Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Scraps Away & A New Adventure

Sarah over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict has a linky party going on right now, where folks who have a problem with scrap hoarding (and what quilter doesn't!) can share their methods of taming the beast, so to speak.  Lots of great ideas for organizing scraps into useable sizes, by colors, storage systems, etc.

Here in our neck of the woods the scrap pile next to the bookcase had been growing into a pretty unmanageable heap that kept spilling over into the middle of the room.  Then there is the closet that has large bins of scraps, totally unorganized except for a couple small bins that only hold those miscellaneous, not-already-spoken-for-in-an-ongoing-project fat quarters.  Yep, no organization at all since the big move back east a year and a half ago.

So, our little country church long ago had a sewing circle and a small group of quilters, all of whom are now either passed or living in nursing homes.  Since we joined the congregation after moving here last year, I've been thinking it would be nice to test the waters and see if there was interest in a quilt ministry.  I put out a sign-up sheet a couple weeks ago, thinking there might be possibly two or three interested enough to sign on.   Lo and behold, last Sunday there were 10, that's right TEN people signed up including a young teen, and a couple have asked if they can bring a sister, or a friend too!  That I am astounded would be an understatement!  Yikes, what do I do now?!

All of this to say my pile of scraps plus some yardage is about to disappear from the sewing room this weekend when we have our first meeting.  Scrap problem solved, sort of, for a moment in time!

Of course, now we'll have to come up with a system for storing fabric donations at the church.  And, since this is a group of mostly non-quilters who don't have fabric stashes to raid, we'll be looking for all the donations we can corral to get us started on our mission.   I've rounded up a few rulers, a couple of older cutting mats, and a rotary cutter to get us started at our first meeting.

While rummaging through the scrap bins I found a few extra blocks and some unsewn pieces left over from a quilt made over 14 years ago when my daughter began her college adventures.   Cutting a few more triangles provided enough to assemble our first quilt top in the same pattern, the cover quilt on an older Thimbleberries publication called Cozy Quilts.

We already have a recipient chosen for our first effort, and I can hardly wait to get started and see where we are led to serve next.

So, my blogging quilty friends, if you have any insights to share on facilitating a quilting ministry, or teaching non-quilters some of the basics, I'd love to hear about your experiences.  I'm a total novice at all this. In the meantime I'll be linking up with Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, then off to read how others have tamed their scrappy beasts.

11 comments:

  1. Way to go! I am involved in a great quilt ministry at my church. The very first quilt we made turned out very wonky, as in a parallelogram, beccause everyone's quarter inch seams varied. What we make now are 10" finished string blocks. That works very well as they are all squared up to 10.5" and then assembled into a quilt. Can't wait to hear about your first sewing session and see pictures of the finished quilt! :)

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  2. I pray your quilting circle goes well -- God bless you in this new venture!(visiting from the "I may have a scrap problem" link up)

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  3. Great post.....great way to clear things out too! Praying your first project goes well. Pam's comment is a good one.....keep it simple in the beginning and strings are a great teaching tool.

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  4. I think it's wonderful that you have so many people interested, it may be daunting now but the end results should be worth it, more people, more quilts. I'm excited for you! Sarah is probably a really good resource for ideas about the quilt ministry.

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  5. What a wonderful win win situation. Best advice: keep it simple!

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  6. Sounds like a great idea! I'm curious how you will determine to whom you will give the quilts. It does seem like a large task and I wish you well!

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  7. Mrs. Goodneedle is part of a group that meets regularly. She may have some pertinent information. I've donated fabric to them in the past. My best suggestion would be to inform any of those donating fabric that it must be 100% cotton and to test any questionable fabric with the very hot iron method. If it's a blend, it will melt. Best of luck with this project.

    http://strawberrypatchquiltworks.blogspot.com/

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  8. Sounds like this will be a good experience!
    Would be happy to send another rotary cutter--I think I have already given my extra rulers away.

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  9. Always an interesting experience to teach newbies about quilting, but exciting too as you get to witness their enthusiasm! As Kyle said, best to keep it simple!

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  10. When we have newbie quilters come in, we start them out with a box of 5" squares, sewing them together in pairs. This teaches them the muscle memory of sewing straight 1/4" seams. Once they have 72 pairs, we teach them how to press the seams, then show them how to turn their 72 pairs into 36 4-patch blocks. This teaches them how to nest their seams. Once they've put all the blocks together into a quilt top, they're excited about what they've accomplished and about starting the next one! And they're usually surprised about how good a totally scrappy charm quilt can look!

    Feel free to email me for more tips about starting a quilt ministry - finding fabric, handling donations, etc. We've been doing it for about six years now and we've probably come across most of the problems you'll face as you get started! My email is salliesue57@gmail.com.

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  11. Hi, I found you through your comment on Barbara's post on RSC16. I had a Babcia many, many years ago. She did not speak much English, mostly Polish, but she taught me how to crochet lacy edges on hankies. Now I realize I am a Babcia too. I made a rainbow quilt for my 14-year-old granddaughter. Nice to hear you are setting up a church quilting group. I pray it becomes a real giving ministry there.

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