|Scrap Heaven I, 93"x 41".|
I won't claim that this project will create vacancy in your scrap pile, but you will use up several of your most interesting fragments, and have fun doing it. It will transport you out of your left brain, and deposit you into the shape/color/intuitive right brain zone. It will open the doors to serendipity. Plus, you'll wind up with something that might be described as a "modern" quilt.
The most important rule of this particular exercise is to avoid cutting into the scraps. You can chop off segments so they'll fit into the background. But that's it. Cutting out shapes is cheating! (Or more precisely, it's a different creative exercise.) We want these scraps to arrive on your quilt and be loved just the way they are. Then again, we are in scrap heaven here, so no matter how much you cheat, you are totally and unconditionally forgiven and loved.
1. Begin by diving into your scrap collection and coming up with (a) an inspiration fabric - maybe a print with abstract shapes, and (b) scraps that connect to #1 in some way, like shape, color, vibration, etc.
I started with three strips of this fabulous blue/white/red/black print, which I adored and was desperately sorry to be almost out of .
|(It's Midori, apparently from the 41st century. If any of you time travellers have any more of this, I'd like to buy it from you. Seriously)|
It's a gorgeous cotton sateen, with Miro-like abstract irregular shapes, including triangularish white shapes.
Here's where the serendipity enters. I found I had a lot of scraps with arched triangular pieces missing (cut out during yarmulke-making adventures), as you can see in the red fabric, and the black-and-white fabric below. The curvy triangles started talking to each other.
I found other parallels; the blue strip had a red circle; and my black scrap, plus one of my yellow scraps, also had circles cut from them.
2. Once you have a bunch of candidate scraps, press them out with starch or sizing. Stiff is good.
3. Arrange them on a neutral background. I used a piece of very dark grey/light black fabric, full width off the bolt. I made it as long as it needed to be to accommodate my relevant scraps. (which turned out to be a rather overlong 91") Overlap pieces or not - that's your call. Most of my shapes hang in space, with only a tiny bit of overlap where the black shape hits the red one.
4. Using a nice new temporary glue stick, or applique glue, gently adhere each scrap all the way around its edges.
5. When the glue is dry, stitch the shapes down around the edges with invisible thread and/or matching thread, and a wide zigzag. Frayed edges and strands are part of the charm.
6. Sandwich, baste, and quilt as desired. I quilted a double-line wavy grid in grey thread, across everything. (It sort of represents the dark matter of the universe, and/or curved heavenly space.)
The view at the top of this post shows the quilt on the vertical. That's how I designed it. But I also like it on the horizontal:
|I can't decide which I like better, tall or wide. (Opinions welcomed). At 2 1/2 yards long, I'll be needing a larger couch, in a larger room, in a larger house, to hang it horizontally.|
Quilting all these wavy grid lines took a long time, so I did a lot of thinking. One thing I thought: This is sort of a meta-quilt, about sewing and quilting. The pieces laid out on the long piece of yardage remind me of garment pattern layout. Also: I love that the cutaway shapes are, in their absence, still present. That makes it a sort of memory quilt.
So, yes, I would love to hear about/see your vision of scrap heaven!
6/14 Update: This link has been shared on Nina Marie Sayre's Off the Wall Fridays project. Lots of wonderful art quilts there! http://ninamariesayre.blogspot.com/.