Monday, August 24, 2015

Three years later....my new website is here!

You just can't rush greatness. Or in my case, passable okayness. However I am thrilled beyond words to officially announce here on the blog that I am breaking up with my current website (www.evapaigequiltdesigns.com) in favor of a new and improved website experience (www.evapaigequilts.com) that for you features a clean look, easy to access info about my lecture and teaching schedule, and cool new products and for me features a way to update it that doesn't involve balding myself as I try to write code. Yes. Code. Me. There are oh so many reasons that was a disaster.

I'd love to know what you think, if you haven't already told me. Those on my FB page and newsletter already know all about it, but the blog suffers in summer. One more week! Until October, both sites will be live, so you can compare, contrast, and tell me how much better the new one is all you wish.

Anyway, to celebrate, I've been running a YAYNEWSITE sale on the products portion. When I lecture, I bring along all sorts of patterns and kits of my own, but I also like to include a few items for sale that I just couldn't live without for whatever reason, and neither should you. 20% off all purchases over $10 with code YAYNEWSITE through 8/31.

"Finally" doesn't even begin to express the feeling.
You have no idea how happy I am to have that checked off my summer list. Sadly a few other things didn't go as planned, but for the most part it's been okay. Number 8 certainly was accomplished, anyway.

Sigh. I used to have such nice nails before children.

One thing I totally forgot to add to the list was prepping for Teal Mini Swap, which of course takes a lot of time and energy, but the fabulousness of everyone helping to market this year has made the prep so much easier. With a week to go, we have almost the entire map teal! So exciting! If you are in a grey state, please join and help me meet my goal of all 50 states! If you are in a teal, please join and help fight ovarian cancer, which is way more important! The more the merrier - registration form HERE!

We see you, North and South Dakota. We know you have quilters.

With one more week to go before school is back in session, I'm losing my Quilt Vannas. But a second session of photography of "A Snowball's Chance" yesterday I think finally led to something my photo guru chick can use. God willing we are finally days away from the pattern release.

A Snowball's Chance, copyright 2015, pre photo fixer guru.
And as fall approaches, I'm looking at my schedule and hoping I survive the busy, but I can't stress enough how exciting it is to be booked solid for lectures and events this fall. I thank you for trusting your guild's entertainment and quilty inspiration to me for an evening. I'm especially excited to head to Wisconsin in a few weeks to give my "Give it a Scrap Slap" lecture at 10am every day, so if you are a midwestie, I expect to see you there!

Enjoy the final days of summer!







Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Come On and Get Your Teal On

As advertised in the previous post, the Teal Mini Swap is upon us!
Who can resist a fun little gift in the mail, am I right?
Every year I do my darnedest to kick ovarian cancer to the curb and pounce on it with my stiletto thigh high boots. Mr Quilting Hottie wishes. That was supposed to read adorable sandals. But either way, if we make it a little more dead, it's good. If we make it a little more in the public eye through awareness, also really good. If we get a fun gift in the mail too? That's just the trifecta of awesomeness right there.

All the info you could ever need along with the sign up form is all to be found over HERE; just read and scroll and hit the button that says register now and you will be directed exactly what to do. It really is that simple. Along about August 29 I will start mailing out swap partners and the lovely Blank Fabrics focus fabric you are to use in your mini, and then it's all you and your creativity and stamping out ovarian cancer.

Registrations are open and I'm thrilled to report that I already have just about exceeded the number of registrants in all of last year, and we still have 2 weeks to go before they close. My other, sillier goal is always to try to get at least one participant from each state. To me that just seems a great indication that we are getting the word out not only about the swap, but about ovarian cancer awareness. I'm thrilled to say that so far we are at 31 states, and are a long way to turning the map teal!

Looking good! Who knows quilters who hate cancer in AK and HI? There must be some!
So,  are you a sewist? Do you hate ovarian cancer? Do you want to meet new people and get a cool gift? Wait no more....head on over to the Teal Mini Swap group on FB, and if I haven't convinced you to sign up, that group of enthusiastic teal lovers will!





