How many Strips Does it Take? – a cutting guide for the Scrappy Trip Around the World Quilt Along

Last night I got another 6 strip sets all sewn up for my Scrappy Trip Along quilt.

sewn strip sets

I didn’t have a whole lot of sewing time but it was nice to see some more progress.  I’m totally excited to get this top finished.  Especially after seeing Katy’s and Rita’s finished.   And wow! there are a lot of amazing quilts being shown off in our Flickr group and on Instagram (search #scrappytripalong).  There’s now over 300 people in the Flickr group and over 750 photos with that IG hashtag.  Amazing.  Seriously, I think that the amount of people who are excited and involved in this quilt along is awesome.  Just chatting with a few people it seems that these informal types of quilt alongs are just what people need.  I know I get asked several times a week if not daily to have Pink Castle Fabrics sponsor some type of blog hop, or quilt along, or whatever.  I don’t think everything out there needs to be some sort of moneymaker or competition.  Even those of us who sew/sell fabric for a job still got into this gig because we like sewing!  I know I’m not the only one out there who is exhausted and just misses sewing for fun.  Katy and I talked about instigating one new informal quilt along each month this year.  Something simple and quick and stash/scrap busting.  No contest, no deadlines, no strings.  Just pop a tag on your smart phone photo of your progress and oogle at others’ beautiful work.   What do you think?  Are you in?

Since this Scrappy Trip quilt is my favorite quilt right now I think I’m going to make another, possibly as a leaders/enders quilt.  Bonnie K. Hunter, the woman behind the tutorial for the Scrappy Trips, also has a great post about what are leaders and enders and a book, Adventures with Leaders & Enders: Make More Quilts in Less Time! (which I just ordered tonight).  I learned about them from Rossie who has made several quilts using this technique and I’m a little obsessed now that I’ve tried it.  I’ve just been sewing 2.5″ squares together and I now have a bunch of 16 patches for another project.   I will show off more about them soon.  Anyway, I digress, I need to know how many strips to cut up and put in a bin for my next Scrappy Trip quilt once this one is complete.  So, here’s some quick math for all of you (I mean, I already did the work…):

Scrappy Trip Around the World Cutting Guide by Just a Bit Frayed

I’m not sure I’m ready to go Queen…but who knows…

I will have a lot of sewing to show off next week!  I’m going to a quilting retreat this weekend with the Ann Arbor Modern Quilt Guild!  YAY!!


Posted in Tutorial, WIP | 21 Comments

2013 – The Year of the Stash – Use Those Beautiful Fabrics This Year!

For months I’ve been wanting to get back to blogging for myself.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my shop and my job but I have been working too hard and neglecting myself personally.  It’s hard being a small business owner and still taking some time for yourself.  I got into this business for one reason.  I love to quilt.  I wanted better access to all the modern quilting fabric I wanted to buy for myself and more money to buy it.  Long story short, I now own a fabric shop and have an amazing stash.  It’s just that though, a stash.  Fabric that sits on shelves surrounding me in my office while I do business-y things all day long.

Well, not anymore.  I’m publicly claiming that in 2013 I will use my stash.  Lord knows I won’t be able to use all of it but gosh darnnit, I’m going to sew and I’m going to use it.  Let me be clear though, I am NOT on a fabric diet.  I disapprove of Fabric Diets for several reasons:

  1. I own a fabric store and I need people to buy fabric so I can pay my mortgage.
  2. Sometimes you need other fabrics to match what you already have so you can use them.
  3. Sometimes you find fabrics that you want but will go out of print and you won’t want to miss out.

At least for me, limiting myself to never buy fabric squashes my inspiration to create.  So, I have beefed up my Pinterest boards and I am ready to create!

I’m not going to get into the exciting world of HOW to set goals in this post, I feel it will deserve several posts over the month, I’m going to show off my first project to finish up this new year:

Scrappy Trip Around the World Quilt

15 blocks into the Scrappy Trip Along

I started this bad boy a few months ago after seeing the amazing quilt on Pinterest by Patch Andi (click that link and see it!) and Googled and found an amazing tutorial on how to make this quilt here:

Megan over at Lucy and Norman started making one and put it on her Instagram and that was all the inspiration I needed to get mine back out and get it done!  The blocks go together pretty quickly and it’s a great way to use up some of the bigger scraps that I have (most of mine are bigger scraps).   I have a ton of work to catch up on today but hopefully I can get a chance to sew later tonight!  I watched some Netflix TV (Gossip Girl, don’t judge!) and cut up  a lot more strips and I am just itching to sew them.

