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Scrap Happy

It is true that I am a student of history. All kinds of history, world, culture, music, art, science, you name it. If you tell me a story of something from days gone by, that influenced something or someone, I'll listen. So, it comes as no surprise that I love the history of quilting. It is actually a bit difficult to trace the history of quilting in an accurate way as there is very little written history and stories differ a good bit depending on what source you wish to trust, how you wish to define "quilting", etc... But, that being said, there are several people that really are doing a great job to bring the story of quilting to life with as many facts as possible. In one way, every family that has ever had someone make a quilt has a part in this story. I could write a book on my grandmother and her quilting life. Although she has won numerous awards, had a exhibition of her work in a state house for the state Missouri, she would be the first to tell you that the best part about quilting is that it allowed her to have a creative outlet, and it allowed her to share very special moments with her family. That includes me as I am her oldest grand-daughter and the only grandchild that she ever taught to quilt. To be honest, I hounded her until she agreed to take on that monumental task, but it drew us together in a way that I only share with her. And one of things that I learned to love when working with my grandmother was scrappy quilts.

The story of scrappy quilts in the United States goes back to the early settlers. Women would use all the small pieces of fabrics from making clothes, flour sacks, etc. and hand-piece them together to make blankets for warmth. They were not considered decorative for the most part. This is one way that children, mainly girls, were taught to sew. This process of hand piecing lasted a long time, even into the twentieth century. It is the technique that I learned. Isn't it fun that we can now do patchwork with our embroidery machines. I think so. The photo to the left shows my first quilt. I made it with my grandmother when I was seven years old. Granted, I did not create that gorgeous border, but I did piece by hand many of the flowers. It has always been my favorite because of the colors and of course the memories. Those colors all come from scraps. Old clothing, cotton curtains, flour sacks, etc... I am still amazed that the colors are still so bright and vivid.

Quilting with scraps makes me very happy. The fabrics are like having my own extra large box of crayons. Colors galore!!! I always think that scrappy quilts tell the best stories, they tell the stories of all the quilts that came before them as they have fabrics that were used in other quilts. And if you like to conserve and use all of your fabric, scrappy quilting is the only way to go. Those scraps also work perfectly with the Build A Quilt system.

However, for those that love all of the curated fabric sets on the market and really who doesn't. There are so many beautiful fabrics to be had. Anyway, if you love those curated sets then the charm packs, those little 5x5 square bundles of curated sets are the way to go. The charm pack is what we have been using during Wednesday Workshop and Quilt Lab during the month of January. You get a scrappy look and perfectly matched color selection all in one go.

If you have leftover charms at the end of your project,

you can put them in your scrap stash and use them at a later time in a non-curated scrappy quilt or project. No fuss, no muss, no waste.

I hope you are joining us for this month's projects. I will bet that each of you have a charm pack in your fabric stash, maybe more than one. (wink) Pull them out, watch the January 2024 Wednesday Workshop or Quilt Lab videos for the project of your choice and scrap your way to charming quilted runner. And you will be continuing the tradition of scrap happy quilting and sewing life beautiful....


The Bento Box Block and project is a Free Download

Wednesday Workshop requires the use of the Build A Quilt Basic Block Set 1

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