Thursday, July 30, 2015

Teal Mini Swap 2015 - Here's the Deal!

It's almost here...Teal Mini Swap 2015!

It's a new year, a new sponsor, and a bit of a new format - therefore, as you may have noticed, it's got a new name. It's also time to answer, in frequently asked questions format, some of the burning questions you may have regarding this year's "kick ovarian cancer to the curb and run it over with the car" swap and fundraiser, perfect for sewists everywhere.

 What is the Teal Mini Swap?

Teal Mini Swap, formerly known as Two for Teal Mug Rug Swap and OCRF fundraiser, is a way for EvaPaige Quilt Designs to help raise awareness of this ridiculous disease during the months of August and September, which is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. The basic premise is formulated around the What We Know of All Quilters and Sewists Trifecta:

  • They love to sew
  • They like fun gifts in the mail
  • They are mostly women and/or have women in their lives and would like to prevent women from dying from ovarian cancer if at all possible.
Participants are asked to pay a nominal fee when registering. They are then sent the name of their swap partner along with a small piece of the focus fabric, to be used somewhere in the mini quilt they are to make for their partner, which they are responsible for making and sending by 9/30/15.


This year participants can choose to make either a mug rug (up to 10" square) or a mini quilt (up to 18" square). Partners will be matched according to their preference, ie, if you request a mug rug, you'll be matched with someone who also is requesting a mug rug. Same for minis. Just be sure to check the appropriate box on the registration!

What is the focus fabric? What if I hate the focus fabric?
This year's focus fabric, a piece of which will be sent to each participant, will be a lovely tone on tone teal from our sponsor, Blank Fabrics. The exact size of the piece will be determined by the number of participants, but it will be enough to put somewhere in the project. I'm sure you will love it. However, if you do hate it, you can always use it on the back. That is totally legal.


I'm thrilled to have Blank as a sponsor this year - they have been a voice from our industry for ovarian cancer awareness for some time now, and I think it is a great partnership!

I'm sure we will all be way inspired!

Why OCRF?
Ovarian Cancer Research Fund is amazing. They've funded over 200 new clinical research grants since 1998. Directly from their website, OCRF researchers are conducting all types of research, including:

  • Developing innovative strategies for early detection
  • Discovering genetic polymorphisms that increase risk for ovarian cancer
  • Understanding the underlying genetics and molecular biology of ovarian cancer
  • Identifying new, better targets for treatment
  • Determining how to super-charge a woman’s immune response to better fight ovarian cancer
  • Deciphering how and why ovarian cancer spreads, and how to stop it
If you've dealt in any way in your life with OC, you know all of these areas are incredibly important in finding ways to kill this thing dead. I receive and read their quarterly newsletters and I am inspired by the accomplishments they are helping to create in this fight. That is why I choose to make them the recipients of the fundraiser.

Why not wait til October and pink it up?
Breast cancer sucks. I hate it as much as anyone else does, and even more than I ever did at this point as each year I seem to know more people my own age fighting the bastard. However, teal is important to me as my mother died of a rogue and awful form of ovarian cancer (as if there could ever be a good and sweet form) in August of 2002, so I've chosen to raise awareness and funds for this cause instead of jumping in the pink piles of fabric in October. I know many other designers and fabric companies will have ample opportunities for us then. This is my contribution to the health of quilters, I'll let them have theirs.

How much will the fundraiser cost me?
The cost for US residents will be the same as last year, $15 per participant. This year I am also opening the fundraiser and swap to Canadian residents, who unfortunately due to higher postage costs will need to pay $18. I will attempt to match Canadians with Canadians and US with US so as to keep postage costs for mailing of your projects fairly even,

How much do you plan to profit from this?
Nothing. Here's the breakdown:

  • $10 from every participant will go directly to OCRF
  • Approximately $3 per participant will go toward postage (higher for Canada)
  • Approximately $2 per participant will cover miscellaneous expenses such as envelopes, extra fabric, and paypal fees
As much as I wish I could absorb all of those extra costs, EPQD is not rich. At. All. I've learned the hard way that I can't give stuff away or expect to work at a loss most of the time with my events. So I have no choice but to pass those costs on and hope you all understand.

