Carnival of Scraps
It’s been pretty noisy in my sewing room lately. My January goal was to round up my scraps, turn them into useful blocks, and store them away tidily until I needed them.
But as I pour out a basketful to sort, and see their random combinations, it’s as if they’re waking up, stretching, and start to call out like midway barkers:
“Get your red-and-white 16-patch right here! A Show Stopper in a few Simple Steps!”
“Step right up and see a new combination! Olive and black with cream – you’ve never tried it before! Try it now!”
“Just hit the secret scrap and win a goldfish!”
“Orange scraps, you say, what can you do with orange? How ’bout some nice yellow and green scraps – a citrus theme ! That’s the ticket! Sure to brighten your day!”
“Right over here, nice lady – see the Acrobatic Airborne Batiks! They flip, they fly, they always look spectacular!”
I could plug my ears and sing “la-la-la” but then I really wouldn’t get anything done.
So. I am writing down all the ideas, and trying very hard to focus on one at a time.
This is the first completed project, a lap robe for the veterans’ hospital.
I had the batting already fused to the backing and I wanted to put a top on it before it got messed up. I’ve had the center panel for a couple of years, but all the fabric in the stripes came from my mom and there’s no telling how long she had it. For people in the hospital, I want the backing to be smooth and silky, so I buy fabric with that in mind. Northcott fabric always feels great, and I have been lucky to find remnants that are big enough for backing on the sale shelf. I fold the extra backing fabric to the front instead of adding binding.
It’s a practical little piece, and I can feel the sewing room getting a little calmer, now that one project is done.
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Congratulations. Great scrappy project. I can hear your scraps shouting at me too. Keep up the great work.
There is something SO satisfying about using up scraps that were cut decades ago! I hope to get to some more artistic projects like yours – what a great idea to put applique on top of scrap blocks!
Using Scrappy Log Cabin for Applique background has worked ever better than I thought it would.
Ooo! Oooo! Pick the citrusy one first!! Sounds so summery!
I find orange such a challenge – it always turns out to say “fall”. I wanted to think of something else to do with it – or I should say, IT wants me to do something else. I think the citrus will be fun!
How I love this post, I love to hear fabrics and my embroidery threads ‘call’ to me, in the same way that an empty page beckons to be marked with words.
Thank you for always inspiring me. I adore this quilt and especially it’s history connected to your Mum, which is in turn, leading to the future.. and giving comfort to someone who is connected to the past. A full circle quilt!
You always leave the nicest comments! It takes a special person to find inspiration in the ordinary things of life, and I always appreciate your input.
I love this qult! It brings to mind happiness in a calming sort of way. Does that make sense? O.K. It’s a cuddly quilt that makes one feel warm and fuzzy!
It’s not my ideal “now this is an HEIRLOOM” project, but I do love making things that will be of service, especially to veterans.
So pretty! I can relate, one feels so much better having tamed the stash a wee bit.
Especially when it is from a stash that has been passed on from someone else! 🙂
I have a question that fits here, if you have the time. HOW do you make the sewing machine go through the batting? I tried to make sofa covers a few years back (big muddy dogs) and the needle/ thread just got stuck on the way through, making teeny tiny stitches until it gave up (I was trying to stitch some diagonals to keep the batting in place, nothing fancy). Never did finish the project.
The magic tool is a special foot for your sewing machine – a walking foot. It is designed to spring up over all the layers of cloth and batting, instead of just pushing down on it while it sews. With my first quilt, I didn’t have one, and I had terrible puckering problems. Then my mom gave me her machine and walking foot and it was a miracle! To give you an idea of cost, I just priced them at sewingpartsonline.com, and they had two for my machine- one was $55 and one was $155, and I couldn’t see the difference between them. So if you decide to get one, I think this is a case where the least expensive one would be fine. You just need to know the exact make of your machine to be sure you get one that fits.
You can also use a darning foot, which is also spring loaded, if you have one. But I have tried it both ways and it is really hard to get a straight seam with the darning foot – it is much lighter and is made for more flexibility of stitch direction. And new, they’re about $45, so you wouldn’t be saving that much over a walking foot. They are good for the free motion quilting though, and if you have one, or can find one easily, it might be an option to try.
I am also still experimenting to find the right combination of needles, thread, and batting choices to make everything go easily too. If I ever come to a conclusion, I’ll do a post on it. Thanks for your question!
Thanks! I have a new machine now, since I broke the old Pfaff trying to repair horse blankets, and I haven’t even checked if it comes with different feet. But before I asked, I wouldn’t have known what they were for anyway!
I don’t know a lot about sewing machines, but I am pretty sure they weren’t intended for repairing horse blankets! 🙂 On the other hand, if you find one that can, I think it would make a great advertising campaign! “Handles the toughest jobs – you too can repair all your horse blankets, like our spokesmodel Pia…”
Hey!! Happy new year!! I love reading your blog and have nominated you for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award. Please check my blog for the details… http://hearingwiththeeye.wordpress.com/2013/01/12/gratitude/
I am so honored! thank you!
That’s a beauty! Thanks for stopping by my blog. Mtetar
The lap robe is really lovely. So good of you to make it for the veterans.
My dad is a veteran and my father-in-law was too – it’s the least I can do to honor their service!
Plus it’s fun. 🙂
Everyone in my family thanks your father and father-in-law for their service. We don’t take it for granted.
You are such a witty writer! I was just delighted to think of all the scraps calling out to you. And you’ve confirmed my Australian suspicions about what a ‘midway’ is–we don’t have this term for fairgrounds! Congratulations on having such a lovely finished quilt before month’s end.
Isn’t it funny how different words can mean different things in the SAME language? We would call the fairgrounds the whole place – the exhibition halls would have the homemade entries or educational stuff – the midway is where you take your chances on rides you suspect are not safe, or with games you know are rigged against you. I would say it has a slightly more disreputable meaning.
Glad you liked the post!
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