Scraps

As I was reading blogs the other day, I came across this saying on I Got Nothing by Janice that made me laugh.

fabric stash

I already have a large box full of fabric, which is threatening to overflow. I will need another box soon. I know, however, that my small stash of fabric is nothing compared to other sewists. I received most of my stash from my mom when she died. One of my sisters and I divided it between us.

Mom loved to browse in fabrics stores and buy all sorts of fabric for her quilting. My sisters and I knew exactly what type of fabric she was drawn to, having been to fabric stores with her on numerous occasions. She loved beautiful, colorful fabrics with traditional designs and intricate patterns. She didn’t like yellow or brown, although she used yellow in her latest quilts. She tried to buy some “ugly” fabrics to bring variety to her quilting, but could just never bring herself to do it.

During our visit with our Dad over Christmas, we were looking at a quilt on the guest bed, trying to decide if Mom had made it or bought it. We all pretty much decided that Mom had bought the quilt. My sister Meredith pointed out that several of the fabrics weren’t designs that Mom would have bought, and the stitching was sloppier than Mom’s sewing style of neat stitches.

Mom saved the smallest scraps of fabric. She saved scraps with holes in them from where she had ripped out seams. Worthless scraps. Right? What can you do with a bunch of scraps?

I have those scraps now. My sister has some scraps. We are incorporating those fabric scraps in quilts of our own. Those worthless scraps are turning out to be quite beautiful.

My quilts are more modest than my sister’s. I’m still in the process of making a throw quilt, with a backing and batting, which I hope to be able to throw on my lap this winter as I sit in front of the TV watching Big Bang Theory.Scrappy Dresden Plate

Heather’s quilts are of the artist variety. Her quilts stretch long and tall with intricate designs sewn on the front. Scraps of Mom’s fabric are incorporated into her quilts as well.

Heather's quilt displayed at the Peoria Art Guild in August, 2012

Heather’s quilt displayed at the Peoria Art Guild in August, 2012

Not all scraps are tangible. My sister Meredith’s quilting consists of beautiful phrases of music.

Circle of Geese block (click the picture to hear Meredith's composition "Flock of Geese")

Circle of Geese block (click the picture to hear Meredith’s composition “Flock of Geese”)

We leave intangible scraps of ourselves all over the place. How often has someone told you, “I was thinking about you the other day!” because of something they saw or did that reminded them of you? Or perhaps you smell a certain scent in the air that reminds you of someone you love. (Cinnamon rolls equals Grandma!) Whenever I hear a Def Leppard song, I instantly think of my husband, who has every single album they ever recorded.

Little scraps of us. Not worthless, but meaningful.

(Leave a scrap of yourself below…write a comment!)

signature

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

29 Responses to Scraps

  1. What beautiful scraps! You all seem to have gotten your mother's talent for quilting. I've only made one (okay fine I assisted) and I think my baby sister still has it.

    This is beautiful– "Little scraps of us. Not worthless, but meaningful."
    My recent post PicMonkey Adds Annual Membership

  2. Gina says:

    Wow!!! What a talent to have and so very creative. It is special that you share this common bond with your sisters and mom. I know your daughters are right behind!

  3. Larks says:

    What an amazing quilt! And I love the way you ended this. "Scraps of ourselves." What a great way to think about it.
    My recent post The few, the proud, the vampire hecklers.

  4. Jen says:

    So sweet how the scraps are being incorporated into beautiful art. I love it.
    My recent post In My Blood

  5. Bee says:

    Your mom's scraps alone might be "ugly," but the way you and your sisters have put them together make them look gorgeous. Wow, you sister Heather is quite the quilter!
    My recent post Review: The Childless Revolution

  6. Mara says:

    If I need to mend one of my two quilts (which are nowhere near as beautiful as yours, but hold probably as many memories), I will try to do so using material from an old pair of pyjamas or an old shirt. Especially the first quilt I ever made was made that way to begin with: old nightgowns, old bedclothes, old shirts. So, it seems only fitting to reuse old stuff. Making the quilt warmer in the process as well: double layers!

    I don't have that much material now. I have enough to make two single quilts (the easy straightforward blocks, nothing intricate), one with princesses and the other one with Cars. I was supposed to make them two years ago, but haven't yet, so I will have to do it in Norway. I do have a lot of knitting wool though. As I was packing up, I found a whole lot I didn't even know I had…
    My recent post Wrong!

  7. Stacie says:

    I love this! I guess I won't win – I have no fabric (I do have the metaphorical kind though ;)
    My recent post Heading South

  8. randomreflectionz says:

    Oh my word, this is beautiful. Those quilts are stunning and I love to think that we are all leaving meaningful scraps of ourselves everywhere.

  9. I used to have so much fabric, and patterns, and all of the novelties and gadgets that go along with sewing. Once I started working I resigned myself to not having the time or space for sewing. I donated most of it to a charity resale shop. I like to imagine some older woman making all of that fabric into beautiful things.

    Someday, I'll get back to it.

  10. iasoupmama says:

    This is such a sweet post! My mom and mother-in-law quilt, so I guess it's only a matter of time before I take it up, huh? Actually I haven't the patience for it and, though I can sew, I hate my sewing machine.

    but I love fabric. I love putting together colors and patterns. My mother-in-law says I should design quilts for her to sew. Maybe?
    My recent post Barnacle

  11. I absolutely love this post. First of all the quilts are beautiful and amaze me. (and I have a huge stash of fabric for sewing but these make me wish I did quilt!)
    I just love what you said about the "scraps". You are so right. So often a song or phrase or situation brings a loved one to mind in such a strong way. It's wonderful. Our scraps are valuable!! :)
    My recent post I Will Cut You If You Bother Me While HotSean! Is On T.V.

  12. I love looking at fabric, too. I don't know how to do anything with textiles, but maybe one day I will. I love the image of us as quilts, made up of different pieces, some from others, some original.
    My recent post When Death Brought New Meaning to Life

  13. Wow. Those are beautiful. I fantasize about learning to quilt but it will probably never happen. It's amazing what beauty comes from all those discarded pieces that are saved.

  14. TriGirl says:

    What a sweet post. And what a creative family you all are!
    My recent post Baby, It's Cold Outside: Running in cold weather

  15. gretchen says:

    I have a huge box of scraps in the attic that I haven't looked at in YEARS. I also have a box of pieces which my mama cut out – an entire quilts worth of pieces. For the last 20 years I've said I was going to piece it together for her, but I still haven't. It's sad.
    My recent post RTT: Polar Bear Love, Breaking Abbey and Spicy Maya

  16. Julie Moore says:

    Such a sweet post! I adore the thought of being compared to quilting scraps. It's one of those things I'm determined to do one of these days: Make a quilt. I believe my mom has done it, I know my grandma has, and so has my hubby's grandma, and I want something I made for my kiddos to look back on one day. :) I'm even making heart pillows with old sweaters and such right now! :) Sounds silly, maybe, but it works, and looking at any handmade gift, be it cards, ornaments, quilts or pillows, reminds me of the person who made them, now and always. They are always treasured, too, regardless of the talent that went into them because of who made them. Gotta love nostalgia! Homemade gifts are always the best, too, right? :) Anyway, thanks for sharing this post. You made me smile and think of my own loved ones, those with me and those departed!
    My recent post {Guest Post} From Pain to Purpose: How Fibromyalgia Revealed My Passion in Life

                              Follow on Bloglovin
                              Follow on Bloglovin
Grab a Slice!