Tag Archives | polk

Scrap Squares.

Scraps! I’m not sure where you fall on the scrap spectrum, but for me they can get out of control. In an effort to cut down on my scrap pile, here’s a new thing I’ve been trying this year–and I think it is helping. These scrap squares are just the colorful break and productive way to deal with scraps that I needed.

scrap squares . carolyn friedlander

Scraps

I’m a scrap saver, mostly because I find scraps to be handy. Whether I’m paper piecing, appliquéing, thinking about new color schemes, it is less daunting to work from a pile of scraps than it is to work from something more precious and pristine like yardage. But then it is hard to part with scraps, and the piles become unruly.

scrap squares . carolyn friedlander

The Plan

The idea is simple, but by giving myself clear direction and purpose it is much easier to act. Any random pieces of fabric–usually leftovers from a project–are cut into 2 1/2″ squares. Then I sew them back together into 16-piece scrap squares (4 squares x 4 squares). Of course, you could do more/less squares, choose a different size, whatever. This is enough of a plan for now for me. I am going for a bit of a checkerboard in terms of the value with repeated fabric choices in a block or split up depending on what is available in the fabric pile.

scrap squares . carolyn friedlander

This strategy has been especially helpful after cutting out a garment or other project that leaves you with random sizes and shapes of fabric. It’s satisfying to cut those things down into tidy stacks of squares. Plus, I like seeing remnants of those garments in my patchwork.

scrap squares . carolyn friedlander

Storage

After I cut the scraps into squares, I file them away in this handy little box. Having a place for things and everything in its place is key. Then when I have a few extra minutes, need to clear my head, want to explore a color combination and/or just want to sew I can hit the box. It’s a great creative reprieve when you need it.

scrap squares . carolyn friedlander

Sometimes I get an idea for fabrics that I want to see together, and this is a satisfying way to put an idea into action without getting too carried away. There are some fun finds here that I could explore more in other projects or just enjoy that they found their way in to this one.

scrap squares . carolyn friedlander

I’m sort of keeping the blocks similar in terms of color, but who knows. Maybe that’ll change if the mood strikes. Every once in awhile I’ll pull out the blocks and think about different arrangements.

scrap squares . carolyn friedlander

This is also a great place for mini charms that I’ve picked up at shows from other designers. I love seeing their prints next to mine and the variety they add to the project.

scrap squares . carolyn friedlander

There we go. I can’t say that the scrap piles have fully disappeared, but I can say that a lot of it has been diverted to a more orderly place with a colorful outcome in mind.

scrap squares . carolyn friedlander

Pattern: None. It’s 2 1/2″ squares sewn together in groups of 16.

Fabric: Scraps from many of mine, plus others’ like Elizabeth Hartman, Violet Craft, Anna Graham and Liberty Of London.

scrap squares . carolyn friedlander

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Hunt QAL #8 Check In.

Hunt QAL #8 Check In.

With a bonus week since the last check in, the holiday downtime and a motivated eye on the finish line, it’s been a productive few weeks.

I have every block in play–yay! Seeing the end gave me a boost of motivation, and so I pushed a little harder this weekend to wrap up on a couple of extra blocks. I now have 15 blocks fully finished and 1 block remaining to be basted and appliquéd.

I’ve saved this blue block in the corner for last. I wasn’t sure if I was ready to go so boldly blue with my original plan being more about green.

My layout is mostly grouped by color. With there being darker greens, lighter greens and shades from navy to hunter green to sage, I like how this approach can organize everything and tell a story. I’ve laid out the blocks a few times now, and each time I feel like I’ve done it a little bit differently. There are so many good options, but I’m calling this good and will sew it together without second guessing anything.

As for the blue, I love it. It gives a pop, and that print is one of my favorites from Collection CF. The color came out so vibrant, which makes me happy. This one is staying.

Another new and exciting combo that I discovered this month is this one.

hunt QAL . carolyn friedlander

How has your month been? Have you been finding yourself adapting the vision as you move along too?

(Here’s where you can find a copy of the Hunt pattern or templates, and you can catch up on the full QAL here.)

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Hunt QAL #5 Check In.

We’re 5 months in! Crazy.

Hunt QAL . carolyn friedlander

It’s been a good month, and I’ve been eager to lay everything out. Several of these blocks have been in hiding, because they use my new fabrics. Yay! 

Hunt QAL . carolyn friedlander

I originally started out with a narrower selection of greens, but now I’m including much more of a range, and I’m really liking it. Some are darker, some are lighter, some are more green or more olive–it’s such a mix!

Hunt QAL . carolyn friedlander

The mix of neutral backgrounds is also making me happy.

Hunt QAL . carolyn friedlander

Highlights this month have been embracing such a mix and getting it all laid out for the first time. I’d been working with everything in a stack, and so spreading it out to take these photos has been quite satisfying. I’m also really glad that I worked a little ahead for the month. Today is the first day of set up at Quilt Market, and I’ve been heavily prepping for the show!

In terms of entertaining things, I really got into the podcast Last Seen about the art heist at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. It’s really captivating and very detailed, and it’s kind of making me want to read more about this heist and others in general. 

Goals for next month? I’m happy to have quite a bit prepped, so I can probably mindlessly plug away or if I get inspired I may decide to prep the final blocks. We will see.

How’s your month been? 

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