Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Coins Back

I've been playing around with making a quilt back this week--to the point that it wasn't play anymore. But it's done! I was thinking of using yardage of one of the prints from the front of the Deconstructed Coins quilt to make the back, but then I considered how much that would cost and how much solid fabric I had left from the front of the quilt, and thriftiness won out. I decided to cobble together the solids. That's been kind of my thing for quilts, anyway, and I've usually enjoyed it. 

The first thing I did was even up the edges of all of my leftovers to make rectangles. I had run out of a few of the colors and had very little left of others, so the variety was kind of lacking. Depending on how much fabric I had left, I cut most of the pieces into two or four smaller rectangles so that I could distribute colors better. I really wanted to cut smaller pieces, but then I'd lose more fabric to seam allowance. First, I laid out the pieces on top of the quilt top to get an idea of how they might fit. My idea was to separate columns of colored blocks with narrow strips of Kona Silver (my biggest piece of leftover--15 by maybe 90 or so inches).

No matter how I laid them, I couldn't quite make it work. There wasn't quite enough of either colored blocks or the silver, even supplementing with some pieces from my stash that were close enough to blend in to with the other colors of the top. 

Next, I arranged the pieces in a more horizontal fashion with the largest piece across the middle. That seemed to work better, although I wasn't sold on the wide strip. 

 After playing working some more with my fabric pieces and taking pictures in grayscale, I came up with this:
(This is actually after I sewed most of it together)
And here it is in color:

Getting to this point was quite a challenge. I had to decide whether to lay pieces vertically or horizontally to have enough fabric in each direction to cover and overhang the top for quilting. I wasn't planning to line the pieces up so that the seams matched up, but that ended up being the easiest way to arrange them. I did add a bit of medium pink to the ends of the silver strip in the middle, and I like how it keeps that strip from taking over completely. This backing looks pretty planned for an improv back. If you look closely, you'll see that if you were to cut it in half diagonally, it would be two identical triangles. But I did not measure and plan the sizes of the blocks--I just let what I had left guide me to cut them into the rectangles, folding them in half or quarters to figure out where the cuts should be. When piecing I had to make more cuts to even up fabric after sewing pairs of blocks together. The sewing was a snap after I figured out the block placement. For me, the best way to distribute the fabrics was to use the grayscale photo--that was more reliable than my eye to determine what colors looked best next to each other. 

Looking back, it would have been much easier to pay to buy backing fabric, but learning how to make what I had work seems to have been a worthwhile challenge--and it pretty much used up all the fabric I had pulled for the quilt plus a little more.

Here's one more picture of the quilt top, just because I love to look at it (and I hope you do , too.) 


It's supposed to be really hot here the next few days. I think pressing and basting will be done in the basement where it's nice and cool. Then, on to the quilting. After that, there will be only one WIP to work on! Let's see if I get to it or give in to the idea I have for another quilt.

I'm linking up with Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Bee Social this week, and Ad Hoc Improv Quilters next week. Keep quilting! 

Friday, July 14, 2017

Quilt Finish and Top

A finish and a half today. First up: the Painted Daisy Quilt, or as I've also referred to it, Big Stitch Project. I wasn't sure if I was done, but some helpful comments on my last post said I was. Thank you. I never know when to quit. I still need to find a UV resisting spray for it so I can hang it on my front door for the rest of the summer, but here it is:

And the back:
The back and binding are from scraps.

