Scrap Workshop

Yesterday I taught an all day scrap workshop to the Sac County Quilters in Sac City,Iowa about 2 hours from Garner.  It was a very low key workshop all about sewing scraps.  I have learned that I am completely burned out of following a pattern.  After almost 35 years of designing and writing patterns, I want to just sit down and sew mindlessly while I watch TV or listen to a book.  And some of my favorite quilts have been the result.  It is very liberating and very relaxing – for me.  There were some in the class who felt they could not be happy sewing with so few restrictions and that’s fine.  I told them I was not the quilt police.  While Mom lived at Okoboji I dreamed of taking my machine to the lake along with a tub of scraps and sewing a scrap quilt without a pattern just to see what I could come up with.  Here are a couple show and tell quilts from the girls at the workshop.  Very nice!


I think tomorrow would be a good day to start the rug again, don’t you?  Have your 2″ strips cut and if you’re going to work with t- shirt knits, be sure to warp with a non-stretchy fabric also cut 2″ wide.

It’s Sunday afternoon – time for a nap and lots of time to play with my new machine.  What a great new toy!

20 thoughts on “Scrap Workshop

  1. Carolyn Boutilier

    Those are some beautiful scrappy quilts.
    love them. Carolyn B

  2. Louise

    Those quilts you show are very inspiring! Hope you are enjoying your new “Nina”…

  3. Diane

    Stunning quilts. Don’t you love the size of the bobbin on your new Bernina?

  4. Ann Barlament

    The first scrappy spider web is the no-brains….the pineapple needs some brains involved and the applique is wonder to admire but will never be stitched from my house.

    I too love the no brain involved quits. And if a couple pieces of the same design come together, oh well….I planned it that way. LOL

  5. Holly

    The quilts are beautiful–such vibrant colors. I love that you told the class you are not the quilt police. Ha! I’m thinking more on the lines of less patterns and more play, too. I have a bin of scraps to dig into, but then I also have half a bazillion patterns and I want to try those, too. I should spend more time in my sewing room and less time looking at all the stuff on face book–what a time waster that can be.

  6. Launa

    What marvelous quilts to share. Scrappy are the way to go. I’m trying to sort thru some strips, scraps, stash fabrics and a few new for a scrappy sew a long. Not making much headway yet, but gathering today. Thanks for showing the wonderful quilts. Whew…we’re only predicted to hit 101 degrees here today.

  7. Rebecca H

    I can relate, I don’t like patterns any longer, sometimes they don’t fit together like they should either. I love dreaming up the pattern and then the fun of sorting through the fabrics for what I want. I always say I’m not happy if I’m not creating, guess this is part of it. I’ve made several wall hangings lately with crosses in the middle of them. You have to look at them for a few minutes to find the cross, they are kind of hidden with the different colors.
    Ok have fun with that new machine.
    I bought a Viking because it has a strong motor for my basket making. But I also weave rugs like you, I like a few projects going at once, I get bored with one and move onto the next. I know crazy, huh.
    Happy Sewing
    I enjoy your blog so much…..thank you

  8. Connie Olson

    The quilts you showed from the workshop are absolutely BEAUTIFUL!! Thank you for sharing!!

  9. Dee W

    I am working on a paper pieced block of the month that needed to be starched before cutting. I am behind, oh what a surprise, but the other day I took my last few packets, starched them, let them dry and pressed them. Today was cutting day. I have all 9 blocks ready to sew, plus I cut out a current bom that I am doing. It’s just one block a month, the other I was getting 2 a month, not realizing how intense they were. But now I can just stitch them. But the mother moved, the house needs to be emptied, cleaned and sold, and so I got behind. Oh well.

  10. Betty Klosterman

    Today I got to go to our Black Hills Quilt Guild quilt show. As usual the quilts were wonderful. There were a lot of scrappy quilts. There were 3 Gypsy Wife quilts and each of the ladies had a variety of names for them — not listed — but they were all very interesting and fun to look at. Each lady used regular quilt blocks of different sizes and that calmed each quilt giving a focal points to see. I had just 2 hours to look and visit so I know I didn’t see everything, but I tried. The vendors had some very nice things, too. We have a lot of very talented quilters, several who have even won at Paduca, but everybody is so nice and they don’t look down on those of us who will never be that good. We just love making the quilts that people can use and go happily on our way sewing to our little hearts content.

  11. Penny Brooks

    I am in awe of those scrap quilts. Thanks for showing them to us.

  12. Jane Eilderts

    I am interested in hearing more about your machine! I am a Bernina person and looking into a new machine. My 930 still works good but I think I could use an update. I, too, only want mine for quilting and general sewing – no embroidery!! Thanks so much!

  13. Linda Hart

    I was sorry to see your lovely shop close, but so happy when I came across your postings online. Your shop was always a favorite of my daughter’s and mine when we travelled to IA from MN. This posting re scrap quilt made me think of quilts that I saw this winter when we headed south last January seeking warm weather. One of my favorite places we stopped at was Gee’s Bend, AL. I’m sure you’ve heard about those wonderful ladies making quilts from whatever fabric that they had or was donated to them, using no patterns. It was so freeing to see their works made only with ideas in their heads. No rules to follow, so no mistakes. Here is a website with more information: http://soulsgrowndeep.org/gees-bend-quiltmakers. I bought one of their creations and treasure it dearly.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      I have the Gees Bend book – such an inspiration to me!

  14. Lynn handberg

    I like the scrappy no pattern idea. My first quilts I ever made were without patterns. Then I took s sewing. everal classes and learned how to read the patterns. I think I am ready to go back to some freeformsewing!

  15. MaryLou

    Please add me to your mailing list – so enjoy your blog – love all the wonderful
    animals – beautiful garden – great block and quilting fun..
    Thank you!!!
    MaryLou

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