Okay. I'm convinced you aren't trying to get rich off a cause. When can I sign up?
Sign ups will be open via a PayPal link, available on the sidebar of this blog, starting August 10 and will stay open until August 29.

Great. Then what?
The timeline will be as follows:
August 10-29, signups
August 30-31, I prep the packets for mailing on September 2
September 2, I mail packets and make donation to OCRF
September 3 - 5, race to your mailbox to get your packets
September 5- 30, create your mug rug for your partner and mail it off
September 5-30, watch your own mail for your own mug rug!
Whenever you receive your mug rug, post a photo of it to the Facebook Open Group. 
That way we can all admire it!

This all sounds fantastic. But how am I supposed to remember to sign up?
 Put an alert on your phone. Or you could go all old school and write it on your calendar, your hand, or put a note on the fridge. Better yet, check out the Facebook Open Group now as all the details and announcements will be available there the second I think of them.

If you see this image, you landed in the right place.

I hope that answers most of the questions. Any more can be directed to me at evapaigequilts@charter.net. Let's turn our studios teal in September!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Whole "Quilting Makes the Quilt" Thing

Quilting makes the quilt. In the case of the quilt I finished binding yesterday after a marathon week of quilting it in pebbles and tiny lines, quilting also makes one run screaming to the chiropractor for an adjustment.

If you've been following the progress of The Great Pebble Undertaking of 2015 on my EPQD facebook page or Instagram feed (@evapaigequilts), you've been a witness to not only the progress, but also a not-so-rare look into my feelings on my choice of quilting pattern, with captions expressing my horror upon realizing it took me 38 minutes to quilt one triangle section, admissions that I fortified myself with chocolate covered almonds to keep going, and hashtags like #bringthecrazy, #stupidpebbles, and #aurifilrocksmyworld. I thank everyone who shouted encouragements at me through every update. It was, next to the almonds, the thing that most kept me going.

So remember this quilt top?

Working title: Big Old Star
 Shown here hanging off the side of the deck as we are wont to do around here, it's quintuple nesting stars in 80" of pure quilting dilemma. Which is why it ended up in the UFO pile for a bit while I contemplated. Then once I decided it was time to start quilting it, I of course had no backing fabric big enough, so it went back to the pile for a week or so. The motto of EvaPaige Quilt Designs has never been "Bringing you new quilt patterns with utmost alacrity in a prolific manner," after all. I didn't adopt such a motto for a reason. Sometimes these things need to marinate. Or they just piss you off. Or you are out of backing. Regardless, the EPQD motto, "Inspired Designs, Relaxed Attitude," could just as easily have been "We'll Get to it Eventually. Relax with Us. Enjoy an Adult Beverage While You Wait."

Once it was time though, I dove in.

And we're sandwiched!
And we're off!
For whatever reason, the quilt, with all of its white background, was screaming for some heavy quilting. I tried to shut it up for a few minutes, but gave up when I saw how cool it was going to look. So despite the fact that three rounds of stars, which were barely 1/8 of the entire quilt, took me over two hours and three bobbins to quilt, I was stuck. And a little bitter toward myself, to be honest.
However, come on. It's looking amazing.

Yummers
So the pebbles filled the white, and in the star points I did wavy/straight lines in a triangular spiral. For thread I used Aurifil 40 wt 2510 "Light Lilac" on the top and 50 wt 2150 "Pumpkin" on the back. Did I notice that the numbers were almost exactly the same until I went to buy more? No. But it confused the heck out of me and I'm glad I had the spools with me or I definitely would have ordered the wrong thing.

The quilting was by now making the quilt. It was killing me to admit it, but it is a true statement. And as one who has ruined more than one quilt with less than stellar quilting, I was loving what I was doing to this one and that made me want to continue all the more, even though my shoulders were killing me and my machine area was getting messier by the second as every time I moved this monstrosity under my Janome 6125, it knocked more crap off the table to the floor. I can't wait for school to be out to make my children clean up my mess. Payback is awesome.



