Well , Use Up Your Scraps month has come to an end. It was a valuable experience for me. I was able to use up a lot of scraps, and to organize the ones that are left. Almost every scrap has a home, either in a zipper bag or clear box, grouped by color or by planned project.
I didn’t focus just on fabric scraps though, I extended my thinking to sewing notions. If I don’t know how to use something in the first place, I can’t use it up! So I made myself sit down with different threads, needles, and sewing feet, to find the best combination for me. Also, I thought about how to better organize my sewing routine. I stacked some pieces of so-so fabric and batting scraps right by the machine, as well as a notebook. I don’t like to get up in the middle of a project to get supplies for stitch practice or to write down an idea – hopefully having the supplies close will make my routine run more smoothly.
I also focused on using my textile books and videos. I read three books I’ve been meaning to read for a long time, and watched 8 videos!
Final Score –
2 finished lap quilts (one I wrote about before, and now this one)
1 lap quilt almost done
1 crib quilt almost done (the penguin quilt)
12 log cabin blocks, ready to go into planned projects
10 spools of thread used up
I think I am done with log cabin for a while! The best thing about all this focus on using up my scraps, is that while I was working I got lots of new ideas. I think I will do Finish Up February, and then I will reward myself with Materials Madness March!
I LOVE that you use up all of your scraps and create such gorgeous quilts! Have you followed Liz of Vintage Traveler? She just wrote a post about how upcycling kind of annoys her because sometimes people will take perfectly fine garments, destroy them, and then not use the scraps they’ve destroyed. It was an interesting take on upcycling. Ohhh and I have to tell you I got some gorgeous silk mittins from Ten Thousand Villages, made by a sewing cooperatve in India. The women make scarves and then use the scraps to make mittens!
Anyway, love your quilts, you are so talented!
I will have to check out Vintage Traveler! I used to really feel that if an item could be of use to someone in its present shape, it should stay that way and I should not cut it up. But then I found out that so many things we give to charity thrift shops are sent overseas, and it seemed pretty crazy to me that we pay to ship fabric and clothing over here, and then we pay to ship our discards elsewhere, so I thought it did make sense to use thrift shop stuff for quilts. And then you had the link about the women selling traditional African textiles, and they pointed out that our thrift store discards cause traditional cloth makers to lose their markets, so I felt really justified. So I will be interested to see another take on this. I love how you always know so many aspects of an issue!
Enjoy your mittens! I wish it got cold enough here to wear mittens once in a while.
Yes, all great points! This is what I love about working with textiles/fashion-it brings up so many different cultural/economic/global issues!
“It seemed pretty crazy to me that we pay to ship fabric and clothing over here, and then we pay to ship our discards elsewhere”
I know right??
Congratulations for sticking with the programme. Your scrappy quilts look super. I especially like the fact that you not only used up fabric scraps but other notions a well. I can’t wait to see what you finish up in February. Well done and happy stitching.
I’m glad to get them done. It was challenging to use the scraps because they varied so much in quality. Now that they are used up, I’m going to be more picky about getting good fabric, and I’m going to work on improving the quality of my blocks and seams. Someday I would love to have corners that meet up as beautifully as your do!
What a Great Post. Thanks for the encouragement of using the feet accessories, videos, books, etc. I ve been telling myself I’ll start using the various feet of my machine, and keep putting it off. Beautiful quilts, and the colors also. http://projectsbyMtetar.wordpress.com.
I know, I always put off trying new techniques and equipment, even if I think it will make something easier in the long run. It really takes mental energy for me to make a change. But if I wait until I’m really ready, the change sticks, I don’t slip back into my old ways of doing things. Thanks for the comment!
You’re welcome, and this is more helpful for me. You truly do beautiful work, and share great tips and info. Be BLESSED, Mtetar
I love your scrappy results! Are you going to give us any clues as to what “Materials Madness March” entails?
I was just thinking that after two months of virtuously organizing and finishing projects, I would have to go a little crazy! I have all kinds of books about making paper cloth, fusing silk fibers, painting on textiles, using metals, etc. – in March I am planning to take time to experiment with all these alternative materials!
Wow — sounds like fun! Are you looking for others to follow along or are you just going to play on your own and report?
I would be happy to have others join in!
Your quilts are lovely and so much work involved in them, I feel very disorganized when I see what you managed to get done!
Well, I don’t work outside the home, I don’t have kids at home any more, and I hate to go shopping! That leaves a lot of time to get things done!
I’ve been scrapping it up myself this month. Only my efforts didn’t put a dent in it. lol. Not even an ever so slight crease. lol
Funny you should mention February. I decided to make February the same plan as yours. Only mine is loading up charity quilts on my frame where I can stipple pretty good and get them done much faster.
A long-arm frame, I hope. Surely you don’t do hand work on charity quilts? I make mostly charity quilts too, but small ones I do on my regular sewing machine.
That first quilt is fantastic. What a great exercise of using up your scraps.
Thanks. Those are not my favorite colors so it was a challenge. I want those lap quilts to be cheerful because they are going to the VA hospital.
OOooo, Material Madness March! Can I play too?
I would love for you to! I am starting to plot out some ideas, but I would love any input!
I’m very impressed with what you have done, and such a great way to start a new year. Last week I spring-cleaned my tiny sewing room, and it was very therapeutic, it makes space for new things in your head as well as in the room itself.
And I’ve really enjoyed reading all these comments as well. I’m looking forward to reading about your new experiments (it’s funny you should mention fusing silk fibers to make paper as that’s what I have been thinking I’d like to try next).
I have saved a magazine article about it for years, and a few weeks ago I saw the book Take Silk by Judith Pinnell at the library. I think it’s time to give it a try!
The quilts are gorgeous! And congratulations on getting so organized. It gives me an incentive to try the same…..maybe next week.:)
Well, I wouldn’t say SO organized – I would say a tidgy bit more organized, and not nearly as organized as I would like to be!
I’m so impressed, and although I like both, the first quilt is gorgeous. I love the colors. What a great way to take the picture, too, – outside in sunshine with a pretty backdrop.
Thanks – it’s funny, I really like the blue and green one better, but everyone else likes the orange/red one! Kaffe Fassett always has pictures of his quilts in really inspiring places – so I am stealing that trick from him! 🙂
Great trick! … Do you suppose it has something to do with cool colors vs warm colors. The warm colors of the first quilt evoke more feelings of curling up under it in front of a crackling fireplace with hot cocoa and a book. 🙂
What a great project this is. Beauty and warmth from scraps (and a lot of time and effort on your part).
Thank you. There is something so satisfying about using up scraps!
Your quilts are gorgeous!
Oh, thank you! I have so much fun making them. I’m very slapdash but they’re usually for kids so I can be playful.