Here are the details:
Pattern Daisy from Ruth B McDowell's book Pieced Flowers
Size Block:12 1/4 by 10 1/4 inches (width/height)
         Quilt: 18 1/2 by 17 1/4 inches (height/width)
Fabric Mostly BasicGray Grunge by Moda. I'm sorry, I didn't keep track of the color names. Thanks to Jayne at Twiggy and Opal, I will now try to keep track by taking pictures of bolt ends when I'm shopping. The flower center and binding are Free Spirit Joel Dewberry True Colors Woodgrain (that's a mouthful, isn't it?)
Batting Scrap. Your guess is as good as mine. 
Quilting Big Stitch (1/4-inch stitches) with DMC embroidery thread (four strands) in various colors. Cross hatching is at 1-inch intervals. I didn't use a hoop. If I did this again, I probably would to keep it smoother. I found that I still prefer tiny-stitch quilting, so I'm mulling over another quilt top to use that technique. After all, now that this is done, I need something else for a take-along project.
Binding Cut 3 inches wide and then folded in half for a 1/2-inch finished width. I wanted the binding to stand out well against the door, and I'm happy with how it turned out.  I used to use this width all the time when I learned to quilt. I might use it again, especially on quilts without borders (most of them these days). I know that it's popular to use narrow bindings, but I tend to stretch them too much (I think that's the problem), and they end up wavy. This is nice and flat, with much better corners than when I use narrow bindings. If I use it on quilts again, I'll have to remember to cut my backing and batting wider than the quilt top so that I don't cut off points. That wasn't an issue with this one.

Here are a few more pictures, then I'll show you the half-finish.
I did the hand sewing part of the binding at an outdoor summer carillon concert at our local university. The music agreed with me--I got 3/4 of the binding on. I'm not usually that fast. Those concerts are such fun. People spread out with picnic suppers on the lawn under the hundreds-of-years-old trees. It's a casual affair. This week there were crows, cicadas and a distant drum line (summer camp on campus) to accompany the carillon. Such a fun part of our summer.


Ah, and here's the half finish for the week. I got the top of the Deconstructed Coins quilt done. Yippee!!
I didn't spend a lot of time balancing colors, and it's not pressed or de-threaded, but it's done! After some dithering, I decided that instead of buying a piece of printed fabric for the back, I'm going to cobble together the leftover solids. It's more work but saves a lot of money and uses a good chunk of stash. And, let's face it, it's me. I did order a bit more Kona Prussian for the binding. I was going to go with a lighter color, but I feel like that border needs to be contained. I hope I like it. I already have a plan for simple wavy lines for the quilting. Hopefully, I'll have a true finish to share in the not-to-distant future. 

If you want to see previous posts of both of these quilts, click on the Painted Daisy and Deconstructed Coins labels on the sidebar or at the bottom of this post. 

I'm linking up today with Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish It Up Friday and with JANDA Bend Quilts for TGIFF. I hope you are having fun with your finishes and half-finishes!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Summer Stitching

I have banished the squirrels and am back to my current projects. There are lots of fun non-sewing things to do in summer, but I made a surprising amount of progress in a short time on my Deconstructed Coins quilt. I made sashing rows and joined them with the coin rows this week.

My plan was to add one more sashing row to the top and the bottom. But that will make the quilt an awkward almost-but-not-quite square. So I'm thinking now of adding a narrow dark blue strip to each end and then put sashing down the sides as well: the same three patterns of three stripes with a tiny rectangle, two stripes, and squares. It doesn't seem like a lot to do, but really, it's almost as many sashing pieces as I've already made. Oh, well, the fabric supply doesn't seem to have diminished much except the aqua. I'll just keep sprinkling that in. 

So here's the basic plan, minus the details:

Meanwhile, I've been having fun with the big stitch quilting on my little door quilt. And I mean BIG stitch. I figured that since my usual hand quilting is with tiny stitches, I had to make it really different. So these stitches are about a quarter inch--maybe even a smidge more. It's a relaxing take-along project, or deck project, or sit and watch TV project, but I think I prefer tiny quilting stitches. And I'm having trouble deciding if I'm finished. Does it need more? More lines in the petals? More lines in the crosshatching? I don't know. So I think I'll do the binding next and then decide. It might just be time to hang it up and be done. Of course, then I'll have to piece another little something because I'll be out of take-along projects for the rest of the summer and fall. What a problem to have, huh? (I won't call that a squirrel because take-along projects are essential.)

