Scrap, that is crap with an “s”

So I utilized the assortment of 2 1/2 inch strips in my scrap bin, and yes the organization of it is crap plural.  It is Sew Scrap, and that is what I have named this jelly roll with no race.

I like it’s humbleness, and I am a sucker for the scrappy look.  My whole house is scrappy.  I purposely purchased new dishes in 8 different colors, because nothing matches in my house anyway.  Scrap is a way of life.  Once you live this way, it would be hard to go back.

I am perfectly content with no coordinating stuff in my house, some would not be able to cope.  But scrap is a coping mechanism too.  You just let go of perfect and settle for utilitarian.  Scrap, yep.  That is me.


And then there is the UFO business that I did mention in my previous posts (I looked it up, my first post on the quilt below was exactly 2 years ago…jeez).  You can view those here and there.

I now remember why I put this in a bin and left it alone, I was going to run out of white.  The embroidered squares (which I did not do….found at the thrift store) are of a poly blend white, and the white I chose for the sashing is a different white.  The most notable thing is the different weave which will show up in the quilt, but by separating it with turquoise, one would really have to look to see it.  I have my sashing pieces paper pieced (my own design before I purchased the tri recs ruler).  And it is working, but how to fill the gaps without the white?

While stitching today I come up with a plan, of granny squares of various colors within the quilt.  Electric blue, navy blue, a light green and perhaps a gray.  I think this is the solution to frame it, perhaps it will be too bright as the rest of the quilt is so soft, calm and serene.  I will have to really brain storm on this, as it goes back into the tote.

I don’t think I am going to go with the straight method as laid out here.


The flow of the lines in the embroidery, I think, are more suited for on point.

or on point

Styled on point, my rows will be 2 over 4 over 4 over 2 which leaves two corners with much to put there, but I am out of the white.  Perhaps thread painting feathers in those areas will not show the contrast so much of the whites.  Perhaps if I do granny squares I should select one color, perhaps the green which I have plenty of and mix and match off whites and ecru, and super white with snow white.  That would be softer, but not very dramatic.  What do you think?  Perhaps a floral with white and a bunch of these colors?  Until I figure it out, this is turning out too pretty to flub up at this point with a rushed idea.

Well, the car is fixed, finally.  I have enjoyed my week away from work, at the same time fretted about.  I will be back at work for a fun filled 40 hours, followed by dinners, prep, baths, and house chores.  I did not realize how much the commute really interferes with my stress levels concerning time.

My featherweight is turning out to be an excellent purchase.  I have used a whole cone of thread on him this week.  (Yes I named him after a man….Abacus, to be exact.  Seems like he is the only one I can count on besides myself.)

You will hear from me next weekend, with probably not much happening, unless I find the solution to the above problem.  I will delve deeply into Pinterest and try to find more than one idea.

I hope you had a lovely weekend!  Thank you for reading my blog!



Diamonds on a Shoestring Budget

Good fabric IS expensive.  All quilters know you pay for quality, and I adore Moda fabrics.  The thread contents feels right between my fingers, next to my skin.  I use other fabrics as I may adore the pattern or the perfect match in color.

And then we store our fabric until it is ready to be cut/processed into a quilt.  In the last 3 years I have done over 50 quilts, many just crib sized.  I used to throw away all fabric scraps (oh the horror of it….I know).  But then my mother bought a garbage bag full of strips from the quilter with the longarm machine.  She only paid $10 for it and made a beautiful string quilt.  Her genius in this quilt was saving old bounce dryer sheets after they had been used to form the foundation of her blocks.  No tearing away paper.  Frugal, green, keeping it all out of the landfill, nicely repurposed into a quilt.  When she made the quilt she even had left over scraps which she gave away as I think she made more than one quilt top from her strip jackpot.

At that point in my life, times were leaner than they are today.  So I started saving all of  my scraps, throwing them into baggies, with wild abandon.  No rhyme or reason for storage, just keeping the scraps for the right moment.  The baggies became too many and a tote was commandeered for the keeping of scraps.  There got to be so many that the tote runneth over.

Last year before Bonnie Hunter’s Mystery Quilt started, I took her advice and grabbed an out of date phone book and started sewing my strings.  I had a shoebox full of telephone book pages stitched to fabric ready for a quilt of some sort.

