Free Spirit True Colors + Busting Your Scraps

I’ve been making string blocks with my scraps. Right now my sewing table is covered with them. With January comes all that motivation to get organized, so if you’re looking for ways to tame all those out of control scraps, I’m sharing 12 ways to bust your scraps over at the We All Sew Blog.

In other inspiration, are you familiar with the True Colors collections from Free Spirit fabrics? These are collections of gorgeous blenders in saturated colors from four of Free Spirit’s popular designers: Joel Dewberry, Heather Bailey, Anna Maria Horner, and Jenean Morrison

These saturated collections are so versatile and great for stash building. Starting next week, watch for a bunch of inspiration using these True Color collections.

Free Spirit recently sent me a bundle of Jenean Morrison’s True Colors bundle and I’m having a fun time planning something with these colors. Hint: You know I’m a sucker for classic primary colors in color spectrum order. (They also sent me a bunch to share, so be sure to come back!)

Free Spirit, in connection with Coats and Clark, will be hosting a blog tour. You can visit these blogs to see lots of color inspiration as well as chances to win a lot of pretty fabric!

1/20 Sew4Home
1/21 Stitchery Dickory Dock
1/22 I’m A Ginger Monkey
1/23 The Sewing Loft
1/24 Ellison Lane
1/27 Dairy of A Quilter
1/28 Material Obsession
1/29 Craftsanity
1/30 Stitched in Color
1/31 Craft Buds
2/3 Jay Bird Quilts
2/4 Melissa Peda

Vintage Pyrex

I haven’t touched my sewing machine in a week. And probably won’t for another week because of all the end-of-summer-vacation-hoopla.  But that doesn’t mean I can’t sneak in a stop by an Antique Mall on the way home from a camping trip.  (I had to get my yearly Antique Mall fix since we’re not going to Maryland this year.) And since it’s been a long while since I’ve done a pyrex post, I thought now would be an appropriate time to share some recent finds.  Plus it’s good dose of color-eye-candy.

I’ve been collecting pyrex from the thrift store for a few years. I know it’s a trendy thing to collect pyrex these days, but I’m solidly on that bandwagon because it’s so useable!  I use my pieces almost every day – they’re so pretty and so practical at the same time.  That said, I’m trying to only buy pieces that I will actually use. I’m determined not to become a hoarder, so there have been times I’ve come across Pyrex pieces at the thrift store and passed them up because  I’m limiting myself to pieces in colors I use on a daily basis (mainly primary colors) or don’t already have (pink & turquoise). In other words, I’m not going to buy more harvest gold, just because it’s there.

Anyway, while I was there I hit a primary color jackpot. One booth had everything marked 50% off – including all of their vintage Pyrex pieces – which brought the prices back into the thrift-store price realm.  And there was some GREAT stuff, but as proof of my determination not to hoard, I left a lot of good stuff behind. Are you proud? My favorite find was bright yellow casserole with this Daisy lid.  Also a divided casserole in the same cheery yellow and the lid fits that as well.  A double bonus.

The Snowflake Blue is my new favorite pattern.  I only have one little Corelle saucer to hang on my wall, so this is a pattern I’ve been actually looking for. I found a great little casserole in perfect condition, plus the cutest little creamer. 
A little Colonial Mist baker. Okay, this wasn’t a real ‘need’ but I have a mixing bowl in this pattern and it’s one of my favorites.

And finally two mixing bowls.  The little yellow mixer is my favorite size for whipping up eggs in the morning – I use it every day. I’ve been looking for a piece of red Pyrex forever and a day and this is my first piece. So now I can rest easier in that elusive hunt.

And as further proof that these are the colors that speak to me right now: new goods from Target. Couldn’t resist.

Hope everyone has a happy summer week. Now back to the Olympics.

Lotta Jansdotter fabrics & summer sewing

Recently the nice people from Windham fabrics sent me a sample charm collection of Lotta Jansdotter’s upcoming collection called Bella.  I love Lotta’s clean, modern-scandinavian-inspired designs in bright, current colors.

I really have a thing for chartreuse right now, so I love it in this collection. I’m on the hunt to find a cute chartreuse cardigan. I have to laugh though, because growing up in the 80’s/early 90’s we would make fun of chartreuse. Maybe because it’s just a fun word to say. Now I hear ‘chartreuse’ said in an elegant ‘Martha Stewart’ voice, and it sounds so much cooler, right?  And instead I make fun of other colors from my past. I’m so fickle.

I going to Quilt Market a week from today. (eek.) That ‘eek’ is a mixture between total excitement and feeling scared to death.  I decided I need to make a new bag to take and Bella is the perfect base for a charming, modern looking bag.  I’m pulling in some other gray’s and chartreuse’s from my stash, plus some linen-y fabric for the body of the bag.  I’m going to use Anna’s Go Anywhere Bag Pattern and piece the outside pockets using the charm squares. We’ll see how it turns out! And if I actually finish it on top of everything else for Market.

