Friday, November 12, 2010

If Mama ain't happy it's because she is not Quilting...

I am  trying to create some PEACE.
My daughter's Missy H. 
Hi all, I am Denise.  I blog over at myfamilythinksiamworking where Madame Samm found me doing my thing and asked if I would do a guest post.  You will have to excuse me if I am a little giddy; you see…it is my first guest post…EVER!

How do you use your fabric scraps:
I LOVE scraps!  I am a scrap hoarder; I hate to toss them out.  You can really do so much with little bits and pieces of fabrics from a stash and I find it fun to see different pieces of fabric in different projects that I have done.  Here is a peak at my closet of scraps and projects.  We have a serious lack of closet space in this home of ours, so I have to keep it relatively small, i.e. share my linen closet with my scraps.  This means not buying in a lot of yardage unless I have a specific project in mind.  Fat quarter bundles are my favorite!
My scrap stash is organized by color in clear plastic shoebox bins and then larger yardage for backing, etc in a large plastic bin in my clothes closet.

Then there are the baskets…strings for string quilt (long-term project), baskets of WIP,
baskets of magazines with to-do projects, baskets with hexagons…you get the idea.

This basket sits in my sewing table.  When I find a project in a book or magazine, I put the fabric with the pattern and it sits here until I am ready to work on it.
I made my first quilt for my hubs almost 20 years ago, back before we had children and my time became theirs.  Oh, I would make little projects, wall hangings, baby quilts, pillows, etc, but I felt like life was too busy to have a big hobby.  I have only been seriously quilting again for the past year since last Christmas when my wonderful hubs gave me the gift of a quilt class.  So, for several weeks a girlfriend and I would grab our sewing machines and Starbucks, and head off to quilt class in a LQS Something to Crow About.  A night out each week just for me; it showed me how much I really needed to do this just for me!  Not to mention, each week I was tempted by all the gorgeous fabrics to add to my growing stash!  At the end of the class, I had overflow of red and black fabrics from this lovely quilt.

(I just love the stained glass look)
Some of the scrap stash from this class quilt has made its way into many of my me-time projects over the past year. 
Here are a few…

Lone Star, aka Nellie's Star, uses a lot of the black and some cream.  Pattern is from McCall's Quilting September/October 2010
Scrappy houses…these are truly tiny scraps, as the entire quilt is 15 x 15,
Note the red, gold, blacks…the class quilt scraps baby!

Mug rug…the gold moon and black from the class quilt…
The rest is all scraps from my stash too!

Okay, so the only thing from my stash here is the red stripe down the middle,
But hey, it is from the stash and the class quilt!

String blocks…all those leftover strips that are too small to do much with are making a wonderful stash of rainbow blocks for a future strip quilt. 
The red block and the golds in the yellow block…all from my class quilt stash. 
These are my go-to, nothing-is-inspiring-me-but-I-want-to-work-on-something project. 
So eventually they will get done, eventually.

In addition, my latest me-time project…a quilt for our local high school soccer coach…I literally had to buy NOTHING to do this top I had so much in my stash
(the T-shirts were donated!) 

It is so fun for me to trace back the stash fabrics from the latest project to the original project. 

What makes you do a certain you do many, one at a time…
If it is a gift, I like to match the quilt to the person and the colors they like.  It stretches me a bit at times, using colors I might not necessarily pick.  I see what I can use from my stash and then go shopping for the rest.  
Also if see a quilt on a blog or in a magazine that I want to do, I star it/save it for later.  Then I start going through my stash to see what I can use and buy additional fabric, because that is where a stash comes from right?!?  Shopping!  I love Etsy for finding fabric bundles! 
I like to have more than one project going at a time.  I like to make a quilt top and set it aside until I have 2 or 3 done, find just the right backing, etc, and then I baste them all, and start quilting.  When those are done being quilted on my machine, I go on to the next project I have waiting in the wings…usually something small and quick.

Something like a little walllet or a table runner that I can put together quickly from the stash/leftovers.

How do you balance how many hours a week you quilt?
I have my sewing space set up in a portion of our master bedroom where my machine is always out and ready to go...

