Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Scrappy Unit Sewing Marathon

I was reminded over at Ann's that scraps play nicely with Improv. Well, that is right up my alley as scraps are always overflowing over in the corner of my quilt room. I kind of circled the scraps a few times and honestly felt a little paralyzed by indecision. What to do? What to do?
Starting to sew...
Then I got a grip and started sorting out the colors that seemed to be calling to me just now. I don't know about you, but I just can't deal with my scraps whole sale--it's way too confusing. First I have to set up some perimeters so I can relax and go with the flow while I'm sewing. I sorted two small totes of scraps, one a yellow, tan, rust, dark brown mix and the other a pink to bright red mix. Yep, been here, done that, but it's important for me to feel the mood of the fabric or I just can't sustain the tedium of the sewing marathon.
A few units on the wall
Sewing a million scrappy, Improv. units is fun and yet not. After awhile my mind kind of zones out and I'm just grabbing, sewing, and chopping. Making a huge mess and just enjoying the color, but not really paying attention to the individual units. Which is probably what I'm supposed to be doing. Oh well. I like to pre-sort my fabric mixes so it takes away the agonizing, the lingering over specific fabric choices. It helps me move through the fabric sooo much faster and well, keeps me on task. Chain sewing was a marvelous invention for us easily bored types!
Looking a little closer
I quickly settled with a smallish unit. A bit smaller than I expected really! I sewed the scraps of fabric together until they were obviously up to size and then my trusty ruler and rotary cutter trimmed them into submission. There is something incredibly satisfying about bringing order to the bits and pieces of scrappy chaos. Nothing too precious or matchy, colors wondering how they could possibly belong alongside each other but somehow with the repeats of oddball fabrics and random piecing, it works out just fine.
Lots of different shades and tones....
After Friday night, Monday night and now today, my yellows are all but gone. And this was after I went through my big scrap baskets {for the second time} with a fine tooth comb, pulling out anything and everything that might work! We got to get away for the weekend and so it was really interesting to come back on Monday with a fresh viewpoint of what I was looking at on my wall. So very glad I got to do that. Where before they were starting to look sort of mushy to me, with fresh perspective I could see possibilities!
Decimating the scraps...
So now I have 170 total {I know, look at those wimpy little piles} 4" scrappy Improv. blocks to work with. There are several ideas pinging around in my head, but I think it best to wait a day or two before diving back in. Maybe I can actually begin to see the colors again and narrow down how best to 'set' these units.
Three stacks of scrappy units ready for play!
And of course I have been faithfully picking out a fabric circle every day possible for Quilty 365. These four circles represent days 13-16! lol  Don't have to wonder why I'm grabbing pinks and reds!
The next four circles
Time to link up with Scraptastic Tuesday with Nicky and Leanne. It feels good to be playing in the scrap bin once again!

26 comments:

  1. This is a great way to use the scraps. Last year I made a few tote bags using scraps and they turned out nicely. I found that I worked well with them after dividing them into color groups.

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  2. Love your ideas for using scraps! My Favorite kind of quilt!!

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  3. Lovely post - I too love my scraps but with lots of ever changing boundaries.

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  4. Love your improv scraps!!! I am on my way to go make some circles right now.

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  5. You'll do something wonderful with these, Audrey. Can't wait to see what.

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  6. It looks like you have been having fun with your scraps! Love your blocks. I look forward to seeing how you use them.

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  7. I love the color palette you've got going on. You are making this a project very difficult to resist. ;-)

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  8. You were smart to sort your colors before starting. I like trimming them, too. I'm finishing my scraps and trying to choose more circles.

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  9. Looks like you're off to a great start! Love the happy colours. :D

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  10. Great start of something here. I love what you do with colour and as you said, repetition of the colours and shapes in piecing makes it all work. I'll be watching to see where this goes.

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  11. I might be daft but one of the things I love about quilting is all the scraps that are left at the end! I made one scrappy quilt out of them and have been given a bag of scraps from a friend, quite new to quilting so not that many scraps yet. Yours looks gerat and the circles are coming along well too

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  12. I like the color combos here. Now that you are almost out of yellow you can go back to that quilt shop where the lady raises her eyebrows at your purchases and announces to the world what you spent, ha ha :)

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  13. Your improv blocks look great, love these colors together!!

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  14. Since the major attraction of this whole quilting thing for me are the fabrics, scrap projects are my favorites! So I love these and love the colors! Have fun!

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  15. You totally nailed it when talking about the scraps and needing to set perimeters! That is exactly how I feel. It just makes it so much more managable. I do like where this is going and I'm sure you will surprise with the next step. I am so curious to see what it will be! Thanks for taking us along on this fun little journey!

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  16. I'm with you about setting perimeters. Otherwise I can't even think about it . You certainly have motivated lots of Quilter's to join in your circle a day project. It's all about having fun.

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  17. Such a fantastic selection of prints as well as colours Audrey. I think that 'restricting' the palette helps create a cohesive design when you're making improv blocks - nothing wrong with that! This reminds me of my August Rain quilt that I finished earlier this year - that was strippy, scrappy 4" blue blocks! Like you and your colours, I used up virtually all my blue scraps and had a great lap quilt size quilt at the end - perfect! I'm really looking forward to seeing 'what Audrey did next'!

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  18. That's my favorite form of Sew Play!! I like your color choices. I often sort my scraps by colors. I really helps to organize the chaos! I like your circles too. One a day sounds doable if you are reasonably disciplined?! But what a cool quilt that will make!!! cheers!

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  19. As usual I see a lot of my fabrics in your scrap bin! If we swapped piles there wouldn't be much diversity :) My bin is getting full again, despite cutting most of it into different sized squares. I'm filing this idea away for something fun to do right after the holidays.

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  20. That's the way I do it. I kind of have to have some type of theme before I dig into the scraps and make crumb blocks. Congrats on the progress. Anxious to see what you do with them all now.

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  21. Tried a bit of Improv yesterday and today with just two colors and a filler--but it sort of looks and {feels} blah to me as I look at (read: STARE) the two blocks on my wall...I think this is a candidate for the famous "DRAWER" where all things I don't like will be hidden away....every time I open it there is a clamor of unfinished pieces yelling for attention....whereas I really like your little scrappy project a lot.....lol hugs, Julierose

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  22. Oh you're so brave! I can't get passed the paralysed stage. Looking forward to seeing what you do with them.

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  23. Well done! I sometimes need a bit of space before I can see my way. Wondering what it will turn out like. Thanks for linking to #scraptastictuesday

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  24. I really love your scrappy units. This is exactly the kind of piecing I'm in the mood for. Great color combo.

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  25. I really love your scrappy units. This is exactly the kind of piecing I'm in the mood for. Great color combo.

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  26. Such fun scrappy blocks; looking forward to see the next step!

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