Wednesday, 4 March 2015

From Scraps to Riches


I'd planned a lovely post today - rich with photos of the piles of scraps that I've been hoarding in various different places and containers - and then showing how I'd managed to come close to constraining them.  However, my computer is at the menders (again) and I'm using one that doesn't appear to want to play nicely with Blogger, so photos will have to wait!

I can share the (unillustrated) news that I have LOTS of scraps!  So many that I've decided that this should be the year of the scrap project for me.  I really have to face up to sorting them out properly and using them or giving them away.  What isn't working well is being proud of being organised (I've got labelled plastic drawers, ergo I must be organised) whilst shutting my eyes to the other shoeboxes, piles and folders full of scraps that had accumulated whilst I wasn't concentrating!

I know that storage and use of scraps is a perennial quilting discussion.  I know that everyone has a theory about what would work best.  Organise by colour? organise by shape? Organise by theme? Organise by size?  Organise by destination project?  You may have a favourite, you may have a couple of favourites.  I think that I'm going to try and work through what I have now (mostly organised by size) and then think about changing (perhaps to organising by colour).  Of course, in the ideal world where my ship has come in, I will have someone on hand to organise and iron my scraps for me, and perhaps even to cut them into regular shapes!

So, have any of my scraps turned into riches between last week (me starting to tidy them) and this week (me starting to make a quilt)?  Yes!  Well, almost.  I have made a quilt top using some left over jelly roll strips (probably the easiest scraps to use!) with some larger pieces of background fabric left over from one of last year's quilts and then a second, smaller, quilt top using the left overs from the first quilt.

Not quite finished yet, as I need to raid the drawer for narrow pieces to make lovely scrappy bindings.

I'm also planning to make a scrappy version of this new pattern by Esther Aliu - Heart It.  I was hoping to prepare the pieces and hand sew it, but a couple of hours of hand quilting (nearly two weeks ago!) have shown me that I still can't manage much in the way of hand work, so this will have to become a machined piece too if I want to make progress on it.  I wish that I could find something to do with my hands in the evenings that didn't hurt at the moment - I feel bereft without a little hand sewing on the go!

Now, look away if you don't want to hear a little brag.  I was surprised to find an article by me in a magazine that's out now - not that I hadn't been invited to submit something via SST - my distance learning college, but that I'd dashed it off last summer and not given it another thought since!  The magazine is called 'Be Creative with Workbox' (issue 148).  I can't say that my article adds greatly to the sum of human knowledge but I'm still pleased to see it there.  I only regret that I didn't send a photo of the quilt that I was most proud of making during my course - a wall hanging based on 'radio' - a bit of an oversight!

Time to go an make bindings now!  Fingers crossed that next week I'll be back on my own computer with appropriate photos!


  1. Hi Plum, great post and yes, I completely agree and understand too. Blog posts take a while to do and then there's the photo's to think of and then re-sizing and uploading - it's almost a full time pursuit just talking about WIPs let alone doing them!

    As for scraps, I used to think that I could match them according to design styles: traditional, modern, lines, etc but that somehow never worked out for me. It's such a personal thing, now I find that I keep my fabrics grouped on my shelf by colour and when making a scrappy or patchwork style, I select from colour groups. Then its just a matter of arranging them according to eye. A long process! That said, I've never found a faster way to get the balance right. Although I do love seeing how everyone else does it in the hope of picking up some tips.

  2. I sometimes use blogsy to write posts, but since I got a new iPad it won't accept photos! It's plus is that it spell checks, so if I don't have the PC on I write on blogsy then save as draft and use the old iPad or the phone to add the pics! A bit long winded! If you are searching for scraps I'm sure I can help you out!'!!!

    PS - I saw Lesley yesterday, she sends her love x


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