Week in Review 2024 – 02/02

Let’s Get Physical

Let’s get physical. Quilting is an endurance sport. It takes physical and mental stamina. The older I get the more aware I am of just how important maintaining my body is to being able to work in my studio. So, I make it a point to work on my balance and stamina. When you get physical, it is equally important to take breaks. This allows the body to restore and refresh itself.

SAQA Spotlight Auction

Lola is my quilt for SAQA’s Spotlight Auction. I’ve been working on it fairly intently for the past several weeks. However, I channeled my energy elsewhere for most of this week. I did manage to squeeze in time to thread paint her nose, outline one eye in a rim of dark gray and fill in the mid-gray stripes. I find thread painting more restorative than physical. Quite unlike the physical piecing required for my Rainbow Scrap Challenge quilt.

Lola is coming to life.

Rainbow Scrap Challenge

Crumb fabric

I spent most of this week piecing crumb fabric. Is that even a term? If not, it should be. Crumb blocks are created by sewing small scraps together. These are the scraps I once heard referred to as too small to do anything with. In this age of recycle, repurpose and reuse, trashing fabric scraps just doesn’t feel right. I pulled out my red scraps, sorted them by size, shape and other unifying factors. The trick was to find units of similar fabrics to seam together and build strips, rectangles and squares from them. I am happy to share that the trimmings to square each unit were mere slivers. In other words, very little waste.

Yes, it was physical work. If I wasn’t on my feet sorting, I was walking the studio floor going from sewing table, to ironing station and back to sorting station. It is worth the effort. I pieced a 20″ H x 37″W length of red crumb fabric. Boy, did this take stamina.

The prep work is paying off.

I used the crumb fabric to cut strips to start making my red HST (half square triangles). Gasp! Turns out I need to make 70. Talk about stamina. The good news I made 20 red HST. Then I used some of these to make my very first complete blocks. Would you believe I not only used the majority of my red scraps, but it turns out I have very little red fabric. Most of my “red” fabric reads more orange and pink. Guess who’s going shopping?

I’m linking up to the following posts:

By Gwyned Trefethen

I am an artist who uses fabric, thread and miscellany to create designs gifted to me by my imagination.


  1. I also love using up all my small scraps to make crumb blocks. Isn’t it fun to remember all of the quilts we have made as we revisit the leftovers? Your thread painting is amazing!

    1. Absolutely, Gail. I enjoy remembering and sometimes trying to recall, how certain fabrics joined my stash. So many stories and projects. Thanks for the thumbs up on Lola.

    1. Thank you, Norma. I’m not sure how many Lola thread paintings I’ve done for SAQA’s auctions. At least a handful by now. She has always gone to a different person. It’s fun to “meet” the collectors. I feel fortunate that she is always adopted.

    1. I’m grateful you find the RSC blocks interesting vs. a hot mess. It was an experiment of whether a theory would work out in practice. I figure if I am going to honor the scrap part of the challenge, I want to truly achieve a scrappy look. So, far so good.

    1. Sometimes I look at the size of the piece, in Lola’s case 8″ x 6″, then wonder why it is taking so long. I am fortunate that it reduces vs. increases stress for me.

  2. The finished block is fabulous! I love the peppers mixed into the more solid reds, it really makes the whole thing sparkle.

    1. You spotted those chili peppers. Good for you, Mary. I can’t remember what spurred me to purchase that fabric originally other than the fun factor. I do think part of the enjoyment of making quilts from scraps is looking over all the many fabrics.

  3. You’re right about the stamina required to make crumb blocks! I enjoy making them but have to work in short sessions. I don’t sort my crumbs (or strings or in-betweens) in any way, but yes, I’ll dig through the box of them if I want specific colours. Love how you’ve used yours!

    1. Margaret, you know me, organized could be my middle name. That being said, I do simply sort my scraps at the end of a project and put them with their like colors. Each color is in its own zipped, clear plastic bag.I was surprised by how much time it took me to organize, piece, trim and build the fabric. Seems I always underestimate the time it takes to make whatever I have planned to work on. Glad you like the outcome.

  4. Lola is coming to life, she looks very expressive. I love to watch the thread painting progress.
    Your red blocks are beautiful, fun fabrics mixed together! Cute cat tracks 😉
    Thank you for sharing!

  5. Thread painting looks like a lot of work and concentration. Pretty red crumbs. I need to do more crumb blocks. I try not to waste fabric, my smallest cut is 1.5″ squares. Smaller pieces than that goes to dog bed fillings at a local shelter.

    1. Yes, thread painting is a lot of work. It definitely took me quite a while to develop my own style and achieve a satisfactory comfort level. It isn’t to different from adding free motion quilting to your tool box. At first it feels daunting. There is a definite learn curve, but that curve is worth climbing.

      It never occurred to me to bring tiny pieces of fabric to animal shelters for dog bed fillings. What a great idea.

Comments are closed.