Sunday, July 03, 2016

Scraps- Fabric 'n' Paper

When you do paper piecing there are often some odd shaped scraps of fabric left behind.  If you happen to sew clothes, the same thing can happen.  It is easy to just toss the scraps in the trash bin.  But considering the prices of good fabric, I find it hard to do that even though I have a stash of fabrics.  For most of them, I still paid upwards of $5 a yard for those scraps - some of them were considerably more per yard.

So, when these odd shapes appear we should find a cool and fun way to recycle them, right?  I learned a trick in the class I am taking that helps me to recycle AND makes my heart happy with the "wildness" of the creation process.
Here are the materials you need:
Scraps of fabric and strips of newpaper or in my case old phone book pages - a double recycling effort.  I cut my strips of phonebook pages to 3 inches wide using an old rotary cutter blade. Note: If you have a spare rotary cutter you can keep an old blade in it for cutting paper when you paper piece OR you can cut with paper scissors.  I used easily torn transparent tape to join two strips.

To make the "crazy strips" just lay two pieces of fabric (right sides together) over the paper.  Be sure to lower your stitch length.  Sew them and fold the top piece back over the exposed paper....repeat until the paper is covered.  Press and trim.  I put the paper side up so I could see more easily where to trim.
So far, I have made two and sewed them together.
I can see using these strips for the basis of an entire quilt. I would probably do sections like this, or maybe three strips joined and sash them.  You could do shorter strips and make square blocks of the pieces.  Really you are only limited by your own imagination with this.  The more variety of scraps you have to use in this, the more interesting your quilt will be.

And what about the paper you tear off the back of the finished strips?  Easy! Just drop it in your recycling bin.
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7 comments:

Kim D said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kim D said...


I have a little tote of fabric scraps and use them for all kinds of things. Sometimes the scraps can make the most beautiful of things, it just takes a little imagination and creativity. I love how yours are coming together and like all the things you will become a beautiful piece of art ❤️

Linda J said...

now that looks cool, Gene!

A Left-Handed Quilter said...

Cool! That might make a nice border for the one I'm working on - thanks for sharing - ;))

Barbara said...

Very resourceful using up uh...resources. Also very pretty!

Kathy said...

I have a nice pile of pretty much fabric "slivers" left over from a baby quilt (from a paper pieced quilt, so you can imagine the size of the slivers!). It has been my intent to use this method for those pieces, and then just see where it takes me! I love how yours is turning out. I'm pretty sure I'll toss some other scraps into the mix as well.

Marlene said...

I love this type of quilt. Perhaps it's the Saori-like randomness. I'm pretty sure my grandmother must have used this technique way back in the 70s to make a quilt for my brother. It has a scrappy crazy quilt look to it and yet you can see that it was formed by sewing the scraps into blocks first.