A Scrappy New Year

For 2017 I’ve been mulling over the advisability of a recurring project. Some quilters embroider a weekly leaf, while others do a daily sketch or photo. It’s a way to keep one’s hand in, creatively, and to have a project that can be completed quickly or is portable.

I’ve thought about a weekly collage, as I’ve been collecting pictures from magazines. I’ve also thought about a weekly shape created from my small scraps boxes. To clarify, I have boxes for large and small scraps. These are separate from my fabric strips boxes. Almost all my scraps are roughly sorted by color and size. Some of you may know Victoria Findlay Wolfe’s 15 minutes of play approach to making new fabric from scraps. No pressure, just sew.

To try out a scrappy regular project I spent the day after New Years sewing small scrap bits together. My session was supposed to last only about 30 minutes, but I didn’t come up for air until 4 hours had passed. And that took me only through my black and yellow scraps.


Here are my yellow scraps sorted by value and the scraps I finally was able to part with in the trash.

yellow-and-blackI started in separate black and yellow color groups, but then began to combine them. I have nothing in mind, but will replenish my parts department.

I can see where such a side project could take over all my time unless I exercise much self discipline. It’s all the fun and none of the headaches of patchwork. Have any of you tried such daily/weekly tasks?


Filed under Commentary, In Process, Inspiration

16 responses to “A Scrappy New Year

  1. I tried a self-directed block-of-the-month, but it took over during month 2 and was all finished by the time month 3 rolled around. Not much restraint! And a drive to “get it done” that usually is beneficial 🙂

  2. Really neat idea and your first “fabric” looks good. I think I would have a problem stopping too! I was thinking about doing the 1 Year of Stitches at http://www.brwnpaperbag.com/1-year-of-stitches-2017/ (embroidery) but same thing; once I’m planted and working on something relaxing and fun, I’m afraid there would no stopping me!

  3. I don’t have a daily or weekly practice like that. One of the “weeklies” I’ve seen touted this year is to write an essay a week. The person initiating the project is clear that a blog post is not necessarily an essay, but she doesn’t clarify what the difference is. I may go for an essay a week, based on my own understanding of it.

    As for scraps, mine are all different shapes and sizes. I do use them, but it’s hard to use them up or make any appreciable dent in them. Occasionally I’ll give away a pile, and occasionally I sort and throw a bunch out. And still there are just as many! I think scrap-wrangling could be fun in the absence of other compelling things to do, but not sure I’d have the discipline to work them just because. Good luck on it — you have a good start!

  4. Charlotte

    On occasion I pull scraps and make blocks just to keep going in my sewing room. I have used them for funky cloth dolls, lone boarders on a landscape and such. I keep them in a box and use them when the time and effect feels right.

  5. This sounds like a lot of fun–just playing! And your output is really striking so far. I saw a quilt made up of 365 blocks, each a very simple embroidery to represent day of that year–like a visual journal of a daily highlight. I like that idea a lot but probably don’t need another project right now . . .

    • It is indeed fun, though I don’t think a composite quilt of all the joined scraps would work well. It would indeed be scrap vomit, which can be a side effect of such projects.

  6. I’ve looked at some of the weekly (or daily!) projects that have been popular at various times, but I’ve never committed myself to them. This does sound like quite a fun approach. The made fabric is already looking good!

  7. Lesley

    Exactly that one, and I have used the resulting “fabric” to back small wall-hanging quilts. It’s tremendously liberating. I don’t match colour, I choose scraps with edges, short or long, of similar length and join those. Such fun.

    • One of my “rules” is I pretty much need to work with the shape of the scrap as it is. Eventually parts get lopped off, but my starting point is the trapezoid/triangle/rectangle of the scrap. Since I love to play colors off against each other I do pay attention to color, though for this project I’m beginning with color families.

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