November 24, 2010

DIY Gift Ideas # 3 :: The year in scraps...

A year in scraps...


I briefly mentioned it here and also here, this little project of mine. I didn't feel like going out, but was dying to start on something new. Instead of running to the store for yet another piece of fabric, I started rummaging in my closet.
One of the first things I came across was the bag where I keep my fabric scraps. It's a huge bag, by now. As soon as I pulled it out I knew what I wanted to get started on. A quilted table runner! I have deep admiration for all those quilters out there. The real ones. The ones who make these huge blankets, meticulously, patiently, with no mistakes. I have been willing to make something quilted for the longest time, but I never started because I know that I won't succeed. You see, I'm not good at doing the same thing over and over again, I'm not good with repetition, at sticking to the book. Not when I'm sewing. I get distracted too easily for making these huge patterned blankets. I need immediate gratification, too. Given that and the fact that I had a bag full of scraps, of different sizes, I decided to go for some freestyle instead. And I had fun at it! All afternoon I kept on cutting pieces in smaller pieces, combining them just the way I felt, sewing them together, pressing the seams, cutting some more, adding... until I ended up with this. This table runner is my year in scraps...

A year in scraps...

It's a bit crooked, I know, but that's part of the free style (lol) and I like it, to the extent that the prospect of tomato sauce being spilled on it made me change my mind! I won't use this as a table runner. I don't know what I'll be using it for instead - maybe I'll just hang it somewhere, until I grow tired of it and use it as a table runner then.

The hardest part, I found to be the quilting itself. I had to start over a couple of times, before getting it 'right' (I know: nothing about this piece of work is 'right'), not satisfied with the chosen pattern. Eventually, I settled for some sort of spirals. Very free style, very me. And that's the interesting part, actually. Those lines add an extra dimension to the piece. Patches, though patched together with other patches to form an new entity, get their own expression, their individuality again, through the lines of the stitches. A revelation to me! To my surprise, I even liked hand stitching the binding at the front. I never thought I would find this a relaxing process.

A year in scraps...

So, what does this have to do with the holidays? Nothing much, really. Except that making this just made me realize that you can get a long way with just some pieces of scraps. Combine them, cut them and make something personal - be it a table runner, place mats, coasters, a pillow, a throw... make something YOU - give something YOU...

Wishing you a happy Thursday/ Turkey Day!

xo, P.


PS: One thing I might do before hanging it, is washing it to get some shrinkage, which I really like in quilts (the batting is 100% cotton). I'm just worried about the colors bleeding. Any suggestions there?

17 comments:

One Flew Over said...

I think it is perfect!

Pascale said...

Thanks!

Jacqui said...

What a great idea! I always think of my scrap bag as an archaeological dig (well sometimes I think of it that way!) with the newer scraps on top and the oldest ones at the bottom. I love the thought of putting them together. I can't remember where I saw it but someone had an old journal where a woman had put in scraps of all the fabric she used and recorded the details of what she'd used them for. I'd love to get organised enough to do something like that too.

You made me laugh with your "it's my style" line, it reminded me of a quote from Neil Young ages ago when a producer told him he was singing a bit off-key and he said "that's my style man".

Pascale said...

Need to remember that quote, Jacqui! LOL!!

meisje van vervlogen dagen said...

Als quilter (durf ik mijzelf zo te noemen?), vind ik hem prachtig. Ik bewonder je palet. Kan mezelf amper beheersen met kleur, maar jouw rustige kleuren zijn zo chic, zo Frans...

mon ami said...

This is so beautiful Pascale. And it is your style - simple, sophisticated and gorgeous!

nicole/brussels said...

kan gewoon gebruikt worden om je ontbijt set op te zetten, zoals brood, confiture enz. en maak je voor elk een kleiner om de tasjes en bordjes op te zetten! zou mooi zijn! vind het in ieder geval een mooi werkje en hou van de kleurencombinatie en free-styling stiksels en handwerk!

Jannette said...

It's lovely.. And it feels great, doesn't it, using scraps..? I love it, anyway - using instead of wasting and all that.

Would washing it cold first (with a splash of vinegar..?) help keeping the colours from bleeding, I wonder?

Kit Lang said...

I always use a handful of colour catchers the first time I wash a quilt - they pull all the excess dye from the water as you wash.

http://www.shoutitout.com/preserve-colors.aspx

Love your little quilt!

Andrea, the little collector said...

Pascale, I love it! I really like the hand quilting/embroidery details. Of course it can go out until it's time to set the table for dinner, then tucked far away from the pasta sauce!

As for the color stability...if you have a bit of each of the fabrics left, throw them in a bowl with water, let 'em sit, swirl 'em around and then see if you have any bleeding. If not, just wash your runner in cold and go for it. If so, take precautionary measures.

If there's lot of bleeding, maybe this little cutie doesn't get washed. You can spritz the back with water (or add it to other damp items, like towels), then throw it in the dryer to soften and shrink it a bit.

If there is a little bleeding, use color catchers and go for it.
Don't let it sit wrung out but still wet for long before you dry it. It can bleed more directly that way than from a little dye coming out in the water.

Good luck and good work!

Pascale said...

Thank you so much, Andrea, for this very useful information. I did the trick with the left over fabric - my main concern is the binding (black) bleeding into the white. There wasn't any bleeding at first but then I let it sit for too long with some minor bleeding as a result.
So, I think for now I'll just stick with the damp towel method - I would never have thought of that myself!
And by the time it will need a real wash I'll make sure to have some vinegar or color catchers handy as suggested by Kit and Jannette! Thank you girls!!

Dani'sfadingmargins said...

Pretty cool. I crochet, actually, (no, there isn't any cools pics of that like this on my blog) but you make me want to quilt. It is amazing how they sit all that time, isn't it? But then, I think quilters do quite a bit of gossiping when in groups.

virginia said...

it's like a painting, and i also love the linen (with rose embellishment) tote bag.

your designs always have a nice informality to them, and here's a site you might like (denyse schmidt, and i believe she now farms out the hand stitching):
http://www.dsquilts.com/quilts.asp?PageID=209

Aimee said...

this is gorgeous! love the freestyle look, and such a great idea to use your left over fabrics from the year! all in all, just right!

cucicucicoo said...

love it! it's just gorgeous, whether you think it's imperfect or not! (i certainly don't think so!) :) lisa

lightbluegrey said...

All of it (I mean the colors, the style, the imperfection) is very attractive to me. Well done!

Modern Day Quilts said...

Thank you for letting us feature this on http://moderndayquilts.tumblr.com

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