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!)

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29 Responses to Scraps

  1. 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!

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

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