Saturday, June 30, 2007

on a whirlwind tour

Yikes! It's been 2 weeks since I've last posted? Hmm. lots to catch up on..but this month I've been to Denver to help my cousin, Mona, pull a trailer with my grandparents cupboard with leaded glass to my house. Home a few days, then to the NQA show in Columbus and then on to Canada with 4 other quilters for a retreat on Georgian Bay for 9 days! A lot of quilting, gabbing, laughing and eating went on and we enjoyed the beautiful sunsets each evening from the deck. Then we returned home to work on a few special projects (not quite done yet), pick her daughter up at the airport and spent 2 days quilting with her before they headed back to Denver. An hour after they left, I packed up my car and drove to my own quilt group's summer retreat. I have been playing catch up all week! I'll be posting pictures in the next few days--cuz I have lots to share!
Today was the first day I have had with my hubby (other than an hour or two at nights), so we noticed the forecast for today was gorgeous weather, so we made our plans for the day. I picked a few quilt shops from the Quilter's Travel Companion, and a postcard from a new quilt shop and hopped on the motorcycle and took off. Here's what we found today:
We left home and headed to Urbana (OH) and stopped at Rothschild's Farm on the way. They have grown from a little local farm with raspberries and other crops to a large corporation that sells their gourmet jams, their famous Raspberry Honey Mustard Pretzel Dip and all kinds of goodies in speciality food stores--YUM!
Back on the road to Urbana, we found Quilter's Outlet/Antique Alley (sorry--no website to send you to) on the main drag, among all the neat little shops. Good thing there was a coffee shop on the corner so hubby could kill some time. Nice little shop filled with fabrics she bought from another quilt store that recently closed in Marysville (Sweet Mountain Quiltery). One side of the store had the fabrics and books and the other was set up similar to a antique vendor's mall. A small, but nice collection of neat antiques and one booth in particular had lots of sewing memorabillia, including quite a few toy sewing machines. You know, my hubby is smart...he offered to take me all these places.....on a MOTORCYCLE! Now just guess how much I can buy? LOL I did find a book and a box of old wooden spools of thread for a few bucks. And on our way to Yellow Springs...where we passed by Young's Dairy Farm--and man, what a hoppin' place! Not only did they have homemade Ice Cream, but a petting zoo,miniature gold, driving range, a restaurant, kid's rides and much more. Hmm, we've never even heard of it. We made a note to check it out on our way home. We arrive in Yellow Springs and immediately went back about 30 the 70's complete with tie dyed shirts, war protestors (it was hysterical--it looked like they let the nursing home people out on the streets with posters--have they been there since the OTHER war?), natural food shops and much more. It was in the National news recently where the local college, Antioch, is being closed down. Of course we found many people trying to sell shirts to save the college. Home to Amy Butler (we tried to find her studio, but I don't think it's open for retail purposes) (ED.note: when checking Amy's website to provide you with a link..I discovered she doesn't live here! LOL She actually lives in Granville, OH--I guess that will be another day!) and many other artists, they definitely listen to the beat of their own drummer. The smell of BBQ pulled pork lured us to their outdoor stand, but we could have stopped at any one of the little bistros along the way with their tofu/sprout sandwiches. I didn't notice any quilt shops, so we vowed to come back another day to check out many of the little shops and art galleries this town had to offer (as well as jump on the 75 mile bike trail that begins here).
And finally on to Waynesville, OH...home to more than you can count antique shops/speciality shops and gift shops...and one quilt shop....Fabric Shack. What a store..they are midst a remodeling/updating state, but was full of the latest fabrics and ones that I adore..Amy Butler...Jennifer Paganelli...Moda's...and many more. Several jumped in my hands before I left the store (but not enough to not fit in the side saddle of the bike!). Very nice store and was glad to return!
We turned around and headed for home, but not without stopping in Plain City (a small Amish community) at Der Dutchman (a VERY well known Amish restaurant) for some good homestyle cooking. We had called our kids to meet us there, so we enjoyed a visit with the grandkids, had a delicious meal, did a little shopping at the attached store and bakery and on home to plop our feet up!
What a a month!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Is getting rid of ALL your scraps a good thing?

I recently had that quandry. I kept thinking that it would be nice to get rid of ALL my scraps by using them, or letting other people have at it or just tossing them. They do seem to get old and stale at times. But just a few days ago, I was working on finishing a quilt I had made for a sample for a class and didn't finish. (Tennessee Waltz--done all out of my leftovers--except the black) I thought it would be good to go ahead and get it done. I should leave notes to myself on what I was thinking when I quit working on it, because it took me over an hour to figure out where I left off, what fabric I needed to finish cutting, etc! As it turns out, I must have cut what I had and then quit. My black was easy enough--I always have Kona cotton in black on the bolt, but it was the little brown dot on tan that I couldn't seem to find anywhere else. I needed just 3 more 9" blocks cut and didn't have anything left but scraps. I sewed them all together, end to end (they were the ends of the strips from when I cut the others) and was still short. After digging through all my stash (no wonder that closet is always a mess! ), I could NOT find any more. I thought, well, my last chance is my scrap bins and my neutrals IS overflowing...could I possibly find some in there? Now this fabric is OLD--at least 10 years old, I would venture to say. I kept digging and digging and fluffing up the scraps and lo and behold--I found ONE scrap--it was 9" x about 12"!!!! I sewed it to the end of the other scraps and by golly, I got my 3 9" squares. Another SERENDIPITY day!

That also got me to thinking--should my goal REALLY be to get rid of all the scraps? Or just keep them to a manageable size? Meaning, not overflowing the bin, like they are now? There is some benefit to having scrap bins........

1. great to dig through for applique projects

2. great for grandkids to go through and practice their cutting skills, playing with designs of their own

3. great for when you need just a little more of that fabric you used 4 years ago

4. great to make wonderful scrap quilts for "FREE", yes I know--it's not free, it still costs the same per yardage, but I somehow feel that these are 'bonus' quilts because I made the quilt that I intended to out of the fabric

5. great for testing blocks or designs and you don't want to use "REAL" fabric from the stash!

And so my thoughts are that it's okay to have scrap bins--just keep them manageable. If they get too full, start the scrap quilts again. More Heartstring blocks!

Here's how I sort my scraps:

1. Neutrals--whites, creams, tans

2. Blues and purples

3. Greens

4. Reds and pinks

5. Blacks, browns and some yellow

6. Brights (I keep these all together because they all play together so well!)

And I keep anything in there that is really less than 1/4 yard pieces. I have separate drawers for my cut strips (another story). If they get too small, I have a basket that I keep the small pieces to make more diamonds (which are currently my leader/ender project).

So, how do you sort and handle your scrap accumulation?