Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sunday Morning Quilts and Playing with Solids

Today is kind of a rarity in Fresno--it's raining. Perfect coffee and quilting weather.

I have been playing with solids this weekend. Cutting fabric for several different projects.
Working on my granny squares, 20 blocks total, 10 completed. I even came up with a catchy name for this quilt: Granny was Amish.

In the process, there is an ever-growing pile of scraps.

When my friend, Amanda Jean, told me she was co-authoring a book with Cheryl, it instantly became my most-anticipated book release. If you follow these fabulous blogging quilters, you know what I'm talking about.

When my book arrived, it did not disappoint. The tag line of Sunday Morning Quilts is "sort, store and use every last bit of your treasured fabrics." Amen!

First of all, you should know this about me. I'm a bit of a quilt bookaholic. After quilting for nearly twenty years, I have quite an extensive library. As my style has changed, I have donated many of those books to either our church quilting group or second-hand stores. This book represents something new for the quilting community, something that isn't already out there.

If you have been quilting for any length of time, you probably have precious scraps--you don't know what to do with them, but definitely don't want to get rid of them, especially if they are little pieces from a much-treasured fabric line that you simply had to have.

Amanda Jean and Cheryl walk you through the step-by-step process of organizing, storing, and finally using up these precious bits of fabric.
What I appreciate the most about this book is not just the quilts, which are spectacular by the way, but the amazing wealth of information and the process to get things under control. It is very well written. I like to consider myself an organized person. However, if you take a peek in my office and sewing room on any given day, it would hard to claim that I actually LIVE as an organized person. My stash seems to impinge on at least three rooms. I have donated more fabric to our church quilting group than I would ever want to calculate. I have started giving away scraps to newbies online who don't have a stash, let alone scraps, which of course seems like a foreign concept to me, except that I clearly remember my first quilt, a double four-patch, and how I spent literally weeks finding just the perfect four fabrics!

By writing this book, Amanda Jean and Cheryl will enrich the lives of many quilters, not only from their encouragement and excellent easy-to-understand writing, but from the very do-able projects.  With the price of high-quality quilting cottons creeping up on a regular basis, who wouldn't want to get the most mileage from each and every yard!

These quilted storage boxes are awesome.
When I was at the quilting retreat in February, someone gave me a huge bag of selvages, some really skinny ones, that will be perfect. Because even my selvage stash is VERY out of control. There are instructions in the book on how to knit a fabric mat using skinny strips and/or selvages.

Amanda Jean also added some instructions on her blog:
Learn how to knit the mat here

The day the book arrived was a busy one, so I didn't get a chance to start reading through it until bedtime. When I got to page 23, I nearly had to chomp down on my pillow to keep from waking Mark, because check this out!

There is my blog address. In this book! Yikes. My etsy shop, which I started in order to sell things crafted from selvages, has pretty much been dormant for a while now. Being listed in this book definitely has me thinking of new and creative items to fill up my shop.

Are your scraps out of control? My advice to you: buy this book! Do you need some scraps of your very own? My advice to you: don't be shy. Just answer this question: What is the smallest size of fabric you are willing to save for a future project? I'll fill up a bag of my own scraps and send them to someone after the RNG does its work on Thursday, March 29, at 6 p.m. PDT.


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B Greene said... #

I hate being #1 - especially when a prize I REALLY want is involved! Maybe I will make this is huge long comment, so another comment will sneak into the #1 spot.

I LOVE the name Granny is Amish - so clever and I really like the use of solids in this block - very authentic.

Sunday Morning Quilts just shot to the top of my "To Buy" list - thanks for the great review.

As mentioned before, I would love to win your scraps! I don't have nearly enough for the projects I want to tackle. Thanks for the chance to win!

ktquilts said... #

I have a huge selvedge stash, but my other scraps get used up pretty fast. Would love your scraps, because all that you make is soooo drool worthy! Putting that book on my wish list.

Jen said... #

I was in the quilt shop in Turlock yesterday and SAW THAT BOOK! And I saw 2 copies walk out the door ahead of me... so I didn't get a copy because she only had 2.... the shop owner just stood there and gaped! She had JUST gotten them in - they weren't even tagged/inventoried yet! (She promised me she'd order more!)