Since this was kind of a UFO, or a long term WIP, I decided that there would be just a few more foundation blocks to make before I could proceed to a quilt.  This quilt top cost me zero dollars.  The white fabric was gifted to me and came from Marshall’s Dry Goods store.  It was 108 inches wide and 2 yards long for less than 3 dollars.  My mom purchased this for me, knowing I would use it for something.  The something happened with this quilt top.

It started like this just a little over a year ago, and now it has formed into a quilt.


Since these photos were taken on a cool, lovely September afternoon, I have added the remaining sashing around the outer perimeter.


These are my diamonds on my shoestring budget.  I wanted to stitch all the strings together back to back without sashing, but found the X to predominate and liked the diamonds better.  When I quilt this the secondary diamonds formed with the sashing will be more visible.

And because I was so deep into the scrap bin, I have started doing a better keep to this process.  Right now every thing of every size is just thrown into the fabric tote.  This has become overwhelming and unacceptable as a process for me, so I am now in the process of taming the scraps.  Some of these scraps will not make the cut.  I have a gob of tumblers left over from a quilt top waiting to be hand quilted.  Those will probably be a door prize/surprise to those attending the retreat I will be teaching at next month demonstrating the toothbrush rug.  (Ruth Ann, ssssshhhhhhhh)


Peeking next to the sofa you can see the top of my scrappy messy bin of fabric.

I have quite a stack of 2 1/2 inch strips in this tote.  Here is what I have sorted so far, nothing even cut.  A huge scrappy jelly roll there ready for some stitches.


And then I have a stack of neutral and colors for 2 inch strips, I will work those into a mystery quilt at some point provided the color scheme fits.

I have a large stack of 5 inch squares, probably a good random assortment for a simple quilt.


And in the throat of the featherweight are squares left over from a fish quilt I made for a coworker’s newborn who is now 8 and the coworker is now my Boss!  Those will become potholders or something.

I have gobs of strip sets that will also make good pot holder/trivets as mine have grown rather grungy with use.

I am not certain the direction I will take for the next sewing/quilting projects as I now have a stack of 9 to be quilted, only one of those will be given away.  Perhaps I will get out the memory craft and the On Ringo Lake quilt and start FMQ on that to get it finished.  This quilt did not turn out pretty to me and I am disappointed in my color scheme as well as the quilting I chose for some of it.  Not a show piece so it will go into immediate use.

Did you catch my recipe post on my other blog?  Click here to view Smoked Turkey Leg Soup recipe, or visit for a great assortment of time savers and delicious meals.

Enjoy your weekend!  And thanks for reading my blog!

Busy Busy Busy Bee!

This just in.  The car’s fuel pump started making a funny noise on Thursday.  Friday, someone else got to drive the car and I asked for them to listen to see what they think is wrong.  A trip to the mechanic, and my 12 year old car is finally going to get money spent on a repair.  Oh sure there are other things that I can live without that need repaired on the car, but a fuel pump is pretty important.  Sadly, I just filled up with gas when this was discovered.  So, the mechanic will get a free tank of gas for his effort as a bonus!

The part is ordered, and now we wait.  I have not went to work for the last couple of days thinking it might hurry the shipping and repair along.  This hurried nothing, it only amplified the anxiety of it being on the fritz and not knowing when it is going to go caput.  Since the full moon is today, my bet is, it will no longer work tomorrow.

So taking advantage of this down time, and keeping my worried hands busy, I have gotten up before the alarm every morning, including all weekend.  In the wee hours of the morning, I tatted my hands away, enjoying the relaxation.  Tatting is different than quilting.  While I quilt, my mind thinks and wanders.  With tatting, I have to count over and over, and so my worries are not worried about.  I wonder if there is another meaning for tatting?  Well another surprise, so I looked it up.  It appears to also mean a tangled mess!  HA…subliminally my mind astonishes me.  I guess this is my way of working out the tangles!

My favorite piece is the blue with green chain in the center.  I want to make more of these but every time I pick up a shuttle, I end up not having a big enough piece of thread on the bobbin.


I have gotten very good at joining my stitches.  The large lower left is the one I received while at TOGA from the lady who taught me to tat.  Interested in learning?  She is a great teacher and is on youtube.  Here is her link.

