Friday, March 30, 2012


No, I don't mean Tuesday's meatloaf sitting in the fridge.

But if you had some that you were willing to share, I would take it off your hands. But I digress.

One of the perennial questions facing lovely, ingenious quilters is what to do with the leftovers from projects.

Let me give you my definition of leftovers: Leftovers are scraps and pieces left over from a project that go together well (maybe coordinates from a single line) but are possibly too much to either put back on the shelf or stick in the scrap bin.

I'm sure a lot of you know exactly what I mean, and here are some of the ways I know to deal with leftovers.

1. Make another coordinating quilt. Or two.
This is what happened to me when I made my first quilt and cut twice as much sashing and border scraps as I needed. That is why theses three quilts exist:

But why exactly do I need three quilts of the same colors? Not sure yet. the X-quilt might get gifted.

2. Trade with your fellow quilters.
This is pretty much the same as #1, but you don't end up with 2 (or more!) quilts that are the same-like. This is my sister's quilt (it's finished now, but I don't have pictures of it):

... and here's what I did with the leftovers:

Granted, both #1 and #2 require some fabric to be bought, but for the one above I only bought the white and a half yard of the medium magenta. So I think that's a pretty good investment.

3. Try to work it in with other things.
This only really works if you have more than a fat quarter or so of the fabric (or fabrics) you might have left over, though. We all know we have that one fabric that is in a pile of quilts because we loved that fabric so much and bought three yards.

4. Scrap quilts
The go-to solution for all quilting problems. Technically, #1 and #2 are kind of scrap quilts, but I'm more or less thinking of the lovable scrappy quilts that end up having all of our favorite fabrics from all time.

5. Smaller projects.
Table runners, placemats, potholders. The best way I know to use up those 3 extra blocks you ended up with.

Are there any other ideas that you use to use up your leftovers?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sunday Shoes

Over the last few days, I have started on and made MAJOR progress on the shoe quilt, mainly because its so easy to do a few blocks at a time.

This is the first time I've used this type of pattern; you trace the cutting lines on your freezer paper and then iron it onto a pair of layer cake pieces and then cut on the lines. You sew pieces together in the order in the pattern and there's only two places you need to worry about matching. They need to be trimmed down, but I'll do that all at the end.

Definitely manageable for a girl in grad school who is taking her comprehensive exam in 32 days. 

32 DAYS? I try to remind myself that its still March, and my exam is in April. I'll freak out April 1st.

Anyways, my layer cake had 42 pieces and so I will get 42 blocks that end up around 7.5 inches square. 

Good luck starting your new weeks!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Sweet Endings

Despite the crazy going on the last two weeks, I managed to finish (yes, FINISH) my Seville top! Hooray!

This one was a tough one with all of the matching, but it is so beautiful!

I particularly love this one because nearly all of the fabric was "free to me" left over from my sister, except for the medium pink with the green polka dots and the white background. I had just enough fabric to do the borders.

Another to add to the finished top pile to take to the quilter while I am home!

(Get the pattern here!)

Check out other finishes this week at Crazy Mom Quilts, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, and amylouwhosews!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Stuck in a rut.

I'm undeniably in a sewing rut as of late.

I am making a serious effort to completely finish projects (or at least get the top completely done to get sent to the quilter) before starting a new one.

I did finish up my snowflakes, and that is a big accomplishment, but I was briefly toying with the idea of doing a pieced back. This quilt is mainly going to be a wall-hanging, so a fancy back might not be worth the work.

But at the same time, using up the rest of that fabric might be a good plan. However, most of the pieces are rather small, and it may not even be enough to make a pieced back. So that's a project in and of itself.

But what's really slowing me down is this Seville quilt. And grad school, but let's just focus on the quilt.

I've been sewing together two rows at a time and every row has ended up trapezoidal.

And so I get discouraged and don't want to work on it.

But like I said, I'm really making an effort to not take on new projects until I complete works in progress. Most of this is the harassment that I get from my sister who has the self control to only have one project in progress at at time.

But maybe what will get me out of this rut is a new project? Or finally ordering the fabric to finish my Civil War quilt for Park Ranger Boyfriend?

If I do start a new project it is going to be this "If the shoe fits" pattern from Sandy Gervais with a Hushabye layer cake that I got on sale when I was home over Christmas.

Do you ever get in a sewing rut? If so, how do you get out of it?