I'd love to win a copy of that book! Thanks for the chance!

I'm a scrap-quilter's nightmare - I won't save less than about an 1/8th of a yard - I find that once I'm done with a project, I want it gone! Especially if it's a really distinctive print or color - if it's a blender, sometimes I'll keep a small piece... but not usually.

Terriaw said... #

Cool granny square blocks, especially with the solids!

My scraps aren't out of control, but I never know what to do with them. So I am very grateful you bought this book for me. I can't wait to make something from it. I've made a few of those storage boxes - they are awesome.

Allison said... #

awesome giveaway! thank-you so much for being so generous with your scraps! I save scraps if I can get at least a 1.5" square out of it, and 'strings' that are at least 1" wide.
Your Amish Granny squares are great - I love the colors :)

lindaroo said... #

Don't you think the publicity you'll get from being in the book is the perfect reason to share a pattern for your spools quilt?

Cecilia said... #

I try to keep my scraps bigger than 1.5 inches wide. That size is what I use in the pineapple blocks. I would love to win your scraps and add them to mine. I am also saving selvedges, but I don't have enough of them yet to make anything big. I also need to check out your blog for ideas on using my selvedges. Thanks for the great giveaway.

Mama Pea said... #

I love this book, too. I am going to write a review as well. I saw your website in there. :-) I hate to tell you this, but I think I'm going to have to keep my selvedges now. I really want to try one of those rugs! LOL!

Anonymous said... #

I like your Amish grannies and the book looks wonderful and I'd better check it out, but what I really want to know is where, where, where did you find the llama fabric?!!! I'm seriously jealous!

Salley said... #

I save everything! Mostly work in solids and with Applique even thumbnail size can be made into a circle. But I dont save the selvedges...silly me... that knitted rug looks so good.

Salley said... #

I save everything! Mostly work in solids and with Applique even thumbnail size can be made into a circle. But I dont save the selvedges...silly me... that knitted rug looks so good.

Unknown said... #

I don't need scraps, but I wanted to say congrats! How fun to be in a book!!

Needled Mom said... #

I have a terrible time throwing any size scrap away and have been known to save them as small as 1".

We are also enjoying the rain. We need it though.

The book looks fabulous and congratulations on getting "published".

The solid Grannys are wonderful!

Judith said... #

I keep anything over an inch. Mind you, I've only made two quilts, so that still doesn't amount to much in the way of scraps. Certainly not enough to do anything with. Give me time ;-)

Great review, by the way. This book was on my list, but it's definitely moved to the top now. Thanks.

Six Little Ducklings said... #

I've been reading your blog for a while now and love, love, love seeing what you do with selvedges. Being a very new quilter, I don't throw away anything except bits of thread until I figure out what I'm doing. The fabric stash is starting to grow as I see more and more delicious fabrics out there. Can't wait to find that book. I'm always picking up quilt books, new, borrowed and used to get more ideas. Thanks for the inspiration.

Mrs Flying Blind... said... #

Congrats on the namecheck!!
I keep all offcuts except anything thinner/smaller than than 1/2"! My scrap box really looks like a rubbish bin/trash can!

Jenelle said... #

I will only throw a scrap away if it is smaller than what the seam allowance will eat up, and even then I keep some of these scraps to use as extra filler for making floor cushions. I have not usually cut my fabric to allow continuous selvedge pieces, but I am starting to think I should do that too. I keep seeing awesome selvedge projects that would be fun to make.

Jane said... #

I use scraps any size from 1 inch square up (crazy foundation scrap quilt). But my first scrappy love is selveges and I can't get enough of them!

I was on the fence with this book (don't buy too many books)... but I think you've sold me!!

Indianna said... #

I've just started quilting..... So I still keep everything..... Just in case I should ever need it. The knitting looks fantastic and brilliant that you made it into the book.

Lisa said... #

how cool is that?! I may have to add that book to my "little" library!

Bobbi said... #

I'm a grad student that can't afford fabric, so most of what I have right now is my grandma-in-law's leftovers. The smallest fabric I save is 1 inch by 1 1/2 inch.

Ronda said... #

If I can get a 1 inch square or strip out of the scrap, I save it. It took me a while to figure out why most of my quilting friends had favorite colors to use in their quilts and I didn't ~ I just liked them all, and that is because my favorite quilts are scrappy!