And then there was some,….er….unfinished business.  And after completing it, I figured out what it was that was amiss with the play ball II quilt top.  I kept struggling to go further.  I just put my big girl pants on and ignored my inner self and got going on it.  I work at a buffet in a dark corner in the living room and work by a single clip on lamp.  This lamp must have a yellow bulb in it that does NOT have natural light.  Usually when I iron, it happens in the kitchen.  Yesterday after getting the center done, I proceeded to add some white fabric around the perimeter.  I am one to finger press as I go and then move to the ironing board to do it all at once to conserve my energy as well as the electric bill.  There are two windows with no curtains in the kitchen.  And the minute I laid it out on the ironing board, I saw finally my road block, right in front of my eyes.

The whites were not created equal.  One looks snow white while the other is off white.  *GASP*  But at this point, I just kept going.  The baby will not care and the yellower white reminds me of baseballs, so that is what I will tell the mother.  This also will affect how I quilt it.   Probably going with a red for baseball stitches in those white triangles.  More work ahead *sigh*.

baby quilt

And in anticipation of my arrival of my quilting machine, I am trying to get as many tops as I can completed.  I whipped out the jelly rolls today.  I chose one that I got as a bargain from as well as one made from my scraps.  You cannot mess these quilts up and did both of them this morning.

I see that I accidentally incorporated some selvage into them, but I don’t care as they will be used and abused and worn out within a couple of years as the quilts I made for the children when they were just babies are now official rags, with many tuck in’s at night, and washings for my filthy crew.


The male cat coming to investigate.  A good cat, from the time he was born, he was quiet, and I assumed smart.  All the other kittens we have had of late are a bunch of cry babies.

Here he is showing his inquisitive self.  Perhaps he is hypnotized by the Kaffe Fasset fabric.  LOL


I encourage all of you who have large stashes to grab what you like from it and pair it with similar fabrics.  I think this quilt could have used one more color,  but this is what it ended up being.  Back in July when cutting my pieces out for the Jewel Box Stars, I took each piece of fabric and cut an extra 2 1/2 inch strip and then rolled it up for an easy, scrappy quilt later.


Finally a day of sunshine.  Friday, Sat, and Sun we got almost 14 inches of rain.  Although it did not affect my household, or its contents, those who live by our area reservoir ended up with water woes.

Today, while taking these photos, I noticed the neighbor lady was mowing her grass, and all the dust it was kicking up, you would have thought we were in a drought.  Right now I have very little grass in my yard.  Not because of high temperatures, or too much rain, or drought.  Oddly enough, we had an army worm invasion.! They pretty much ate all the grass, and left the weeds in the yard, and then left or died, it is possible they could have drowned.

Now I will get out the string tote and start sewing on the string quilt again.  I already have several pages done and probably will not have to work it long.  If I get tired of it, I will pack it back up into the tote it is currently living in, and work on another ufo from the pile.

My excitement is building….the machine can be delivered as soon as the quilt show in Houston is over……ready for change, ready for speedier quilting, just ready for this new path in my life.

Well, I have salisbury steak meatballs in the slow cooker and will have to get supper served up pretty quick.  This weekend I tried out an new recipe and was delighted with how it turned out.  Ever had smoked turkey legs?  Me neither!  Be looking for a recipe using smoked turkey legs for a delicious new meal for the aftermath of thanksgiving.

Thanks for reading my blog!

Artistic Expression~Quilters Inspiration

Last weekend I attended a quilt show.  I have a slide show of what I saw.  This is just a sampling of what I liked.

A couple of my favorites:

  • Dime Size Yo-Yo wall hanging (can you imagine making yo-yos that size?!)
  • The Last Supper.
  • The black quilt with intricate appliqué fussy cut pattern.
  • The thread painted cactus….with decorative stitches, very different and neat!

A wowza to all the quilters!  Quilt shows really make my creative juices flow, it is bad for the UFO pile as well as the WIP pile.  But oh sew good for the quilters soul!

Two of these quilts are the same pattern, but color/value makes them oh sew different, can you pick which two?


