Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Scrap Therapy:Cut the scraps by Joan Ford

I consider myself a wannabe quilter.  Although I have been sewing since I was 10 years old and used to make almost all my own clothes (even my wedding dress), I never advance past novice in the world of quilting.  I crank out table runners or toppers, doll quilts, and baby or lap quilts, but haven't pushed myself to do a full sized quilt.  That remains on my to-do list.  Despite my occasional errors and my inability to master the absolute precisness needed for quality quilting, I continue my endeavors. 

Luckily the modern world of quilting offers a myriad of styles and skill levels.  I've found some patterns that I am comfortable making and continue the hunt for new ideas.  Talk to any quilter and they will talk about their stash of materials and patterns.  Once you start to love cotton fabrics, you cannot ignore that beautiful new line that has just hit the store.  You need to have some of it, even if it is just a "fat quarter' or a stack of "charms."  And you NEVER, NEVER throw away scraps, which means carefully planned sewing rooms quickly morphed into chaotic piles of unorganized scraps.  Enter Joan Ford and other masters of scrap control. I had the opportunity to preview a e-version of her book Scrap Therapy: Cut the Scraps which features twenty quilting projects made primarily from scraps 5 inch squares or smaller.

I loved her philosophy that we should spend time mastering our scraps so they can be easily used when we want to.  She took a pile of scraps to a quilting retreat and spend time cutting them into 5 inch, 3.5 inch, and 2 inch squares.  Then they were sorted by color and neatly stored ready for projects.  The patterns in the book for full-sized quilts, table runners, and even a couple tote bags all use these sized pieces.  I like to pick up fabric remnants at rummage sales and such to use for donation table runners, wall hangings, and baby quilts, so I definitely need to follow her advice about trimming the scraps into useable sizes.  That makes storage so much easier.  (Lesson learned, but not yet accomplished.)

I found her quilt designs to be beautiful, but they focused on traditional squares built on many, many triangles from the two inch squares.  Much as I like sewing and quilting, I am just not going to make something that focuses on over fifty 2 inch squares.  So I recommend this book for advanced quilters looking to diminish your scrap pile.  For me, I will take away the knowledge that I need to
control the chaos in my sewing room, but I will looking for simpler projects.  And every quilter knows that looking at someone else's finished quilts is an addictive form of "eye candy" and for that, this book was no disappointment!
Scrap Therapy Cut the Scraps!: 7 Steps to Quilting Your Way Through Your Stash


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