Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Fabric... Welcome to the Patriotic Quilter where I like to share all things quilty as well as red, white, and blue! Please feel free to look around and enjoy yourself! I would love to hear from you.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Cutting Bee

Hi Everyone,

At the beginning of the year, I, like most of you, looked over everything in my quilting room to decide what I want to work on this year.  For inspiration, I looked through my books.  I have so many books full of projects that I love, but don't seem to ever make!  Kim Diehl, Jo Morton, Edyta Sitar, and other various quilters have so many gorgeous quilts in my favorite style--scrappy.  I decided that this year, I would focus on making some of them.

I chose a few particular patterns that I love and jotted down the requirements.  I added all those requirements together into a list that read a bit like this:

2.5" dark/med squares:  268
2.5" light squares:  256
4" red squares:  16
4"  blue squares:  16
1.5" squares:  765

I began with the contents of my scrap drawer--cutting what I found into the necessary shapes.

Next I got out my containers of strips and cut them into 2.5, 2 and 1.5 inch squares.
Then I got out my fat quarters and began cutting a good quantity of each color.  I started by choosing the smaller bits of fabrics, but I did cut from some of the larger pieces, too.  It was while in the middle of this that I went to Ikea and got the new storage for them.

After what seemed like days of work--because the cutting was mixed up with the reorganization, I ended up with this:

A collection of 3, 3.5, and 4 inch squares.  Also a stack of 1.25 x 3.25 inch bricks.

A container full of 2 inch squares.

An overflowing container of 1.5" squares
And 2 containers full of 2.5" squares!
When I began this cutting bee, I thought I would run to the dollar store to get some containers.  Then I remembered that I have these "disposable" plastic containers that I use every holiday season when I bake cookies.  They sit around, unused, most of the year, so I decided to borrow them for my quilting.  We'll have to see if they make it back to the kitchen for baking next year....
This should be enough to make 4 or 5 of the projects that I've chosen.  I also did the cutting for an upcoming class that I'm taking in early April.  I don't think I've shared on my blog yet, but I'm signed up for a Bonnie Hunter class!!!!!   I'm so excited.  I was crossing my fingers that she would be teaching Jamestown Landing, which I really want to make, but instead, she will be teaching Turkey Tracks (my second choice quilt.)  She did it all in red and neutrals and I will be making mine the same.  So all the pieces I need for that are all cut and I've got a good supply of red "strings" going. 
I also put together a few kits to take with me later this week.  I'm going on a retreat from Thursday to Sunday.  I decided to go with some kits because I tend to make cutting errors if I'm distracted, so I'm trying to minimize that.  Plus, I wanted to limit the sheer quantity of stuff I need to take.  (As if--there is still going to be a huge pile of stuff!)
All in all, it is pretty boring stuff to blog about, but should result in more interesting posts down the road!
Have a great day!


  1. That's a great idea to cut basic shapes for several quilts at once. Good job!

  2. Wow, what a lot of cutting work but a great idea. I think you can get it all done in time to re-use your containers for holiday baking.

  3. Great idea! I see a productive day of chain piecing rkght around the corner!

  4. Love all those bits of fabric waiting their turn to be played with. Oh, you lucky duck!! Every time Bonnie has been 'close' to my area the program is booked before they even release the info. Enjoy your retreat.

  5. Whoa.... lookit all them squares and bricks and things! You done good! Great idea to use the disposable/reusable containers to keep everything together...

    Lucky you... going on a retreat and to a Bonnie Hunter workshop too! I know you'll have a bunch o' fun!

  6. I think what you have done is a good idea too!

  7. Never boring JoAnne!!! What absolutely great organizational tips you have shared that will encourage and inspire us all!! Way to go!!! And I CAN'T wait to see all the progress on all the projects!!

    Have some super fun at the retreat!!

    Blessings and hugs!

  8. That is A LOT of cutting. You are way ahead of the game now so I would say this was time well spent. Congrats on the Bonnie Hunter class...that will be tons of fun! Looking forward to seeing what all those pieces grow into!

  9. I find if projects are cut in advance I'm likely to piece more. Looking forward to seeing your finishes as always.

  10. You were one cutting fool weren't you! :)
    I love seeing empty scrap bins...unfortunately, I haven't seen one lately LOL

    Where do I find the Schnibbles parade?


  11. I have taken a Bonnie Hunter workshop to make Star Struck. She'll be at our guild in Northern Michigan in 2016 ... we cannot wait! You will LOVE her way of teaching and her quilts are wonderful. She is so very personable and "hands on" that you'll feel like you've been friends for years. ENJOY!! It's a wonderful experience! Wish I was going with you ;-) Linda

    BTW ~ GREAT idea on the cutting bee ... food for thought!

  12. Great job getting those scraps cut up. I definitely need to do the same! My scrap bins are overflowing. Have fun at retreat!

  13. That is a lot of cutting! But it should make your sewing go pretty quickly when you want to start on those projects. Have a great time on retreat! Our bee has week long retreats twice a year and they're always so much fun!

  14. How exciting - I don't think this post is at all boring - cutting and getting organized just makes me feel good. And how exciting - a Bonnie Hunter class and a retreat!? Awesome!!

  15. BRILLIANT! Totally brilliant! I just have the smartest friends! ;)
    I find the biggest hurdle for me is the cutting. Once that is done, the piecing is generally the easy part. I started cutting scrappy 2.5 squares for a Bonnie Hunter quilt ages ago and never finished the job...I will definitely get back to that. Enjoy your retreat and your