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Last Supper ~ A quilt show

Last weeks post I communicated how much I am in a slump with work on the PlayBall2 quilt I am constructing.  It is just mindless sewing, and I just cannot muster much enthusiasm.  I cannot focus, I just do not want to.  So this week after a brief period of getting this far, I have tatted and knitted and am liking the down time with small projects.


The center of this quilt is done.  I will be configuring the borders and hopefully will hurdle this quilt demon that shows up every now and then.  Ocean waves in the center framed by pinwheels on the edge.  It may be about 20 inches, I have not measured it.  This fabric was cut all the way back at the beginning of July and wholly cow it is mid September and still not finished.  I think I have reached a point of saturation and that is my personal issue.  I just need to put my big girl pants on and sew.

Yesterday was National Sew a Jelly Roll Day.  Did you get into your stash and sew up something for this event?  I didn’t, instead I celebrated by visiting a local quilt show.  Photos will be posted soon on that.

The little bitty town I visited was also have a vintage market day where vendors were set up with antiques, and homemade stuff were scattered on the square with live music.  It was a warm day, but for mid Sept., pleasant enough.

I managed to walk away from the quilt show with a very expensive purchase, and a few bargains, even a freebie.

As a door prize I won a pressing sheet.  I did not have one of those, so this will come in handy and I can quit using the roll of disposable parchment paper.


My most practical find of the day was at one of the vendors set up outside for the vintage market.  A man had devised a clever way to utilize the clover thread cutter.  I have been wanting a stand thread cutter for a while and have just not gotten around to buying one. He took the little chotsky charm and mounted it on a nice piece of hand turned wood.  A small stand, and small enough to fit comfortably in the hand, if needed.  This will be used like the dickens.  Pictured I have it laying down for it to smile and say cheese.


Not pictured are the vintage sheets I purchased and a wad of fabric (which I thought would make lovely rugs).  The total price for that was 35 cents, but I went ahead and gave the guild a whole dollar as they had done a marvelous job of the comings together of the quilt show.

My mother is in a local informal quilting guild.  Some of my subscribers are in that guild.  One in particular, Ruth Ann, (Hi Ruth Ann….thanks for the invite!) asked me yesterday at the show if I would be interested in coming to their retreat and demonstrating the toothbrush rug!  I am excited to do this as I know all those sewing mavens have gobs of fabric in their stash ready to be used for a project that may take them only a couple of days.  I am looking forward to this.  Ironically one of the ladies in the guild allowed me to borrow her toothbrush rug instructions when I did my first one.  Now three and a half years later (I returned the instructions) I am still making them, and making them confidently enough with out instructions and also venturing into experimentation.  I look forward to this teaching moment, as I will probably learn some from them as well!

I will share one photo of a quilt from the show, since it is Sunday.  I am not a very religious person, but I do have my beliefs.  There was a man at the show who looked to be about 100 years old.  He was on stage talking about the quilt he pieced and quilted himself.  His voice just above a whisper into the microphone, slumped with old posture sitting in a chair, explaining the work of art he accomplished.  He made a pixelated version in quilt format of the Last Supper.  Huge and impressive, artistic, something musuem worthy.  Isn’t it breath taking!


And lastly, the expensive part.  I have been tormented about purchasing a longarm for a few years.  After pricing used/guaranteed and new the price difference was not that different, so I have decided to purchase new.  I am getting a 20 inch CLX Nolting.  I am looking forward to quilting in half the time as my shoulders are quite muscular doing it under the 6 inch throat space I have been using for 3 years.  I do not have room for this equipment in my house and so it will be put off site so to speak.  The reason I chose this brand over others?  Ladies if you are contemplating this purchase, you must get out there and test drive the ones they have set up at shows,  You will know exactly which one you like best.  The smoothness of the Nolting vs the babylock (and many other machines just like it but rebadged much like a gmc vs a chevy) there was too much bounce in the  machine.  Not only do I think that is hard on the machine, it will be hard on the person driving the machine.  I liked the Juki, it was smooth, but the noise it made was irritating, LOL.  They are all similarly priced.  I did not get any extras except the large bobbin upgrade.  I like the fact that I do the maintaining of the machine and will not have to crate it and send it somewhere to get worked on.  Pretty much this machine I will be able to handle after the warranty is out, help is always a phone call/ text away.