So, what else besides summer stitching? Yesterday we celebrated Independence Day with a lovely rails-to-trails bike ride between two towns a little northwest of where we live. It was a gorgeous ride--much of it through a recreation area where there are no roads to cross. It alternated between well-packed crushed limestone and asphalt, so an easy ride. Both towns have old rail stations. One has been turned into a hair salon. The other is a museum run by the town's historical society. The museum was closed when we parked our car there at the beginning of the ride, but by the time we got back it was opening. The members of the historical society were eager to take us on a tour to share the station's story as well as all the local items they have collected over the years. And at the end, there was ice cream!! What a fun way to end our ride. I love tiny towns and exploring their history. 

Here are some pictures of our ride:
Lots of bridges and views of the river that meanders near the trail. 
And tiny details we saw along the way:

And the train stations:
The station on the top left is the one that is now a hair salon. I peeked in the window. It looks pretty much as it probably always did inside--except for simple cabinets with salon chairs. I'm glad they haven't modernized it. Glary picture through the glass, but look at that floor. Hexie inspiration, anyone?

The caboose was parked at the station turned historical museum. Look, a barn caboose quilt!


Railroad Crossing block, of course! It turns out there is a barn quilt trail in the three counties nearby. I had no idea, but the historical society had a brochure with a map to find them. (Of course!)

I'm linking up today with Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Bee Social. Happy summer quilting, everyone, if you live in my hemisphere, and cozy winter quilting for the rest of you! 


Friday, June 30, 2017

Sew-along Finish

A few months ago, Bernie of Needle and Foot announced a fun little summer activity--a sew-along to make a top. Yes, garment sewing! I know. I'm a quilter. Why would I want to sew a top? But I was all in. You see, before I was a quilter, I was a garment maker--as in, I made almost all of my own clothing. I learned to sew on my mother's Singer featherweight (now mine) during the summer between 7th and 8th grade--exactly 50 years ago. We were living in graduate student housing at Syracuse University in New York that summer while my dad was attending a math institute (or maybe it was early computing). Anyway, it was the perfect time to learn a new skill, and I loved it. I caught on pretty quickly to machine sewing, although I hated finishing work. When it was time to hem something, a garment could hang for several weeks before I got around to doing it. 

For the next five years, and then during summers when I was in college, the basement of our home was my domain for sewing projects. I would work late into the night--too late, really, working far beyond the time I should have quit. Almost always at some point I would run into trouble, and I was sure I had ruined everything. My mom would have to bail me out. It wasn't the sewing so much, but getting things to fit right. I never took classes to learn to alter patterns. That would have helped, I'm sure. But I was hooked on making my own clothing despite the challenges. When I went to college, I was assigned a roommate who also sewed. We both arrived with our machines, patterns and fabric. How neat that the housing office recognized this as a good match. She was a better seamstress than I, helping me through the rough spots with lots of tips and encouraging me to try patterns I would have otherwise shied away from. 

I kept on sewing clothing for several years after college--until I discovered quilting and realized that what I made didn't have to fit (except in a general way). I don't remember exactly when I finally quit making clothing for myself. Probably around the mid-80's. But in recent years, I've been intrigued by the apparent comeback of home garment construction. So, as I said, when the opportunity to sew along with Bernie came up, I was all in. 

I'll share one picture of what I made and then tell you a bit about my journey back into garment sewing and add a few more photos.

Doesn't that look comfy for summer? It is. I'm wearing it right now--it's supposed to be 85 degrees and humid today. Perfect.

Here's the pattern:

The sew-along was to make View C, but I decided to make View A (the yellow one) without the long hemline in back. I loved all those tucks! My first dilemma came on immediately. The pattern came in two different sets--one size XSmall to Medium and one size Large to XXLarge. Which size pattern was I? When I took my measurements (actual ones, not fantasy), my size fit most closely with Large (and if waist was considered, XLarge). Bernie mentioned that the pattern was roomy, so I decided to ignore the measurements, cross my fingers and go with Medium instead. Memories came flooding back. Even though I was toothpick sized and shaped when I was a teenager, patterns never fit quite right. Armholes were always too small and waistlines too tight. Was this pattern going to work? 

