Many of the quilts I make include pieces of scraps from my scrap basket. Do you do this too? Some of the scraps are pretty old--not necessarily antique or vintage, but just small pieces of some of my favorite fabrics I've saved over the years that are left over from other, earlier projects.
Isn't it true that, when a fabric calls to you, you just have to buy it even if you have no particular plans for using it right away? Recently, I bought a little bit of new fabric and, since I like to use a LOT of different fabrics in my scrap quilts, I am going to combine it with some of what I already have and add it to those quilts.
I love going through my fabric looking for just the right small scrap from years ago that will add a little something to a new quilt. Actually, I'm doing this right now as I try to finish some quilts that are half-started (but also half-done!) and work on putting some blocks together that I sewed a long time ago. When I took them out of their box I decided I still liked them so that always motivates me to work on them some more and maybe finish another quilt or two.
Old but not forgotten
Lordy, I'm STILL hanging on to some of the same old scraps so I can use them in other quilts someday. I guess I've really formed attachments to some of them. Crazy, I know. Somehow it feels very satisfying to use those familiar scraps and place the ones I particularly love in several different quilts. Then, every time I look at one I have to smile because I feel a little tug. Seeing the special fabric in a quilt might make me recall where I bought it or remember things I did that year. Women from the 19th century did this too. Pieces of scraps from worn dresses often found their way into their quilts.
Some of you who have my books and are pretty sharp may have already noticed that I like to use some of the same scraps over and over in the quilts I make. Often, you'll see a certain lovely blue print everywhere you look, making an appearance in several different quilts. It makes me feel good to put something old into a new quilt.
My DJ blocks make the best use of my old fabric.
But they are often lovingly spread throughout my scrap quilts. I never get tired of looking at some of them.
For the best of both worlds I buy fabric often because there's nothing like new fabric to inspire you to begin a new project. But I also make use of the old too. Much of what I buy coordinates with what I already have because I usually only buy what I love. And that’s always changing.