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Scrap Happy Summer Meet Nedra

Summer is winding down and soon Scrap Happy Summer 2013 will be over.  I’ve appreciated all the wonderful bloggers who have participated.  I have learned so much from them.  I hope you have too.  Our final guest is Nedra from Cactus Needle.  She is a talented quilter with such a sweet personality.  Her blog is one of the first I found when I started blogging.  And imagine my surprise while garage sailing with my parents coming upon Nedra’s garage sale.  It was a double bonus.  Not only did I get to meet her in person; I now own her antique ironing board.  And come to find out my dear friend Gayle, who got me into quilting, is also friends with Nedra. Small world isn’t it?  

Did you know that for the past two years Nedra has had a challenge to use what she on hand.  She said, “It’s been a creative process on several levels, from finding patterns that fit within my goal, to looking at my scraps with a new perspective.”  I bet it has saved her money too.  Don’t know if I could do it.  But Nedra has sure created some lovely quilts following it.  Now for the part you are all waiting for Nedra’s wisdom on scraps.  

What do you consider a scrap? What’s to big/small?

I save just about everything bigger than 1-inch wide.    I now look at those small pieces of fabric for their future use as “color”.I’ve noticed there are two types of scrap quilts. One is more like a Potpourri where any color will do. (See Mumbo Gumbo).

  Fabric is used in terms of “value”,  separating lights from darks.  The other type of Scrap quilt is where that piece of fabric is used for it’s “color”.  For example, a block might be done in bits of blue, or a combination of lights can be used as a strata background. (See Modern Chevron Baby)

Do you prefer big projects or little ones when using your scraps? Or do you use a combo?

I used to mainly focus on making larger quilts, because I had a strong desire to minimize my stash pile.  But now that I work for Triangles On A Roll,  and I’ve been playing with our Sew and Fold papers,  I can see so many fun ways to use smaller bits of fabric in sections on the Tri-Angle papers or for flying geese and braids. 

How do you keep your scraps form taking over your sewing area?

I have boxes near my cutting table where I toss my scraps, separated by color. One thing I have really noticed is how much my taste in fabrics have changed over the years.  I went through my stash and identified a lot of fabrics that were no longer “me” and donated them to my guild.  It felt good knowing they would be used for charity projects, or appreciated by a new owner.  At the price of fabrics, I used to think I had to hold onto everything, even though it sat hidden in boxes. I’ve learned to not be afraid to ‘destash’ even with my scraps. They can be happy in a new loving home!

Any tips you would offer others when using scraps?

Bring them out to play often.  They can get lonely sitting all by themselves, tucked away in a box or bag in the back of a closet.  Scraps Have Feelings Too 🙂 


  • suemac says:

    I think I could create off my stash for quite a while. My problem would be missing out on the new beautiful fabric lines. That would hurt.

  • Brenda says:

    I've been working out of my stash this summer, other than vacation shopping, and it's fun to play with fabrics I love, as well as move some of those not-so-loved out of the cupboard.

  • Nedra says:

    I had forgotten that you bought my old ironing board 🙂 And, I didn't realize you were friends with Gayle, either. I learned new things about you today, too! Thanks so much for the opportunity to participate in your Scrap Happy Summer series!

  • Needled Mom says:

    I love Nedra's blog. She is super talented and does such amazing work.

  • Helen in the UK says:

    This has been a great series – thank you. Love the first quilt pictured. I have done a similar – use only what you have – challenge for myself and I made 20 small quilts for donation. It was really fun 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the inspiration.

    I've been "off" hand projects for some time due to work and budget limitations.

    I'm going to go see what I can find. Pray for my husband's Aloha shirts.


  • John'aLee says:

    Enjoyed the inspiration! Thanks so much!

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