Monday, March 2, 2015

Something Old, Something New


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.
                       
Some of the pieces of fabric I love and am hanging onto are now pretty small. 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.



13 comments:

Audrey--Quilty Folk said...

Love this post. It's very much how I use fabric too.:)

Leeanne said...

I don't think this crazy, well if it is then I am crazy with you! Sometimes it's hard to cut up your fav fabric.

Jennifer M said...

I understand Kathy and so true. It is perfectly fine to buy fabric we love, even if we don't need it!!!! I too, have favorites, but new fabrics are inspiring:)))

Yvonne said...

I love your scraps. Those fabrics are timeless and never to old to use!

Susan Smith said...

I love using scraps too and am thrilled when I can make a "free" quilt, using only tiny pieces that many would have thrown away.

quiltgrannie said...

Great post Kathy, that's what I love about civil war reproductions. I have so many scraps from years ago and they all play well with the new fabrics that are always coming out.

Scrappy quilter said...

I'm the same way. I love purchasing fabrics however I love using old pieces of fabric or older pieces of scraps too.

Judy said...

I love using scraps and your post brought a smile to my face reading about your attachment to fabric. It's funny how when you see a quilt or fabric it can take you back in time. Good memories.

Karen said...

I don't think that's crazy at all. In fact, I think most quilters feel the same way you do. It's hard to get rid of anything that still tugs at your heart. I love seeing your blocks and fabrics spread out for show and tell. You always use a variety of fabrics along with your favorite "blues".

The Civil War Quilter said...

I feel exactly as you do about old fabrics in my collection. It's fun to use them, but I miss them once they're all used up! Glad I'm not the only crazy one. :)

Mary @ Neat and Tidy said...

Every few years (and this is one of them) I get the itch to use up old scraps and make a quilt. I'm currently sewing 100 8-point stars. Some of the novelty fabrics I've been give or bought are being tossed, and I'm also throwing out the JUNK. My boxes and baskets of fabric are being straightened, and I'll have a new quilt top to boot.

Your mini quilts have inspired me to change directions with my fabric purchases. My next step is to use some of my new fabric to sew some minis. I can only use so many wall hangings, table runners and bed quilts.

Shasta Matova said...

All of your quilts are so beautiful! Love seeing such a variety in this post. I also use the same fabric in many quilts. In fact, every single one of my quilts has another quilt that uses at least one of it's fabrics. They are all related that way!

kiquilter said...

How reassuring it is to know that others share my feeling about fabric, and thank you for expressing it so well. I love your photos of fabric and blocks in progress. It's always fun to what fabrics another quilter has and what she does with them.

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