I Love Scraps- January/February 2007

I don’t know about you, but I can’t bear to throw away scraps
from my quilting projects. I love those little fabric pieces too much.
I   L O V E   scraps
by Marilyn Marks
When I first started quilting, I put my scraps in pretty
baskets and used them to decorate my sewing room. When more scraps accumulated, I filled up two huge clear
plastic pretzel containers left over from Christmas, topping them with dollies. The layers of colors are
like an archeological dig of my quilting life. My next scrap storage units were popcorn tins, a small dresser,
and several plastic sweater boxes. Each little pile within a container is a record of a particular quilt, kind
of like a scrapbook without the glue.
I tell myself that I’ll make a String Star one day and will be thankful I saved each and every scrap. Or, maybe
I’ll make a crazy quilt. Okay, maybe several crazy quilts. And then some miniature quilts–with all the pieces
I have saved that are under two inches a square, I could make a lot of them. I’ll bet I could make at least fifty
miniature quilts with just what I’ve tucked into a shoe organizer hanging inside my closet door!
I took a class once where you put your scraps in a paper bag, closed your eyes, and sewed with whatever fabric you
pulled out. If I used a big garbage can instead of paper bag, no telling how many great scrap quilts I could make!
I know, I’ll put a plywood circle atop the garbage can, add a table skirt and a lamp, and I’ll have a piece of
furniture. I hope my husband appreciates my thriftiness.
When I use the diagonal seams method for making Flying Geese units, I always stitch an additional seam ½”
away from my first seam. That way, when I trim, I get another tiny triangle-square to use in another project. I keep
them in zipper-type plastic bags that I put in hat boxes. I’m thinking those hat boxes would probably look great beside
my new skirted lamp table.
If I don’t plant a garden this spring, I could use the chest freezer to store scraps and be all set when I start those
string quilts. As long as no one wants ice cream, I don’t see a problem. I saw a photo in a quilting magazine of a
mason jar someone had filled with triangle tips, those tiny pieces you get when you trim triangles–now that
person has a problem.
With all the money I’ve saved by making my own furniture, unplugging the freezer, and not buying ice cream, I’ll
soon have extra cash to hit my favorite quilt shops to pick up some of the latest prints.

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