Scraps as syllables

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Most quilters I know have a hard time letting even the smallest pieces of fabric go.  I have seen entire quilts made of selvedges!  I don’t keep the “dog-ear” scraps produced by clipping 1/4″ seams, but I do save miniscule pieces of felt (two large drawers full), pockets of old pants, and every shred of favored commercial prints.

While saving scraps is in keeping with the resourcefulness of early blanket-makers, it can get out of hand.  Cleaning up this weekend, I put the scraps that were on the floor to use (above & below) … which was fun and productive.   It  got me thinking about Script Quilts again (and working on one of them, last picture, below) because to me the scattering of different-sized scraps, some of which repeat, is a lot like speech.

The problem is this – now that I am reminded of what graphic punch a teeny, weeny shred of fabric can have in the right project, I am Loathe to throw them out!

Since I am taking inventory of my studio and labeling everything, I figure as long as I label WHERE these itsy bitsy pieces are going, and limit the amount to the small-ish bin designated, I’ll be okay.

To be continued…

8 thoughts on “Scraps as syllables

  1. Karen Turner

    I look at my own scraps sometimes – teeny, tiny pieces – and sometimes they speak to me and sometimes they don’t. I like the idea that they are syllables.

  2. Magpies Laundry

    I did have a big clear out of scraps recently, and it surprised me how hard it actually was to make myself admit that the pieces I threw were actually unusable. I still have four bins of scraps (sorted by colour, of course 😉 ) that I think I might use someday …. the idea of using them as punctuation makes perfect sense to me.

    1. sewmanypossibilities

      Hi Lucy – because saving fabric has all the hallmarks of a disorder, it is nice to hear how common it is and affirm that (maybe) I’m not crazy. Color-sorting means you are a highly evolved being, of course!

  3. Magpies Laundry

    lol, I’ve often worried about my fabric compulsion, too … I was afraid the colour sorting was taking it to obsessive levels, so I’m relieved to see it’s because I’m highly evolved 😉

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  5. Tallulah Maggs

    I also obsessively collect scraps, I like working with them better I think. I feel bad about cutting into big pieces of cloth, like they should preserved for use as large pieces where required, those little pieces are sure labour intensive, but I get a nice feeling from making them usable again. Your work always inspires me!


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