We started a Flickr Group for everyone to post their own Scrappy Trip Around the World Quilts.  I love to see how quickly they are all getting done and how each one is different.  I’m already planning #2.  Make sure to pop over to Rita’s blog over at Red Pepper Quilts, she is finished with hers and it’s amazing (as usual).  Katy over at I’m a Ginger Monkey will have hers to show off soon.  I just can’t keep up with these ladies!  They are incredible!

Hopefully, you are all inspired to get out your own scraps and make a Scrappy Trip Around the World Quilt.  I’m going to do up some math and cut strips ahead of time for another so I will post it for you all tomorrow.  Make sure to follow me on Instagram – justabitfrayed and use the #scrappytripalong hashtag to link up your photos on IG!

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New Quilt Pattern – Pieces of Nine

Do you ever get an idea of a quilt stuck in your head and you just have to do it?  That happened to me this week.  I had an idea for a new quilt pattern and I couldn’t wait to figure it out.  I love scrappy quilts and being able to use up scraps and I whipped up this little number this week:

Pieces of Nine

Crib Size

I’m going to work on a .PDF pattern for this quilt and some other sizes this month.  Here’s a glamour shot up close for you:

Fun huh?  I really like it.  The colors are nice and bright with the white background.  There are a lot of really good prints in there too.

Other than that I’ve been busy cleaning up the shop this month.  There are about 11 more lines of fabric coming in the next six weeks!  I really have no idea what I’m going to do with them all…you guys will help me by buying them, right???  !!!

SO!  I put 60 more bolts of fabric in the $5/yard SALE for you to snatch up.  This is perfect for quilt backs and wearable muslins 🙂  Just saying…

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Are you Hexy enough? – My English Paper Piecing Travel Kit

Wow!  Have you seen all the awesome English Paper Piecing projects that are out there??

1. Um it’s looking like it will be 24×24. Is that to big for a pillow?, 2. hot damn! finished my PTS pillow!! 😀, 3. spring carnival – quilted, 4. tutorial – hexagon pouch, 5. hexie swap rnd 1.5 – received, 6. my gift to a sister yam! 🙂, 7. Finished!, 8. FWA – Soulsister of Lyrics on Hexies (PTS7), 9. hexy MF template set

I love them.  I think the English Paper Piecing (EPP) looks amazing and I have wanted to start a project for quite some time now.  I have dabbled here and there and made a few hexies to applique on a pouch here and there but I never committed to a full project.  Not a pillow and for sure not a quilt!  Cutting out the papers from my printer and THEN making them into little hexagons took forever.  You have to have 2 pairs of scissors, there’s all these paper scraps and fabric scraps to deal with…I was not hooked.  Then Katy decided to do a quilt along for her amazing Hexy MF quilt (the last one in the mosaic).  I love this quilt!  So, I decided to get myself organized and join the quilt along!

Before I get into the whole shebang about my English Paper Piecing Kit let me talk about why I think making myself a Kit changed my mind about EPP.  Before I was a quilter, I was a knitter.  Those of you who knit know how awesome it is to bring your knitting with you and whip it out when you have some idle time. I knew that I was going to have some idle time this summer and I wanted something to do with my hands.  I wanted something portable and attractive and stand-alone so none of the supplies in the kit were needed for anything else and they would never be missing.  And!  I needed to get the fabric and papers ready to go ahead of time to make it easy to leave and just grab the bag.  It’s totally working for me!  A few simple things made English Paper Piecing fun and enjoyable and easy to whip out and work on.


First thing that I did for this kit is buy precut papers.  Best idea ever.  I bought them from Paper using the 25% off coupon code from Katy’s Blog.  I chose the 1.5″ papers (needed for this quilt) and also got some 1″ papers for the future.  This cut my time in half and I can work on the sewing part which I like best anyway!

Second, I cut all my fabric into squares:


I cut mine to 3.75″ squares for the 1.5″ paper pieces.  Katy also has a template in her shop that you can buy if you want to cut them to exact hexagons.  I’m lazy…so I just baste them as a square.  Having the squares cut and ready to go is a big help.  I was just cutting from a big FQ and that was a mess.

