I’d thought about doing it for several days. I had to force myself. At first, it was very hard, but the more I did the easier it got.
I have gotten rid of all my scraps, and I’m a better quilter for it.
I had two overflowing bins: a large one filled with odd shaped scraps and a smaller one filled with strips. At first, I delicately picked out certain things, all small, such as a two inch blue square, a crooked piece of animal print. I tossed them into a kitchen trash bag. Pretty soon, I was into it with both hands, grabbing up fistfuls of orphan triangles, long, skinny hunks of Hawaiian prints leftover from “Rubbah Slippah” quilts I’d made for Quilt Hawaii this past summer, and unrecognizable chunks of extra border fabric that I just could not bring myself to throw away.
The scrap level of the largest bin was going down; I could actually see the bottom. It was exhilarating! Next, I grabbed the bin of leftover strips. Impulsively, I just dumped them all into the trash bag without even going through them. It felt wonderful.
Taking a deep breath, I turned back to the other bin which still had quite a bit in it. I swooped up the entire contents and without even looking at it, plunged it into the burgeoning trash bag.
There. I’d done it. I was scrap-free. No more feeling guilty that I should be trying to use up my scraps instead of buying new fabric. Of course, there’s still my stash, but now when I dip into it rather than checking out my scraps first to see if there’s anything usable, I will feel as if I am at least starting with a clear conscience.
I think I’ll keep my trash bag full of scraps around for a while, just to see if I actually do miss them. If not, after a month or so, I’ll drop them off at a local charity.
I have decided that I am going to perform a scrap-cleansing at least once a year; it’s good for the soul. Now if I can just follow through on my decision.
I asked my husband to take my picture amid my scraps to accompany this article.
Walking into my quiltery, he asked, "Where did you get all those?"
I replied, "From quilting."
Puzzled, he said, "But I thought you got rid of your scraps by making scrap quilts."
They just don't get it.
“Aloha nui loa”
©2005 Patricia Littlefield
"Asking a quilter to fix a zipper is like asking Wynton Marsalis to play a penny whistle."