My fabric was a dream to cut and sew. It's Gossamer Wire Flowers in Twig by Sharon Holland for Art Gallery Fabrics. I bought it from Bernie, of course, through her etsy shop. My thinking was that if the top didn't work out, I could cut it up and quilt with the fabric. See, there is a quilt connection here. I even bought a little extra fabric for a future quilt. Looking back, a darker color might have been a little better for my skin tone, but I really like how the color works with both jeans and black yoga pants--pretty much my whole wardrobe. 

The first thing I noticed when laying out the pattern was the durability of the tissue paper. There seems to be a bit of a shiny coating on one side now that probably makes it stronger. It did slide around a bit, but I tamed it with lots of pins. Printed directions seemed to be smaller than I remember on the pieces. Oh wait, that's probably me. Aging eyes. There were fewer markings than I recalled for tailor's tacks, but I did make some of my own to mark fold lines just because I didn't have a marker handy. 

Thinking to save myself some time (as well as fabric for future sewing projects), I eliminated a seam down the back by overhanging the pattern.

Bernie talked us through the pattern, a little at a time, allowing a few days for each step. This relaxed pace was just right for me. No late night trying to obsessively sew it all at one time. First, I sewed the tucks and admired them. 

Next, it was time to check the fit and sew the side and shoulder seams. I pinned everything together and tried it on. Uh oh. The top was voluminous on me. I mean, it was a tent! All the memories fits about fit resurfaced. Looking back at the pattern picture, I could see it was meant to be flowy, and that was fine with me (most of my T-shirts are swing tops, which I love), but this was just really wide. I tried pinning the sides narrower, but it didn't help. So I did what I have always done when fit is a problem. I fiddled. First, I lengthened the tucks five inches--all the way down to my waistline to take up some of the excess fabric. 

And at the end of each one, I sewed a little diagonal line to keep the tucks flat. 

Next, I recut the shoulder seam and the back neck edge, along the size Small cutting line. I'm not sure why this helped, but I remember having to do that sometimes even with ready-to-wear clothing. 

After sewing the sides and shoulders with french seams (thanks, Bernie, that is a wonderful way to finish them), I attached the bindings (so fun, just like with quilting). I used the size Medium measurements for the bindings, which worked fine. I did recut the armholes a bit at the bottom to compensate for the amount I had taken them up when I redid the shoulders. 

Well, after all that, I tried on the top, and with all the fiddling I had done on the front, the back didn't feel quite right to me. It still felt wide. I have a large waistline, but I carry the weight all in the front. I tried adding ribbon ties to the sides to tie in the back and gather it up, but I didn't care for it. So I did one more tweak. Actually, five. I made darts in the back about 12 1/2 inches long. I started by marking a fold down the middle of the back. (Remember the seam I eliminated at the beginning? Ha. Now there are lots of seams.) Then I added two on each side of it about 2 3/8 inch away. The spacing wasn't really planned. That's just how far the second fold ended up, so I used that as a guide. I sewed the darts about 1/2 inch deep in the middle, tapering them to nothing at each end using my trusty sewing manual to help me remember how to do that. (It was a high school graduation present.)
 Here's how the darts look:

The last step (well, almost the last step for me) was the hem. Remember I said I used to put that step off? Well, I couldn't because, you know, sew-along. Time was ticking. But this is what is so neat. This hem was a narrow hem. All by machine, I'm not sure if I've done one of those before. So easy! No need to procrastinate. 

And then, I can't believe I did this. I took in the side seams even more to nip them in and give some final definition. I needed to be careful because the top needed to be roomy enough to slip my arm through and then over my head. I have the little issue of not being able to lift my left arm over my head due to a wonky rotator cuff, but it worked.

So do you want to see? Here it is!


