Scraps, they fill my waking thoughts

March 7, 2010

Well,

The Great Scrap Cutting event is still going strong this is about week 2 I suppose, maybe week one, I don’t know.  I woke up and cut a few errant fabric pieces into submission.  Half square triangles to be exact, using the ScrapMaster Ruler by Judy Hopkins.

I left the studio today and literally shoved a few scraps into my purse, priority scraps, that had the gall to offend my clean space by being conspicuously out of place from the other scraps.  They will be ironed and cut and added to the other happy stash of orderly scraps, (Yeah, I know, a little kooky here, but this is why I’m striving to get it under control!)

And yes, I have a FULL bag of fabric I am donating tomorrow, it is fabric that rankles my (Insert noun here) and leaves me with a sense of nautia.  This includeds a lime green non cotton that was bought for Holiday Table skirts, yeah.

Back to the Scraps:  While having my very early morning coffee and beginning to wiggle out a few triangles from the scrap pile, I started to think about the box of Thangles I have, like I have like 50 packs of leftover inventory from my old online-shop that only sold 1 single, solitary, individual, lonely piece of fabric out of an entire year online.  I sure hope that’s not languishing somewhere in a scrap pile!  The futility of it all.

So I have begun to second guess and doubt my original intention or decision, which is to use this ScrapMaster ruler and cut my entire stash into half square triangles.  Well, at first I thought it was half squares and also squares, then I wised up to the fact that it was all supposed to end up as half square triangles. So I started telling myself, well, maybe I don’t want all triangles, maybe I want rectangles and four patches and (Insert block shape here) but No.  I have an inner urge to reshape scrap pile and it is I and the scrap Master ruler!  I don’t care if I end up sewing triangles until I’m in the late stages of dementia, I have a plan and I’m a gonna stick to it. (ForNow)  

Part of the background of my “lit a fire under my scrap pile’s butt organization  plan is the fact that I hurt my wrist last fall and couldn’t cut a single thing with my rotary cutter, so I thought, h’mm I should cut a few quilts up in advance.

as I began getting sick and tired of the eye sore that is my current scrap system, ie, boxes stuffed to overflowing with wrinklled fabric, I began searching for the cure, then the fixed marriage idea was born, Half square triangles, meet my stash, stash, meet the half square triangle.

Now you feathered star people hold your hats, because I”m planning of doing a few of those so don’t set your eyes on my stash just yet!!!!, but I am sure I can share at some point in time,

I am also wondering if I will be able to manage the new scraps I create in the meantime, because like already this week, I”m making a huge stack of flannel leftovers from this wonky 9-patch with inserted strips that I’m making, in pretty good time I might add,

So, that being said, I am going back into the parlor to cut some more, because truth be told, I enjoy making the  little useless strips into those darling little squares, knowing full well, that I’ll have to be on double doses of Advil and (Insert prescription of chioce here) in order to actual sew those tiniest ones into something other than a match book cover.  There are probably a thousand patterns for quilts that require scraps of squares, so I”d thought of organizing anything over 10 inches into that arena, it’s just too much to filter, I am going to filter it all through the lens of the half-square triangle, get busy, make it happen and be grateful for the gift of eyesight, working hands, fresh rotary blades and sewing machine oil.  If I want to get real funky later, I can applique something to my half square triangle scrap quilts, in the border, how about tacos?  On the Border, Tacos, it is lunch time here in the Great State of Texas … until I blog again, have a happy day if at all possible, there is only one today.

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Scraps, what they are and why they mean to me

March 6, 2010

Scrap: Cotton fabric larger than 1.5 inches, smaller than a 2 1/2″ by 42″ strip.

As I sat down at my featherweight to sew and watch the beginning scenes of Julie and Julia, it occurred to me that it might be a good thing to watch this movie again since I am a new blogger and Julie is a new blogger in the movie.  Then I thought, h’mm she set a year-long goal and followed it and was much changed due to it.  So I thought, h’mmm, maybe I should do something quite similar.

I started a blog last night for the very first time, but when I searched for it on the Google Blog spot, I couldn’t get it to come up, so, I have switched to WordPress.  Between last night and today, I got a tad more organized on a “focus” feature to my blog.  Maybe I can even write a real book about it, like the Julie in the movie, when it is all said and done.

Let’s begin.

