Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Maybe It's Just Me, But....

I thought I’d write an entry to let you see what I’ve been working on. First here is a bit of background information. Maybe it's just me, but I have a huge amount of scrap fabric—pieces left from other projects, strips taken from fabric when very little was left, weird florals or colors I wasn’t quite sure what to do with, and novelty/border prints. I had them all stuffed into a Longaberger basket. The basket was near to overflowing, so I thought I should find something to do with the scraps.

My first thought was to organize them. I ended up with stacks of red, purple, pink, yellow/gold, black, white/off-white, blue, orange, and green. I also had lots of scraps that didn’t fit into any of those categories; these I placed into a large (106 quart) plastic Sterilite container. When I finished separating all the pieces, I took a look around; there wasn't a single place to sit in my living room. Every possible seat was covered with "tubs-o-fabric!" It seems the scraps multiplied! How is it possible that scraps that originally fit into this...
(You can kind of tell what size it is in relation to my footstool.)

now take all these containers to hold?
(This covers my entire couch.)
(This takes up my big chair...and did I mention this is a 106 quart container!)

Anyway, I started sewing these scraps into "fabric" I think I might be able to use in some "art" quilts. I believe some people call this process making/using “crumbs.” I have really enjoyed sewing these, because they don’t take a lot of concentration. It is just very peaceful work for me (which I find I still need since Mom died). I put most of what I have done on my design wall (just to see how much progress I had made) and here is what that looks like. (I also have black pieces done, but I didn’t have room to put those up.)
I like the looks of these pieces. Many of them have to be made much larger before they will be usable; but I’m enjoying the process,…and hey, that is what it is all about for me right now!


Laura said...

No, Beth, it's not just you! Don't feel like you're the only one drowning in scraps. They do multiply overnight, I'm not sure how, but I know they can do it. Love the fabric you're creating! You'll be able to make something fantastic with it. Have you ever thought of a string quilt to use scraps up? There is a tutorial on quiltville.com on paper piecing one, they use up the scraps very quickly, plus a bunch of other tutorials for using scraps.

Kathleen Loomis said...

Beth -- I have often found in the past that sewing together small scraps into larger expanses is the perfect remedy for emotional distress. It isn't much in the eternal scheme of things but it does give you a small arena in which you can be in complete control and in which you can have a tangible accomplishment. And besides, what the scraps turn into can often be something special.

The best thing is that while you're sewing (this sort of piecing not requiring a lot of concentration) you can be thinking about your mom.

Have good thoughts.

Julie Ryan said...

I sorted my scraps a couple of years ago and put them into zip lock bags. Yes my stack "grew" too.

It was a very useful exercise though and every so often I find just the right piece to use for applique, particularly for flowers or to make a colourful border or binding.

Quilt or Dye said...

I am like you. Sometimes this mindless sewing is just what I need. And when it turns into beautiful cloth I can then use to make something else, even better!