And the back:

I'm so glad I participated in this sew along. Bernie's directions were detailed and her pacing was perfect. My top didn't turn out as I first envisioned it. I still had the same fits over fit that I had as a teenager (even with 50 more years sewing experience and nearly 50 more pounds than when I sewed those first garments). But it's still roomy and comfortable, and I love the tucks. The extended shoulder is just long enough to hide most of my scars from surgery but short enough to be almost sleeveless. Would I make a garment again? Well maybe. This one anyway. I'm still unsure about pattern sizes. It would seem that I'm about four different sizes. If I ever got serious about garment construction again, I think a dressmaker's form would be really helpful. But I made lots of notes so I could make this one again using different cutting lines. Perhaps a thinner more flowy fabric would have worked better for me, but I have to say the Art Gallery fabric is soft and smooth (not at all wrinkly even after wearing) and so cool and comfy that I'm glad I used it. I'm eager to see the finishes of the other sew-along participants and to read about their experiences. I think it's neat that I tried this exactly 50 years after I made my first outfit. It was a fun (sometimes frustrating, but that was historically typical for me) way to go down memory lane. And it showed me that what attracted me to sewing all those years ago--the details--still grabs me. 

Thank you, Bernie, for encouraging us to give garment sewing a try. I think I'll probably just stick to quilting though. No fit needed. Now that I've done this little sew-along, maybe it's time to consider a quilt-along?


I'm linking up today with Bernie at Needle and Foot. Of course! Do go there and see the finishes of other sew-alongers and maybe consider participating in the sew-along yourself. All the posts are up from the last few weeks. And please don't be deterred by my experience with my wonky sizing. I'm also linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it up Friday (because it's a finish, for sure, and if I get tired of wearing the top, it just might end up in a quilt someday!)

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Grunge Quilt

You probably noticed that it seemed like I wasn't making much lately. That's because there was a bit of secret sewing going on. At the end of May a giant squirrel rose up in front of me in the form of the realization that my brother and sister-in-law were having an anniversary in June. An anniversary ending in zero. What to give them to celebrate that milestone? Well, of course, a quilt!! I had made them some tiny wall hangings over the years, but I hadn't made them anything bigger since the baby quilts for their girls in the 80's. Could I make a quilt in less than 3 weeks? Well, sure! If I didn't do anything else, like clean or cook, or--wait, I don't do much of those things anyway.

Now that my brother and sister-in-law have the quilt, I can share it. Let's look at some photos and then I'll tell you more. 
Helpful Hubby holding quilt. It was too long for the usual fence shot.


I knew that I needed to make a simple pattern due to the short time. I also knew what their living room furniture looked like and had some photos of family gatherings that seemed pretty true to color. They have a dark blue couch, golden yellow chairs and some red accents. Using my Quiltography app, I colored in the courthouse steps block in two different ways, going for a bold, kind of modern design. For the first time, I also used the yardage calculator on the app instead of trying to plan the yardage myself.

I went to the closest fabric store to see what I could find that would work. I was thinking solids to continue the scheme of the living room, but I wanted a little texture and was having a bit of a love affair with Moda Grunge fabric. I found exactly what I wanted in two different blues and a red. There was a yellow that was too light. But here's the neat thing. This store is a half block away from another fabric store, and when they buy fabric, they coordinate so that they have different colors of the same lines. The first store sent me over to the second store, where I found the exact shade of yellow I needed as well as a cream color that had some gray in it to coordinate with another living room chair. It was the easiest fabric search I have ever done. 

Here are the two versions of the block:




My initial plan was to make them 14 inches square but somewhere along the way, I went with 16 inches instead. This was supposed to be a throw quilt--now it's big enough to cover two people. But that's fine for an anniversary quilt, right? I added the lighter blue in random places and alternated the blocks in a 4 by 5 layout. When it came time to choose a back, I decided to go whole cloth instead of my usual piecing. I tried to find a floral or abstract print with all of the colors. I looked in all of the nearby stores and couldn't find anything. I did see a couple of fabrics online that might have worked, but I just wasn't certain--and then there was the whole problem of losing time waiting for the mail. So I went back to the second fabric store and bought the cream Grunge for the back--it was a wide backing, which really saved time. 

Here's a close up to show the quilting. 

