing so you can position it to get the most light exactly where you need it. It is plenty long enough and you can easily cut off the extra length that you don’t need.  I’ve tried other lights and there always seems to be a shadow and although they help they’ve never quite cut it for me.  This light is bright and gives me no shadow!  But it has a dimmer so if you are working on really bright fabrics it is more pleasing to your eyes.  At least it worked that way for me.  I found it on Amazon  –  Bonlux Sewing Machine LED Lighting Kit, Machine Working Led Lights Attachable LED Sewing Light Strip Kit – Fits All Sewing Machine.  And the price was very reasonable – $19.99.  I will be buying 2 more soon for my other machines.  I don’t know how I sewed without it before.  Love it!




OK, so here we go with the first clue.  Warning:  this clue may be somewhat boring but we need to grow the bones for this mystery.  Remember, there are two sizes offered here with the large size in ( ).  My background is black so substitute your background color for mine.  We will be making 4 patches and 9 patches, as shown, –  48 of each, and  (80 of each).  As always…….no need to matchy match here.  Just use as many different colors, patterns, fabrics as you can.  Variety and no duplication will give you the best look. ( Yup, those are Christmas gingerbread boys!  I use it all!  Go wild!  Have fun with it!)   Flip and nest the seam allowance to reduce bulk.  Press to your darkest side.  When finished, 4 patches should measure 2 1/2″ square and 9 patches should measure 3 1/2″ square.

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


Please feel free to direct others to this website for the information and clues. 





%d bloggers like this: