I was reading recently about Bonnie Hunter. Many of you will know of her as she is a wonderful quilter and teacher, with several books to her name. I've never taken a class from her, or met her, but I read about an idea she uses. Bonnie doesn't use a thread catcher (thread spider, leaders and enders, whatever you call them) at the beginning and ending of her seams when sewing patchwork. Instead, she has a stack of small squares beside her sewing machine. She pairs together two small squares, and sews them as her beginning piece and ending piece. Does this make sense? Then she is left with lots of little two-square pieces, the beginnings of a scrappy quilt.
Here is just one of her many books about quilting with scraps.
So I have been cutting some of my scraps into two-inch squares. When I'm watching tv, or doing something else, I pair two different squares and face them right sides together so they are all ready to use. I have a small drawer divider tray where they can sit nicely next to my sewing machine, within easy reach. The already stitched two-patches get placed in the bigger part of the divider tray.
I actually found some pieced scraps that had been trimmed off something else and I cut a few 2" squares that already consisted of two different fabrics.
This wire drawer divider was holding a few safety pins, and not really being used, so it now sits beside my sewing machine. The two lower stacks are single 2-inch blocks, and the sewn-together ones get put in the upper section of the divider.
I'm not sure how many of these little two-patches I need, but I'll keep gathering them and I'll store them in a bin to go together some day into a larger quilt. Check back on this blog in ten years or so to see if I've finished the quilt top!!