Ellison Lane Quilts
If (when!) I finish, I’ll share it next week for my inspiring summer-project post as part of Ellison Lane’s Summer Sewing Contest!  You can read all of the details here and learn how you could enter to win prizes like a $100 gift certificate to the Fat Quarter Shop. And who wouldn’t like that?
And finally, if you’re looking for a great deal, Quilting in the Rain is offering a 15% discount on your entire order this week with the code FABRICFRENZY. Lots of good Moda and Riley Blake pre-cuts. I’m just saying. 
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Scraptastic – Using and Organizing Fabric Scraps

Progress using my American Jane scraps (previously seen here) on my design wall. Totally digging it. I’m using a white linen blend I unearthed in my stash, instead of my old standby Kona Snow. Look at me branching out.
After Christmas I was asked to help teach a scrap-busting class at American Quilting in March.  (Wanna come? It’s on March 15. Schedule here.) Because, as you know, we quilters can not let any fabric scrap larger than 1/2″ square go to waste. It would be like abandoning puppies in the desert.
Planning for that class has been a huge motivator to do something I’ve needed to do for far too long: sort my scraps AND actually make something with them. These American Jane scraps are leftovers from a bunch of projects. Some were already sewn in rows from this quilt and this quilt. I love giving them new life – and freeing them from their captivity in a box in the closet.
Here’s another new WIP (work-in-progress) using leftover scraps from the Amy Butler lattice quilt from last spring along with other assorted random brights. I have a vague idea what I’m planning to do with these assembled strips, but I’m still curious to see how it actually materializes . . .
For lo these many years, I have mostly been keeping my scraps sorted by collection and scattered about my fabric stash. And frankly, they’ve been hard to find, they act awkward around the bigger pieces of yardage, and I tend to forget that I even have them. (Reminds me of Junior High.) Reading Jodi’s Organizing Scraps post was perfect for me. She simply sorts ALL her scraps by color. I know I’ve heard this other times and other places, but for some reason this time it finally clicked. NOW was the time to seize my scraps once and for all, free them from the bondage of their pre-assigned collections, and assemble them all in one, easy to find location, purely by color. I can’t tell you how liberating this was for me. Next step is to do the same thing with ALL my fabric. (And for further permission to do the same thing, read AmandaJean’s post on the topic.)
My method is not fancy.  I went and bought some of those clear, plastic drawer sets (that are handily on sale this time of year) and just started sorting by color.  Now everything is so easy to find and I am so much more inspired to USE them. Seriously, what took me so long?

A new project and a heartfelt thanks

We’re getting ready to spend some time with extended family this week, so I’m officially ‘going off the grid’ – taking a break from the computer for a week!  I’m sure I’ll check in from time to time and I have some nice guest posters to keep you all entertained while I’m gone.

This also means I need a new handwork project to take-along with me while we’re out and about. Last year it was Hexagons so this year I decided to try something new. I’ve been inspired by a few orange peel quilts so I’m going to give them a go and I choose the pile of scraps at the top as my colors.  Can’t go wrong with red, white, and blue. Always classic. Not bowing to the whims of color-trends this time. :)

In other cuteness that must be shared, check out this adorable coin purse made by Kristie of Obessisve Crafting Disorder. I helped to hook her up with a little bit of Denyse Schmidt a while back and then I was surprised by this in return. A Union Jack on linen! I’m in love. With a coin purse. Thank you Kristie!

Hiking ‘Y’ Mountain in Provo, Utah

Thank you to many of you who do such nice things for me. And to ALL of you who have continued to stop by, despite the radomness my blog this summer.  My family thanks you too. This summer has been so much better than last year.  I tried and spectacularly failed at trying to “do it all” last year and this year I was determined to not make that mistake again – for the sake of my family and for my own mental well-being.  Putting “my stuff” (i.e. mainly sewing & blogging) on hold has been the best decision ever.  I’ve tried harder to live in the moment and just roll with all the adventures and opportunities summer brings. And it has been great.  I can hardly believe that school starts in 2.5 weeks – and then I’ll have a little bit of time for “my stuff” again, and this time with no regrets.

Thank you for leaving such great comments. I can’t tell you how many times you people have made me laugh.  Your comments make my day and motivate me to keep posting. One of the things I have regretted is not being able to consistantly respond to individual comments as much as I would like, but please know how much I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to do it. Esp when you have to enter those annoying word verifications. This week I tried removing that step and got some nasty spam, so back on they went. Sorry.

Hope you all have a fun weekend and I’ll see you next week!

While I’m gone you might want to check out the spectacular sale at Sew Obessed Fabrics Friday-Sunday where you can get 30% off your entire order with the coupon code WEEKEND. Woo.

Also, if you are trying to sign up for or have other questions regarding the Wantobe Quilter Campaign contact Jane, Wendy, or Marlene. Thanks!

Do you think the dusty colors will come back?

A while ago a found these old nine-patch blocks I made from my mom’s fabric scraps sometime around 1987.  I kept them for the sentimental value – some of my first quilt blocks (they’re pretty sloppy – but that’s so charming right? Pre-“wonky”-cool. :)  I also kept them because they’re such a relic of the dusty color pallette that was so popular in the late 80’s.

image here
But I’m starting to wonder if those dusty colors will make a comeback sooner than I thought. (Not that I’nm looking for them – for me dusty colors evoke memories of that dorky pre-teen era of my life). But check out these images I found via Pinterest where the dusty, muted colors are evident.  Succulents (those kind of rubbery plants) are so hot right now, for example. 
Here are a few other images from Design Seeds – a really cool site that plays with color.
I won’t even pretend to be a Design/Style/Trend-setter guru, but I am fascinated by color trends (and sometimes a little bugged – it sometimes feels like a conspiracy by the design world to make us always want new stuff.)  20 years ago who would have thought that we’d all want things that were avacado green, orange, and goldenrod yellow again?  I remember laughing at the orange my grandma had picked to recover her chairs in the 1970’s. Now those same orange chairs are my favorite furnishings in my house! And look at how popular the gray and pink combo is right now. I remember the outfit I carefully picked out for the first day of 4th grade was a gray and pink argyle vest with gray corduroy bermuda shorts. I thought I was hot stuff.
So what is the point of this post? I guess for me it is to keep creating stuff out of the colors that speak to me at the moment (bright primary colors are what I seem most drawn to right now) because I could be surprised when those tastes change again. Which also means I need to use up the fabric I have quick before I want some thing new. 😉