Tuesday, January 7, 2014

When Life Gives You Scraps

When I got the boxes and boxes of scraps from my friend Lee's estate, it felt like such a gift. Lee was pretty organized by color with her fabrics, but small pieces laid next to larger ones. She knew what she was doing and why, and so I needed to make sense of her gift. She passed almost a year ago now, and I wish she was here to tell me what she planned for them all.

That almost held me up. I kept thinking of the fabric as belonging to her and felt almost guilty in how I used it. Or pressured. I am not sure. It was certainly an opportunity for growth. I decided to use what was there and use it in ways that I liked. It was a phony dilemma and a huge waste of time.

I've been exploring the ways quilters use left-over material to create the backs on quilts. 

This morning, I put together a flannel back by using up some long strips, and it took me all morning. These must have been pieces cut from the long sides of quilt backs Lee made and then saved. 

The pic was taken with the back laid across my bed, and the seams are not wrinkled when its all smoothed out. Its going to make one very cozy quilt after it is sandwiched with batting and the top.

The point is, with scrap quilting, to use scraps. As the cost of cotton rises, quilters are not wasting anything. I have seen some patterns that call for using the selvage parts (not for me).

What I also am surprised at is that when I post photos of my quilts, say, on Facebook, more people comment or 'like' the scrappy look.

In some ways, making a scrappy quilt is more difficult. This back forced me to think outside my own box of design. I have been buying enough material to make a solid look to the backs, especially if the top seemed busy to me.

I had sorted Lee's fabrics into boxes and measured some of the larger pieces just in case they fit into a pattern requirement. However, these were HER scraps, probably not meant to be part of a top.

Well, I am done with this 'stinkin thinkin' and am fully engaged in using what is here to back quilts or other projects, and if there is something that will fit into the top design...well and good for that too.

Thanks Lee. Hope you are smiling!