quilter's new year's resolution

My scrappy adventure began as a noble and thrifty notion to save all quilt scraps when sewing quilt tops. The left-over pieces are still lovely usable fabric, after all, and it would be a wasteful shame to just toss them out with yesterday’s garbage.

If you have been sewing any length of time, you know this can soon become an out-of-control obsession with fabric salvaging, which turns into a mountain of mis-matched odd-shaped fabric pieces that no longer have place or purpose. Therefore, I’ve made it my mission to resolve the unruly situation growing in my sewing room by having Second Saturday Sew Scrappy Adventures. And unless there is a retreat scheduled at Prairie Flower Retreat House on the second Saturday, we plan to gather there each month and sew on scrap happy quilts.

Our first month of scrappy sewing proved a good start. One of the ladies was sewing 2” x 3 ½” pieces into a “potato chip” quilt. I know this is not a new pattern, but it was new to me and I loved the look of it! Look that one up on YouTube, and you’ll find some excellent videos of various designs and sizes of this piecing method. In preparation for a potato chip quilt, you can pre-cut your salvaged pieces into the required sizes as you save them and have them ready to sew together. This gives you a one-up on the salvage mission. Tip #1. Know what you’re going to make with the scraps!

While getting ready for our scrappy happy day (that’s just so much fun to say), I was digging through my very large basket of scraps and came across some partially assembled crumb quilt blocks I had started two years prior while demonstrating the crumb method at a quilt retreat. (Hmmm, so that’s where that went!) I determined I had enough blocks made to put a throw-sized top together, but was missing 2 small pieces of sashing. And Lord knows I don’t have any more of that fabric left! So yes, I dug through the entire mess, piece by piece, until I found what I was looking for. I was then able to finish the top – another UFO completed! But while going through all the scrap pieces, I was able to place colors together and throw out what was unusable. Which leads to salvage mission tip #2. Organize your scraps by color.

Next, and tip #3, create a purpose for using your scraps. If you have a goal to achieve you are more likely to turn those scraps into a lovely finished project. Even if you make one or two 12” blocks each time we sew on Scrap Happy Saturday, by the end of the year you’ll have enough blocks to sew into a quilt. Or you could have everyone contribute blocks towards a donation quilt. Raffle the quilt and give the funds raised to a worthy cause.

If you do not live close to our Prairie Flower Retreat House, start a Scrap Happy Adventure in your own neck of the woods and get Scrappy!