I finished basting another quilt on Wednesday at the clubhouse but didn't take my camera for a picture of it. The pattern called for another yard of fabric to do the binding. I didn't have another full yard of coordinating fabric, but did have scraps. For a brief moment I was immobilized by it all.
For me, being unable to act stirs up all sorts of anxiety-provoking feelings and my mind races to the dark side of these thoughts and bounces back into the light. Bouncing. The only way through this for me is to act no matter if it is right or wrong. And nothing in quilting is ever really 'wrong', and often provides surprises for me along the way.
I cut my scraps into 2.5" strips that I joined and pressed in half length-wise. I made binding! I tried to join different colors so that they showed up on the chain of binding in a varied link. Most of them were from the quilt or complemented it.
Then, I simply rolled them into a coil, pinned the end of it and set it with the quilt to use after it was machine quilted. It reminds me of those old-tyme rag rugs. I've also learned that the more colors you use in a quilt, they tend to coordinate and you don't have to worry about things matching so much. This took time to do...to cut, to join, to press, to roll. Yes, this quilt has a Hallows theme to it.
A couple things make a difference with fabrics...First of all using scraps means less waste going into the landfills. The US Government EPA says that there is an estimated 14.3 million tons of textiles generated as waste each year. Secondly, the cost of a good yard of fabric runs about $12 a yard. Some quilters can afford to buy new, some, like me, want to use up what we have first and shop from our stash.
Taking both of those issues into account, it is worth my time to use up the scraps I make with my quilting projects. This is one way. I will be sure to show the finished quilt later and expect it will be very cute!
My response to this was growth-producing, and nourished my very soul. In the beginning when I first started using up my scraps and stash, it stirred in me strong feelings of doing right by the environment and rather made the cost of buying new fabric inconsequential. Scrapping quilt left-overs out became a secondary effect from my work, and now is part of how I think about fabrics and how I use them.