Halfway there!

The final pebble section. I may have been shaking with joy.

I also definitely celebrated at lunch that day.
 For the first time in my life, I love the back almost as much as the front. Plus those circles are so circular! Eat your heart out, Mr. Galluci, my fifth grade teacher who liked to amaze us by drawing perfect circles on the blackboard. I challenge you to a circle contest any day.
Love love love.
 
Isn't it cool how the circles make those white areas of the back look like carnations? I totally planned that.
By now you realize I am teetering on the edge of the deadly sin of pride. We're just going to go all the way into the abyss, so stop reading if you just can't take it.

For the 8" borders, I switched feet and did straight lines about 3/4" wide, about the same size as the pebbles, but much quicker.

And then, joy of joys, it was time to trim the excess! I pretty much was in an ecstatic state of glee and am lucky I didn't slice off a finger in my joy.
YES!
 I had my concerns about switching to straight lines from pebbles, but overall, I think it worked. Plus it was done, so I no longer cared.
Works for me. Done is better.
 Love this fabric I chose for the binding. It, like the blue part of the backing, is a Riley Blake print, although this one, being newer, is actually available.
 Then came the fun of adding the binding, and an epic display on my part of the Stupid Quilter Trick of managing to get the binding seam right at the corner the quilt. Because I did it not just once...
first corner
 Not just twice.....
second corner

But THREE TIMES IN A ROW!
Third corner
I win.

I did love that posting a photo of the first corner on my facebook page garnered a ton of reaction, both from the masses who do this all the time too to the superior among us who test it out first to make sure it doesn't happen to them. As I said to one of my friends who falls into the latter category, but then what would I have to complain about?

Which brings us all to the reveal of the completed quilt. While it is much more evident in person, I hope you can see a bit how the quilting of this thing, despite the fact that it took several years off my life, used up over 1000m of top thread and 25 bobbins, and generally drove me up a tree on multiple occasions, resulted in a really cool looking finished product, so much better than the top we started with. Plus it's so stiff with thread it could practically stand on its own, which could come in handy at lectures. I do pity the helpers who will be holding this sucker up when I give my "Give it a Scrap Slap" lecture - I hope they have their Wheaties that morning!

You are sick of me, but I really really love it.

I'm going to be needing some pattern testers in July to make me a top and let me know if my directions make sense, so if you are interested, let me know. I will NOT be requiring you to quilt it in pebbles, straight lines, or at all. Cross my heart.





Monday, June 8, 2015

The Color Game, 2015 Style

True confession: I was a weird kid. Most would argue I'm still a little weird, but these days we can attribute it to the latent creative streak I never knew was there as a kid that has come out in my passion for creating with fabric. And also just to me being a dork. That's cool. The most interesting people in the world aren't only those who drink Dos Equis, they are also the makers and artists and I'm so happy my weirdness morphed into a member of that club.

But back to 1979 weird for a moment, I bring you The Color Game, which my friend Keri and I played to excess every time we got together. We'd pick a color, grab a pen and paper each, and go all through the house, writing down every single thing we found in each room that was that color, and then compare notes and see who had the most items. Now and then there was a heated discussion regarding chartreuse vs lime or tangerine vs peach, but overall it was all good clean fun.

You want to party with us, don't you? 
 
This weekend, Bari J posted a challenge on her IG feed called #BariJColor. Or maybe it's not a challenge, just a hashtag. I have no idea. I really am not a big IG user, but I heard about it in one of my designers groups, and I loved her photo of her pink-spiration board.


 She challenged us all to participate, drawing inspiration from the colors around us in every day life any way we wanted to, which is of course something quilters are pretty adept at doing, but it never loses its fun. I was drawn to her collage because it reminded me so much of the Color Game circa 1979, so I grabbed the closest pretty thing I could find, in my case a bottle of dark periwinkle nail polish Paige had been using without permission in the living room, and took off to the far corners of the house to find inspiring objects d'art.

