“Cuff em”!!

Yes, I’ll admit to it. I love Live PD–maybe it’s because I’m married to a cop. Maybe it’s because I love to see justice done, criminals caught, and people driving drunk taken off the streets.

But this is about sewing, and my latest pattern is for PILLOW CASES with cute cuffs. I got some great shark fabric for a nephew and then decided to find some other interesting novelty fabrics for other family members. So much out there–I have birds, dogs, even cameras. Cartoons, sci fi…you name it. It occurred to me to “share the love” of my fabric with these customized cases. Each uses 1 yd plus 1/4 yard for a cuff with a choice of edges: hills (easiest), pyramids, scallops or waves (hardest to turn). Templates and clear diagrams/instructions are included. No, it’s not a quilt, but hey! They are made of fabric and go WITH a quilt, right? On sale for just $1.50 for two weeks–pay with a credit card on Paypal for the pattern delivered directly to your computer.

For more info, click HERE. (If you embroider, you can easily add names, too.)

“Cuff ’em” (Pillow) Cases cc 2206 by LJ Christensen

I really need to start sewing up my stash instead of adding to it. I recently acquired two other stashes from friends and have had so much fun (thanks, Carol and Emily) just playing with it–measuring, sorting, imagining.

But I’m really overloaded. I do occasionally share some with quilters’ groups or with Good Will (usually the non-quilting knits, etc.), but I really like to hoard it. So how to make sense of it all?

  1. I am now winding all lengths of 3 yds. or more onto cardboard bolts (gratis from JoAnn’s). I also have a pile near them of pieces I’ve reduced to “backings”–even small ones for wall hangings. Sometimes they are too thin or too loosely woven for quilting, but I know they each might have a use. Small pieces can be linings for totebags, for instance.
  2. My standard pieces are 1/2-2 1/2 yds. I’ve separated them into general colors in medium-sized bins. But then I had to add bins for multi-colored, novelty prints, picture prints, and tote canvas.
  3. Along the way, as I sorted, I pulled out specific projects. I finally bit the bullet and bought a large variety of small and large bins for different sizes of projects. I actually taped a label on each so that I have managed to round ’em up and rope ’em off, so to speak, which really is great when I want to start a new project. I’ve even put notions in some of them (such as blue buttons for fish bubbles!) I’m still working on it, but I think I have about 25-30 projects organized now.
  4. Smaller bits–I LOVE every piece of fabric down to the nitty gritty. So I have a LOT of scraps. I finally settled on organizing 1/8 – just under 1/2, again by main color. They’re smaller, though, so I didn’t need as many bins as I did whole color ranges–green to blue, yellow to red, etc.–but I did put them in color order, folded and marching upright like sardines. I’ve already found it’s wonderful to be able to look over what I have and easily find just the right tones of a particular color for an accent, especially as I do appliques and wall hangings that take just small amounts.
  5. Did I say nitty gritty? Yep, the small scraps live together in a bin until I get around to stuffing them by color into ziplock plastic bags. And then there are the microscopic pieces I still can’t stand to lose….I’m finally allow myself to get rid of 2″ pieces unless they are tone on tone or teeny prints that might be used in a quilted brooch (and those teeny bits stay in a special treasure box.) It finally dawned on me that the larger prints just won’t work for tiny projects, so I reluctantly get rid of them! I lately, though, have been clipping off small squares, rectangles and triangles to save for possible children’s mosaics….as we’re considering some art classes this summer.
  6. That doesn’t leave much except thread and fuzz. My sweet husband bought me a new battery-operated Shark (2 batteries!!) to deal with that part. I try really hard not to save the fuzz for stuffing!

However, my piles and piles of fabric and scraps are leading me to think about scrap quilts. Last week’s “Leading to Easter” watercolor quilt was made of basically old fabric I’d been accumulating…so maybe I need to do some more scrap-happy quilts to share with those of you who AREN’T going to the fabric stores these days! We’ll see. I’ll give it some thought.

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