Scrap Bag Challenge!

A post from Kelli–

It’s no surprise that thrift store is a family favorite of ours.  You’d think I would be able to go there more often as I work in Decorah, but with 12 hour days, it makes it a bit tricky.  When I am able to go however, it is definitely a big treat!

A while back when I was on a hunt for shirts, I happened upon a little scrrap bag.  I know it sounds dumb, but I wasn’t quite sure that I wanted to pay $5.00 for it.  I ended up throwing it in my cart and figured that if nothing else, I could always put it back.  I had kind of forgotten about it by the time I got to the checkout and didn’t want to loose my place in line to put it back on the shelf so I just got it.  I figured that if I decided I didn’t want it, I could always give it to mom.

Once I got home and got to looking, I realized that there was actually quite a bit of fabric in the bag.  It looked like it had been bought as a kit as there were many strips that were of similar size.  Some of the larger pieces had similar shapes cut out of them too.  I kind of set it to the side and didn’t think too much about it.

While I was cleaning some things off of my sewing table, I happened upon this pattern that Mom and I had bought at Forrest Mills a while ago.  I was surprised and delighted to see that it was made by our friends Mary and Connie at Country Threads.  After reading the pattern, the scrap bag seemed to be a great place to start with making the blocks as 2.5″ strips were needed in the pattern and there were lots of 2.5″ strips in the scrap bag.
I made up a few blocks quick just to see how they went together and to see how I could put together a process for making the blocks (everything needs a process for me).  While I was digging through the box with the fabric in it, I ended up sorting everything out by print and then arranging them according to color so that I could make sure that I made the best of all of the little bits and pieces.

I had kind of decided to just make a few at a time, but it was again a process of getting it all cut out, so I just dove in to cut out all of the blocks.  I ended up just cutting the strip for the inside of the half square triangles and the squares.  If I didn’t have enough for the squares, I just cut the strip for the triangles and put them in a separate pile.  This way when I have time to make a few blocks, I can just grab the little packets.  I’m hoping that this will allow me to make the best of a few minutes here and there.

This block was the casualty of being a bit tired and sewing a bit late!  Good news is that the blocks only finish at 5″ so a missewn seam is a pretty quick fix.

After everything is said and done, I ended up having just enough neutral to finish up the blocks that I had cut from the colored prints.

Mom and I have been having lots of chats recently about commercialism and doing things just for the fact that other people are doing them or that someone “should” do it.   Working with this scrap bag is one thing that really makes me happy.  I feel like I was able to use something that was cast off by someone else and I’ll be able to make it into something special.  I think that by the time everything is said and done, I’ll be able to make almost an entire quilt top for the price of a $5.00 scrap bag, a yard of a brown print, and the cost of a pattern.  To me this is success!  I like the sense of accomplishment that I get when I feel like I was able to make something from someone else’s “nothing.”  And the fact that I had just enough neutral to make just enough blocks for a lap quilt–That my friends is my favorite kind of God whisper!

I’ll keep you updated as to my progress!  Don’t expect anything soon as I’m planning on making a few blocks at a time between projects or in a space when I just have a few minutes to use more productively than sitting on Facebook.  I really want to make this quilt- one that seems to come from nothing!


14 thoughts on “Scrap Bag Challenge!”

  1. Kelli: I think your find is great and warms my heart. I have had to be very honest with myself lately, I have done a lot of purging. I came to realize that some UFO’s were just mot meant to be finished by me!. So I like to donate to the Hospice thrift store by me. It is a great organization and I feel like someone like you will pick up my UFO’s and finish them for a song and be very happy with their find.

    So THANKS! Can’t wait to see it when its done.

  2. What a great find at the thrift store! I love your thought process Kelli & your method for making those darling little churn dash blocks! Eager to see the completed quilt & yes I’ll wait!

  3. Cute little churn dash blocks ~ I really like them! Great find at the thrift store! I like your thought process & how you are organizing to cut even the smallest scraps, Kelli! Eager to see all the blocks assembled & put together ~ will wait!

  4. Elizabeth McDonald/catskillquilter

    Kellie, how terrific that you have found such a gem! I am almost 72 years old, and thus in the process of sorting and donating, so that I keep enough to keep me busy, but do not die with too much for my 3 grown children to deal with. (In Sweden they call this “death cleaning.”) I am tickled to read that someone somewhere is glad to get what I cannot myself use! It means I do not have to feel guilty for not using every scrap, and I am happy to think that perhaps my donations (to my local hospice store) will fuel someone else’s projects. And yes, I continue to fabric shop, online, and at the local fabric stores, and at my favorite thrift store!

  5. I love making quilts from scraps too!!! It’s like making something from nothing! Even if you don’t love it, you can always donate it to someone who will! Great job Kelli!

  6. That is exactly how I feel, Kelli, when I get a box from one of you or your Mom’s blog readers! I love turning other people’s no longer loved fabric into a quilt to help brighten someone else’s day. Whoever sends it is happy to be rid of it, I am happy to receive it, and the quilt recipient is happy to have a quilt! Yay!

  7. Kelli–Do you realize those are the same little churn dash blocks your mom is making, for a different pattern? Great minds think alike and all…LOL

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