Sunday, May 22, 2011

Trips down memory lane

I started working on a new quilt recently -- it's a scrap pattern ("Summer Breeze," aka the month of June in the 2010 Better Homes and Gardens Quilting Calendar; I'm using brighter prints and a darker solid than the ones shown in the photo from the pattern book) and takes a zillion* 2-inch squares in a variety of colors. What ties it together, obviously, are the solid blue blocks (each of the big ones is actually 4 pieces). I've been going through my fabric stash, which consists of scraps left from past projects as well as yard goods and  remnants that either I or my aunt Thelma purchased. (My aunt Thelma was a great one for hitting the sales tables in fabric stores; I have her to thank for my shopping bags), and various articles of clothing that I saved because I thought the material could be recycled into something else at some point in the future. (That's where the union label came from last week, from what was left of a polka dot cotton mini dress circa 1970.)

I do not have a super huge fabric stash -- only 15 or so 32-qt. Sterlite containers, so it all fits in one closet (I know people who need rather large rooms to accommodate their yard goods stash) -- and I try not to add to it. I also tend to do "scrap patterns" for many projects in the apparently vain hope of reducing its size (the levels in the containers never seem to drop very much). So why am I still finding pieces of fabric that I know are getting close to (if they were people) being eligible for membership in AARP? The dress I could halfway understand -- there was some tiny irrational part of my brain that didn't want to cut into it because who knows, maybe a miracle would occur and I'd wake up some morning to discover I was the same size I'd been back during the Nixon administration. Every woman has a garment of some sort that she refuses to give up -- a dress, a favorite pair of jeans, a swimsuit -- because, as God is her witness, someday she's going to fit into it again. But scraps from dresses that were made for my now 41-year-old daughter when she was in kindergarten? Just how many scrap quilts does a person have to make before every last piece of usable scrap material is gone from the stash? It's a mystery. . .

[*In this case, a zillion equals 936 2-inch print squares, 100 2-1/2 inch print squares for the border, and a couple hundred pieces of unbleached muslin in various shapes and sizes.]


  1. My mother-in-law was great for making stuff from scrap material, including my late wife's clothes from when she was young. My kids would see a piece of fabric in a quilt and moan that they would rather have had the dress. They were into retro 70's stuff at one time. This happened so frequently that once when they were looking for their Mom's old Beatles albums, my youngest quipped that "Grandma probably made them into a quilt".

  2. There is a Quilting Calendar?

    I still have a nice warm quilt my grandmother made me about 300 years ago.

  3. Hilarious! I saved scraps from every dress I think I ever had--then finally donated to church rummage sale, realizing that a quilt was way beyond my abilities. A friend bought the bag, made quilt and gave it to me


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