Weblog and Idea Spot for Quilters

06 January 2017

Quilting in the New Year

It's not even going to be about using up my stash this year.  I doubt I'll even see my stash much.  This year I'll be using up my scraps.  2017, the year of the scrap.  Cue Al Stewart.

There are four lawn and leaf bags FULL of scraps in my closet. Not garbage bags, not shopping bags, lawn and leaf bags. This doesn't even count the scraps Beth gave me.  I used some of those to make a quilt and it hardly made a dent in the poundage.  It doesn't count the scribbles everyone gives me at the end of a retreat either.  You know, the little dog ears and squaring up strings and bobbin knots?  They all go into a shopping bag that hangs off the end of my sewing table during retreat.  When I get home I chop those up and add them to a dog bed liner.  When full, they go to local shelters. 

When I square up a back before loading it onto Terpsichore the oddly asymmetrical strip that gets torn off goes in my scrap bag.  It's usually about 3/4" wide at one end and four threads wide at the other.  Every time I make flying geese blocks the old fashioned way I make two seams and cut between them to make sure the waste triangles are sewn into an hst before it gets tossed onto the scrap pile.  After nearly 40 years of quilting, there are lots of those 1 1/2" tails from a WOF strip that didn't get used when cutting 3" squares.  (4" squares, 5" squares, whatever!)  There are a few fussy cut whatnots from various novelty fabrics.  There are a few whole blocks that got built as extras for some quilt or another that it turned out I didn't need or maybe they were faulty in some way.  There's a collection of 18 gingerbread men blocks - I don't even know where these came from!  But they're squared up into 8 1/2" x 7 3/4" rectangles.  Maybe that's why they're in the scrap bag.

I have a basic plan of attack ready.  I'm going to sort by color.  I'm going to make crazy patched fabric from as much of it as I can stand.  I'm going to cut lots and lots of blue hexagons for a project I've been piddling around with for nearly five years.  I'm going to sew hsts from all the corner trimmings.  I'll be making string quilts, crazy quilts, another scrap vortex quilt, and lots of crumb blocks.  I'm sure I'll even attempt a postage stamp quilt, although there's a fair chance I'll pop an aneurysm before I get it finished.

I've delved into scrap bags maybe a couple dozen times in my life to find something that would work just so.  Most of the time I've been lucky enough to be able to go to the fabric store and buy whatever I wanted or needed.  Only twice have I reached into the scrap bag to build an entire quilt.  The first time was way before the internet, and the second time was for this quilt.

2017 isn't going to be a year full of weekly finishes because scrap quilts take way more time to select fabrics for, cut, and assemble unless you're going for a completely random look.

But I bet when 2017 is over I will have one very small bag of scraps left.

1 comment:

  1. don't forget to take a before and after picture of your scrap bags. Good luck!!


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