Once upon a time, I was unrealistically ambitious (who, me?!?! NEVER! hah) and thought I could have a zero-waste studio. I saved every single scrap in a plastic bag, every extra bit of thread too. And while I’m still guilty of having a too-large collection of “things I can do something with later”, I actually did use a lot of the scraps in my scrap bin. I decided to try crazy quilting.
This was Take 1, my first endeavor. Those photos show the various sides of a cover I made for my sewing machine. I figured that would be a nice tribute for this beast of a machine, the Singer 6233 from 1984 that I inherited from my mother, seen here in an ebay photo:
And sew I did. (See what I did there?) I learned a lot about the stitch-and-flip piecing technique, which I ended up forgetting and having to relearn during Take 2, since it had been so long between projects (a couple years). Of course, I don’t press my seams as I go. For my purposes, a scrap-covered piece of fabric to keep dust out of my machine, I didn’t really feel the need for that much fuss. But I liked the way it came out anyhow. Even the back came out kind of cool:
I love looking at detail pieces. You can indeed see that my seamwork has a long way to go, but it’s all a journey. Some bunch up, and I’m using a combination of all different types of fabric (woven, stretch, lightweight, heavyweight, etc.) so there’s going to be puckering. One of these days I’ll use all quilting cotton on a piece, and figure out how to properly line up seams and they’ll be all pressed and symmetric and awesome. Or not. Maybe this grunge aesthetic is just my bag.
So I had my sewing machine cover, and then the scrap bag started filling up again. And I was at loss for what to do. Like I’d never figured out how to use all those scraps before. Like I didn’t stare at my crazy quilt covered sewing machine every day. Sooner or later, it hit me, and I thought, “Of course”. Not sure why it took that long, but here we go…
This time I was a little more methodical about separating scraps by color value. My goal for this time was a relatively well-balanced square. I’m not sure what I’ll use it for, but it’s a step up the chain. I used to have a bag of fabric scraps that “I can do something with later”, and now I have a crazy quilted square that I can “do something with later”. Progress!
As I clean my studio (we’re moving in the next couple months), I’m trying to process the raw materials and sort them into the projects they’re for. I do a lot of processing of raw materials (lots of old clothes), and I end up with lots of scraps, balls of fabric yarn, etc. Someday I’ll show you. Til then, friends!