Saturday, December 17, 2016

Beige and white are colors too, right?

remember my diamonds? 9 of these size diamonds sewn together into a clock of color?
All from tiny scraps a la improv?  if not, the link with pictures is CLICK HERE ! diamonds

I've done them all year for the rainbow scrap challenge. I need some setting diamonds to set the great big diamond of colored diamonds made of small diamonds made of tiny scraps...

So, here's the story...

One day I hear my husband very frustrated with the junk drawer.

(You know the junk drawer, the one in the kitchen that holds all the stuff that defies organization and has no "place" to live? it finds it's way into the junk drawer)

 When someone says where is a twist tie? or matches? or a skewer? it's likely in the junk drawer with a hammer, some nails, the plastic sliders you put under heavy furniture to move it, various old key chains, pens that are dry, old keys you have no idea to what, and lots of other stuff. What's in your junk drawer?

One day he pulled it open and Ka-boom! So he piled it in a laundry basket for me to sort thru.

I began putting "like with like" making lots of little piles on the counter. This went on for a while until suddenly I got a grip. I noticed I was looking for another rubber band to hold all the little flower powder packets that came with cut flowers and I didn't use.

Blink, blink.. wha??? I mean, I am a keeper but suddenly it occurred to me, I only needed maybe one or two packets not 20.

Insight! It takes space to store all the stuff you might need one day. It's easy to toss it in a drawer but not so easy to find anything. I began looking with new eyes, and got rid of about half the stuff which then left the drawer MERELY FULL. Not stuffed, but still full.

What if I looked at my craft supplies with these new eyes and insight?Might I be able to let things go???

Ha! Hahahahahahahahahahahaha!
Well at least I did the junk drawer. So I took my two scrap bins worth of beige and white scraps to bee where I could look through it and organize sizes and see if there was anything I could throw out.

One by one my bee mates came over, attracted by the enormous spilling out everywhere pile of scraps
I carefully laid strips the same length together, squares over here, triangles over there. People began helping. Then they said how pretty some were. I said "Oh yes, I love that one. I used it in "xyz quilt"

Keep!
They started their own piles that they thought I should throw away which I had to go through too.
Then they started discussing me as if I weren't there... "this has to be too small, let's throw it out! I will put it in the garbage so she can't pull it back out and keep it!" Huh?  Heyyyyyy

They just couldn't see the value in keeping small pieces. They use patterns and carefully cut  squares from yardage, all alike so it matches. They think 8th of a yard is scrap.

But I know... I know how valuable the small mix of tone and texture is to my quilts. You can't buy that. You CREATE that! I'm a happy piecer. I like to sew even really small pieces.

Anyway I went home that day with the bin MERELY FULL not overflowing. I felt very competent.
 Then I used those strips and small pieces to make 35 diamonds.
Happy happy me! I once made a winter quilt, one of my seasonal four, just this way with some brown thrown in for the scene.

I wanted to make one big quilt with these instead of using them to set my others.

And I still might.
Aren't they pretty? Even if they are just white and beige scraps? some with colors mixed in.

And the bin after it was all said and done? A very tidy one, too tidy, I'm a bit uncomfortable now...

37 comments:

  1. Yes, beige and white ARE colors! I am super impressed that you have your scraps sorted into bins! That's about 3 steps ahead of me. Never mind those ladies who wanted to take part in your organizing. Every sewist has their own ways and means of what's important. I save all sizes, too. Even the shreds get saved so I can put them out for the birds in the spring to make pretty nests. Your diamonds would make a lovely table runner, LeeAnna!

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  2. Excellent work LeeAnna! I do have a bin overflowing with beige and white. I guess I'll have to tackle it ... one day. Could you bring it to your bee group for me and sort it out? Pretty please? (lol) I don't like sorting so I usually sort as I'm sewing. The diamonds are very nice. Can't wait to see them with the coloured one. It will be an awesome quilt. Congrats on using up the small bits. ;^)

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  3. Now I know we're sisters from another mister! You've just described my junk drawer to a T, including the flower packets. But I bet you don't have a filigree pill box or antique ceramic tape measure in yours.
    PS: Love the diamonds.

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  4. This is a funny post! I have that drawer...and every once in a while I'll power through it and toss the crap! As for scraps, we all have our 'keep' sizes. A skinny strip may be trash to one person and gold to another! I love your diamonds...in those COLORS! Keep creating. You gotta do and be you!

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  5. Your beige and white diamonds are wonderful! They match the scene out my window right now! Although I am a keeper of many sizes and shapes of scraps, I haven't sewn these types of blocks yet. I'm going to have to try that soon!

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    1. If you do, get the acrylic diamond ruler/template. It makes about a 9" long diamond and it perfect to just sew big lumps of scraps then trim to size. I got one at Joann's . LeeAnna

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  6. I think these beige and white diamonds would be perfect as a filler background for your big diamond quilt.

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  7. That was fun to read! I'm the person who pulls scraps out of the garbage bin at retreat because you just can't throw away these treasures! Fantastic use of the neutrals!

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  8. LOL!!! The bin is TOO tidy now? The organization is making you uncomfortable? Honey, come on over to my sewing room. You'll feel right at home!!

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  9. I'm with you on saving all sizes of scraps. As an appliquer those small pieces might be just what I need. My sewing room is organized chaos at all times. I'd love to have everything in order, but I expect that will never happen. Love all the diamonds you've made this year.

