I love scraps.
I love scraps more than I love the original yardage or source they came from.
More than once I've wished I could just buy scraps rather than have to wrangle with large pieces of fabric on their ways to eventual scraps. (Thank you, Scrap Exchange Durham, for meeting this need.)
The thing with scraps is that they define some parameters, make some decisions, set out some plan for you.
Three yards of a gorgeous teal batik?
Where to start?
How am I supposed to narrow down the options?
But give me a pile of scraps--triangles, weird convex edges, long strips barely wide enough to accomodate two seams--well, it's like I've been given a giant steaming mug of inspirational caffeine.
A few years ago I bought a beautiful set of free-motion quilted beverage coasters from the Massachusetts artist, BTaylor. Inspired by her work, last month I finally put some favorite scraps to good use in first-attempts at what would be three gift sets for friends and family. I tweaked the process from set to set and stiched myself happy.
Nothing says instant gratification like a set of scrappy coasters. This set, finishing at 4.25" square, was sent to live with my sister-in-law and family.
While it was under construction, a dear friend and collector had expressed an interest in giving Conversations with Saul, II a good home. She loved everything about the piece--the colors, the shape, its vitality--but when adoption day came round, as much as she wanted it to work in her home, it just didn't.
I worked through a couple of ideas and eventually found my way to something that would work perfectly for my friend. On the way, I explored my way through a few pieces that brought me new skills, new insights, and a whole bunch more fun.
Saul in Tranlslation
36" x 18", improvisationally pieced cotton, machine-quilted, on stretched canvas