Tidy-up time

The fun thing (or one of the fun things) about teaching is you can check the store’s scrap basket every week. So I’ve had a few weeks of scraps building up, as well as yardage for binding several quilts, and leftovers from ahem, several projects going back a few months. So I did a sort and tidy this afternoon and feel better for it.

I know the online world is all “pictures or it didn’t happen” but I just didn’t take any. Picture a random but sort of tidy pile of scraps. Got it? Yes! That’s exactly what it looked like!

It was very gratifying to finally nail down what I keep/sort and how I sort it:

  • selvedges (not that I’ve ever used them but it’s JUST IN CASE)
  • strings/strips (ditto, but I have plans)
  • tiny scraps, less than 2.5″ square which I will probably stop saving and will send to someone if you are interested
  • 2.5″ squares (LOVE these so much!)
  • small-ish scraps (generally around 5″ square or smaller but bigger than everything mentioned up to now)
  • FQ or less than FQ but bigger than the small-ish scraps
  • bigger than FQ is “yardage”

Tomorrow I get to go to a quilt show (yay!) but I have to take my kids (boo¡). They are great but they do not love quilt shows. I have my bribes ready:


One piece at the end of every row. Two if they behaved nicely. I have no shame.



Sorting out for the new year

I am interested in trying to be more consistent and have a more…complete follow-through we shall say. Really that just means stopping leaving things half undone… projects, quilts, filing, thoughts, spreadsheets, ideas, etc.

Instead of having several lists of quilts in progress, I combined them into one big list. (Projects in some state of completion: 20, Ideas for which I have the pattern/fabric: 10, Projects I kinda-sorta want to make: 6 that are written down but hundreds more in my head).

And I cleaned out my under-the-bed overflow storage area today. Fabric was put away. Projects sorted into ONE zipper container (that originally held a queen duvet to give you an idea of size).

Quilt tops needing quilting were all measured so that I can get batting and backings for them. Need those before I can get them quilted! They will all go to my bin under the longarm.


And this went into the recycling bin: the stencil I made for an oversize baptist fan pattern.


It was for my scrap vomit quilt (sorry Katy, can’t call it anything else!), completed March 2013. It measures 98″ square, has 2,458 2″ squares in it, and was quilted on my domestic machine.

Scrap Vomit copy

Day 376

Today was an #mqgsewday, where members of the MQG share whatever they’re sewing on Instagram. Watching kids does not make for easy sewing so I went for the tidying of sewing supplies. I have a bin of random craft/sewing/art stuff in the garage and a sort of similar bin downstairs. Husband has been agitating for paring down so with not being able to sew,  I tried to see exactly what I have.


In-process arial shot.


Drafting tools and supplies, drawing and art supplies, three sizes of pipe cleaner including actual cleaners for pipes, old phone wire, beading wire, random: patches, snaps, and embroidery hoops, a third tracing wheel (never opened), two different styles of reverse tweezers, wool felt of three kinds, acrylic felt of two kinds, calculator from grade eight, school box from grade six, lighting gel sample book from university, wooden spool collection, random zippers (mostly huge, separating and/or ugly colours), car seat strap webbing from B’s car seat, styrofoam balls leftover from a hallowe’en costume three years ago, etc, etc.

Ta-done! One empty bin. Ran out of label tape at the crucial moment though.


Found some thing I’ll never use:

A close up for my fellow Canadians!


I went to university with a girl from St. Marys.

And I found a 6 inch scrap of honest to goodness gold braid. Woven with metal wires, and I have no idea where it came from.



Day 291

A few days ago I gave out my big quilting tip “if you stitch something, press it.” That’s an awesome tip and I stand by it. My other big quilting tip is “if you’re stuck creatively, tidy up.” Because honestly, no matter how tidy you are, you can always be tidier.

And when you do a tidy up, you might find things you had forgotten about. Hello goldfish shark fabric! Or you might find things you had misplaced. Like the two fat quarters of solid black that you needed but couldn’t find so you went to the store and spent money needlessly on more black solid*. For instance.

*Your experience might be slightly different. Or exactly the same. If so then let’s be friends and we can curse our messiness together.


Did you think I was kidding about this fabric?

And in other good news, I figured out my next project. It’s the June Mighty Lucky club challenge of course! Tick tock baby, the month is nearly done.