Planning it really stumped me. I hadn't done much free-motion quilting since I broke my shoulder last year, but I didn't really want to do the whole quilt with my walking foot. I ended up using the walking foot for three parallel lines on the yellow strips and then did free-motion quilting for the rest of the quilt--meanders in the cream and blue areas, back and forth squiggles in the borders around the middles and free-form flowers in the red squares. I really wanted to do a vine with leaves in the blue parts, but decided that was really pushing it for my arm on a quilt this size. The squiggles and flowers are pretty wonky, but intentionally so. I knew I wouldn't have the greatest control, so doing it in a more folksy style was the solution. I did my usual initials and date in the lower right corner. I used two different thread colors, lighter in the cream and yellow fabrics and gray in the blues and red.








I love how the setting sun shows off the texture of the quilting.




The back ended up much better than I thought it would. I used a very thin cotton batting because I wanted a light weight, scrunched up quilt, especially since it was bigger than I had first planned. My machine was not thrilled with the batting. My needle sounded like a hammer on nails the whole time I was quilting. In addition, I may not have pulled the backing taut when I basted. The combination of unfamiliar batting for machine quilting, lackidaisical basting with an unfamiliar backing (wide back--different thread count?), and less than optimal control with FMQ resulted in some concerning puckers and pleats on the back. (Nevertheless, she persisted!) Aside from running my finger along the underside to check the tension from time to time, I stopped flipping the quilt to check the back because it was too discouraging. I just crossed my fingers hoping that washing would cover a multitude of errors in the end. And you know what? It worked. The puckering and pleating blended in to an acceptable degree, and I advised my brother and sister-in-law that if it shows up more over time, to just rewash and dry the quilt. I do love the scrunchy effect of the batting even though it was hard to quilt. It's just what I was hoping for.






For the binding I chose both the red and the yellow--partly because I only had enough red fabric left to cover a couple of sides. I brought the two colors about 8 inches around the corners so that I wouldn't have to splice in right at the corners to make the color change. 


Here are the stats:
Design: Courthouse Steps, with Quiltography app used to help plan and figure yardage.
Fabric: Moda Basic Grey Grunge in Peacoat, Regatta, Red (I think it is Rocacco), Elafin (yellow) and Creme. The Creme was wide back.
Binding: Rocacco and Elafin cut to 2 1/4 inches and folded. Machine and hand applied.
Threads: Superior Masterpiece in Granite for piecing, Superior King Tut in White Linen and Silver Bullet. Superior Treasure in Old Lace for hand sewing on binding.
Batting: Mountain Mist Cream Rose, cotton
Size: Blocks--16 inches square with 2 1/2 inch cut strips (finishing 2 inches wide) and 4 1/2 (4) inch centers.
Quilt: 64 1/2 by 80 1/2 inches before quilting, aproximately 63 1/4 by 79 inches after quilting, approximately 59 by 75 inches after washing/drying.
Machines: Singer Featherweight for piecing; Singer 115 treadle for quilting

Here are some closing thoughts:
1. Overall, I'm really pleased with the quilt, but I might need to have a stern talk with myself if I am tempted to make an almost twin sized quilt in less than three weeks again, and I would definitely check weather predictions. Not only was I racing an anniversary date, I was also racing to get most of the quilting done before a heat wave set in. (My quilting room is in the least comfortable room in the house, even with air conditioning.) Thankfully, the weather has settled down this week. I won't even complain that I had goosebumps writing this on the deck and had to come inside to warm up. 
2. I love the look and feel of Cream Rose batting. After washing, it is light and scrunchy. I used to use it a lot in hand quilted work. It was a bit much for my machine, though, so I would need to consider that for future projects. Maybe I need to figure out an alternative to topstitch needles for quilting with it. 
3. I love the look of Grunge as an alternative to solid fabrics. If I use the wide backing again, I may need to be more vigilante about anchoring it tightly when basting. 
4. I can free motion quilt again if I'm not too picky about consistency in my design. With time, though, I might improve. 
5. I was pleased with the Quiltography app for figuring yardage. It was generous without being over the top, and a real time saver. The app doesn't show how to lay out the fabric, of course, but that's understandable and okay. At least I had reasonable figures for how much fabric to buy.
6. I should probably stop calling this the Grunge Quilt. How about J and J's 40th Anniversary Quilt? That sounds better. But Grunge Quilt is accurate.