Blue-spiration
So what inspired me? Clockwise from top left:

Binding tools, stack of 8: I just got these in a Checker order, and last time I ordered them they were clear. This time they were blue, and when placed in a stack were almost the same color as the nail polish.

Eva's Converse Sneaker: I have no clue what she is wearing at school today as she wears these daily, just like every other 12 year old girl. She's very proud that she's the only one in 6th grade with periwinkle Converse, so don't you wish you knew her bad self?

Spiller flower taken from container pot: Much like being cool before my time and inventing The Color Game at age 9, I also was doing the whole "Thriller/Filler/Spiller" thing with my container pots before it was a thing with a name. I have no idea what these flowers are, but apparently the gardening world would call them a spiller. I just call them pretty.

Granite necklace weighing 25 tons: I love this necklace and wear it often. It even showed up in one of my very first blog posts. It's a hunk of blue granite, weighs a ton, and gets me comments and compliments every time I wear it.

Binding leftover on spool: A couple of blog posts ago we touched upon my penchant for rolling the leftover bindings I always end up with because I make my bindings 46 feet long on an empty thread spool. Here's one I freed from the mason jar where all the binding leftovers live.

Polka dot fabrics: One I bought early this year, one I just bought on Friday. The year of the polka dot continues.

Clover iron on jewels: I love these things for little bursts of sparkle when I don't feel like getting my Jewel - it out. Yes, you read that right. There are times I don't feel like getting the Jewel - it out.

Threads of all shapes and sizes: We've got an Aurifil 12 weight, a Kreinik metallic braid, a King Tut variegated, and a Wonderfil spaghetti. I don't know when I became a thread snob. However it happened, and I embrace it.

And right in the middle is the nail polish that started it all, just by being left on the coffee table.

Thank you, BariJ, for a fun little Monday morning activity to get the creative juices flowing for the week!






Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Hexi(e)s + Summer = Hexi(e) A La Mode



At long last, I can finally announce that this pattern, the one I started oh maybe eight months ago but it feels like seven years ago, the one I have gnashed teeth, spit nails, and generally banged my head against the wall over, the one nameless for so long I figured at one point I might as well name it FTLOG (For The Love of God) for all the pain and suffering it was causing me.....well, it's done. Cue the fanfare.

I know that description of the fun I had with it makes you want to run right over to Craftsy and purchase a download-it-before-you-can-get-it-in-print version, right? Before I lose you entirely, it's  important for you to know the sources of my frustrations, which were NOT the writing of my directions (so yay!) or the way it fit together (yay!) or the general ease of construction (triple yay!). Oh no. Those are really fine, and were tested by five fabulous women who confirmed it was a good pattern. The problems were all about the cover, and were enough to inspire a new song by Meaghan Trainor if she were a quilter (its all about that cover, 'bout the cover...... it's TROUBLE!). Let's break them down:

Problem 1: Mental block over the name

This was the biggest problem, so we'll list it first. Naming a quilt is hard. But if you've ever named a quilt PATTERN, you know that is a whole other beast with seven extra heads. You have to strike the right tone of generic (ie no mention of colors or specific fabric patterns because you risk swaying users to stick with only those colors or fabrics; no words that might limit the use of the pattern for only one segment of the population, etc.) while appealing to the entire feel of the design itself. Then if you are me, you have to Google the name to see if anyone else has called a quilt pattern something similar, because who needs to compete with Terry Atkinson or Mary Fons? Sometimes a name comes to you before you even start cutting your pieces. Sometimes it takes eight months. Unfortunately, this was one of those times.

It wasn't for lack of trying. I've shown this quilt at my own guild show and tell, at several lectures, and more than once on my EPQD facebook page, asking for name ideas. While I got some that came close, none were really grabbing me enough to make me stand up and yell "YES THAT IS THE NAME!" Which I actually do do most of the time, so excited am I to have a name for a pattern. It may be that this was not the first time I struggled, I won't lie.

