Scraps, Scraps & More Scraps

I tend to toss scraps to one side of my cutting table to cut up later. My cutting table is only about 18×24, so this practice cuts into my cutting space. In the last couple of months the pile has become huge. About 2 weeks ago, the pile toppled off the cutting table and I realized I had to do something.

I toss all the scraps into a brown paper grocery bag and decided to cut them all up into 2.5inch squares with my Accuquilt. Whatever didn’t fit into that size would become Pet Bed filling.

January 2.5" squares
January 2.5″ squares

I spent a couple of Craft Nights plus one Friday while I was making phone calls cutting up scraps with my Accuquilt. Now I have A LOT of 2.5 inch squares!

In the photo, you can see that I am sorting. I have a couple of bins of stashed 2.5 inch squares. They are handy for a lot of different projects. It was from this bin that I made Scrapitude.I have also used patches from this bin for Bonnie Hunter Mystery quilts like En Provence.

Some of these need to go into the FOTY 2020 bin, but most will be used for donation blocks. I might give some to the BAM Community Giving Team for their kits.

My pet bed is full, so I need to get that to the Pet Bed team.


How Long It Takes to Make a Quilt

I recently received a gift subscription to QuiltFolk. My first issue was issue 16 and the theme was family.

One of the essays was called The Time it Takes by Ora Clay and a couple of the things the author said stuck out to me. First, s/he said “As a quiltmaker myself, I am often asked how long it takes to make a quilt. I answer, ‘It depends on how you count’ “.

This is so true! Ora is a wise woman.

Do you count carefully all the number of hours you sit at the sewing machine or stand at the design wall and ironing board? That is definitely one way to count.

Next, she said ” I’ve made many quilts of my own, but I still don’t know how to count the time it takes to make one. I like what the writer John McPhee said about writing: ‘It takes how long it takes.’ I don’t have to plant the cotton for my quilts, but should I include the time I spend researching, designing, and planning before I take a stitch?”

The above is the crux of the matter. As I move about the world doing chores, I think about things including my quilt designs and my quilts in progress. I don’t even know how long I spend thinking about what I am going to make next or how I am going to finish a WIP. Sometimes it feels like an idea or a solution to a problem appears in my head while I am doing something else. I am sure there are hours where the problem is percolating in my subconscious. How do I count those hours?

 What about the years I have spent honing my skills? If I didn’t know how to piece very well, then the basic construction process would take much longer. So, do I tack on years to each quilt?

I don’t think this hours problem is unique to quiltmaking. I think woodworkers and card makers and auto restorers have the same question.

It depends.