Saturday, August 15, 2015

ScrapHappy August

Last month, when I saw that Kate (at talltalesfrromchiconia) and Gun (from Rutigt) were making a push to use up their scraps, I decided it would be a good opportunity for me to spend at least one day a month nibbling away at the collection of fabric crumbs that are the result of my block-making efforts. I work with what I consider to be scraps most of the time. Scraps are my favorite medium if you will. But those tiny or odd shaped pieces that won't be part of a traditional block need to be dealt with somehow. (Throw them away? Perish the thought!)

At various times I've sorted my crumbs by color into separate containers or dumped them all together in one large basket. Eventually I got to the point where I was putting the odd shaped pieces in one place and keeping the strings or narrow strips separate. Every once in a while I donate some strings to my friend Christina who loves to make string blocks and quilts. But the crumbs keep adding up.

I've tried "made fabric" and crazy piecing and liberated log cabin blocks at various times in my quilt making career. I enjoy crazy piecing for a specific purpose but have found that "making fabric" isn't really my cup of tea. So most of my odd bits end up in what amount to liberated log cabin blocks. Those 6" or 8" blocks go into my Parts Dept. until I have a use for them. Sometimes the crumbs only become patches, 3.5" or 4.5" square, that I will then use in a traditional block. Which I guess is really just "made fabric" after all!

I decided to sew crumbs together between seams (a la Bonnie Hunter's leaders and enders) for a few days instead of assembling units for 6" Shoo-fly or Hole in the Barn Door blocks like I normally do. This is the result:


I have one 4.5" patch, another that lacks a string on either side to become a 4.5" patch, and a piece that might become an 8" block eventually. I guess the challenge for August is to complete that potential 4.5" patch and bring the larger piece up to a usable size. For now it's enough that at least these few crumbs have a more secure home than they had previously. ;- )



9 comments:

Barbara C said...

It's always satisfying to work in the scrap pile. I like your idea of piecing small bits into a standard shape an size.

gayle said...

I keep thinking about making some crumb blocks. In the meantime, the crumbs are piling up - mostly on the floor under my cutting table, right next to the box that I'm trying to drop them into...

PaulaB quilts said...

You are doing something that challenges you, and that is a growth event. I can't speak about crumbs themselves because I don't have many yet. I admire them, but still shy away. Maybe you also like to have an idea you are trying to convey rather than randomness. Good luck!

Nell's Quilts said...

Good job on tackling some of those crumby bits. The 4.5" size is always good for the centre block for a project.

Mari said...

Oh, I feel your pain about made fabric and crumbs! It's a hard concept for me, too. Have you looked at Amanda's "scrap vortex" technique at Crazy Mom Quilts? It's quite helpful! Regardless of how you feel about it, your blocks look great!

talltalesfromchiconia said...

Great start! I'm hoping that one day I'll end up with enough scrap blocks to actually make a quilt - while at the same time making a tiny inroad into my vast scrap collection. Since the day when I've used all my scraps will never come, and the day when I run out of quilt ideas is similarly remote, I think there's at least one scrap quilt in my future!

The Joyful Quilter said...

Keep using those scraps!!

desertskyquilts said...

I'm using up a lot on the Scrap Vortex. I usually make actual log cabin 6.5" blocks, because you can use a lot of sizes in those. Some of them are also a variety of strips sewn together and I toss those in with the log cabins, 'cause they're all the same size, and why not? But now I'm playing with the SV, so we'll see what happens there. =) Your parts look great for some purpose yet to be determined!

scraphappy said...

Turning little bits into bigger bits is all part of the process. Having a plan for them is an added bonus. Hope they turn into fabulous blocks someday.