Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Fabric Shame

 You know how we wise old ones mentor our young ones and say things like "don't put anything online that you don't want to see forever"? It is wise advice. Maybe I should listen to it more. Oh, what the heck..... here is my fabric shame.  

My bins of scraps. My bins of unorganized scraps. The "just throw them in there and you'll deal with it whenever" scraps. It seems that whenever is finally here.

This is one of my "just throw it in" scrap bins. It is the 66 quart size.  

Let's preface this with some of my fabric history. I have been making quilts for 48 years. It began when fabric stores were scarce and the fabric they offered was not ideal for making quilts. The first quilt was a mixture of every synthetic textile known to man. Sadly, it will never fully decompose. When I came across a winner fabric that had calico like images and was all cotton - it was revered. Every scrap was saved. This habit is a useful habit for quiltmakers. That long saved teeny piece of royal blue is now just perfect for that applique quilt I am currently working on. Also, never overlook the obnoxious self satisfaction of knowing that you NEVER THROW AWAY FABRIC SCRAPS. Sigh. Early habits are tough to break.

Fast forward to 48 years later and hundreds of quilts later. I have scraps. Lots of them. A couple of weeks ago I was contemplating the reduced storage space in the studio. Studio space filled with scrap bins. It seemed I had 3 options: 1 - throw them away (uh, no!) 2 - rent a storage unit (uh, NO!) or deal with them.  Clearly these scraps were taking up too much space as most were wadded up in the bins. Notice they are not sorted by color. (I do make several quilts a year JUST using scraps and I tend to graze through the top layer).  All this needed to be remedied. Last week I started dealing with it. One bin at a time was upended and each scrap was pressed and sorted by color and type. I thought this chore might take 2 weeks. We are in week 2 and I have been through 9 bins. There are 23 more to go. Sigh.

June will be less productive as I have cataract surgery scheduled - both eyes. 2 surgeries that require 9 medical appointments (pre-surgical exam, covid test, surgery, post op appointment, get the idea) Not much sewing will get done. Hopefully my eyesight will be good enough to sort and iron fabric. 

There is good news. I can see that the number of bins will be greatly reduced and finding JUST the right fabric for that leaf will be a bit easier. 

Some of you are wondering WHY? Why indeed.  First of all, like I said earlier, early habits are hard to break. Also, I am a hand piecer, a hand appliquer, and I have been known to dabble in English Paper Piecing. All of these make use of small pieces of fabric. Small pieces that less obsessive people wouldn't have a problem throwing away. (Just typing that is difficult).

There is more good news..... some of these can be yours. I have put up 1 Lb. bundles of scraps in the Etsy shop.  If you also are a hand piecer, or appliquer, or dabble in English Paper Piecing and your scrap situation is not as flush as mine - you are in luck.

Full Disclosure - these are scraps. Some might be as big as a fat 8th and some might be much smaller. There will be a few tiny pieces in your bundle, but most will be more than 6 inches square and some much bigger. These are from my personal scrap collection. Most will be Minick and Simpson scraps, but not all. All will be quilt shop quality fabrics. Some may even be starched.

I put up some last week and they surprisingly sold out within minutes. There are a few more bundles today. The goal is to keep putting up bundles for several weeks - about 20 bundles at a time.

So, that's everything. The burden is literally lightened now that I've shared to you about it. 


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