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 ;)|