Mornings with Mom

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Using Your Fabric – Every Bit Of It

on August 16, 2012

If you quilt or sew, it is quite certain that you have a stash of fabric. That little stash often grows into an insurmountable mountain! Going to the fabric store only makes matters worse. There is a new floral print that would look very nice as curtains for the bathroom; then there is that seasonal print that could adorn your Thanksgiving table; or how about the piece of fabric with the cute little lamb in the center? You know you could use all of these fabric pieces for something! Hence, the fabric stash grows and grows.

First of all, knowing how to quilt or sew is an exceptional gift or talent. You have made so many people happy with your gifts of love. You have used those large pieces of fabric to make a keepsake that will be passed down from generation to generation.

Now we will get to the real truth of the matter. You have made all of these beautiful projects and given most of them away or fully displayed then in your own home. But what has become of the scraps from those beautiful handmade items? You can’t throw them away! You will use them sometime, right?

Now is the time for action! Here are a few ways to make good use of those cherished scraps of fabric.

Quilts: You are probably saying to yourself, “Yes, I have made quilts!” But, have you utilized those leftover scraps as you should or simply bought new fabric to match the new wall paper in your home? Patchwork quilts can look thrown together or really planned. The planned ones are the most beautiful! Here are a few tips to planning your patchwork quilt.

1. Sort your scraps of fabric by colors. Use the 3 primary colors of red, yellow and blue. Then go to the secondary colors of green, orange, and purple. Now sort the browns, blacks, tans, off-whites and whites.

2. Next, find a quilt pattern that you could use for a patchwork quilt. The log cabin pattern is a favorite. Try using the off-white fabric on one side of the log cabin quilt block. Then use shades of greens in medium, dark and darkest to do the strips on the other side. It doesn’t make any difference what pattern the off-white fabrics are or what order you place them as long as they are off-white. Then do the same with all of the other fabric colors. To make your quilt look more planned, keep the off-white theme going throughout all of your quilt blocks. This will make your patchwork quilt look planned even though you have used those scraps of leftover fabric. The log cabin is just one simple quilt block that could be used. There are many quilt block patterns that could accomplish the same effect.

Now, you still have smaller scraps that will never cut into strips for quilting. There is hope for those small and sometimes irregular pieces of fabric. Here are a few tips for using them.

Foundation Paper piecing: This method of piecing together your fabric scraps is fun and relaxing. The end results will look as if you spent tedious hours of cutting and piecing when actually all you do is sew by number! You will find a variety of Foundation Paper Piecing patterns at your local library or bookstore. That takes care of lots of those precious fabric scraps. Now take the rest and make RUGS! Here is an excellent article that give wonderful instructions for rug making.

Now go and use up that precious stash of fabric and make something created just by you!
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