Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The scrap archive

Yesterday I consulted my over-flowing scrap bin, and decided it was time to make a quilt. Scraps. A forever renewable resource. Out of sentimentality and resourcefulness, I'm a devout saver. It's the kind of thing that can really get you into trouble, if you don't pause periodically and do something with the scraps you've been holding onto.

Thus I began the careful (and pleasantly meditative) job of pressing each little piece, making neat little scrap-stacks. Each bit brought back some little memory: where I bought the fabric, what I made, how long it's been in the box. There were scraps from the first project I ever sewed, the summer after sophomore year of college, before I headed off to the Adirondacks for a naturalist internship.

Immediately I remembered sitting on my parents' couch, the feel of a needle in my hand so new to me, so novel. It was dusk. The colored glass bottles on the windowsill glowed dimly, a robin looped its song through the blue air. I had discovered the calm of hand-sewing for the first time in my life, and I was falling in love.

These scraps are my archive. These six full years of romance with fabric and a threaded needle... they're all there in that box.

Or rather, were there. Now, my sacred scraps are pressed and ready, prepared to serve a higher purpose than my own sentimentality.

Seamstresses out there, what do you do with your scraps?


Jellybean Soup Company said...

Hmm- I save and save and save my scraps too. And every once in a long while I give them away, to other people who perhaps may use them in a project? ;) I'm just saying- if you need more, I've got them!

Kristina said...

I'll keep that in mind, thanks!

Jen said...

Well I wouldn't call myself a seamstress by any stretch but I do save scraps of things. I currently have a set of old sheets that tore and I want to use the least distressed parts for part of a quilt. So I guess I keep all my scraps for future quilts.

Becky said...

I used to patch my kids pants with 'em. Daughter especially liked crazy colors peeking out of the holes in her jeans all the way through her college years. Not I am trying my hand at String type quilting. But just on little things like a kitchen towel trim or a hot pad.

You should join us at the De-Stash Along 2010!

Earth Girl Knits (Emily) said...

Mmmm. I like handsewing too. And embroidering, which is kind of similar...

Laura Elaine said...

This post was so poetic. Love :)

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