Thursday, April 14, 2016

Out of the Scrap Bins

It seems like every year around this time I go through this whole scrap purging and reorganizing process at the bottom of my closet, digging through scrap bins as if I was searching for gold.  It's not an intentional act that I plan for, it just seems to happen on its own, call it my version of spring cleaning.  I can't even explain it.  Before I know it, I have every bin, basket and bag organized, reorganized, analyzed and re-analyzed as to what to do with it all.  The easiest thing would be to donate or throw it away, right?  You would think I was organizing and hoarding cash!
I had seen a photo of a gorgeous pineapple quilt that inspired the thought, "I am going to make that!"  So I set on the journey of pulling lots of narrow strips, cutting dozens more, and sewing scrappy five-inch pineapple blocks, with the intention of reaching at least 80 inches each way on my scrappy pineapple quilt. 
It was fun. . . for awhile!  My short attention span soon kicked in.  Twenty blocks later, I had had my fill of pineapples!  Then I realized I still had to tear all that foundation paper off the back of the blocks.  I soon decided that a crib sized quilt was more realistic and called it a day when I finally managed to get it sewn together, along with borders.
I still love the scrappy look but am not sure if I could do a bed-sized quilt in just pineapples.  It would probably have to be something that I picked up and worked on in between other quilts, I think.  Sewing pineapples for weeks on end would turn my brain into a pineapple slushy, I'm afraid. 
And what inspired all this digging through scraps?  During two weeks in March I was down and out with a cold that I couldn't shake and just needed to do something that didn't require much thinking.  I had seen this foundation-pieced rooster online and thought it would be fun to try, once again using ONLY scraps from the scrap bin.  I purchased the pattern from Sew What Sherlock, and had a blast choosing bits of old fabrics to "paint" my rooster.  I veered from the pattern somewhat and did my own thing when it came to the background.  Now, for the record, I am not a rooster collector nor do I decorate with roosters in my house, but this was just fun to do.
I didn't really have a plan for it once I finished it, so I decided to make it into a pillow.  I'm still not sure if I am keeping this for me, giving it as a gift, or I may eventually sell it!  But I am glad I took a day off to play without having a plan or deadline for a change, and did something different.

And here is the back. . . 
Believe it or not, this fabric is real vintage 1970s.  And yes, I've had it since high school!  I am pretty sure I made a wrap-around skirt out of it back in the day when I sewed clothes.  I guess there was a reason I've held on to it all these years!  Anyway, it worked out great for this pillow.
And my final scrap busting project "in progress" is this crocheted rag rug.  I'm getting close to the finish line, probably only ten more rounds to go.   This uses up so much fabric, it's a great way to dwindle down some of that old stuff I won't ever use in a quilt.  I also love using old cotton floral decorator prints, once again, VINTAGE!  Some of this I've had forever, it screamed 1980s, so now that it's in a rug, I don't feel so guilty about holding on to it.  I'm not using a pattern, in case anyone is going to ask me, I am sort of figuring this out as I go.  I cut my strips at 1 1/4" wide and use a size L or M hook, depending on the tension I want.  This is the first time I've done a rug in a rectangular format like this, normally I make ovals like the one pictured below.
Here is one I did a couple of years ago, now very much faded since it gets direct sun on it most of the day.  But I love the patina they get after being used and washed.  And these crocheted rugs wash extremely well, they hold up for years, much better than anything store-bought, and they are pet-friendly, which is very important in our house.

I know I had promised photos from the AQS Daytona Quilt Show to share, but I apologize, I still have not taken the time to go through and edit them just yet.  With being sick and then playing catch up for the last several weeks, sitting in front of the computer on my time off hasn't been what I want to do after being in front of it all day at work.  So hopefully I will eventually get around to it and share them. 

Hope this has inspired you to dig through your own scraps and make something fun!  It's amazing to see how such a little bit of fabric goes a long way. 

Until next time, Happy Quilting!


  1. Beautiful way to use those scraps.The pineapple quilt is gorgeous and on my bucket list but I seriously dislike foundation paper piecing , do it quickly moves to the bottom of the list.Thanks for sharing yours, and all your gorgeous creations.

  2. Goodness, you've been busy. Love the pineapple.

  3. Rahna, your pineapple quilt looks great! I'm still working on the California King pineapple quilt that I started over a year ago... Maybe even two years ago, if I felt like being BRUTALLY honest about it. My blocks finish at 17 3/4" and I am currently working on block 23 out of 36 that I need for the quilt. Like you said, I'm not just going gangbusters straight through on the pineapple quilt -- I make a couple of pineapple blocks, then I set it aside and do something else, then I come back to it. Since I've cut all of the strips already and I have all of my block foundations ready to go, it's something I can do on autopilot with my mind on other things, and it feels good to go from stressing out over something more challenging and be able to pick up a pineapple block to restore my confidence again! And now that the end is in sight, I'm worrying about how hard it will be to remove the foundation papers (I had to print the foundations on the oversize copier at FedEx, and it's a bit heavier paper than what would normally be used for FPP), and I'm worrying about how the heck I will manage to get this enormous quilt basted and quilted on my domestic machine. So as I was working on my pineapple block this morning, I was fantasizing about a long arm machine just magically appearing in my studio and how even more magically, I would instantly be able to use it to quilt my pineapple behemoth...!

  4. Love your rugs! That is something that my mother always used to do. My brother even tried it using strips of plastic. But I never have. You almost make me want to try!

  5. I love your rugs. I have never liked crocheting but I might give it a whirl in order to create cozy rugs out of my ever growing scrap bags and bins. Have a wonderful Spring. Debbie

  6. I just love the rectangular rug. I have brick floor and that would look wonderful in the kitchen. Time to use my short cuts. Thank you for sharing. You are amazing!