Ease the pain of letting go by donating your scraps to worthwhile causes. Plus, hear a Q&A with Philippa Naylor.
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Where to Donate Unwanted Fabric Scraps

Joanna Burgarino, the editor of Quilts & More, kicks off the new year with an organization topic -- how to evaluate your scraps, organize them, or donate the ones you won't use. We know scrap control can be tricky, since it's hard to part with your precious fabric! Joanna shares tips for storing your scraps, and then gives options for places that accept scraps to benefit others -- everything from animal shelters to quilt guilds. She even gives some project ideas to use your scraps in.

Back to Basics with Joanna

In keeping with an organizing theme for the start of the new year, Joanna shares a few tips on how to sew efficiently -- especially when it comes to conquering your UFOs (unfinished objects).

  1. Consider reorganizing your sewing room layout to have a "sewing triangle." Basically, the sewing workspace triangle is a room configuration where your cutting area with your rotary cutter and mat, your sewing machine table, and your ironing board form a triangle, so everything is fairly close at hand. If you keep the necessary tools for cutting, piecing, and pressing near each station, you can limit the amount of times you have to get up and the distance you have to walk. It seems like a small thing, but all those seconds add up over time and keep you piecing longer.
  2. Use chain piecing. Chain piecing saves you time, cuts down on thread usage (which also helps your sewing budget), and can help prevent things like nests of thread on the back of your piecing. To chain piece, start sewing your units together and have the next unit ready to go off to the side. When you get to the edge of your first pair, feed the next pair through without breaking the thread. No stopping is necessary!

Reader Tips with Lindsay

Lindsay Mayland shares the best reader tips around sewing room storage. We know January is a big time to get organized, so hopefully these tips help with some common storage problems you may be facing. The readers conquer everything from storing small items like thread and pins to larger items like fabric and works in progress.

We love hearing these  ideas from our readers. If you're interested in submitting your own tip for feature in our magazines or on the podcast, send an email of your tip to APQTips@meredith.com.

Collector's Corner with Jody

Jody Sanders, the editor of American Patchwork & Quilting, shares the history of solids in antique quilts. You may think quilts made with solids are a modern thing, but that isn't the case at all. Maybe the most recognizable are Amish quilts. They began making quilts in the late 1800s developing a style that included geometric shapes being made with solid color fabrics. It wasn't until the late 1960s-1970s that people outside of the Amish communities starting discovering these quilts and bringing them to the broader collecting community.

Every other year The American Quilt Study Group issues a challenge to  members to make new quilts based on vintage quilts. In 2018, the challenge was "200 Years of Solid Color Quilts, Cultural and Regional Distinctions". The challenge was to create a small piece inspired by a vintage quilt made with solids. 47 of those quilts have been published in a book called, 200 Years of Solid Color Quilts, A Quilt Study. There is also a traveling exhibit of the quilts through 2021. You can go here for more information on building the book or for the travel exhibit schedule.

Getting Sewcial

At Quilt Market in October, Doris Brunnette, the editor of Quilt Sampler, had a chat with Philippa Naylor. Philippa is a talented quilter, producing intricately pieced, applique, and whole-cloth quilts that have won prizes in many quilt shows in both the UK and America. She's an author of two books. Quilting In The Limelight is an autobiographical story of life and quilting in Saudi Arabia, while Appliqué Mastery gives instructions to make her award-winning quilt Bird By Bird. She also is a teacher, and just last year launched Quilters' Question Time,  an online teaching library where she teaches a new class each month.

Follow Philippa's Facebook and Instagram to stay in touch.