About 4 years ago, I was just starting out quilting and didn't have much of a stash, at all. I had finished maybe one or two quilts and was just starting to get the itch to create more. I joined my local guild because they have workshops that you can attend for a discounted rate. So, I signed up for my first worshop. I was WAY out of my league, but I was excited to try something new. At the beginning of the workshop, a lady made an announcement that if we had any scraps for the day that we were going to throw away, please set them aside for her, because she liked to make scrappy quilts. Nothing was too small, she said.
I have to admit, I thought the poor lady had lost her mind... At every break, she would walk around and collect up scraps that no one wanted and sew them together. Why in the world would you want pieces of fabric that small?
Well, since then I have been to many more workshops, even a retreat, and someone is always collecting scraps. In fact, at my last retreat, one lady spent the whole weekend sewing up pinwheels from the leftover triangles from my Swoon quilt. They were adorable, but honestly I would have just thrown them in the trash!
Since that first workshop, I have come to understand the value of the stash, and the scrap bin. I now have 7 shoeboxes full of various scraps (plus two bags that haven't been sorted yet) and I have even, willingly I might add, taken scraps from friends who were destashing so I could have a really scrappy quilt look even scrappier.
I beamed with pride when I announced to my husband that my Christmas hexagon quilt had 114 different Christmas fabrics in them, thanks to an online Christmas charm swap. I have even, I am not afraid to admit, picked a piece of fabric out of the trash and moved it over to the scrap bin.
My 2009 quilter-self is aghast at my 2014 quilter-self :) In 2009, I would have thought "scrappy" meant "leftover" or "what I didn't want to use in the first place." Now, I know that scrappy is exactly the opposite. It's the fabrics I loved so much I couldn't part with! There's something about the scrappiest of quilts - we admire what our fellow quilter's went through to accumulate such a treasure trove of scraps.
Why the change in my attitude? Well, for one - the precious fabric that we love so much is EXPENSIVE. When you invest so much in building up your stash, it hurts a lot when you throw anything in the trash. Secondly, I think we buy fabric because we really LOVE it (crazy sounding, I know, but its true!) and we don't want to throw away something we love. "But I might make a hexagon out of that 2" square scrap, and wouldn't that just be perfectly adorable" we say.
Here is an homage to some scrap-tastic quilts I've found online.
I have grand designs for some of my own this year.
|Patchwork Prism by Marci|
|Scrappy Stash by Ellison Lane Quilts|
|Ziggy Strings by Rachel at Stitched In Color|
Hexies... oh my!
|Hexie Hexagon by Poppi - no repeats!|
Here's an adorable pillow project using 150 2" scraps: so cute!