Kim said... #

Well I do love scraps and use whatever I have but it has to be large enough to show something after the seams so I usually stop at 1.5 inches...however if they are strings they can still be used :0)
I am enjoying AmandaJeans new book's very well done!

thanks for the chance to win your scraps and Happy sewing

Betty said... #

I've been saving selvages since Day 1 of my return to quilting (8/09) and truly strategize about any fabric cutting just to save it! And for those postcards I might get back to (sure!), I save ALL scraps. The good news is that I've started digging into them and it's so fun to recall past projects by way of the scraps!

ItsNurseJessi said... #

I Love! scrappy anything!
I am awaiting the arrival of Sunday Morning Quilts. Trying to be patient!

The smallest scrap I am keeping is anything 1inX1in or larger- if its that size- its usable to me! I keep strings as long as they are 1/2in or wider.
But, I always need MORE scraps!

Archie The Wonder Dog said... #

How exciting!!! I tend to keep anything 0.75"x0.75" or larger but I have been known to get rid of larger scraps than that if I don't like the fabric!! Love your Granny Amish squares!

hueisei said... #

I think is 1/2 inch. I saved every itchy bitchy pieces of it :)

hollymade said... #

With fabrics I love, I save every teeny tiny little scrap. Otherwise, I try to limit it to at least 2 inches if it's squarish, or 1 inch if it's more of a strip.

Dana said... #

I love the name of your quilt! Too cute! I'm sure that book needs to make its way into my library. I've just organized my scraps by color into plastic drawer organizers. I'm ready for some scrappy projects! I'll keep anything that is big enough to allow for seam allowances and have anything left- so I guess I would say over 1/2 inch.

Lindsay Conner said... #

I have been covering buttons with tiny scraps, but for quilting, I'll keep it if it is 1" or larger. :) Congrats on your feature! That's so fun!

CitricSugar said... #

That's pretty cool about your blog in the book! I'm so thrilled I know you! :-)

I have been sorting scraps since I've made a massive dent in them this past month or so... I keep crumbs. Quite small, probably too small, but I did actually make them work. Ha!

Katy Cameron said... #

Hmm, I've been working almost entirely from my scraps lately, and still they're breeding o.O It's disproportionate effect I tell ya lol

Amanda Jean said... #


i love that you are calling your quilt granny was amish. that is SO GOOD!

thanks so much for writing up such a wonderful review of Sunday Morning Quilts. we truly do want to help quilters use their scraps! and if they are excited about it in the process, even better!

p.s. please don't enter me in the drawing for scraps. you've blessed me with plenty!

btw, i save ridiculously small scraps. but you already knew that, didn't you???

Amanda Jean said... #

oh, and i guess i am SUPER chatty today, because here's yet another comment....but i am thrilled to read jen's comment. (comment #3) it's making me totally giddy!!!

wobblybobbin said... #

Oh my gosh! I have always saved these "selvedges" because I thought they were beautiful. Never knew anyone else was as crazy as I! Happy to find that mat pattern - it's beautiful!

robin said... #

I save everything except smaller than maybe 2 x 2 inches. I do save skinny strips and selvedges.

Carla said... #
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carla said... #

Hi again. ; / I bought the book and read it cover to cover and I love it!! I don't usually save less than 2", but that may change after this book : )

Deborah said... #

Heard all about Sunday Morning Quilts on Amanda Jean's blog! Can't wait to get a copy, it is already in my wishlist. I will have to wait awhile to get it as we now live outside the US,though. I now live in Lima, Peru, home of the llama and cute little Peruvian hats! I just have to get some of the fabric you have in the second picture. I have been trying to come up with a way to make a quilt depicting life in Peru. I can just see those llamas wandering around the border!

Melissa~LolaJazz said... #

I have a beautiful cut glass dish beside my sewing machine and as I cut my selvages {which I now do first so I get yummy long lengths} I through them on top. Must take a photo and blog! They now have a box of their own as they grow and multiply. Just cut 32 fabrics each of 1 yard so the pile is especially yummy at the moment.
Thanks for the book review I had it down as a must get being an avid booklover as well as fabriclover.
I'm off to explore what you do with them all...

