Friday, March 27, 2015

Another scrap bag! - Red, White and Blue

In the previous post Use It or Lose It!  I described my new process to work through the many scrap bags of fabric in my cabinets.  This particular scrap bag was all red, white and blue fabrics that were in my friends stash and she passed it on to me. 

The scrap bag of Red, White and Blue fabrics.
 
I will admit this bag was fun to work on because the fabrics were really cute.  It did have several orphan blocks in the bag along with scraps of various sizes.  To find out more about my love for orphan blocks check out this post Orphan Blocks.
 
Some of the orphan blocks in the scrap bag.
 
I have already made several projects with these scraps and still have a few left to use up.  One of the first projects was two dish towels with pieced strips.  I took the various strips of coordinating fabrics and sewed several rows together to create a band. 
 
Various length strips sewn together to create a band.
 
I then sewed the band down to the edge of the dish towel with a zigzag stitch.  I left the raw edges showing and stitched around all four sides.  I liked the raw edge because it gives the towel a more rustic feel rather than a formal feel.  The fabrics were too fun for a stuffy feeling.
 
The raw edges secured with a zigzag stitch.

The finished towel will be festive for July.

Simple yet festive!
 
My process seems to be working well for using up scraps and getting all the bags out of my cabinets.  Don't tell my husband but if this keeps up I will have room for some new fabric!! There are several more projects in the works from this bag but I will post more about them later.
 
Danna

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Drop Cloth Table Runner

In the post A Couch Refresh I show you how I used a canvas drop cloth the recover the cushions on my couch.  With a piece of the leftover drop cloth I made this table runner.  It is perfect for Spring or Summer and goes together quickly.

With the soft pastel fabric it is perfect for Spring or Summer.
 
Using a piece of drop cloth I cut a section that was approximately 19" x 46" with my pinking rotary blade.  I turned the pinked edges under approximately 1/2" on each side and sewed a finished hem all the way around.  So my finished runner size was approximately 18" x 45".
 
A painters drop cloth is used for this runners base fabric.
 
Using coordinating fabrics and the pinking rotary blade I cut strips that are 2 1/2" wide and the full width of the fabric (approximately 45" long). 
 
I love the soft pastel fabrics.

The pinking rotary blade keeps the edges from fraying.
 
Using my favorite gathering method I gathered each of my strips.  My favorite gathering method is found in this YouTube video Gathering Fabric Fast.  The only change I made was to sew down the center of my strips to gather them not the edge.
 

From plain and drab.

To Fab!  Quick and Easy gathered strips.
 
Stack your strips on each end, sew them down and you are done.  To see some other ideas using this gathering method check out this post More Dish Towels.  The little girls tea set is the perfect table setting for this table runner.
 
The tea set is one of my daughters when she was younger.
 
If you need a quick table runner for your room.  Grab some fabric you love and a painters drop cloth and it will be made by dinner time.
 
Danna

Check out this linky party at Shabby Nest
 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Quick Garland with Scraps

In the previous post Use It or Lose It I shared how I was trying to use my scraps in a timely manner.  One of the items I made from the bag of scraps was a quick and easy garland.  Here is how the garland was made.

The finished scrap busting garland.
 
It starts with the remaining pieces left from cutting out quilt squares for another project.  The pieces were random sizes but roughly the same width.  I sorted the scraps by color and cut the pieces down into approximately 1" x 4" strips. As you can see in the picture some of the strips are less than 1" in width.  As long as they are all the same length the overall look will be beautiful.  The point of using scraps is to allow for the quirky not make everything uniform.
 
The strips are the same length but various widths.
 
Next I then lined up the first few strips in a pleasing pattern and sewed down the center of the strips with a wide zig zag stitch.  Be sure to keep the strips close together as you sew down the center.  You do not want large gaps between your strips.
 
Keep the strips close together as you sew.
 
Repeat the pattern until you run out of strips.  I varied the placement of the slightly thinner strips so there was not a big group of them together.  The length of the garland will depend on the number of strips you cut. 
 
A wide zig zag stitch is all it takes to make this quick garland.
 
Not only does this garland go together quick, the fact that all the scraps came from a previous project means the fabrics are already coordinated.  So grab your scrap bag and whip up a fun garland for your next celebration.
 
Danna
 
 

Use It or Lose It!

As I stretch myself to begin the process of using the things in my home that I love and tossing the things I don't I have a new approach to my craft supplies. You have probably figured out by now that I am a person who does not like to have any waste or scraps from project. I tell myself there has to be some use for those left over pieces.  This thought process has served to uproot my deepest creative ideas and bring them to the surface. I am beginning to learn in this journey that some things you really just need to use or lose.

All of my friends in quilt group know that I will take the scraps from their projects so they will bag them up and bring them to me.  I really do love this, but in the past I would bring the bag home and stuff it in my cabinets to deal with at a later time.  Well, now I am forcing myself to bring them home, sort them and decide right then in what projects they will be used.  It is a slow and steady process but I am beginning to see that it has great benefits down the road.

Here is an example of a recent scrap bag gift from my friends and my new process.  In the bag was a selection of selvage strips, some small pieces cut off the end of quilt blocks, several drop out circles of fabric and larger pieces from a baby gift, and the scraps of a twister quilt.  So my process begins.

1.  Take all the selvage strips and place them in the jars above my work station sorted by color.  I really do use these all the time to tie up gift baskets, ties for gift tags etc.