The rest of my kit:

50 weight Aurifil thread – nice and thin to help them lay flat.

Sewline Glue Sitck – I use this instead of a pin to hold the fabric in place while I’m basting.

Quilting Sharps – These are working fine but I’m going to try the Clover Black Gold Needles Katy suggests next time!

Ginger 5″ Scissors – I deserve a nice pair for my kit!  I like this better than those tiny ones in case I need to cut fabric too.


Then I stuck it all in this adorable Octopurse that Daphne sent me!  I love this Melody Miller print!!

There you are!  All ready to pick up and go and make lots of little Hexies!

Next I’m going to pick up Tacha’s new book Hexa-Go-Go: English Paper Piecing 16 Quilt Projects!  I’m hooked!

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Pink Castle Fabrics .com Grand Opening

Whew! What a lot of work putting a website together is. Granted, I’m sure if I wasn’t already running a shop I would have a lot more time to get the website together. Oh, and I can’t take all the credit, my boyfriend Jason really did all the work. But the inventory…lame. So, to celebrate it’s done-ness I am putting on a week-long SALE. Something new on sale every day for a week ending next Sunday. Pretty cool, huh? And I decided to reward those who stock up with Free shipping over $50 for US and reduced shipping Internationally.

Click on my little logo to go to the blog and read about it!

Also, make sure you sign up for my new contest Widget to WIN IT!

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Ruby + Vintage Modern + Bliss… aka Ode to Bonnie and Camille

Peek a Boo! It’s me! Lookie what I made:

I can’t tell you how nice it feels to get some sewing time again. My life had been consumed the past few months with all the Flea Market Fancy hubbub. I am happy that I ended up doing a preorder but I’m also happy it’s all over…

Okay, about the quilt! First of all, I love Bonnie and Camille’s Ruby line. The colors are beautiful together. Red and Aqua with some Green and Gray. Very fresh, vintage, but also, modern. I made sure that I kept a Fat Eighth pack from the line right away for a Bee quilt. Then, I see their new line, Vintage Modern pop up on the list of things to order from Moda…and of course I love it! I got some precuts in this week and I opened up a charm pack to check out all the lovely prints right away and I thought….oooohh I think this might match the Ruby. Of course it does. Perfectly. So, I took a simple checkerboard pattern and just sewed 2 charm packs together, 1 Ruby charm pack and 1 Vintage Modern. It’s the perfect amount for a baby size quilt and just 4 charms left over. I added some (so so super soft) flannel from one of Bonnie and Camille’s other lines, Bliss for the backing.

Looks pretty cool, right? I didn’t want to disturb the way the top looked so I decided to try the no binding method. Rita over at Red Pepper Quilts has a very easy tutorial on this method —> Find It Here. Worked like a charm. It was just the look I was going for.

All of Vintage Modern will be in the shop in May. I still have some precuts from both Ruby and Vintage Modern in stock. I think this same quilt made bigger with 2 layer cakes would be awesome (and also easy)!

Hopefully, this trend of getting a little sewing time with continue! I’m always inspired by all the fabrics and Pinterest and blogs; and I miss sewing regularly with my friends. I was happy to get something accomplished at our Ann Arbor Modern Quilt Guild sew in today. I know I have other projects to finish first but this was a nice quick and easy interlude 🙂 And I’m always inspired to sew more when I have a fresh finish!

On a side note: notice the photos look so much nicer with my new Sony NEX-5N camera. I was so tired of my old point and shoot not showing off the hard work I put in. Finally! Leaps and bounds better. Well, I mean, obviously…lol. I’m going to have to re-photograph all my old quilts now.

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Bust Yo Scraps! Winners!

First, I would like to thank everyone again for all the positive support for the Quilt Along. This was a lot of fun. But next time I do a quilt along, I am not scheduling it at the same time as Flea Market Fancy! LOL

Bust Yo Scraps! chose me some winners!

#6 Meg’s Scraps Busted
Congrats Meg! You win a $50 Pink Castle Fabrics Gift Certificate 🙂

and #2 and #5
Jen and Dana! You win $35 Pink Castle Fabrics Gift Certificates!

Thanks again!

Pink Castle Fabrics
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