Family Scraps

I started out learning to sew with scraps.  My Lita and I would piece together fabrics for all sorts of things.  When I started making quilts in my early 20's I preferred to use scraps and follow the free-flowing style of story quilts.  When I was in Grad school I stumbled on the Quilts of Gee's Bend, and was drawn to the way the quilt's had stories, without images.  It was a product of time manifested as useful object.  The scraps of clothes and other recycled material used in the blankets were tangible moments that had passed in each quilt maker's life.  I absolutely loved this idea. It encompases the ideals of "reuse" on so many different levels.
Over the years I've made many small scrap objects, blankets and even a few skirts, but since moving to our new home, I haven't taken on a new large quilt.  It was a meditative process of pulling out boxes of scraps, pressing and trimming.  I decided to make a quilt that would fit our king bed where our family spends lazy mornings watching cartoons and cozy evenings cuddled reading stories. 
For the main fabric I used work jeans that were mine and my husband's.  I kept the patched pieces in place - mostly because they added to the memories that the blanket would hold.  For instance, I had used a scrap of red leather to patch a pair of my husband's jeans that I had bought to make a pair of red leather slippers for our eldest when she was a toddler.  This piece reminded me of our first move as a family and it warms my heart when I see it, thinking of our teenager as a toddler collecting rocks in the vineyard.  

Most of the scraps are 100% cotton, but there are a few satins & brocades
I should have pressed the quilt for photos, but heck, its not a wall quilt! :)
The other main fabric is from a set of beautiful pale green sheets my mom purchased, which mysteriously turned lavender after their first wash - I suspect a rogue article of clothing joined the washing...thankfully, they were gifted to me for the Family Scrap quilt and I used them as a spacer for the front and a lining for the back. 

The lavender spacer for the front and lining from the back are recycled sheets

The binding was also made from scrap pieces stitched together

All the scraps came from clothes that I made for the  girls, myself, my mom, my husband and dear friends.  It amazes me, but I remember each piece that I made and the memories span years.  A riding jacket for our eldest, a blouse I made for my mom, bloomers for the toddler, a scarf for a friend and so on. Family Scraps that will keep us all warm in more ways than one.

Our eldest has already claimed her spot ;)


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