Every scrap is precious….

Living at the bottom of the globe as I do, I pay a fairly high price for my quilt fabric ($28-32/m). It’s called the tyranny of distance. Every bolt of fabric travels a long journey across the planet to get to me, and I must pay for the long ocean cruises they enjoy. The cost means that every fabric scrap is precious. Forget Gollem’s ring, we kiwi quilters hoard fabric by the bolt, fat quarter and scrap.

Daughter #2 was recently sorting fabric at the Arts Recycling Centre when 5 bags of quilt fabric arrived. Since I have trained her well, she put some aside, and alerted me as soon as I entered the building. The fabric included some completed blocks (e.g. 12 inch star and thimbleberry blocks), as well as scraps of every colour.  This got me very excited, because the next day our Quilt Guild was producing quilts for our local hospice. I gathered up all the blocks, paid $5 for the armful, then tried not to break the speed limit racing to the shop of a local Guild committee member.

Unfortunately she broke out in laughter, informing me that the committee members had just cleaned out the back room, and all the blocks I had just paid for had been discarded and sent off for recycling.

Feeling a bit of a fool, I gave some blocks to a friend to make quilts for the local NICU, and took the rest home (along with the fabric scraps).

A discarded block, quilted but in need of binding.
A discarded block with a linen border added, quilted, but in need of binding.

I have almost finished a lap quilt from one block, adding a linen border to a completed block. I did a bit of straight line and echo quilting, since I am still afraid of my free motion foot.

The remaining scraps are all washed and ironed, and I have started cutting them into squares.

Scraps, scraps, glorious scraps...
Scraps, scraps, glorious scraps…

Another trip to a thrift shop yielded 4 small unused boxes ($2 each), in which I plan to stack my squares once cut.

Using recycled scraps and supplies is certainly cheaper, but I must admit the time required to wash, iron and cut scraps does make me yearn for access to cheap pre-cuts.

Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced and Lets Bee Social.


6 thoughts on “Every scrap is precious….

  1. What a fun blog to read. I love it that your daughter understood and appreciate what you do. It’s precious!


  2. I’m laughing so hard, tears are rolling down my face. Have fun with all those scraps, and be sure to take pictures of everything you make so your guild can see what they gave up. I’m sure you will make good use of all those scraps!


    1. Hi Janine, I’m a bit worried that the people who made the blocks might be a bit offended they were donated, so I’m not too sure if they will make it to a guild meeting. The first quilt made from discards is finished though, so they are definitely not being wasted.


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