Scraps, what they are and why they mean to me

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,



One Response to “Scraps, what they are and why they mean to me”

  1. Mr WordPress Says:

    Hi, this is a comment.
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