Right now there are scrap baskets all over my house. I'll admit, I haven't been very diligent in organizing them lately. Many of the small quilts I make are made with scraps from these scrap baskets. Some of the scraps I like to use and use again are pretty old--not vintage, just little pieces of some of my favorite fabrics I've saved over the years that are left over from other projects. If you're like me, when a fabric calls to you, you have to buy it even if you have no particular plans for it. I have a habit of hanging onto my favorite pieces (some of them are now pretty small) and lovingly spreading them throughout my scrap quilts. I never get tired of some of them. Those 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.
It's not that I don't have enough other fabric (goodness) or because I can't afford to buy NEW fabric (I buy new fabric all the time), I've just formed attachments to some of them. Somehow it feels very satisfying to use those scraps and place the ones I particularly love in several different quilts (or, especially, in my Dear Jane quilt). Then, every time I look at one I have to smile because I feel a little tug. Seeing the special fabric might make me recall where I bought it or what else was going on in my life at that time.
I know we all love to collect our little scraps and save them to make doll quilts someday, but, in your collecting excitement - don't forget to use them!
We often dream about quilts we want to make someday. Sometimes, it becomes a regular pastime. I'm sure many of you have pictures of old quilts or quilts from your favorite designers just sitting around waiting to come alive as a real quilt. One of the best ways I've found to get myself motivated to do this and actually make those 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 all those little pieces. Try cutting them into same-size squares or strips to make it easier to use them up.
My sewing space is often a mess when I'm working on something, especially when it's several projects 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.
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Well, it's time for me to organize some of my scraps (AGAIN) before I get too bogged down with a mess and then become stuck. How about you? Feeling a little unmotivated? Not eager to start something new? Try to make a little time to organize your scraps. Then - here's an idea - after you do organize your scraps and pull out some of your favorites, can you make a small quilt entirely from scraps in your collection? Nothing fancy, maybe just simple squares or four patches. Don't use a pattern, just let your creativity flow and just use up those little scraps, without cutting into fat quarters or larger cuts of fabrics. Something happens when we do this . . . . It's fun and relaxing and if you're feeling a little stuck you'll be surprised at how it gets your creativity and motivation flowing again.