Friday, December 02, 2005

Scrap Fabric Reclamation Project

Report from the Scrap Fabric Reclamation Project (aka Let's Clean Out These !@#$%^ Shelves!): I've been looking around for ways to use scraps of Fabrics Not Suitable for Quilting, and my recent garment construction projects have moved this project from Highly Desirable to A Critical Need. (I can't explain this sudden urge to capitalize for emphasis. When Anne of Creating Text(iles) does it, it's quite clever and effective. When I do it, it is more like a Bad Habit.)

Here are some useful and interesting Web sites on scrap quilts, crazy quilts, and string quilts. It seems strange to me: Quilting has been a wildly popular hobby for some time, although it may have passed its zenith. Books, supplies, clubs, conferences and lessons are available all over. Yet quilting's Web "presence" seems heavily skewed toward static commercial sites offering quilting products. There are some personal quilting pages, but most that I visited were put up years ago and forgotten, their links moribund. The avid quilters must be too busy quilting to bother with computers. Of course there are good Internet quilting resources, but I had to wade through many unhelpful, slow loading ones to find these goodies.

  • Real Women Quilt."An online quilting magazine filled with humor, encouragement, tips, and stories about Real Women, their Quilts, and their creative journey. We also have an online store filled with great books, fabrics, gifts, and fun stuff for quilters." This site is informative and entertaining, and it seems to be quite active. I found what I was looking for here--ideas for using up scraps in string quilts and crazy quilts. Here's a sample, from the Tips page.
    I save all my scraps...from large pieces to the little tiny pieces...thinking that I can use them for SOMETHING! When I don't know what to sew.....I cut a 9 inch sq. of muslin...and sew my scraps diagonally across the square...covering the whole square. I think they are called String Quilts. Then I just keep saving the finished blocks...and someday I will have enough for a quilt....Claudia Voorhees
  • Victoriana Quilters. This site describes itself as "a large resource and community for quilters, including: Free Original quilt patterns (with membership); Free Block of the Month; Free Printable Quilt Labels; Free Charity Quilt patterns; Free Beginner's Quilting Online Class and Free Crazy Quilt Online Workshop (with membership); Free printable quilting technique instructions; Free quilting designs and other information in the Library;....Message Board; Quilt Gallery; Used Quilt Books listing; and more!" So, there's paid membership associated with it, but everything I wanted to look at was freely available, and I found the information valuable, well-presented, and attractive. I found this string pieced block--exactly what I was looking for--in the "Charity Quilt" section.
  • My "crazy quilt" search string turned up Sharon Boggon's excellent Web site, Sharon Boggon describes herself as "a textile artist interested in the connection between textiles and technology." Her weblog is outstanding, and features links to photography, philosophy, language, history, and any interesting topic you can name, as well as all sorts of textile arts. She also offers Sharon b's Dictionary of Stitches for Hand Embroidery and Needlework. This wonderful Web site (featuring crazy quilts) isn't a new find for me; more of a rediscovery. A couple of years ago I was following a number of textile arts blogs, including this one. Most of the blogs featured more shopping for fiber and fabric than knitting/weaving/spinning/sewing....and a significant portion of them had that whiny tone that personal journals often take. (Don't ever look at my pen and ink journal--that's where I whine, in the hope that I won't whine online, or in the presence of flesh and blood humans.) I eventually gave up the whole lot of them, and this is a delightful baby I threw out with the tepid bath water. I look forward to catching up with sharon b.
  • Crazy Quilt Central.This site calls itself "Your one-stop location for information about the art of crazy quilting." The information on the site itself is still good, and the photos are inspiring, but the site appears to be "abandoned." It was last updated in 1999 and many off site links are dead. I hope the owner will come back to it again someday.


Tonya Ricucci said...

Quilting past its zenith? I don't think so. There are active quilting blogs on the net amidst all that commercialism. is a fantastic website with lots of free info on what to do with scraps (and it gets updated), plus you'll find links to the Quilt Mavericks blog ring.
Good luck with the string quilts.

Rebecca Clayton said...

Thank you for visiting! I should have said the hype may have passed its zenith. Crafts don't come and go, but I think the faddish crafters are knitting (poorly) these days. A few years ago, they would have been quilting poorly. Of course, this is the way some people find their True Calling, so I shouldn't be critical.

Thank you for the links. I look forward to spending time with them. I just visited your weblog--it's quite wonderful. I'll be perusing your back pages for a while.