Piping Hot Experiment Comes Full Circle



Don’t you love it when things come full circle? Just before Christmas, I returned home to find a gift bag hanging on my front door. Inside? A lovely little zippy bag made from my Piping Hot Experiment blocks! Thanks Deb – I love it!

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In case you missed the fun earlier in the fall, here’s the story…


Way back when… (as in years ago!)… Deb gave me a little pile of wonky blocks that were left from one of her projects. And, as is all too common, they sat in my studio for a long, long time.


A few months back, I did a Piping Hot Experiment to check out Susan Cleveland’s Piping Hot Curves method. When I finished, I wasn’t sure what to do with the blocks.

So… I decided to “gift” the blocks back to Deb and let her figure it out. If nothing else, I figured they could take up space in her studio for a while.


Now, I have to say that Deb is much better at keeping the clutter out of her studio than I am! Since there really weren’t enough blocks to make much of a project (only 5), Deb chopped them up into strips and put them back together with yet more piping – then turned them into a nifty little zipper bag. Happy, happy me!

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There’s just one thing that has me worried. A little birdie tells me there is one leftover block from our Piping Hot Experiment. Any suggestions on how I can keep it from showing back up in my studio?

Your Turn

Do you have a creative friend that you “share” your experiments with? A group that does a UFO exchange? Do tell! I’d love to hear your strategies for cleaning out some of the little piles that seem to collect in creative spaces.


  1. Marlene on January 7, 2016 at 10:52 am

    Add on or cut down the block to get a square between 10″ – 12″ and make a quick fabric bowl. Fill it M&M’s or another favorite nibble candy and gift it. It won’t come home. The lucky giftee will keep in filled and handy!

    Scraps are not generally a problem. Left over fabric, blocks, and parts of blocks usually go into the backs of the quilts that created them. Other small pieces are used in mug rugs or raw appliqued onto muslin with decorative stitching and rayon or poly embroidery thread that is nearly empty on spools and bobbins. The “created” fabric is used to make (mostly) totes and bags.

    My problem children are those little projects that keep getting set aside in favor or playing with a new pattern idea and/or lush fabric. This year, I’m trying something new. As I was doing the year-end straightening, I unearthed a big shopping bag I’d acquired in Mexico. I started dropping those little projects in it as I sorted thinking I would find a nice way to pack them away. When I got done, the bag was full and there were three other projects that didn’t quite fit.

    I decided, then and there, no putting away. Complete them ALL, right here, right now before I start my new projects for a new year. The first day, I finished three. Then, one. The next day, half of one. Will see what today brings. But, at least they won’t clutter up the sewing room and I can say I actually completed XXXX projects in 2016.

    • Shelly on January 15, 2016 at 12:58 pm

      Good for you, Marlene! I wish I was as disciplined as you are about UFOs. Unfortunately… NOT!

  2. Joey Long on January 8, 2016 at 9:53 am

    Oh, those colors are scrumptious! Fabulous work, both of you!

    • Shelly on January 15, 2016 at 12:59 pm

      Between purple and lime green, what could go wrong! 😉