Thursday, January 31, 2013

January Scrap Challenge Finished

Giant pile o' Scraps on Sewing table

You didn't think I would finish my January Scrap Challenge quilt before February? Au Contraire! One way to finish a task is to tell Mr. Hunting Creek that you have a goal and a deadline. He's a professional Project Manager and a huge nag. Whenever I was doing nothing or just hanging out watching aimless TV he'd say, "Don't you need to work on your quilt? How many blocks did you do today?"
The blocks multiplied like Tribbles with his nagging  expert guidance.

 Even though I've been sewing since I was 8 years old or thereabouts  I learn a few things with every project. On this one I learned that SCRAPS RULE THE WORLD. There is no escaping them! They multiply behind your back!
The pile of scraps you see above (I can't make blogger show the picture the right way, get on that Google.) is part of a giant bag of strips that someone gave me. Have you noticed that non-sewists love to unload sewing stuff on innocent sewists? They act like they are giving you a huge gift! Mr. Hunting Creek looks on this with amazement  "They are giving an avowed addict more of what they're addicted to? Why not find some drug addicts and say, "Here's some Oxycontin I don't need any more, but I know  you can use it." He thinks they are aiding and abetting and he isn't far off: It is well -known that other people scraps are in many ways cooler than your own scraps. You already know your scraps. These unknown scraps are new! Different! Sometimes weird colors! (This is how you end up found years later as a dessicated mummy buried in a tunnel of quilt scraps.)
Yet more scraps!
In the past ten years I would save scraps in a big bin if they were smaller than a fat quarter. If you sew a lot, and make baby quilts and Hawaiian shirts and gifts and bags and all sorts of stuff, over ten years you are going to have a lot of scraps. About in the middle of my scrap quilt I realized that I had more scraps than one lap quilt-worth. So I'll have to do another scrap quilt challenge later this year. At first I sorted them by color and size, but that was a mistake- the best way for me, anyway, was to dump them all out and just grab a color/value I needed and use it. I'm very OCD and I tend to over-think sometimes. This was an exercise in being more relaxed. The strips are all sorts of odd shapes and sizes, but my goal was just make it work. Do you think our fore-mothers worried about matching and silly stuff like colors? They did NOT. I own two quilts made by Mr. Hunting Creek's grandmother, and they are so different from contemporary quilts it's like a breath of fresh air. Run out of red? Use orange! Forget about 1/4 inch seams, use smaller, use larger to make it fit!
While taking a break when Mr. Hunting Creek was otherwise engaged, (so he couldn't make me go back to work) I read on Venus de Hilo's blog about a Kitchen sink quilt. This is a ingenious idea! I found three old blocks that I had made ten years ago and added some more to them and worked them in. "I made SIX blocks today!," I told Mr. Hunting Creek. "Wow, he said, impressed by my diligence.."See how well you do when you're focused? "

Stay tuned for the Big Reveal! (Camera battery charging up.)


Venus de Hilo said...

Love your method of counting how many blocks you got done in a day.

I'm appalled at how full my strip scraps bin still is after working so many into that Kitchen Sink top. They do breed like rabbits when we're not looking, I'm convinced of it!

Carolyn said...

This post is great! Had to read it out loud to my husband because it is so funny and so true.

badmomgoodmom said...

My daughter's art teacher asked for fabric. I asked the teacher, "What size?".

"All sizes from collage to curtain."

I promptly bagged up an overflowing 66 qt bin of scraps and sent them to school.

Of course, I also made a bunch of quilt backings and quilts last year from the larger scraps. That felt so good to have an empty scrap bin.

Alarmingly, it's overflowing again.