My Quilt Lab

by Cynthia Concha

  • cynthia concha

Only a few days left of the December blog challenge. (Check out the link below for details on the challenge.) Today's prompt is all about fabric scraps. Here's mine...

I'm sure there are a bunch of quilters out there who have a hard time throwing out fabric. And I'm no exception. What you see above is the current contents of my "keep scraps" bag. I also have a "donate scraps" bag as well that gets donated to a group who uses fabric to stuff pillows for dog and cat beds for local shelters. Very little fabric actually gets thrown away; especially after I learned about how much waste there is the fabric industry. (That's an interesting rabbit hole to go down if you get bored.)

This assortment of scraps will eventually get pressed and sorted, then run through the AccuQuilt cutting system. I trim down fabric to three unfinished sizes: 2.5 inch squares, 4 inch squares, and 2.5 inch strips.

I got the idea to trim down to usable sizes from an episode of The StitchTV show; no longer in production, but you can still find the episodes on YouTube. The idea is, if the scrap fabric is already in usable sizes then they'll be easy to grab for quick projects. And it really has been a big help. I've cranked out a couple quick baby quilts by grabbing a panel and adding blocks around it to fill out the size. And I use the long strips for scrappy binding or making jelly roll rugs.

Someday, I'll actually color sort them as well; and I may need a bigger scrap box but for now, this is what's working for me.

What do you do with your scraps? Need more ideas what you can do with the scrap pile in your quilt lab? Click the link below to see what other quilters are doing!

Until next time, my friends! Gotta get back to the quilt lab!


To see who else is participating in the blog challenge, click here:

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  • cynthia concha

Merry Christmas Eve! This December I'm participating in a daily blog challenge; thought I'd stretch my writing fingers since I didn't have enough to do this final month of the year. (ha!) Check below for the link to find out who else is engaged in this crazy challenge. Time to take some pics...

Zero cleaning and straightening took place before I snapped these pictures, so this is a truly honest snapshot of the state of my workspaces. LOL You can tell I'm in the middle of a project... that's my mom's Yellow Brick Road blocks being squared up. (Read all about it in a previous blog from this month.)

Those four bins in the corner all contain a WIP that I've touched at least once this month. I'm desperately hoping to get at least two more WIPs completed before the end of the year, but time is certainly running out. And of course, the wrapping paper; a tell-tale sign that Christmas is here. I don't think I have anything else to wrap tonight so perhaps that'll be the first item cleaned off the cutting table.

Let's move on to my other spaces...

Ahh, the ironing board.. also know as the catch-all when I have to quickly drop something off in the quilt lab. Most of that pile is a recent addition from my mom. She's cleaning out unused portions of her crafty space and sends the items my way. On the way behind, you can see her LBY on the design wall, and a few blocks ready for pressing on the board as well. Big fan of the Oliso irons ...there's two in this picture; see if you can find both. Love the wool pressing mat too; a new love in my quilt lab arsenal.

And last, but not least, the sewing desk. That's my new machine, the Pfaff Creative Icon. And she's currently in the middle of putting borders on a scrappy diamond quilt with leftovers from my Bonnie Lane quilt. (see pictures of it in former blog post) The pride and joy of my quilt lab in the desk itself though! That desk was made by my great-grandfather; one of his first creations on his path to become a master carpenter.

Well clearly I need to get back to the quilt lab and straighten up this mess. I may have too many experiments percolating at one time, but tis the season, isn't it?!

Until next time!


The 2020 31 Day Blog Challenge hosted by Cheryl Sleboda:

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  • cynthia concha

Today's writing prompt is a bit controversial in the quilt world. Okay, maybe not controversial, but people have strong opinions about their answer. Here's mine...

So I came to quilting via apparel and costume sewing, and typically you want to wash the fabric you use when it's going to be worn. Because no one wants to wash their new favorite skirt or pants only to discover it shrunk. And anyone who has worn a new pair of blue jeans and had blue dyed legs at the end of the day knows that pre-washing your clothing is a good. Prewashing was not only for shrinkage but also color bleed.

Years of prewashing have brainwashed me. Pun intended. But do I always prewash? No. I prewash on a case by case basis. For instance I never wash precuts; it's not feasible. But if I'm doing a blue and white quilt, or a red an white quilt, absolutely, yes I prewash the yardage before I cut and piece. And honestly, color bleed is the biggest reason I prewash. There is still an argument for preventing shrinkage, but cotton nowadays doesn't shrink as much as it used to.

So what do you think? To prewash or not to prewash? Let me know below

But for now, I have things brewing in the quilt lab! Until next time,


The image above was taken by the talented, Antonie Cansino; check him out here:

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