Endless Scraps

Each week I toss out a few fabric scraps to reduce my collection. Most of my recent pieces are made almost entirely of scraps. Over the past two weeks I’ve put together three tops made of scraps and slapped fabric for another onto my design wall. Result? The scraps are winning. My color sorted boxes of scraps never seem to get emptier even though I’m not adding many new bits because I use mostly scraps. I suspect there’s a secret spell that transfers other quilters’ scraps to my boxes.

But I push on to use up those scraps. I decided each of my latest scrap creations must contain nothing but scraps (duh!), blocks sewn from scraps (I have a collection,) and photos printed on fabric. I also decided to use some techniques I learned in my From Sketchbook to Wall class.

Since it’s spring, allegedly, I began with pink and purple scraps and a highly distorted photo of begonia leaves. I fused the scraps onto acrylic felt and sewed around the raw edges. Then, I began to applique and embroider a la Tansy Hargan. I plan to embellish more once I figure out what to add.

Next, I moved to blues, purples, and grays and a more tailored look. The photo I used is left over from my shoes quilt. I fused the raw edge scraps to drill cloth and again sewed down the edges. There will be no hand work as that drill cloth is tough stuff. I went through way too many versions of the layout and have reached the point of declaring it done simply because I’m tired of it.

Next steps are up in the air, possibly stenciling or some other form of printing.

For a change I decided to sew my scraps together on the third piece and got into improv curved piecing. I was glad I remembered how to do the technique. The photo of spools of yarn was cut into four pieces which were scattered about.

This piece will actually have batting and backing, unlike the others.

Finally, I began to select scraps in the green and blue/green family for one or more pieces. Right now there’s no particular order to the scraps, though I think I may build circles with that one print fabric on the upper left. I wish I could tell you that deep thought goes into much of my work, but it would be a lie. Often I simply respond to colors.

And speaking of colors, I had to photograph this view of my house. My green house seems right for Earth Day.

I’m linking to Off The Wall Friday.


Filed under Art quilts, In Process

4 responses to “Endless Scraps

  1. I love how you work with your scraps, it is very inspiring. The values of the color and contrasts playing off each other is what you do so well. I think the curves are great with the spool fabric. Your shadow house photo is prefect!

    • Thanks. I view these as experiments and sketches that may not result in a serious work, but will let me practice some combinations and try out techniques. It’s so much easier to do this with paint, but I’m trying to speed up the process with fusing.

  2. Oh my gosh, my idea of scrap work is just slapping together big pieces into something that I tell myself will be useful to someone (and I do find that satisfying) — your idea of scrap work is producing amazing works of art! I love all the variety of techniques and detail that goes into them. I always love your compositions and sense of balance too.

    • Thanks so much! Remember, though, that you’re dealing with big chunks of fabric that in my stash would probably be considered yardage. That’s the size I use to make quilt backs. Hope your house hasn’t yet been thrown off plumb from all your fabric donations.

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