Okay one more photo. Here's the quilt in its new home:

I'm linking up this week with Freemotion by the River (Linky Tuesday), Sew Fresh Quilts (Let's Bee Social), Confessions of a Fabric Addict (Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?) and Crazy Mom Quilts. This will probably show up on mmm! quilts (DrEAMi--Drop Everything and Make it) at the end of the month. Buttons for most are on the side bar. 

If you'd like to see what I'm up to in non-quilting, check out my Instagram button on the sidebar. I'm making a blouse! Garment sewing in a summer sew along with Bernie over at Needle and Foot. Fun! And a real trip down memory lane. It's not too late to join!

Now it's time to tell the squirrels to go away. I've chased them a lot the last few months. I need to get back on track with my Deconstructed Coins quilt. Have a wonderful quilty week. 

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Mini Board Storage

Lots of sewing going on here right now, but today I'm going to focus on organization. At the end of my last post, I showed you the neat gift I got from the Academic Quilter to kickstart my improved fabric storage system. Comic book boards! Well, I'm happy to say I've started using them. It's the perfect way to spend a few hours while watching TV (a great activity in the 90-degree heat we've been having). I even ventured out to a local comic book store for more boards. 

Since my storage needs are unique to me--but perhaps similar enough to yours for this to be useful to you--I thought I'd share what I've done. 

I have six drawers of a dresser where I keep my larger-than-scraps fabric. Most of the pieces are fairly small, but there are a few that are large enough to fit on comic book boards, which are about 10 1/2 by 6 3/4 inches. The typical way of using them for storage is with the long side vertical on a shelf. I won't go into the specifics of folding fabric here. You can read about it on this site or many others online. The shelf I want to store them on is only about 8 or 9 inches high. So I folded the fabric to store them with the shorter side vertically. The folding method is the same--I just adjust the folding to accommodate the board in the other direction:

Here's how a few fit on the shelf:

Because my drawers are fairly shallow, I cut the comic book boards in half for storing smaller pieces of fabric. I also bought a supply of plastic coated paper clips to neatly clip the fabric to the board. Those won't rust if the fabric stays in the drawer for an extended time period--likely!
The cut boards are just the right size to fit in my drawers with the short edge vertically. I try to fold the fabric so that raw edges aren't exposed:
Then I fold it onto the mini board in the usual way


and clip it with a paper clip to keep the edge in place.


If the fabric is narrow (such as an eighth yard), just fold it with the raw edges showing and clip the paper clip at the bottom. 
That's a little messy, but preferable to the mishmash I used to have in my drawers.
If the piece of fabric doesn't fit neatly on the board
I declare it a scrap and throw it in my scrap bin. That's new for me since my scraps are usually much smaller. 

So here's what I have so far:

Doesn't that look a lot better than this?
I have folded about one third of a drawer's worth of fabric. 1/18 of the way through. Good summer project. One thing I've noticed though. I'm really getting to know my stash, and these fabrics are OLD!! I'm hoping to get serious this year with some string piecing, so maybe lots of these will get used up. But I also think that some might be on their way (eventually) to a new home somewhere else. If I haven't used them in 30-some years, what are the odds I'll ever use them? Meanwhile, my drawers will be so pretty, I'll just want to admire them. 

This weekend I'm going to start a sew-along project with Bernie over at Needle and Foot. 

I haven't sewn clothing for myself in many, many years, but this blouse looks like a fun project, and I think it's neat that home garment construction is back in style, so here goes. Maybe as I share my progress, I'll share some pictures of things I made years ago. (I can't believe I wore some of them!!) So stay tuned. (I'll probably post about this mostly on Instagram.)

I also have a squirrel I've been working on, but this post is long enough, so I'll share that another time. 

I'm linking up with Sew Fresh Quilts today. Keep quilting! Or, maybe, try a garment. (And if you live anywhere near me, stay cool. I hear a cool-down is coming.)