Thursday, November 8, 2007

One Woman's Scraps . . .

. . . are another woman's treasure!

So do you save scraps of fabric? Frankly, I'm conflicted. It keeps me up late at night, worrying about the scraps. After all, what if I run out of stash fabric? What a nightmare!

Seriously, though, much of the time, I don't really bother saving "bits" unless they're either 1800s repro fabric ('cause those small quilts are often scrappy and don't require large pieces) or if I'm just in an odd mood--and, yes, I really can hear you muttering to yourself, "But isn't she ALWAYS in an odd mood?" Still, even when I'm in an odd mood, I really only save "planned" scraps. Do you know what I mean? No? Here's what I'm talking about.

When I made Marcie's Trees on the Table toppers, for instance, I planned to save my scraps. I didn't really want to use half square triangles in the borders as Marcie's pattern directed. Instead, I wanted to make the border pieces kind of like the flying geese method where you sew a smaller square onto a rectangle and press back. I know it wastes fabric, but I think it gives me a cleaner look with fewer seams. Of course, the Wasted Fabric Fairy wouldn't let me just toss out those extra pieces I cut away. Oh no! The Wasted Fabric Fairy insists I sew a second seam line and trim between the stitched lines so I end up with half square triangles from the "scraps."

Here's what I ended up with from the "Trees" projects:


Usually those little half square triangles pile up somewhere in the Sweat Shop for awhile until I decide to watch some interesting show on TV. Just so I don't feel like I'm a useless slug, wasting time doing nothing, I'll grab my pieces and trim them up to a usable size. Most of the time, I can trim them to 1-3/4".

Here are a few more triangle scraps from the latest Hometown Christmas section:


For a long time, I collected these half square triangles until I had a small hatbox full of them--mostly from Thimbleberries fabrics because I had made several quilts using flying geese. Finally I decided I probably ought to figure out what I could do with them.

Did you ever have one of those boards with felt shapes when you were a kid? I used to love to rearrange the colored squares and triangles and circles--I could do that all day long! Anyway, playing around with half square triangles on a design wall is a lot like that--tons of fun!

Here's a photo of the quilt top I made--it still needs borders. I had an idea for my borders when I first got this far, but now I think I might donate this to the Sutter Breast Cancer Quilt Auction that I mentioned a few weeks ago. If I do that, I'll probably come up with another plan for the borders--maybe some applique. In any event, there are too many other projects to work on before Christmas, so I have until the first of the year to decide.


So, do you save your scraps? If so, what have you done with them? I'd love to hear your story!

17 comments:

Carol said...

OMG, if I could end up with a quilt that wonderful I'd save every scrap I come up with. Kim that is just wonderful.

tami said...

Beautiful quilt and great use of your waste triangles.
I am bad pretty bad with my scraps. I have done a few string quilts and a scrappy 16 patch, but I mostly stockpile. I have boxes of scraps everywhere. :c(

Perry said...

This is a beautiful quilt. I save my little hsts and sometimes use them on the back of the quilt or add them in a border or someplace in place of a block. Like you, I feel I need to do something with them.

Darlene said...

OK, here's my plan! You need to schedule some vacation time and come visit me for a few days. Don't plan to do any sightseeing except in my sewing room (aka sweatshop). We will pull out the bins full of leftovers from every quilt I've ever made and we'll make some scrap quilts. OK, maybe we'll just plan some scrap quilts. OK?

So, when are you coming? LOL

Beautiful scrap quilt. I keep telling you, I want to be you when I grow up. :-)

Beth said...

That's a very pretty quilt there. And yes, I save all of my scraps, I have gone back to them on many occasions to get just that right bit of fabric for some project or other. Although, I have been thinking of going through them and cleaning them out, I was looking for something the other day and I saw there are some pieces in there that are so small I asked myself what the heck did I keep these for. I also like to sew the double seem and get the HST bonus blocks, I have a bag of those myself.

dot said...

Yes, I save and use my scraps. I pay to much to throw anything usuable out. I love this block. It is one of my favorites. I made a Chrsitmas quilt with it last year and plan to make another quilt with the block in the near future. This is beautiful.

Nan said...

I do save my scraps, and I think I'm going to send them all to you, because what you've created is absolutely gorgeous! I would never think to do such a beautiful creation with my scraps. Wow Kim!

Su Bee said...

OMG that is stunning! I'll bid on that one!

Cheryl said...

WOW - I'm not worthy :-)! I save my scraps but... wow what an amazing quilt you made. Also when I do bindings I save any leftover 2 l/2 strips in a bin. I love to do scrappy log cabins. Also, when I start a project, if I have extra fabric, I cut off 2 l/2 inch strips to add to the bin.

DPUTiger said...

I can't save scraps. I'm a horrible packrat and if I start ... I'll never stop. Plus, I'm not a scrap quilter. They just don't appeal to my creative juices, so there really isn't a point to me saving my scraps.

It's a good thing we aren't all the same. Everyone else would have to like the same things as me, and then I'd never be able to find my favorite fabrics! :)

Laurie Ann said...

I made a couple of Bonnie's Pineapple Blossom quilts and when I did the corners I double sewed them and then cut in between the lines so I could have these little HST squares. I love the PB quilt, but I wish I wouldn't have bothered to cut and keep the corners. I won't do that again. I love to keep my strips though!

Kairle said...

It feels so good to be associated with such talented friends! Beautiful quilt top, Kim. I can't wait to see what you do with the border...after the new year, of course. :-)

Suzanne Earley said...

That is a gorgeous quilt and an awesome use of those leftover HST's. I struggle with scraps. I have several large Rubbermaid tubs full of odds and ends, but I can't ever seem to make myself go through them, so I wonder why I even bother saving them....but you know I can't possibly throw them out.....

Some day, right?

Thimbleanna said...

Wow, that quilt is beautiful. Saving scraps has been a big problem for me too. I'm sure I save them somewhere...just never know where. ;-)

sharon said...

Even if I saved my scraps I would never come up with something as pretty as that. OMG i just love that quilt top. BEAUTIFUL!!!

Marcie said...

That is a beautiful quilt Kim. Add it to my list of projects! I can't believe you saved triangles from the tree quilt. Those are LITTLE! I love little bitty quilts tho, so I can wait to see what you do with them.

Yvonne said...

I'm always conflicted about saving scraps. Your quilt is gorgeous!!!