Scrap Busting with Quilts

IMG_0994-001Quilts are a time honored way to use scraps. These quilts were made by the women in my family, Grandmothers and Great- Grandmothers and I think one Great-Great Grandmother.




This sun bonnet sue is one of my favorites.






My Grandma was a member of a quilting group. They would meet once a week or month and quilt the top of a member’s quilt.  It was a social time and also a time to get much needed work done. These quilts were made for use and they kept the family warm on the cold winter nights.  My Aunts can sit down and tell you where each piece of fabric came from. They came from a time when women made their own clothes and skill with a needle and thread was valued. My Mom taught me to sew and I am teaching my girls or at least making sure they learn the basics.  Sewing is expensive  these days unlike my Grandmothers’ days when everyone had to have some skill at sewing.

I have been thinking about sewing some quilts with my scraps. I have sewn one quilt top that is just strips of fabric but the more complicated patterns are calling to me. I need to baste all the layers together but I keep putting it off.

Talk to you later,



Love’s Labor

There are certain rules that should be followed when sewing a quilt.

1. Always use a quality cotton fabric as the backing, never a twin sheet.  A twin sheet might be cheaper but you get what you pay for.

2. Always use fabric of about the same quality.

3. Always quilt the quilt as close as the label says you should.

4. Do not use Rayon thread as any of the decorative stitching, because rayon deteriorates quickly when washed repeatedly.

How do I know all of these things, because I once did all of these on one quilt. It became THE quilt to my daughter and now all of my errors and tightwaded-ness are haunting me. I took it down out  of the top of her closet to repair it. When I  saw how much repairing it needed I almost gave up, but she loves it. So it is worth saving. I have given it a new backing, new batting, patched all the holes, and it is slowly coming together. Basting it all together on the floor about killed me but it is reconstructing slowly. That really does look beautiful from a photograph but is quite the nightmare to sew on. Some of the fabric wasn’t cut on the grain and stretched. Some of it was a good quality and some wasn’t and you can now tell. So, it is rather wibbly wobbly in places. I don’t think she will care, if it isn’t perfect.

2014-01-28 16.08.35I have been wrestling it for two days and I am no where close to being finished with it, to top it all off my sewing machine is acting up. I am taking a break right now. I have ordered a new bobbin case. I hope that solves the problem but this repair is taking longer than I thought it would!

Talk to you later,


P.S. This is #10


Things I will do with scraps!

I know, I have pinned a bunch of things that I will do with scraps….lots of ideas. Well, I have started looking at different ideas and I have come up with some ideas that I definitely want to do…and some that I have tried. So here we go!

I have this things for quilts. I like these but in a large size without the names. Unless it is our last name.

This quilt is gorgeous! I must have one soon. I think that I would use fabric strips but not selvages.

I can just imagine what my family would say. I love the birds and the different fabrics that they are sewn out of. What a great idea for Christmas ornaments! Hmmm…I would love  a tree like this in my den. It would be fun and light hearted!

I love this quilt, it is only surpassed by the ticker tape quilts.

I just found these place mats. I have just decided since we moved that I need to replace ours. These are gorgeous and I could get the feel of what it is like to make a ticker tape quilt before I commit to cutting out all those little squares. I could also see how it wears.

and this….

and then there are  these….

Well, I had better stop. The list is going on forever. I think this is turning into a form of procrastination.

See you later,





My Grandma’s Quilts

My Grandma or Granny (Bethel) as we grand kids called her created quilts out of necessity. She had a large family and needed blankets. She was a part of a quilting group in her small town. I believe most of her quilts date from the 1940’s. Her quilts were made from the better parts of used clothing and some were quilts within a quilt in order to make use of all available materials. I believe that all of these quilts were sewn completely by hand. I know that they were quilted by hand. Having four kids myself, I am pretty sure that some of these were made in order to have something finished that she could look at everyday. Somehow that is important in the daily grind of dishes, meals, laundry and keeping a family running.


Should any of my family read this and want to add any information or if any information is wrong please send me an e-mail and I will fix it. She made many, many quilts and they were scattered among the 7 kids when she passed away so these are only the few that I was able to photograph.

Quilting was also a  chance for women to get out and see other women. These were often qulited as a group and offered a reason for the women to get out and socialize. It helped to build the community and fostered the friendships that women need. I am pretty sure that we need gatherings like this again. I am hearing about knitting groups and sewing groups and churches that have quilting groups. There are quilting guilds and sewing retreats and so women are reaching out again to build friendships.

Well, these are a just a few. I have others to share on another day.