I have a large volume of scraps from 12 years worth of quilting and fiberart projects.  I did the math thing last night and discovered I have an area 12 ft. long, about 2 ft. high, and 1.5 ft. wide full of scraps. my goal will be to iron and cut every last one of them into a useable shape and size, and then create scrap quilts from the process.  I guesstimate I can garner at least 16 scrap quilts, full size, from the scraps on hand.   16 QUILTS. so, let’s see I will definitely need a plan of action here.  It’s hard to figure out, like, I will cut one yard a day, because the pieces are already cut in odd shapes, I think maybe I should weigh it all!  Then I could divide the actual weight and set a cutting plan!

I will do this later, but for now I would like to delve into a bit of my personal history and how and why I ended up with so many scraps.

(I am sure there are a bunch of people out there who dwarf my load of scraps, and to you I say this: buy my book if it ever gets written!) or you could just follow me here and maybe learn a lil something something from my awkward journey into scrap management.

A bit of history about my journey:

I do not come from a family of quilters, nor did my immediate family possess a single quilt, nay, not even a sewing machine.  Yet, my grandmother, who lived in a very elegant home, replete with color coordinated rooms that had not only velvet wall papers but matching glass chandeliers, she possessed a fantastic quilt.  It was a large crazy quilt from the 1800’s.  It hung on the foyer wall. I am fairly confident it now hangs in my uncles fine house and in his fine foyer, respectively. I do have pictures of it somewhere, and hopefully I can find the digital file and post a pic or two later.

This was not any ordinary quilt, it had many designs, including of course a flag, and roses, and musical instruments and fancy handstitching galore.  Well, you can imagine a small girl sitting on the stairs staring at all the many, many tiny intricate treasures the quilt contained, that was me.  That was my experience with quilts.

When I grew up we were pretty well on a tight household budget, therefore, this is probably the reason I do not like to just get rid of my scraps, to say charity.  I donate to charity, but I don’t donate my scraps to charity, go figure. Plus, I just find them so cool, little itsy bitsy tiny pieces of a larger piece, maybe it somehow ties into the human race as a whole, all of us are all tiny little scraps in the beautiful scrap quilt of life, dorky, I know, but it’s so true!

I loooove scraps!, but like, I don’t go to the last extreme, which is sewing the selvages, I think if and or when I ever get to selvage mania, I will probably have come full circle —

Indeed, as I began my journey into quiltmaking, Let’s say this:  I learned by doing.  I still have my very first attempt at patchwork.  It is typical of a first time construction with no outside teaching.  It contains: polyester, velvet, cotton, lycra, flannel, and the pieces don’t even all go in the same direction, and it was handstitched.  Wow.  I made a hexagon pillow by hand for an ex, so I’ll never see that again — and it was denim, handpieced.

Later, which happens to be about 12 years ago, I made a baby quilt and handquilted it.  Then I don’t know how, but I signed up for a quilting class at a quilt shop and the rest is as they say, history.

I have studied quilt design, color theory, block design, cutting, curved piecing, dye painting, dyeing in a plastic bag, sky-dye painting, image transfer, mariner’s compass piecing , watercolor quilts, freezer paper applique, longarm quilting, thread painting, felting, binding, curved binding, heirloom machine quilting, seminole patchwork, and many many others, here is a list of the people I have either listened to in lecture or studied under personally. The longest time spent studying with are at the top of the list. I read lots of books since I am the current Guild Librarian, studying fresh material in today’s fiber art scene, is a full time occupation, isn’t it?

But I really do enjoy learning about quilting arts, fiber arts, and the people involved.

My Teachers:

Virginia Walton, curved piecing

Hollis Chatelain, dye painting

Karen McTavish, heirloom quilting, longarm quilting

Sue Patten, thread painting, longarm quilting

Cynthia England, picture piecing

Phil Beaver, Lecture, fabric painting

Dilys Fronks, Reverse applique type

Bobbie Aug, vertical quilts style, mariner’s compass

Sharon Schamber,  how to use Roxannes! and quilting!

Dianna Springola, watercolor quilting

Paula Nadelstern, holiday ornaments

Jinny Beyer, kaliedoscope quilts

Cynthia Regone, buzzsaw quilt

Lynn Roddy Brown, scrap quilts

Debbie Caffrey, jelly roll strips, fabric management,

If I remember some more, I’ll add them in!  This is kind of fun!

Well, it’s lunch time here at the hacienda Campbell’s soup and my little furry friend, Mimi,

Later