I am excited about the machine, but at the same time, going from debt free to a large payment each month is a downer.  Who knows perhaps this is a door opening for me as another is getting ready to close.  You just never know where life will take you.  I am ready for whatever journey.  I know I have three quilts ready for my new learning journey.  I know my mother has many too.  This will get me in shape to perhaps take it that step further.  A wait and see moment with no commitment.

Happy Quilting, and thanks for reading my blog!

Doll Quilt Finished

As planned, the doll quilt is now behind me and ahead of hours of playtime.  If it is neglected and not played with I will be very surprised.  If I see stress, wear and tear, I will quietly put it in the blanket chest, for them to admire the memories when they are older.


In last week’s post (you can read about that here), I made a yarn bowl.  I just had to try it out.  For tatting it was wonderful.  Not once did anything fall from my lap to the floor.  There was one instance in rowdiness, I accidentally dumped the bowl and had to fetch the scissors from the crannies of the couch.  That was operator error, no worries.

I was begged by youth yesterday to make them a bowl to play with.  All I had left was nylon cord.  This stuff sewed differently than cotton, but the core of it is cotton.  So another bowl journey began.  I made two more.  One for my yarn, a bit larger/taller than the last and another for the toy box.


I rather like the irredescence of the nylon with the thread.  The thread really painted the bowl up nicely.


The rug I started last week was finished up yesterday afternoon.  I decided to give the rug a scalloped edge.  Without having a pattern, it went pretty well.  Because I formed loops, I am not sure this geriatric body will survive a normal walk on it——hope I don’t trip.  Perhaps this will be gifted to someone, or end up on the table as the most durable doily ever made.


To make the edge, I would use the bobbin yarn and the working yarn only, create a chain of 9 stitches, then go back to the rug and skip 6 stitches, then affix with three stitches before I would start another scallop.  Perhaps with practice on another one my skills will be better practiced/refined so the loops will not catch any toes.  Just the single chains were very loopy, so I went around the perimeter of the rug one more time skipping two stitches in the valley of the scallop.  That helped tame them, allowing them to lay flatter.


I am uncertain what sewing adventure I will choose for idle hands in the coming week.  I know what I need to do, but just don’t want to.  I need to get the featherweight back out and trudge on with play ball 2.  I just need to make myself.  I still do not understand why I do refuse the work on this quilt.  The time is ticking, and I do not care.  *sigh*

Have a wonderful Sunday, and thank you for subscribbing/reading my blog!


Geese In Everlasting Trees

Boy, Howdy Monday!

A productive weekend, the weekend lasting one extra day.  Breathing in, exhaustion gone, stitching a mile a minute.  It is amazing how much more you can get accomplished by adding one more day to your weekend routine.

Sometimes I surprise myself.  I just started the flying geese top on Friday evening.  And voilá, a quilt top finished, regardless if it small for a doll.

honkin wonky geese
from this to….
this!  By placing a neutral strip in between the rows of geese it created another pattern, Tree Everlasting!  Whoa!

So I completed my strips of flying geese, as wonky as they are (the doll will not care and neither will the children).  I have severely diminished my baggies of HST scraps.

Whoa, and I even got it quilted!

Binding will happen sometime this week.  I really wanted to quilt this with the fabric I purchased a whole bolt of at the thrift store.  The bolt did not say what kind of fabric it was.  I ironed it, it appears to be cotton.  Thicker than regular weave.  I think it is a jersey knit.  So this miniature version of a quilt was a rehearsal for the king size quilt I will be doing in the future with this same backing.  The quilting had issues on the back so I may rethink that for the human size quilt.


What else have I got going?  Well, I had this package of cotton clothesline.  It kept getting touched and moved from one spot to the next.  I touched it again this weekend and decided, this is the last time I will be touching packaged stuff, taking up valuable real estate.  Time to get stitching.

So I have been romancing the notion of looming socks.  I do not own the right kind of loom and have been window shopping on the internet for this process.  During my virtual shopping, I came across a yarn bowl.  They are wooden and expensive around $20.  I understand their purpose, and I also understand it is not a necessity.  But what if I make one!  So I did.  I did not make it very big, and turns out this is perfect for my tatting yarns.


