Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Scrap Happy: Quilting and Piecing for Fun



 I am scrap happy.

I have lots and lots of bits and smidgins of fabric scraps. I like to save all of my leftovers, others' leftovers, and I have been known to 'dumpster dive' for pieces of minky that someone else threw away. I love having them, I love collecting them, but most of all I love being able to use them!

When I want to sew for fun, one of my favorite things to do is strip piece fabric and just allow the pieces to turn into something useful and fun. I am directionally challenged, so following other peoples directions is harder than inventing my own. I love to sit down and just start sewing and seeing what happens. If nothing else, it turns into a potholder. When I need a gift for a special occasion, the first thing I do is head not to a store, but to my sewing room. I love to go through my baskets, bags and stacks to see what I have and what I might be able to create from my scrappy stash.

One of my projects was this 'make as you go' book bag for a one year old great niece's birthday. I had bits and pieces of colorful scraps leftover from quilting projects and I knew she loved bugs...so it was a natural fit. I just started piecing strips and bits until I was making pockets and suddenly was making a little bag. At age one, she was a bit young to carry a purse, and hadn't started sewing yet or discovering fabric stores, so I decided to make a book bag.

Knowing that little ones are curious and inquisitive, I wanted lots of little hiding places for treasures. There are two inset pockets barely visible in the seams behind the obvious exterior pocket and two more pockets inside. Lots of hiding places for small collectibles, plus room for several books inside.

Quilting right onto batting makes for a sturdy structure and even without having any kind of a plan or a pattern can still lead to all kinds of interesting creations. And best of all, I ended up with a gift from my heart, through my hands and one of a kind. She loved it, her parents loved it and interestingly enough...bugs ended up being the theme of her birthday party, her cake, her napkins and her plates!