More on Scraps

Last week’s post on being held hostage by my scraps and my brave deed of consigning some of them to the dark inners of a draft excluder generated lovely comments from you, dear readers, and got me thinking some more about scraps. I did not confess that I had saved the small slivers when squaring off the blocks for the blue scrap quilt. I then converted them into thread fabric. The following photograph is dedicated to you, Laura.

Slivers repurposed into fabric, using wash-away and grid stitching to hold it all together. 20 x 24 cm.

Confession number two: I collect threads in bowls — one beside my hand stitching couch and one beside my machine — and have converted some of them into thread fabric. Here’s the photographic evidence:

It has struck me that these threads contain the history or traces of the projects I was working on. I have plans to continue turning the contents of the thread-holding bowls into bits of fabric and to collate them into a book.

Then I also collect really special bits in bottles — one for shiny fabrics, one for bright cotton bits and yet another one for threads and cords.

Since last writing I have made another draft excluder and in the process of stuffing them both I did rescue some exceptional scraps. Here they are:

It has struck me that the word “scrap” has mostly negative connotations. Off the top of my head: to scrap is to fight; to be given scraps is to be given the dregs of the meal; to produce a scrappy piece of work is to show lack of care and effort. Of course I had to consult my trusted OED and was reminded that the word can also refer to a waif. The dictionary confirms that the word is usually used “in negative contexts”and refers to “useless remnants”. Ha! I beg to disagree.

Finally, in preparation for the class on Kantha stitching that I will be doing at the National Quilt Festival, I unearthed a bag of silk scraps that was kindly given to me a while ago. Just look at this treasure trove! (most certainly not useless remnants).

13 thoughts on “More on Scraps

  1. Oooh, more scraps! I’m very taken with the idea of your “thread fabric” – what a cool way to use all those little bits. And I never throw away ends of thread either – my pincushion has a stash of saved bits for tacking and sewing short seams!


  2. You have just reinforced my hoarding of scraps and thread! 😁 I have made a couple of fabric journal covers with thread and scrap fabric that I made. It is such a good feeling to create something out of things that usually get thrown away.


  3. How amazing – I am impressed! I admit I usually throw out tiny scraps and threads but I always cut them into short and even tinier bits ever since a wild bird rescuer and rehabber told me that a number of injured birds brought to her had been entangled in threads with many having severe injuries to feet (toes) and legs.


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