Why I work with scraps

I keep a lot of small bits of cut off fabrics, scraps. Unless they are smaller than 1″ or in funny shape, I keep them in my scrap boxes.
The reason is simply I am really not good at throwing away. I am Japanese and not wasting anything is deep buried inside me. Don’t throw anythings unless it is really useless. We were told this so long, many centuries long, I really feel bad about throwing things away. And this applies to my quilting fabrics too.

So…. my scrap boxes are full of tiny fabrics which may not be useful as they are. But once they are stitched together and have gotten big enough, they can be useful, can’t they?

I have used up a quite lot of bright colourful scraps but I still have a good amount of neutral, dull ones. Beige, monochrome and white. That is because my preference changed and I don’t use those colour that much in my quilts and they don’t really go with bright colours. And it was time to use them up.

I started with only neutrals and as I went, I added a bit more colour like the change of my preference. Some were cut much smaller to be far less visible. Sorry about bad colour in this photo.

Then the quilting. My favourite part! I divided the entire space in two. One with more organic shapes and the other with planned ruler quilting. Well actually, I make plans as I quilt. So not totally preplaned quilting.

As you can see the bottom half was quilted with circles which are filled with geometric patterns. I started with three circles. And it looked empty. So I added more.
On the other hand, the top half was quilted with circles which were filled with ovals a bit like Spirograph and spine like ribbon candy pattern. All those are quilted with mid-dark grey thread to stand out a bit more.

And then background filling. Rising bubble for the bottom half and swirls for the top. Those are quilted with light wisteria colour in order to blend better.

I am not a big fun of pieced backings. The reason one, I encounter unexpected lumps of fabric made by seam allowance of backing fabric while quilting. And the reason two is uneven stretch of fabrics. Those seams won’t stretch because of stitches but fabric dose and not evenly depending on the make.
But for this time I stuck with the given theme, use up scraps, I pieced this backing with ones I probably don’t use. In one part of quilting, I had to unpick completely because it ended up too much of puckers but otherwise it finished fine.

As you can see above, they are trimmed to the size. 20″ wide. And then I had to trim the longer ends as well. I started this fairly big because I never know how much quilting shrinks the quilt. And I quilted the whole quilt without much thought for trimming. Now which side can take trimming more…..

Obviously I didn’t want to loose THAT big circle even it didn’t get filled properly evenly. Luckily I didn’t loose the one full quilted circle on the other end. I did loose some pretty fabrics though!

I debated with myself either bind this quilt or add facing. Either should work well but I didn’t find a nice fabric to bind it. So facing then.

And this is the finished quilt, 20″ by 40″.


One thought on “Why I work with scraps

  1. I always use scraps and wrestle with seam allowances lying flat and fabrics of different weaves and vintage. I am blown away by that quilting, knowing I could never ever make a machine behave that well. I hope that one will make it to a show for many people to enjoy and be inspired.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.