Sunday, September 8, 2013


Since retiring from public employment I've decided it's high time I organized by quilting studio--again. (You understand what I mean, right?)  It's in the basement, with no windows and some unhandy-man construction and decorating from previous owners. (I could tell you stories--but that's another story.)  Until I can afford a complete gutting and reworking I'm looking to make some small, gradual changes that will better organize and "perk up" the space.  No, it isn't a stalling tactic so that I don't have to pull everything off the shelves and do some rigorous purging.  Not much, anyway.

While I was in Cedar Rapids waiting for Nolting to do routine maintenance on Bertha Longarm I stopped at the local quilt shop and found a pattern for a bin made from fabric and, eureka!   I can make a bin for all the large-ish scraps that are just on mesh shelves, next to the larger yardage of fabric.

Each bin is going to be made from fabric to match the color of scraps that will be stored in them, so I need one for reds, golds/browns, greens, blues, and purples.  And neutrals.  Oh, and Christmas.

Yesterday I finished the first one, for reds.  (I learned some things while making it, and I will do a couple of things differently next time.)

Here is the pile of scraps that is destined for the bin.  You see the problem--and reds are the smallest stack.  King Kong couldn't scale the pile of browns.

So, I have a few choices here:

1) Call it a nice idea, put some patterns in the bin--it  won't nearly hold all the patterns I own--and be done with it.  It also seems vaguely cowardly.

2) Make more bins.  This would be pretty, but counter-productive to my original plan to better organize things and get the scraps in hand.

3) Make larger bins.  See #2.

4) Commit to keeping the scrap level to what can be kept in the bins.  Wow.  I have a lot of scraps to deal with, but that was my original plan. 

Sigh, I'm going to have to choose Door #4, which means I have to do something with the scraps, either cut them up to standard sizes to use in scrap quilts (and go into yet other bins--double sigh) or use them.  Honestly, I don't have an attention span that will happily stand and cut odd-sized and shaped scraps into squares and strips; I cut them with what I have left after cutting for quilts but cutting existing scraps, especially an overwhelming number of them, gives me hives.

My plan, then, is to start cranking out crazy quilt blocks, to be embellished later.  (Or maybe not--they might just go into quilts as is.)   That means finding space to store those blocks or quilt tops.  (It just never ends!)  I'm hoping that Quilts from the Bluffs might find plain-ish crazy quilts useful for giving to community organizations and homes.

You all may need to keep me honest--ask me periodically how it's going.  I'll start with the reds.  And I promise I won't just transfer the scraps to the Christmas stack, to deal with later.  :-)


  1. We love any type of quilts Or blocks. And would love to help you calm your stash while blessing others! So glad you joined our little quilt group.

  2. I'm happy if I can help. Thank you for everything you do for the community, Jeanine!