Yvonne said... #

Hi - I have to ask, where did you get your Llama fabric? I raise llamas and always looking for fabric of llama or alpaca and I can never find any.
my email is ymjc1066 at yahoo dot com if you remember and would like to share.

Jennifer D said... #

I'll take anything you want to give away! And this book is on my wish-list already. Great review!

Lisa Cox said... #

I love reading about new quilting books! Then I have to go out and buy them.
I've saved scraps that were less than 1 inch, just on the off chance that I might be able to use them later. Plus I found that that little scrap of material makes it easier to go shopping for coordinating fabrics when I forgot to buy border or backing fabrics.
I'd take any scraps you want to give me!

Lee said... #

I am a new quilter so I would love some scraps - any size would work for me! The book is on my list to get too! thanks!

stitchinpenny said... #

Scraps -that sounds like a great giveaway. I love working with scraps, but I haven't done a lot other that quilts for dolls in scraps thus far.

Josiex said... #

scraps, yay! I've only just begun quilting, but have become completely addicted! :) saving scraps like crazy at the moment and keeping anything over an inch, but must admit the tiny stuff is not in the bin, but in another container! just cant bring myself to toss anything yet.... :) I would love to win some scraps to bulk up my collection, thanks, have a lovely day! :)

Karen O said... #

I have been saving anything larger than an inch. Squares for postage stamps, longer pieces for string quilts. Thank you for the chance to win more scraps. I love them.

JariJari said... #

wonderful post. after getting to bonnie hunter's scrap system and learning EPP, the smallest piece I'll save is an inch square. Fabric is expensive!!!

Jeanne Gwin said... #

Love your blog today and love the book, but I love something else even more then those two things, it is scraps! Especially selvages. I just starting saving mine instead of giving them to m niece to place with, yeah right, she has made some cute things with them and they e All gone to her besties. and the book, Yep, I have been studying it too "should I, shouldn't I So I would love to win a copy of this book. thanks

Paskiaq said... #

Love your granny with the black background! And the name is perfect :)

I'm terrible to throwing away scrap...anything bigger than 2 inches I keep. Would love some of your scraps to get a better array of colours and patterns of some scrap projects :)

pinsandneedles said... #

I save almost all scraps and selvages. I started saving selvages shortly after seeing some of your projects. For tiny scraps, I store them in glass jars, bigger scraps are stored by color in plastic bins.

Love the granny square blocks! I've to make one soon!
The book looks like a winner. Thanks for sharing.

Kathrynn said... #

I will save any fabric scrap 1" and up and I would really like to win this book and any scraps you feel inclined to send.

bea langeweg said... #

Good morning

#### SCRAPS ##### YYAAA


Gill said... #

This looks a great book!
I think around 1.5" is about the smallest I would save (apart from selvedges of course!)I would love to win some of yours!

Celia said... #

Scraps are awesome! I started saving scraps that were at least 1"x1" when I first started quilting. It quickly became apparent to me that I do not like sewing such small pieces. Now I save any thing that is 2.5 x 2.5 or bigger.

Thanks for the great blog and all the inspiration!


Lizii Bii said... #

I am a total pack rat when it comes to scraps. Anything bigger than 3/4" is fair game. I even save 1/2" strips for ragged edge appliqué if the fabric is right.

Lizii Bii said... #

I am a total pack rat when it comes to scraps. Anything bigger than 3/4" is fair game. I even save 1/2" strips for ragged edge appliqué if the fabric is right.

Anonymous said... #

I love scraps, Count me in!

Kalynn's Creations said... #

I am really bad, I save everything... My husband keeps threatning me that he is going to burn my scraps, and then I make a really, really cute quilt our of those scraps, and he relents and gives me room for another tote in his garage. If he only knew just how many totes are filled with scraps.

Unknown said... #

Just checked out the book today, WANT! And I desperately need to sort my stash. 2" is my usual minimum in a block, unless it is a strip, than I need an inch. I'm making some of those quilt stash boxes as soon as I can get a cereal box emptied!

Unknown said... #

2" if its a block, 1" if its a strip. I am so making those quilt boxes to organize my stash! And I was drooling on the Gumdrop Quilt, I am going to sew up a Gumdrop Coaster, see what I think of it.