Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Scrap Attack {Bias Scraps with Completely Cauchy}

What size are your "scraps"?  Here we are gathering as a community to work with our "scraps", but we actually mean a million different things when we use that word!  I've heard "scraps" defined as leftover fabric from a previously used fabric cut.  That starts to get at what I mean since it leaves the actual size of your "scraps" open-ended.  Maybe you only toss pieces larger than 5" square in your scrap bin, or maybe you keep every drop.  Or maybe your scraps are anything less than a fat quarter?  Regardless, scraps are "leftover" from another project.  But, hey, what if you buy scraps from a fabric store?  Well then they're what's leftover after the store cuts or sells particular lengths.  So, still leftovers! 


And that's part of why I love sewing with scraps - it's taking something "leftover" and putting it to good use. That mentality is really at the core of the quilting tradition. But regardless of tradition, I really get enormous satisfaction out of seeing that transition.  Some of my hardest-to-use leftovers are triangle or bias-cut trimmings from piecing shapes like flying geese (the Swoon way), joining binding, string blocks, etc.  That's why I have been eagerly looking forward to learning a new technique today at Completely Cauchy. 

Compost Quilt by Completely Cauchy

If you're a fan of scrappiness, you may become a fan of Complete Cauchy.  She has a serious commitment to working with small pieces... in fact with any piece at least 0.5" inches in each direction.  Her Scraptacularity Manifesto is quite to the point and strikes a chord with me.  Last year in Scraptacularity, Part 1 she taught a clever way of using small scraps to build new "fabric" in a log cabin construction. 


Crazy Quilt Blocks
blocks by Completely Cauchy

Today in Scraptacularity, Part 2 she shows us how to use foundation piecing to stabilize bias cut scraps so that they can be used in all their slanting glory and still produce nice flat works.  Aren't these little scrappy charm squares gorgeous?  And true to the tradition of making use, she suggests you use old phonebook paper for your foundations.  I've done that too - works great!   Check out Completely Cauchy for a step-by-step tutorial! 

In our Scrap Attack movement I encourage you to work with scraps, however you define them.  For anyone new to Scrap Attack, you're welcome to make a quilt of any design and in any size to join in.   The key detail is that it be made mostly from scrap (all details here).   We'll celebrate at the end of March with a Festival of Scrappiness for all who've finished a quilt top.  If you make more than one quilt, why then you'll just have more chances at some fun prizes.

Psst... wanna know how I roll?  I keep pretty small scraps.  It's not unusal to find 1" wide pieces in my tiny scrap bins and they really do get used... sometimes.   In fact, I think I'll be back tomorrow to show you what I've been piecing lately with my teeny tiny scraps.  Until then!

18 comments:

  1. I know, I have so many *really* small scraps I can't part with-- I love the tutorial you linked to, now I'm dying to do more scrap sewing!

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  2. I was thinking of "making my own" fabric with tiny scraps - all my scraps are teeny tiny, so this was just the post I was waiting for. :)

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  3. I always read posts from others and see what they do with their "scraps". You see, I find humor in reading because I think I'm very unlike most people. I purchase only the amount of fabric needed because it is expensive and I utterly hate waste. So if you took a good look at my scrap hamper, you would rarely find any scrap larger than 3". I'm laughing at myself now trying to figure out how large of a quilt I could make once I take into account the seam allowances. A scrap quilt is on my goal list this year, however, so what better time to do it than now?! I'm looking forward to seeing how you use your tiny scraps. I'm sure I will be inspired!

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  4. A lot of my scraps are really small so this is perfect!!

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  5. Those little blocks are fantastic! Thanks for sharing her work, Rachel!

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  6. Hmm i'm quite interested in doing a crazy scrap quilt, to use up scraps and the ugly fabrics I bought last year, you know the ones, an online purchase that turns out to be not so lovely!!

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  7. The compost quilt is such an inspiration. Well worth keeping as much scraps as possible!

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  8. I've just been "auditing" my scraps and have weeded out a whole bunch of really teeny ones (smallest, about an inch sq) which I have sent on to a friend, but I still have a load of pretty small scraps. I'm planning to try and make more use of my scraps, including making a scrap quilt, although I won't be able to do it in your scrap attack time-scale, but I love this idea of making new fabric with scraps!

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  9. That´s exactly what I love about scraps! make sth new and good out of "waste".

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  10. i keep big enough scraps to sew easily;but save mini scraps in a bag for my 6 year old to use in her collage/art work

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  11. I'm thoroughly enjoying this project! Thanks for organizing another fun activity, Rachel!!

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  12. Fab idea with the paper as a base! As for scraps, I had a bit of a giggle, as for me scraps are anything UNDER about 5" in any direction. Oh well, I will eventually have a teeny tiny quilt made out of them all ;o)

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  13. Rachel, I'm so glad you are hosting Scrap Attack. I keep every little piece of fabric. I would feel wasteful if I were to throw any fabric out. But seriously, I have so many scraps I could probably make several quilts. Thanks for giving me the motivation to attack my scraps!

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  14. Wow, that is an amazing site. I have to say though, I don't think I keep anything quite that small. BUT, maybe I will now! :)

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  15. I, too, have trouble parting with tiny fabric pieces. Chawne's method is so fun. I'm definitely going to give some scraps new life with her blocks. And I'm hoping to jump back into Bottled Rainbows, too!

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  16. Thanks of introducing me, Rachel. I love scraps too and I have a ton. I definitely have a problem throwing fabric away so I end up with some tiny scraps in my bin and I'm always wondering how best to utilize them.

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  17. i love chawne. she is the best. i have a hard time keeping scraps sometimes but it makes me feel so guilty to throw them out.

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  18. Got the fabric in the mail - and whipped a few dresdens! Perfect. Thank you so much. Glad shipping was so dirt cheap.
    ~Monika

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