Saturday, 29 December 2012

New Year Resolutions

As a general rule I don't make New Year Resolutions but a few years ago I decided to make One Rule for my Quilting Life.

To use up scraps as much as I could.

I have to say this has worked really well, particularly as I love making ( and looking at ) Scrap Quilts.
During the past few years I have made loads of quilts, many of them Baby or Children's Quilts in a variety of designs.  Wonky Star quilts, I Spy quilts, Log Cabins, String Quilts and Cushions, Ticker Tape Quilts, Coin Quilts, Freckles Quilts ( inspired by the book Scrap Republic), Crumb Quilts etc etc.  My Flickr photos show them all in their glory.

I also started to piece backings, backgrounds to my Freckles Quilts and extended the piecing to joining pieces of batting.  Batting has always been expensive but now seems to cost more than ever so I have every intention of using up all the odd bits you get left with after measuring out wadding for a quilt. I even sorted it all out a couple of months ago so it is all 'to hand'!

One of my Christmas gifts this year is a book produced by York Museums Trust. 
It's called Through the Needle's Eye: The Patchwork and Quilt Collection at York Castle Museum.  I have so enjoyed reading about all their Patchwork and Quilting collection.
We all know that Patchwork and Quilting started off as a utilitarian way of making warm bedcovers from scraps and recycling fabrics, reusing the 'best parts' of worn out clothing and this collection reflects that so well.
As a child born not long after the end of WWII, when rationing was still in place, I was brought up not to waste anything so of course this has been carried on in my Quilting Life as well as in other aspects of my world. So I was delighted when I came across the following in the York Museums Book:

" Old patchwork quilts were frequently re-used as wadding inside newly made covers.  Even in well-to-do Victorian homes thrift was assiduously practised, and books on household economy gave advice as to the best use for old materials.  In the early 1870s Cassell's Household Guide enthusiastically recommends wadding for counterpanes in patchwork for the upper rooms.
' Take all the old blankets and flannel petticoats to spare, wash them clean, and dry and air them well.  Cut out all the best portions and join together.  You may make them two or three thick. Line with a sheet of cheap unbleached calico, first soaked, or even an old sheet, neatly patched.'
Perhaps aware that this procedure might deter rather than encourage useful economy, the writer adds: " We have also seen old counterpanes and quilts in mere rags tacked together, placed between a patchwork quilt and a sheet........ Of necessity such arrangements are as warm and comfortable as they are thrifty.' "

Well my continuing thrifty New Year Resolution will not take me quite that far, but I shall continue to join pieces of batting together for my quilts and continue to use old pillowcases and sheets as the foundation squares for my String Quilt blocks and feel proud of myself for doing so and keeping an old tradition alive!

And of course, the scraps, however tiny, will continue to be used!  ...................  Only one problem:  mysteriously, however many scraps I use, more and more scraps magically appear!


A few of my 'Scrap Quilts':

1 comment:

  1. What a great line-up ! Love all your bright colours