19 Feb

Me Versus the Scrap Bin

It was touch and go for a while, but I think I have the better of the scrap bin. I’m not a control freak, but I do like to know where to look to find things.

I think that’s what was bugging me about the scrap bin. It was so full and compressed that I never knew what might surface. My stash busting log cabin blocks have definitely made a dent in the scraps, but now that the bin contents are no longer compressed, it’s still pretty full in there. I have a Plan B though.

Plan A was for log cabin blocks on point. In the Amish quilt I saw (from the exhibit “Diamonds and Rows: Quilts from the Schlumberger Collection,” sorry, no picture of the actual quilt) the logs were pretty plain and the centers stood out in vertical rows. I had hoped maybe that would happen with my scrap quilt as the green centers were the only constant. It didn’t. But that’s OK. In retrospect, I think every other log cabin may have had a non-contrasting center in the original (by Kathy Lapp, circa 1920).

Things I noticed while making my scrap quilt:

More is definitely more. When the blocks were small with only one or two rounds of logs, they looked hideous. You noticed all the clashing colors and patterns. With four or five go rounds, it all blends together into scrappy goodness.

I had a lot more red scraps than I remembered. This was a fortuitous because I think all the red looks great with the green centers (complimentary colors all you color wheel-phobes out there).

The centers (or negative space if it’s a spiderweb quilt) need to be STRONG to not get lost amongst all the varied scraps. Red is a classic scrap quilt puller-together, but I think this green works well too, as would a bright cobalt or aqua or orange!

This is not a project for the faint of heart (see the need for strong color above) or those who like control and matchy-matchyness. I went nearly completely random here. The only time I’d swap out strips was if the length was too short and I could see a smaller block within the next few down the line, or if the same fabrics ended up right next to each other (same fabrics on different sides of a block, or with a log or two in between was perfectly acceptable). I made no attempt to organize by darks and lights, by colors, or to make a concentric pattern.

I laid all my blocks out last night and saw a gypsy tablecloth, or skirt, or drapes, or something. So that’s what it will be. I’m not even going to make corner or setting triangles — this will have the zig-zag edge you see in the photo. I might try to find some picot/lace edging though. I have to research a little on the ins and outs (pun intended) of finishing off this kind of shape.

Plan B: I think that my stuffed drawer of decent sized pieces of purple fabric is the answer to the scrap bin of now quite tiny pieces. I really enjoyed the liberated stars I made for my Brushfire Quilt project blocks, so while I’m on a roll, I think I will cut a bunch of purples into small squares and make scrappy stars with (hopefully a lot) of the lighter bits still in the scrap bin.