2.  Pull out the larger pieces of fabric and place them in my fabric stash drawers so I know what fabrics I have to use for future quilts and projects.

My smaller pieces of fabric.
For more info check out this post Fabric Storage.
 
3.  I took the small cut off ends and sorted them by color.  Since they were from a quilt project they already coordinated beautifully.  I cut the larger pieces down so they were roughly 1" x 4" strips.  I then sewed them together using a zig zag stitch down the center to form a garland.
 
Small leftovers from a quilt project. 
I will post more on how the garland was made later.
 
4.  The drop out circles were used to create as many Yo Yo's as I could get out of each circle.
 
Large circles left from a baby gift project.

I cut down the larger circles to create a selection of yo yo's.
 
5.  One batch of the twister quilt scraps were an odd shape cut on the bias.  I did not think these would work well cut into smaller squares so I used them to make a nice grouping of Yo Yo's.  I have a box I keep all my pre-made Yo Yo's in so when I am working on a project I can just pull one out and I don't have to stop and make one.
 
6.  The remaining scraps from the twister quilt were used to embellish a dish towel to be sold in my Etsy shop. I had just enough to create a great looking towel.
 
The blue and white fabric are the twister scraps.

The green yo yo's are from the odd shaped scraps.
 
There, all of the scraps were either used immediately on an existing project or prepared for use in a future project.  A bonus of this process is that I do not have a small bag of random scraps "stuffed" in my cabinets.  There was only a small amount of "trash" from the bag and it was easy to toss them. 
 
My plan is to keep this process going every time I bring home a gifted bag of scraps.  I do still have several "stuffed" in the cabinet I am beginning to work on now.  It is refreshing to use the things I have to create new projects and clear out some space in my cabinets.  Who knows what I will create using the next bag of scraps but I am excited to get started.
 
Danna
 
 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Last of the Valentine's Day Runners

In several previous posts here I have shown you the Valentine's Day runners I made this summer.  The last one is not a runner but a small table topper.  I did not have enough scraps to make an additional full table runner so I thought a table topper would be perfect to use the last little bits and pieces.

The small table topper using the last of the scraps.
 
I started the table topper with a large orphan block that was fairly simple in design and presentation.  I put this block on one side of the topper and pieced a different design on the other side.  I used this block to determine my overall size of the topper.
 
The remaining orphan blocks from the scrap bag.
 
The smaller pieced blocks I used in the front side of the topper.  By adding a pieced center and borders this side was done in no time. 
 
Front of the table topper.
 
The topper was quilted with the free motion hearts and connecting loops I have been practicing.  The front of the topper has a lighter colored thread so the quilting did not detract from the pieced center.  The back has a darker colored thread so the quilting really pops out.
 

The darker thread makes the quilting stand out.
 
Side one
 
Side two
 
This topper can be used on either side depending on the look you want.  I only had a few scraps left from the bag and they went into my stash of squares. 

The last of the scraps.
 
See how much fun you can have using up your scraps and orphan blocks.  One scrap bag down only about a hundred to go.  Check out these posts to see my other runners.  Happy scrapping!
 
Danna

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Valentine's Day Runner from Orphan Blocks

Here is the second table runner I made this summer from the scraps my friend gave me.  She had a bag of leftovers from previous quilts and runners that included some orphan blocks.  I love to create using orphan blocks because half of the work is already done.

The completed runner using three orphan blocks.
 
In the bag was one large orphan block comprised of four half square triangle units and a solid border.  The other orphan blocks were leftover half square triangles. 
 
The orphan blocks and scraps.
 
I placed the large orphan block in the center and put borders on the smaller half square triangle blocks so the three were the same size.  I used a wide solid pink border on the two outside blocks to allow the center block to shine.  Using some of the other scraps I pieced a patchwork border with various sized rectangles.
 
Some of the scraps I used in the border.
 
Each block in the center of the runner has a heart quilted in the middle.  Again practicing my free motion quilting.
 
The middle block has a larger heart than the outer blocks.

A small heart in the center really makes the blocks pop.
 
The table runner turned out really cute with all the leftover scraps.  I used it on my large dining room table for my Valentine's Day d├ęcor.
 
 
Have fun using up your Orphan Blocks and scraps.  Be sure to check out these posts to see the others created. Pretty in Pink Table Runners &
 
Danna

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Valentine's Day Table Runner - A Little Late

In a previous post I talked about my Valentine's Day table runners I created this Summer.  The first table runner was made from the left over scraps from this post Donations Quilts - What a Joy!  I had just enough to make the center coin style panel and then add some simple borders. 

A coin style center panel is the highlight of this runner.
 
I like the way the mix of the reds, browns and pinks compliment each other for a true Valentine's Day feel.  The back was pieced with a pink and white polka dot and brown and pink ends.
 
The pieced back gives you two looks in one runner.
 
I also pieced the binding in the brown and pink solid fabrics to add a little movement in the outer edge.  The quilting in the center is straight lines 1/4 inches away from the seam lines and a meandering pattern in the coin section.  The border quilting was a little more of a challenge to myself to practice some new free motion shapes.  I quilted hearts in the outer border with loops between them.  They are not perfect but for a first try not too bad. (Sorry for the blurry picture - I could not get my camera to focus correctly)
 
More practice on my free motion quilting
Hearts with connecting loops.
 
This runner was quick and easy to put together and fun to make. I will post more about the other runner and table topper from the original group later. 
 
Danna