I know we all love to collect our little scraps and save them to make doll quilts someday, but don't forget to use them! One of the best ways I've found to get motivated to do this and actually make those little quilts is to first take the time to organize your scraps. Otherwise, I get bogged down by the clutter and don't know what to do with those little pieces.
Clutter can sometimes make it more difficult to create. For me, it's a huge visual distraction. A clean desk or sewing area definitely helps me be more productive. For others, the mess is necessary for the flow and disturbing the flow can stop the inspiration. I see this in my daughter when she gets creative. For years, before I understood, I wanted to continually clean up after her while she was in the middle of painting, beading or crafting. Eventually, I let go and just let her be. We all create in different ways. The end product is the real point, isn't it?
Does being creative = messy to you??
When I do get around to sorting my scraps, sometimes I turn on the TV, sit on the floor and toss them into different colored piles somewhat mindlessly. The last time I did it it actually wasn't that bad and went a lot quicker than I thought it would (I finished before the movie ended!) and I found quite a few scraps I had forgotten about that I love. If you can't get motivated to begin, ask a friend over to help you sort away.
I put the larger scraps that are left over from previous projects into separate shoebox-sized bins according to color and then place the tiniest scraps into ziplock bags, again according to color. When I begin working on a project and think I'll need a few little pieces (like a pink, purple or poison green print to add a little ZING to the blocks), I bring out my little bags of colored scraps and keep them nearby and just pluck what I need--easy to do since I can readily see the colors through the bags. I wish I could promise that all of my scraps will now stay organized but I know that I'll have to go through the sorting thing again soon, probably many times in the coming months.
I have to admit, my sewing space is often a mess when I'm working on something, especially when it's several projects for a book at the same time (No time to organize, too many things to do! More coffee!). Then it becomes a real chore when it's time to clean it up. But if I do it often and keep it up, it feels SO good to know where everything is, like a cleansing. Sometimes it's almost like getting new fabric because every single time I find a piece or two or three I forgot I had.
Here are a few ideas to help you use up those tiny scraps.
From American Doll Quilts
Also from American Doll Quilts
For the pincushion, I used 1" strips and those decorative stitches on your sewing machine that seldom get used.
I'm a quilt designer and author of four quilting books for Martingale & Co. I love making small quilts with an antique look and find inspiration in quilts from the past and the women who made them.
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The most potent muse of all is our own inner child. --Stephen Nachmanovitch
You must do the thing you think you cannot do.
The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves. --C.G. Jung