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Scrap Strategies

After I finished up my last quilt, I had a giant pile of leftover coordinated scraps from mitered borders and extra blocks. 

I stared at this pile of fabric for a while and couldn’t come up with a solution, so I shoved it onto a corner of my cutting table and left it there.  I’m finding that whether I’m quilting or writing, this is a strategy I use often – shove the fabric or plot mess into a corner and ignore it until a solution somehow appears.  It always does.  I just have to be patient.

For this particular quilt mess, I waited until I drove 300 miles to Fallon, Nevada to watch my daughter play soccer.  During a break between games, I found a great quilt shop, Uncommon Threads, and the owner shared a technique to use all my color coordinated scraps. 

I’ve already been making my own scrap fabric on a smaller scale, so it was easy to use it with my pile of bigger pieces.

First, I sewed the scraps into a giant strip that was 13-13 ½” wide, and I have no idea how long.  I just made it as long as I could.

The long strip I made first.

Then, I used my 12 ½” square to cut out giant squares, and I got these blocks.

Finally, I cut all those in half and paired them with some tone-on-tone blue I had on hand.  I haven’t sewed the blocks together yet, but when I do, they’ll look something like this.

Not bad for a Sunday afternoon, except for the fact that I didn’t get any writing done.  I did have fun though!

No Comments

  1. Susan on September 20, 2011 at 3:48 am

    Wow! That is impressive for a Sunday afternoon!

    • Amy Isaman on September 20, 2011 at 1:23 pm

      Except for the fact that I didn’t write. I’m having a hard time balancing family time, work, and some down time with writing. Well, let me clarify. I’m writing, just not nearly as much as I feel that I should be which makes me feel frustrated with myself and makes the writing harder. So then, I hide out with my fabric and sewing machine which isn’t bad, its just not writing. It’s a vicious cycle. Urgh.

  2. Margaret Duarte on September 20, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    Hi Amy. I love how you compare quilting with writing, how you “shove the fabric or plot mess into a corner and ignore it until a solution somehow appears.” And that you have faith that a solution will come. Often it takes time for the channel to the creative, intuitive part of our mind to open. I often wish it were easier to invoke my muse, but the best I can do is file a request with that part of my mind and wait. I love what you did with your fabric scrapes. At least with your quilts you get a more immediate finished product than is often the case with writing. A Sunday afternoon. Nice!

  3. Janet Conner on September 24, 2011 at 7:35 pm

    I so love SEEING your creative process. We can’t show this as writers, so I feel like you’ve given us a delicious gift. THANK YOU! Janet

    • Amy Isaman on September 25, 2011 at 8:08 pm

      Thank you! I’m feeling like I’m stuck (bored?) in my writing process right now, so I’ve been doing a lot of other projects to kick start myself which has been great for my other projects but not so much for the writing as I’m missing out on the “butt in chair” time.

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