Friday, 22 February 2013

Scrap happy; or, what to do with all those leftovers

It is a truth universally acknowledge that the more sewing one does, the more the scrap pile grows, and so does the need for ever-increasingly large scrap baskets.

Scrapping

Personally, I view scraps as a higher form of stash - a very virtuous form of stash, because they do not speak of grand schemes left undone or projects never got round to - they are evidence of industrious activity, of stash cut into, of potential realised, and thus don't engender that guilt by association which can assail the heartiest souls when gazing into the abyss of stash beyond any human need, stash enough to take the keenest needlewoman into old age and beyond.

A modest proposal
My smallest scraps are rapidly outgrowing the modest basket on the window sill, and those of more robust dimensions jump off the shelf whenever I open the stash cupboard to indulge in a little therapeutic folding (usually when I have some sort of imminent work or study deadline which calls forth the most ingenious forms of displacement activity).

Scrap happy
So I was most enchanted to find a book for the scrap happy when I was spending my Christmas book token.


The title is Sunday Morning Quilts which is evocative enough, but the sub title is Sort, Store, and Use Every Last Bit of Your Treasured Fabrics (note the Oxford comma, for which I have a soft spot). It is by two very talented quilters and bloggers, Amanda Jean Nyberg (Crazy Mom Quilts) and Cheryl Arkison.

Not only does it have the most enticing patterns for quilts made from scraps ...

... almost as good as a slab of cake
... there are sections on how to manage your scraps and even how to increase your stock (just hack into all those hopeful fat quarters, perhaps?) ...

... and more fun than filing paperwork

... not to mention a pattern for colour coded patchwork scrap baskets. I want shelves just like that (well, maybe not the orange, but definitely the red and the blues).


The slab method of making scrap blocks inspired me to make this scrappy potholder - I decided that I wouldn't mind if the Head Chef made it greasy and scorched, because it was so quick to make, and just used up tiny leftovers (and more quilt batting leftovers too, yippee!).

Scrappy or what?

I just made an 8.5in square slab and layered it with similar size squares of quilt wadding, Insul Bright (for reasons of Elfin Safety), and plain backing - although you could make that scrappy, too. I used some leftover premade wide bias binding - and for speed and utility's sake I just zigzagged round the edge to fix the front rather than hand stitch it. Too much of that sort of effort and I would have to forbid the Head Chef from using it, and this is not for display, just for everyday.

So Cheryl and Amanda Jean have quite opened my mind to the whole scrap universe, and made me realize that as long as one dimension is more than 2 x 1/4in for seam allowances, then really very few scraps are too small to keep. This concept has also freed me to throw away the really tinies, which can then be composted and thus recycled another way.

Oh what a good girl am I - recycling, reusing, ever the thrifty housewife. Forgive me if I go away and polish my halo.

*************************************************

And if such virtue is, quite understandably, just all too much for you then do go and visit Susan and indulge yourself with her wonderful, decidedly unLenten, recipe. Then after that drop by and say congratulations to Annie, who is handing out blogoversary presents and cups of tea, and if you are feeling lucky then lickety-split your way over here to join in with the biggest and best raffle that Blogland has ever known with lots of the most covetable prizes.

Phew! The weekend starts here, I think ...







16 comments:

Jenny said...

But how could you make such a lovely pot holder quickly. I began my very first attempt at patchwork nearly 5 years ago, still haven't got very far and I'm retired. Still I'm inspired to have another go - sometime.

dottycookie said...

Colour coded scrap baskets - I love, love LOVE that idea. My problem is that I cut my big scraps into little scraps, and then just end up with a huge pile of tiny weeny scraps and no idea how to use them! You pot holder is glorious.

Hen said...

Just ordered this book today! Love the pot holder, I find them v useful. Also loving the use of the comma, (did not know it was an Oxford one, whoooo!)
Hen x

Gillian said...

It's wonderful! So colourful and pretty. That book looks tempting...except now I want more scraps so that I can store them in colour themed scrap baskets.

Gillian x

Katherine said...

I'm loving your potholder and how you describe scraps - a higher virtue - yes, I quite agree. I adore scrappy projects!

Katy Cameron said...

Gotta love a good scrappy project :o)

hettie brown said...

hello..I have this book it is lovely and must admit to colour coding my scraps in times of stress :-) x

Crafty Green Poet said...

I just inherited a whole load of scraps from someone which I've added to my own scrap stash which is really helping with my new year's resolution to craft more!
Your pot holder is lovely, I might try to make one myself! I love the idea of colour themed scrap baskets but it's unlikely to happen....

Autumn's Space Quilting said...

I love the idea of a scrap basket, I have all of mine thrown in tubs and though it seemed a good idea at the time I love the basket idea better. Thank you for sharing.

Frances said...

No wonder you are scrap happy! You've found a fine way to use up every bit. The book sounds interesting, too.

It's fun to just let your mind wander a while, and see what other combinations arise. Is that some sort of meditation?

xo

driftwood said...

I've had that book on that amazon wish list for a while. I love her blog. I save all my scraps. all the itty bitty bits. they are threatening to take over. and I do need a new potholder.... your's is lovely x

Annie @ knitsofacto said...

I think I might need a copy of that book ... I'm planning a spot of quilt making when my studio is eventually sorted!

Liking the new blog look :)

Arianwen said...

I love the idea of a higher form or Stash. The book does look yummy. Crazy mum quilts blog is very inspirational so I am sure her book is equally so. I may have to splash out next pay day.

grace said...

I know exactly what I want to do tomorrow now - far more fun than the dreaded sorting! Lovely blog and will be back for more yummy inspiration xx

Sweet Posy Dreams said...

Oh I think the pot holder is just too nice to get greasy and scorched! It's lovely.

mana said...

beautiful work done with the leftover pieces!

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