So how was this problem solved? Last Friday I just said to heck with it. I went with the best name I had come up with and said some bad words. Done.

Problem 2: Photographic issues for cover quilt

I love including more than one size in my patterns, because with the going average price for a pattern at $10, I want you to get as much for your money as you can. If you only make the pattern once, that is awesome, but it won't be for my lack of trying to convince you that you need to make it in at least two sizes and for every member of your family plus the dog. This also means that I like to show two of the sizes included on the front and back covers, and normally I like to put the larger size on the front cover. It's just my thing. You probably don't care or notice the size on the cover, but now you will.

So I made a twin size version for the cover, all in lovely polka dotty black/white/teal/purple shades with some batiks thrown in, determined to throw it on the cover. Somehow over the years, I had forgotten that b/w prints are a beeyotch to photograph. And by beeyotch, I mean just kill me now.

Photo session #1 - My photo fixer is good, but she isn't a miracle worker on the same plane as God himself, and that's what this one would have taken.
Photo session #2 - While the feet lend to the caterpillar effect (a popular name theme suggestion) it's overall a sad display of photo fail.
 
Photo session #3 - Finally, an overcast day and a borrowed clothesline. Photo chick could have cropped out all the background, but she couldn't have fixed the main problem - the psychedelic polka dot horror.

Photo session #3A - Found a cool rock on my way home from the House of Borrowed Clothesline. Climbed up the rock (top of this quilt is about 12 feet off ground) while wearing my cute new shoes which while adorable are NOT cut out for rock climbing, then climbed all over my car and hung out the door frame while squishing myself in it to get the camera at the right height and angle. The things we go through for a decent photo, but still those dots are killing me.

Cute, yes, hiking/rock climbing worthy, no.
Finally, I gave up. This is the face of defeat and the smushed boobs of the desperate. (Note - "Boob Tube" was also suggested as a name more than once.)



Admitting that I was not ever going to get a photo that did this quilt justice and made for an attractive cover lead me to the next problem:

Problem #3: What DO I put on the cover?

Short of making another twin sized quilt or hiring someone to do it for me, I was not going to have two sizes. But what I did have were five testers, who had made me beautiful tops, one of which was chosen in a viewers choice contest to be on the back cover to illustrate the baby size.


Because I had the pink/green version at the top of this post in hand and quilted, and a photo of Laura Piland's (Her blog is here!) winning teal and brown version all quilted and ready to go, I put an end to the madness. I asked Laura if she minded being a cover girl instead of a back cover girl, to which she replied "excuse me while I go run around the house screaming." So I guess that was okay.

I'm coveting this barn wall or whatever it is, especially after this photo fun I've had.
The final cover is as pictured above, and the pink/green version is on the back cover. Directions still include twin size requirements and layout as well as the baby size, but my life is much happier now that I have decided it is just plain okay to not include a photo of that particular size. After all, most of my scrappy patterns actually have 3 or 4 size options, but I only show two on the covers. So how is this different? I have decided it is not. If you don't agree, I respect that. However this solution is working for me. And since NOTHING about this cover process was working for me for so long, I'm good with my solution.

If you are still here with me, I cannot thank you enough just for sticking around and reading of my plight. My final issue is one you can help me with, and I hope you will:

Please comment - is it Hexi or Hexie? Both are rejected by spell check, so we as quilters must decide. Before I send it to the printer I want to know if I am doing it the proper quilty way!






Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Thread Tail Thread Tales

One of the reasons I love my EPQD facebook community oh so much is I never know what is going to come out of it when I post some random thing. Sometimes I get a few likes, sometimes I get a few comments, sometimes we have some laughs....whatever happens, it's all good.

But then there are the times I post something completely random out of no where on an otherwise boring day, and all of a sudden people I haven't heard from in months or years are weighing in with passion on the quilting topic du jour in a post seen by triple the number of people who normally see my stuff - at least if we believe the numbers according to FB. Yesterday, that topic was the tail end of spools. I know. Riveting stuff indeed!

