Monthly Archives: October 2014

Autumn Scenes

Fall scenes from Southern California, both natural and man made:

Fall Welcome and Pepper



That’s a palm tree to the right of the “fall” tree with a few leaves turning color. October days are still warm (80 degrees today) and dry in Southern California, but the nights are cooler.  We are in the middle of a drought with mandatory water restrictions due to go into effect next month.

Happy Fall!

Organizing Scraps for Squares, Yo-yos and Hexagons

I’ve been having fun working on organizing my fabric stash. It’s hard to be inspired when you can’t find your fabrics!  Although I have some yardage set aside for garment making, most of my fabric was bought as single fat quarters over the last ten years. It’s helpful to group fat quarters and other small pieces by color, and store them on a shelf or container for easy access.  One idea I’ve seen is to use CD towers for this.

I like to save scraps, but having a messy clump of fabric scraps is very unappealing as well as being a waste of space.

pile of scraps

Inspired by posts by quilting authors Lori Holt and Pat Sloan that I found via Pinterest, I got out my rotary cutter and quilting rulers, and cut my scraps into 1 1/2 inch squares and strips, 2 inch squares, 2 1/2 squares and strips, and a few 3 1/2 and 5 inch squares. I also cut some leaf or petal shapes from odd shaped scraps to use for applique.

box of organized scraps

petal/leaf shape for raw edge applique

I plan to use these for small projects like kitchen items, wall hangings, pillows or embellishments.

I also tried making some fabric yo-yos from scraps, first with the Clover large plastic disc,  (finished size is 1 3/4 inch) and then smaller ones by hand.  I discovered a 2 1/2 square could be used to make a 1 inch yo-yo.

cutting circle from scrap

large yo-yos and 2 1/2 inch circles for 1 inch yo-yos

yo-yo before gathering

The small ones were easy to make by hand. First I traced a circle using a glass.  I didn’t iron the seam allowance under; I folded it in and held it as I sewed each stitch of the gathering thread around the circle.  I have the circles on a towel because I sprayed them with Downey wrinkle releaser to smooth them out before sewing to avoid having to turn on the iron.  I used craft and button thread which made for a strong gathering thread.

Next I made my first hexagons – 3/4 inch hexies from my 2 inch squares and a few tiny 1/2 inch ones from my 1 1/2 squares.  One inch hexagons can be made from 2 1/2 inch squares.  Hexagon size is measured by the length of one side – not by measuring across the width.  I made templates from printing out a downloadable pdf page on ordinary paper.

hexagons and template

3 quarters and 1 half hexagonsI made some “fussy cut” fruits and vegetables hexagons, and used some scraps of thrifted hexagon fabric to cover a small tin container.

Fussy Cut Hexagons

Now that I know what to do with scraps, I’m looking forward to the side benefit of having more scraps to play with after sewing clothes with my two to three yard cotton fabrics.


The following are the links I used and that you might also find helpful:

Bee In My Bonnet (Lori Holt) – organizing scraps

blog.patsloan – scrapbusting process

connecting threads – yo-yos: two methods: with a Clover yo-yo maker and by hand (I found an iron was not needed to make by them by hand and skipped ironing the seam allowance). Video demonstration.

Craftsy: English Paper Piecing from Beginning to End – sewing and joining the pieces.

Geta’s Quilting Studio – sheets of printable hexagon templates in 6 different sizes.  Wonderful resource, and she tells you how to cut them out for accuracy and to save time.

paper – chart with square size needed to  make 1/4 inch to 6 inch hexagons.

My Quilted and Pieced board on Pinterest

My Fabric Applique board on Pinterest