What makes a yarn bowl, a bowl strictly for yarn?  A catch.  A place that you hook the yarn through.  The ball of yarn will unwind, never leaving your lap or table, or getting tangled up because it fell to far.

And I had extra clothesline left over.  I envisioned a purse.  Will probably finish this off with fabric later.  In the mean time, it is a perfect holder for all my yarn!  And the loom too!


These bowls are very quick and easy to make.  Select the widest zig-zag on your machine and get colorful with the thread.  A great way to free up your bobbins!

And wait….there is still more!  A while back, a co-workers quilting Grandmother gifted me a gob of fabric.  I have used this fabric, made many quilts with pieces here and there. I donated the rest.  While going through the pieces I did find some poly cotton that just would not make the cut in any of my quilts.  It got tossed aside.  Again, I am tired of touching, moving, and shuffling, again and again.  So, last night I tore them into 2 inch strips for a rag rug.  It is well on it’s way.


My stitching in the toothbrush rug is getting very symmetrical.  The pastel purple had some kind of staining on the fabric.  Stain and all, hidden within the fibers of the rug perfectly.  Also, there is some very dated 80s check in red and tan.  When I ripped this fabric there was so much sizing in it that it automatically curved the sides of each tear.  This stuff is stitching up nicely too, glad this is going into a rug.  The selvage said VIP on it which was probably from Cloth World or some other old big box fabric chain.  I will probably be adding to this as I find more pieces that are questionable about cotton content.geeseall

This picture sums up the weekend nicely.  Look at all that work and all the work to come.  Imagining things made with yarn.  Any of you sock makers know if you can use #3 or #10 tatting thread for socks?

Today will be a few household duties and relaxation, Boy Howdy Monday!

Thanks for subscribing and reading my blog!

Honkin’ Walkin’ Geese

With limited energy Friday evening, I managed to get some time at the sewing machine.  As tired as I was, it felt good to hold fibers between the fingers, step on the gas and hum the sewing machine steady, soothing, the week easing.  The tiredness of the mundane, slipped to a different more meditative state.  Breath in ~~~~~Breath out.  Stitch.  Perhaps the breathing as necessary as it is, it better with stitching, hence the therapy relationship.

National Sew a Jelly Roll Day is coming up on the 15th of September.  So I got into my small box of precuts to see what I would be sewing that day, and came across my two stuffed ziplock baggies full of trimmings from the On Ringo Lake.  While sewing On Ringo Lake, I also sewed all the additional corners trimmed making the flying geese.  It was a gob of extra effort to keep the pace, but I did it.

And boy am I glad I did this step.  I decided in that box I was staring into, they have been saved long enough.  What kind of maintenance did I need to do to these HSTs?  Really nothing.  I did trim off the dog ears with scissors, finger pressed and then started pairing them up with other HST’s.  And so the doll quilt has began.  This one I will do with flying geese strips.  Not sure how many strips at this point, but they will probably be separated by a neutral scrap.

Curious at the sight?  Well here is a very non photogenic pic, but it is a pic none the less.  Unpressed, sewn, wonky.  So these geese I picture to be walking along on the ground and in a perfect row.  Un-natural, unsymmetrical, imperfect, captured in stitches.

Again I have stalled on the Play Ball 2 quilt.  Why?  I do not know.  It could be because I am not as close to the coworker I am making it for.  My excitement for this is at a lull.  Not sure why.  Perhaps I need to self reflect a bit and overcome what ever the hurdle is.

honkin wonky geese

I estimate the geese will be about 3/4 of an inch by 2, but I have not officially measured them.  Perfectly sized for a doll quilt, keeping fabric from the trash bin.  I just love all the varied neutrals in this, a tad of color with the dominate orange and brown, soften it a bit.  As I picked up each piece, I recalled when I had previously stitched other quilts with the same fabric.  Or, I even recalled who gave me the fabric.  I see watermelons, peas, some thrift store ric-rac white and pink, cotton and steel, some left overs from En Provence, and some orange that I shopped my mother’s stash for.  🙂

Well, I am off to do other weekend duties.  Hopefully I will get Honey Garlic Chicken cooked and photographed for another recipe post here.  Be looking for that.

Thanks for reading my blog and have a great weekend!