I love, love, love my scraps - June 2012

Let me tell you about scraps. I cannot throw them away. I made my clothing since Jr High and my daughters clothing from the time they were born...and I saved the scraps and used the scraps. When I moved to Virginia in 1972, I was introduced first to quilting and later to patchwork. That was back in the Gorgia Bonesteel days. All I had was a book from Oxmoor House. I decided to make a log cabin quilt, but wasn't sure I wanted to spend a lot of money on fabric. What if I got halfway through the project and didn't like patchwork? I smile at the thought. I had a toddler and a baby on the way. I did not have any extra money. So I dug out my scraps. With a yardstick and scissors I cut 2 inch strips and sorted them into color groups and lights and darks.

I love it because it is full of visual memories my little girls' favorite clothes. I did not buy any fabric until I got to the borders. I had read that the center of a log cabin block is orange or red representing the fire in the hearth. But when I ran out of red and then orange, I used green and blue and even brown. As long as it was a solid fabric, it could be the "hearth". I did not have enough blocks to do the "Barn Raising" setting that I had seen, so I set it in "Plowed Furrows".

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I don't remember how many years it took me to finish the top. When it was finished it measured one inch smaller at the top than the bottom. Embarrassed, I put it away until some years later I learned that 1 inch was really not too bad. So I got it out, put borders on it and then quilted it with the help of my teachers in Franklin County, VA

There were still scraps left. This past Christmas my girls got quilts made from the rest of those scraps. 3 1/2 inch scraps alternated with muslin. My friend Katheryn Crickenberger started the pieces maybe 15 years ago. Before she died, she handed me a bag with about five sections of piecing In August (2011) I pulled the pieces out and re-worked them into two queen sized quilts.

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The scrap saga goes on and on. I still save the leftovers. I always will. I have great ideas for using them. I will get to them. As I cut up the scraps left from a quilt or sewing project, the pieces bring back memories. Lots and lots of the best memories life has to offer.

I wish the same for you. ~~~Rachel

Kay Shirey