Thursday, December 13, 2012

Organized Leader/Ender project

Working at the college, I have re-discovered how the key to success in life really is self discipline. You can have dreams and goals, but if you don't have the discipline to do the things you need to do, and take the necessary steps, you just can't get where you want to go, or be who you want to be.
How many quilts do you think are in these scrap bags? 
without some quilter's discipline!
Lots of quilters dream of being efficient, using up scraps, and finishing quilts, but we all don't do it. We have inspiring books and blog ideas to help us, but we have to actually DO the work, and we have to NOT DO what sabotages our efforts.
This year I started corralling my scraps in a very sophisticated and organized system called a scrap bucket! 
I put it under my cutting table and when it was filled up, I put the bits and pieces where they need to go - into specific coloured scrap bins (or into a big unorganized bag that I can dig through for just the "right scrap" - yes, that is part of my "storage system" because I like it, even though I know it's not very efficient). 
These are some of my crumb containers organized by colour or other features (like my "Dots collection" etc). I just read a tip this week about using painters tape instead of masking tape, so that the tape doesn't leave a sticky residue when it's removed to relabel the container. I plan to get some of that tape and relabel all my containers.
Some scraps go directly to a specific project box. For example, all scrap batik strips that are big enough are cut into 1.25" strips go into this leader/ender project box. When I get a chance, I cut the strips into the right size pieces and clip the 17 block pieces together, all ready to sew. The finished blocks are also put back in the box and nothing is lost (in theory!).
Here are the 2.25" Alamo Star leader/ender blocks that were stitched while working on Easy Street.
BTW...I just stumbled across a free pattern download for this block, but in a humungous 12.5" size! Click here to go to the Old Red Barn tutorial.
How many blocks will I make? I will just keep making them until I get tired of them, so all I know now is... that hasn't happened yet, so it will be bigger than these 9 plus the 20 blocks I posted last month
Be the quilter you want to be! Get your scraps and projects in order so you can be efficient and productive in 2013!


  1. I really like the quilt you have in the header. I think that I'll try and set a goal of getting not only my sewing room organized in the coming year, but my whole house needs it too. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I so totally agree with this post..I think it takes planning, discipline and real your scrappy system!

  3. Sounds so wonderful to be organized, but the more I organize, the less I can find...maybe I should try the label idea! It's a good one! Lately I try to go sew, but turn right around when I see the mess! Maybe today is the day I will go clean and get a little more organized and then I can get something DONE!! Thank you!

  4. I couldn't agree with you more. I have bins of crumbs and strings saved - more than a lifetime's worth and I keep adding to them regularly. I do need to organize them in some fashion to make them easy to use!

  5. What's the quilt in the header? I know you've shown pictures before, but I've forgotten them.

  6. I love your blocks. I keep my scraps sorted also,, but I have been wanting a spiderweb quilt for a long time.. and when I am not shoveling 2-3 projects at one time I sew on the spiderwebs.. for mindless sewing.I love having things to work on as leader/enders.. before long ya have a few quilts made.

  7. Great post! I love having things in order and do well with some things, now I need to tackle the others. I keep telling myself I need to do a pretend "move" and go through every drawer, every shelf, every closet and purge. Well, except for fabric. That I'll admire and tidy up a bit!

  8. It is always inspiring to see someone else's organization system.
    Those little Alamo stars are too cute--and I love them in batiks!

  9. Thanks for the pep talk! And it's nice to know that you don't just "talk the talk", you also "walk the walk". We all need a kick in the you know what every now and then.

    now, excuse me, while i go and organize my scraps!

  10. Love your organization. I just pretty much wait until my scrap bin is overflowing and then figure out a project! Your blocks look great.:)

  11. This is something on my list to do--get all those precut scraps into an organized by color arrangement. And you are so right about success--it doesn't come without preparation and effort! You're doing great with your different methods. I want to get a bunch of leader-ender projects going too!

  12. I need to get my scraps under control. Thank you for the tips.

  13. Thanks Kathy great advice. I've been wanting to organise my scraps for awhile now. I just need to DO IT!