Don’t worry; be…

SCRAP-HAPPY! That’s a special feeling quilters get when they finally plow into that stash of scraps with a wonderful new way to use them up. It includes thriftiness, virtue, cleanliness, plus creativity. Yep, a good feeling!

I figure right now that if you aren’t making face masks, you’re longing to do a project, but missing the fabric shopping. While I know most quilters have UFO’s (if you don’t know what that means, you may not be a full-fledged quilter yet...UnFinished Objects!), they also have scraps. It just happens! And these days when the price of fabric can easily be upward of $10 a yd, we know every every inch counts.

That’s why I created this pattern–it uses nice big pieces to start with, then uses up a lot of little pieces on the corners. My “pocket lozenge” block is really an elongated “snowball,” a bit like an oval lozenge, with folded corners to make little 3D pockets. On sale for $3.50 for the next couple of weeks, click here.


Closeup of “Pocket Lozenge Throw” cc2311 by LJ Christensen

I know that some sewers absolutely refuse to buy fabric on line because it’s hard to check the color or drape. I get it. However, there are some fabrics that we know by company reputation, groups of fabrics that are color coordinated, and some fabrics on sale low enough that we don’t care–just want the yardage. (OK, that’s me…a coupon-clipper and sale-searcher). I’ve been buying fabric on line quite a bit this year, so I’ll share my favorites:

https://www.hancocks-paducah.com/

Hancock’s of Paducah has a huge variety of fabrics and always has close-outs/sales for $3.99, $4.99, $5.99, and $6.99, but you have to watch because they sell out of the best stuff.

https://www.keepsakequilting.com/

Keepsake Quilting has most of the big-name designer fabrics and specializes in some wonderful 108″-wide prints for backings. You can save a little by joining, and they have sales as well.

https://www.missouriquiltco.com/

Missouri Star Quilt Company is a delight in its really cute communication. It also has a DAILY deal and weekly sales, with a focus on pre-cuts like 10″ pieces or jelly rolls. Most of the fabric is pricy, but they do carry lots of quilters’ jewelry, T-shirts and other paraphernalia of interest.

https://www.nancysnotions.com/

I haven’t seen much fabric I like at Nancy’s Notions, and the shipping is high, but they do have some great tools and occasionally good buys on embroidery designs. I watch for free shipping days and then stock up!

Maybe these will help you weather the stay-at-home blues. Getting a fabric package in the mail certainly brightens MY day!

Loving Quirky Curves!

Being all too generously curved myself, I can’t say I ALWAYS love curves, but they are definitely lovable in this quirky, curvy memory throw (or large 45″x55″ wall quilt). I originally made”Curve Appeal” for a Curves exercise group, but the pattern is appropriate for many types of groups or memories. Imagine Grandma getting photos of grand-kids, or a daughter graduating with scraps of her favorite clothes and picture of her wearing them, a retirement gift or best friend gift (sneak her vacation pics off Facebook).

Did I mention scraps? Yes, indeed, this one is scrap-happy to use all those wonderful colors and strips (1 1/2″x 6″pieces) you’ve been saving. Get a wild and crazy piece for the border, match the colors in the three background sections and you’re ready to go, so go create!

Click here for more info–on sale for $3.50 until end of November. Use “guildxmas” to get $3.00 off. (I like to give my “followers” specials!)

“Curve Appeal” by LJ Christensen (middle bottom)

I love color! Each piece of fabric is valuable to me, like a shiny coin. I always loved all the crayons in the box and memorized all the colors. Do you remember sea green and the now-retired “flesh” (not p.c. enough today)? There are differences between hot pink, fuchsia, magenta and mauve. My slightly color-blind husband doesn’t understand. There are cool reds and hot reds, and 30 yrs. ago, my best friend told me she only wore “tomato red”–I got it! I like red-orange myself. For the blue-eyed gals out there, there are certainly Mediterranean blues and denim blues and bluegreens and greenish blues as well as sky blue and Wedgewood blues.

That reminds me–I’m currently working on a “Wedgewood Plates” pattern! I’m also doing a “Mulberry Fields Forever” (sorry, Beatles, this one is mine though I’m shamelessly borrowing the title). As you might guess, it’s in shades of mulberry with hints of grape.

So what can I give you about COLOR for a tip? Well, I’m personally buying medium-sized, rather flat, plastic bins, which I’m using to sort fabrics: reds, oranges, yellows, greens, blues, indigos, violets (yes, I always go by the roygbiv rainbow spectrum–in my closet, too, and in my thread colors). I also have white/cream, black/gray, multi-color prints, landscape prints and Kona solids. You probably don’t have the 1000’s of fabrics I do, but you could still separate into warm colors and cool colors, and/or prints, solids, neutral, etc.

I made an executive decision to only put 1/2 yd. to 2+ yd. pieces in the bins and wrap 3 yds. or more around empty bolt cardboards I get from the fabric store. I’m having special 2-ft-deep shelves custom-built in the new Sewgocreate Studio (due to go in next week after painting–I can’t wait!) to hold those bolts and bins comfortably.

I also save small scraps, under 1/2 yd in special bins, all nicely lined up in color order. I’ve already found this is a marvelous method for easily finding what I need. Because I’m a hoarder at heart and in practice, I even save little bitty scraps. Those are in one big bin under the sewing table (where they happily collect as I cut). When I have time to “file” them, they go into little plastic bags, by color, of course.

When the bags get too full, it’s time to tackle a scrappy quilt like this one. I love to use down to the last inch. It makes me so happy for those precious little orphans to find a home!