...and I am lucky enough to work at home, so sometimes before the kids get home from school I sneak in a few minutes to sew.  Or like today, dinner is in the Crockpot (my BFF), I can spend the time I would making dinner, sewing (cue angles singing)!  On the days I don't work, the kids are in school, and hubs is at work, so I take advantage of that time to sew…that is if my house is not crying out to be cleaned!  LOL I like to try to spend a few minutes each day working on a keeps me sane, which makes my family happy.  Because you know the saying "If mama ain't happy… 
So that is just a little bit about my stash and how I use it! 

Thank you so much for your comments..hope you leave some
or many. My first post, can you believe it?
Mama Denise


  1. if mama ain't happy... lol!! we dont have kids, yet, but sewing certainly keeps me sane. my other half has learnt that whilst he might not like the sewing machine and kit left out on the dining table, its better than the chaos that breaks free if i dont allow me a little quiet 'me time'. thanks for a great post, and great hints.

  2. Mama PEACE be with you this morning!. YOUR first I made you a coffee. Not that you need any other boost lol LOVE LOVE LOVE this...
    "wonderful hubs gave me the gift of a quilt class." I wonder if he had any idea what he was doing... YOUR stain glass and Lone Star ( which I have hunted for and cannot locate) are certainly my fav. YOU are a natural with color and design application. No doubt your wee scrappy houses would make great MUG RUGS lol...Denise, I enjoyed sharing my java with you..

  3. So wonderful about your hubs giving you a gift of a quilt class. He gave you a priceless gift of a lifetime full of creativity, and sanity. Well, creativity. Happy quilting!

  4. I love your post and I LOVE your quilt class quilt. Its beautiful, the colours are gorgeous!! Do you know if I can find the pattern somewhere?

  5. What a great post - I LOVE your stained glass quilt and your lone star quilt, the colours are stunning.

  6. I love your scrappy houses. They are adorable. I also try and spend at least a few minutes each day sewing. It is just hard to tear myself away sometimes, especially if it is to go clean a bathroom :)

  7. You know, an Ipod turned up loud helps to not hear the house crying for cleaning, plus you can be dancing which is the cardio we all need.

  8. Wonderful post! So glad you joined us here on Stash Manicure. Love, love, love your quilts and projects! You use color beautifully!!!

  9. What a great post!! I love your quilts. They are gorgeous! Such a sweet husband you have to have given you a gift of a quilt class. Your quilts are gorgeous!! It's so nice to here when others talk about keeping every little bit of scraps they have. Then I don't feel so bad keeping mine. LOL!!! I love how you organize them too. Hugs Ariane

  10. An awesome post! I love your attitude and what you have shared with us. Great first post and I hope you can do many more!!!

  11. Your first guest post! How exciting! You have done such a great job.

    That Lone Star quilt is just gorgeous. The colors make my soul happy.

    I love reading about how others use their scraps. I'm new to quilting and blogging and I just love getting ideas and inspiration from other quilt bloggers.

  12. Denise when I was a teenager (think early 1960's) I remember a friend's mama saying she had a maid one day a week and I was amazed (we didn't run to maids in our house of 4 kids!) She said her husband thought it paid in the long run because it made her happy and "if mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy." I've never forgotten that. Embrace that philosophy and just change the maid to quilting and you have about a hundred million of us! Great first post. :) blessings, marlene

  13. A great first post! I think a lot of us use the quilting time as a de-stresser for sanity sake. What a lovely gift from your husband. I love to see someone show all the work and point out that "same" fabric is here,and here, and here, and here. It shows a new quilter there are endless possibilities.

  14. I cannot believe this is your first time. A natural you are. Your color in your quilts are ice, in fact they are terrific. You are certainly one guest I would like to see again. Your star one with the green is my favorite.
    Hugs Clair

  15. Fun, fun, fun! I like your idea about getting a few tops together and then quilting those all up. Your sampler is beautiful.

  16. I think it is really important to leave the sewing machine out. Not only does it add to the decor of the house, but makes it much more practical to sneak in some sewing time. I sew while dinner is cooking. Stir the pasta, sew a seam, flip the hamburgers, press the blocks. You can really get a lot done and then feed everyone :) I don't understand my friends who want a tidy house all of the time!

  17. Thanks for posting, I love looking at the stuff people have and how they store it. Onc day someone will come onver here and organize me.....



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