It all started out innocently enough as I was moving my two new Aurifil collections from their boxes to my thread racks. There is nothing like a nice full thread rack, spools brilliantly gleaming with the hopes of all of the projects yet to be, am I right?



Quilter porn
In the process of sorting my quilting threads (shown above in all their sexy glory), I came upon several sad, deflated, less than studly spools, and was torn. Should I throw them away? Should I be the frugal quilter that I am for the most part and try to use them up? This seemed best dealt with by the crack quilting community of the EPQD page.

I do love me a good screenshot
Within minutes, impassioned responses from both parties, aka the "User Uppers" and the "Tossers," started pouring in. From those who claim to use "every last bit" to those who answered with nothing more than "TOSS!" screaming at me in all caps, it was a bit like a very civil Civil Thread Spool War. I was thoroughly entertained by how a silly photo of what might as well have been my garbage sparked such discussion.

My favorite responses:

From the do as I say not as I do department: "I would toss them as they are nearly empty however I have thread that is older than my 38 year old daughter."

From the I'm just a girl who can't say no (to your face) department: "I happened to be cleaning out and organizing my thread collection when my sister was visiting. She made me keep mine but.........then she went home Toss them! Life is too short and so are those threads!"

From the department of avoiding creating more problems: "Those are tossable. They'll only bounce around in the drawer and tangle."

There were also several ideas given for how to best use up the thread ends, ranging from prepping it for the birds to use as nests (an idea that became very popular with the entire group) to thread basting (yeah, no. 505 spray all the way), to fusing them all together and using them as thread art. My guess is the thread artist is way more creative than I could ever be.

But there were two responses that got me thinking, even as my hand holding the almost empty spools hovered dangerously close to the garbage can:

 "I use up those little odds and ends for piecing scrap quilts, where the color doesn't really show or matter. That's also how I reclaim bobbins that only have a little bit left on them. It makes for slower going, with frequent re-threading, but the frugal Yankee in me finds that to be an acceptable trade-off." 

"If you ever looked at the back of my tops you would know I use every bit. May use 5 or 6 colors to piece some tops."

Okay, I am both a scrap quilter and an open presser. These threads should both blend in no matter what fabric I'm using, and it won't remotely show on the back anyway. Therefore WHAT IS MY EXCUSE? I can use these things up. And so this morning, I did.

SSDD - Same spools different day
Yes, I had to rethread about a million times (or seven, if we are being specific), but it isn't like doing so added hours to my project. While I like piecing with grey or beige, it's okay to mix it up once in a while, and it made for prettier seams. At the end of the sewing session, I had added two sides to these blocks and used up all these spools AND cleared out plenty of room on the racks for the yummy new Aurifil. Win win WINE! - typo but I'm leaving it because come on. This is me. It fits far too well.

You can't tell, but there are about 30 blocks in this pile. So adding two sides to each means those thread ends added up to 60 or seams.
 However, all this gleeful using up of spools still didn't make me feel one bit guilty about tossing some of the really old stuff that probably belonged to my mother, and is older than me, and I'm older than the daughter mentioned above. Plus I got to actually post a photo of my garbage after all.

I think they will be happy there. It's kind of cozy and all.



 So in the end I ignored the sage advice of  my friend Michelle, who obviously was so hung up on this that she was thinking about it constantly and texted her thoughts to me personally, hopefully not while she was driving:

"Did you realize that 10 yards of that Aurifil thread we bought is less than 3 cents? Toss those little bits. Your time is worth much more than what it would take to do anything extra with them."



Maybe, but my 60 seams probably cost me even less than a penny. For a cheapo quilter, that's pure ecstasy.

 And where do all those empty spools end up? I'm amazed by how many extra yards of bindings I always manage to create, and believe it or not I actually do end up using a lot of these little pieces for mug rugs, pillows, edging a shrug my daughter made out of a long sleeve tee the other day, etc. 

So I wrap them up on the spools and imprison them in mason jars.

 So there you go. The great thread debate may rage on, but my solution worked for me.

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