Sunday, 13 January 2008

Scraps are so underappreciated and a Challenge issued

Our guild hosted a rummage sale at the January meeting to help raise some $ for batting. Our outreach project is making quilts for kids taken into care by the local Children's Aid Society. I think we have donated 78 quilts this past year. So we use batting up at a good rate. The guild members were invited to clear up some no longer needed quilty items including fabric, UFO's, books, magazines and whatever. There were great bags of scraps that really were well appreciated , for example Nancy a fellow quilt blogger wrote me a note saying how much she enjoyed the scraps, click here for her blog entry.
This is the segue for my thoughts on scraps. The great number of quilters that I know underappreciate their scraps. It is like tossing your spare change into the wastebin.
Scraps were the main source of many, if not most quilts that built this hobby.
So many of us are wastrels. Myself included. We obsess over the newest designer fabric collections, choosing the perfect colour balance under ideal lighting conditions, and NOT CUTTING into the special fabrics. What reckless extravagance. I am so guilty I know.
I think that we are devaluing the history of quilting patchwork. I would love to create great art pieces and I dream of making awe-inspiring quilts but if we counted all the quilts that have been made over the last 150 years how many were made "for the art of it" compared to those made "for the heart of it".
I know I will not really stop buying fabric, stop coveting fabric or stop saving my special collections altogether but I think I want to respect the scraps more.
I save them, I sort them, I dig through them to make scrappy projects but I want to make more plans for them. I think I will try to learn to become excited by them again.
My scrappy quilt that was made earlier this year felt like it was a free quilt. After digging through my sorted scraps and finding enough pieces to make a whole quilt, the boxes were still as full as before I started. I could make 6 quilt tops if I just worked through these scraps.
I think we should challenge ourselves a bit more, greater than stash busting, to valuing the scraps. All the green eco-friendly living that we all will be aspiring to should help to remind us of expanding our RRR to the sewing machine and design board.
The challenge: if you save scraps, make a project using them and if you do not save scraps, start saving. Let this appeal to your inner designer, thrifty self, eco-warrier self, traditionalist soul, just can't resist a challenge self.
And me... I am going to work on this challenge. Let me know what ideas you come up with. I am a big fan of string piecing and foundation piecing of random scraps. I have particicpated in swaps of these scrappy blocks before. Aren't these pretty...!


  1. I am fascinated by other people's scrappy quilts but have never really made one myself. After reading many blogs, I am finding that scrap quilters, ironically, seem to be the most organized people in the world, diligently sorting their scraps into strips, blocks and colours. So I ask you, how do you sort your scraps?

  2. Amen to all that you have said. I agree wholeheartedly. Issue a real challenge - for the blogging world! Someone could create a button (widget thing) and everyone interested could sign up, and participate. Do you have rules, a deadline, etc? I'll sign up, I'll join your cause for scrap appreciation!

  3. I agree about scraps. I used up a complete bin of mine and make six quilts for Project Linus

  4. I saw a pattern for grocery bags using scraps. There is a great "green" use for them!


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