Confession time: I am having a very hard time spring cleaning my studio.
This is not news to my family as they live with my habit of spreading out when I work whether it is in the kitchen making bread or at my worktable making art. My friends, however, are totally fooled. On the surface, the room looks great. My fabric scraps are semi-organized in my cabinet. My books and videos are arranged on shelves. The machine is oiled and ready for the day’s sewing.
But if they dug a little deeper – and I mean a little – the truth comes to the surface. Open any drawer, and prepare for an explosion of fabric, embellishments, thread, floss, templates, art supplies, and scraps. If there were a catastrophic volcanic explosion from a local Mount Vesuvius and my studio was located nearby in “Pompei, Connecticut”, the archeologists would have a field day with my scrap obsession. I can just hear them now, “This society valued small bits of fabric and mismatched buttons beyond all else.”
I do know I am not alone in valuing my fabric, small pieces and large. If a piece measures more than an inch on each side, it is welcome in my collection. I keep special bits of block prints and itajime in jars. Coordinated hand-dyed scraps live in baskets and are sorted by color. And why keep these slivers, squares, and selvedges? Because they are useful, because they are beautiful, and because as an artist I know they will have a life of their own one day in a quilt or collage.
If you are looking for a fun and fabulous way to showcase your stash of scraps and want to save them from a future archeological dig, check out Jane LaFazio’s technique for featuring them in unique artwork. Because your scraps are unique to you and your taste, this technique video will result in artwork that reflects your individual style. Jane guides the viewers step-by-step through her spontaneous process, showing us how easy and freeing it is to make one-of-a-kind artwork.
And the hook for me? After all of the machine appliqué is done, I can add machine embroidery stitches, hand embroidery, French knots, and couching while on the go. I can make an embellished quilt by adding foil or buttons. I can make it my own.
Download your copy of Layered & Fused Appliqué Quilts with Jane LaFazio to learn how to put your collection of scraps to use using her easy-to-follow appliqué technique.