Do you have filler projects? I know most of us work on more than one quilt at a time, but I mean projects that just fill in the space (or time) in between “real” projects.
For instance, I have a bag of “hexies” in my car in case I get stuck somewhere (no, not at a traffic light – although I have thought of it from time to time) with no escape.
My mother was a wonderful seamstress and made most of our clothes. Because she had a large industrial machine for making canvas bags for a local company, I didn’t learn to use a domestic machine until I joined 4-H. Although it was my neighbor (Arzetta Poole) who taught me how to hand piece and applique, it was my 4-H leader (Lois Dodge) who taught me how to use a machine.
Mrs. Dodge was a true Yankee and a very “tidy” person. I learned right from the start to always run a scrap piece through my machine to save thread and to keep the floor clean! It didn’t take me long to figure out that what I was wasting was time and fabric scraps. So, I started cutting out quilt pieces to leave by my machine and I would run one or two of them through instead of just a scrap piece. Now I call them my “feeder” blocks. Bonnie Hunter calls these “leaders and enders” and has written some wonderful pattern books on the subject.
During the 9 months I was piecing my Dear Jane blocks I made 120 - 3” nine patch blocks as a feeder project. These are now being bound for another potholder quilt and I have a bag of these that I use as filler work.
Since I am using the same background for all the little circle blocks, I load up the hoop with 4 at a time and just cut them apart and bind them after they are quilted.
These are easier than my Dear Jane blocks as the backings are all the same too.
I have a nice tidy box full of things to do when I am too tired to think of anything else!
Currently at my machine, I have 1 ½” squares from my friend Cyndi (Busy Thimble) that I will use as 4 patches in an upcoming quilt.
I really get in a panic if I don’t have one or two feeder projects cut and ready to go.