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  10. Every time I've ever tried to organize things, I spend the next two months searching for stuff that isn't where I left it. Time wasted sorting and time wasted searching... I'm happy in my chaos!
    (When my oldest daughter was in college, she told me that she missed my junk drawer when she needed to fix something and didn't have a handy source of spare parts. So I immediately dumped half my junk drawer into a box, labeled it 'Junk Drawer Starter Kit', and mailed it to her. She was amused and grateful in about equal proportions!)

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  11. OMG your story is so funny, but oh so true(for a lot of us!). I made a neutral quilt a couple years ago and I LOVE it!! I just sewed my strips to phone book pages, easy to tear off. Happy Holidays!

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  12. That's an organized and tidy bin! Good on you! I think we're taking turns; this morning I realized that my scrap drawers are raging out of control now.

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  13. 'Junk Drawer Starter Kit' That is so funny! As we moved a number of years ago the junk drawer is still rather spacious, just starting up..And i have a basket for the twisty thingies,soup can pop tops and the lovely purple rubber bands i glean from the asparagus spears i get from a local farm.
    Your neutral light scrapes are so softly warm. sometimes i sew my painted strips and scrapes to some olay facial cloths, washed, for a bases for small work. Oh and the tiny bits that are left i have glued to my empty paint jars and they become brush and pencil holders and holders of flowers just short and picked on a walk. your colorful diamonds will look great surrounded by the lighter ones! Can't wait to see what you make and I am glad sewing them made/make you happy!!

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  14. The quilts on our living room rocking chairs and the back of our couch during December are all creams/beiges (low volume style) -- helps to calm the noise of the season. Your diamonds are beautiful!

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  15. Oh, there is such a good lesson for us all here! My scrap drawers multiply faster than any rabbit I know! LOL!!!!!

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  16. A whole quilt full of different beiges and whites - will be very beautiful. I've seen several done like that and loved them. Cleaning out that junk drawer of the scrap bin takes discipline, which I haven't mastered yet.

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  17. This just sounds too much like me! Except I haven't done the junk drawers...yes, multiple drawers. I do have my scarps sorted into colors. I need to get into my sewing room today and probably the rest of the coming week to get it organized. I starting to feel another quilt coming on...
    I love your white a beige COLORED diamonds. They are very glamorous!

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  18. You are correct, lights and neutrals are colors and you are making great use of them with your diamonds. As for weeding out fabrics, forget it. They are alive and grow during the night and we can never win. Just relax and enjoy them, or give them to others who love them too. Maybe I should empty my sewing waste basket and send it to you so you can start a fabric adoption service.

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  19. You had me worried. After the junk drawer cleanup when you said you were eyeing the craft supplies, I shouted NOOOOOOOOO! You need all that stuff. Thankfully you came toyour senses. Hope the ice mess didn't interfer with your day. We had warming temps during the (up to 39°), but still have snow on the ground.

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  20. I needed to clean out so many of these drawers .....well, not any more since the flood. Hope my new drawers won't get all crowded with junk. Right now I am committed to not let them, but time will go on. And I will start getting those great twist ties again,,,, and the strips, I have no idea where all that is. I hope they are somewhere.

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  21. Love this post! I think your blocks are soothing which is a good thing in these times! I've been doing a lot of scrap organizing too---it holds until the next project...HAHAHAHA! It's fun to go through the fabric though. I don't think I would trust anyone who says they don't have a junk drawer! Well have a great day and thanks! :)

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  22. I think a big quilt made from just these neutral diamonds would be very calm and elegant. I cleared out last time I moved house, but now I'm afraid to open the junk drawer in case it won't close again!

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  23. Well done. I need to do a similar project on just about every nook and cranny in my house!! BTW, I love the beige and white combo.

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  24. Yes, we've all got a junk drawer (in our case at least two)!

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  25. I love this white and cream. So satisfying with the bits of color or pattern. Good reminder to clear out our junk drawer, too.

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  26. Fantastic story and great blocks! I can relate to the feeling "too tidy, I feel uncomfortable" ;) thanks for sharing!!

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  27. Gorgeous! And to think so many folks would have just tossed it away!

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  28. Correct indeed!
    The colours really help others shine!

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  29. I never would have imagined using white/cream like you did would be SO BEAUTIFUL. Can't wait to see how you choose to use them.

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  30. Tiny scraps and strings aren't something I save but I admire those who value them! Your diamonds look great and will find a place to shine. Junk drawers ar so hard to get rid of!

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  31. Very pretty diamonds, they sparkle like real ones do. I always feel so accomplished after cleaning out and reorganizing. Sounds like you made some great headway last week.

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  32. Your diamond blocks are so beautiful! I also love making string blocks and it is a great way to use up some of the scraps we all seem to collect and collect!

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  33. I actually love these pretty easy on the eyes diamond blocks. Yes the dreaded junk drawer. Miscellaneous is the label we use. I once sorted things and put in labelled boxes and the labels gradually wore off. It's like this stuff is determined to all be together living messily in a drawer.

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  34. LeeAnna, you got me with the "What if I looked at my craft supplies...?" line, LOL. :)
    Scrappy is my very favorite kind of quilt. And your diamonds are so beautiful. I hope your bee mates see them and then realize the value of an 1/8 yard. If not, maybe they will pass their "scraps" along to you.
    I love your idea of four seasonal quilts!

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  35. You and I have been on the same page lately! For you, it's the beige scraps, for me, Christmas. I would rate my usage a success as I have under 10 tiny scraps left! Woohoo! Thanks again for sharing on Midweek Makers!

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