Creative Inspiration, Fabric Scraps Obsession

Creative Inspiration: Organization?!?!?

Continuing my series of posts on sources of Creative Inspiration…


Sounds like a testimonial, right?

“At first my life was empty of direction and meaning and then I organized my fabric scraps and suddenly everything was much much much better!” – Anonymous Scrap Hoarder

Not exactly. However organizing my fabric scraps last evening did inspire my creativity!

I love fabric scraps and I have quite a collection. I have several blog posts about my love of scraps. My fabric scraps were getting out of control and were in two fairly large boxes. I enjoy the “hunt” for the right fabric scraps when creating a scrappy quilt, but found I grew irritated with not being able to easily find the colors I want.

So I decided to organize my fabric scraps in two ways, to give me flexibility of how I create with fabric scraps:

  1. By color
  2. All thrown in a box (random)

This new system allows me to create fabric scrap pieces (quilts, pillows, wallhanging, table runners, etc.) based on my “creative mood”. I might want to work on a piece that it focused on oranges, yellows and reds; or I might want to work on a piece that is very scrappy and more random. Now I have two options!

I am interested in working on some pieces in the future that are more monochromatic but with fabric of different patterns and textures in the same general color. Having fabric scraps organized by color will make this design process easier.

As I was organizing my fabric scraps I got very excited as ideas for new pieces ran wildly through my head!


Sometimes I want to create from these containers…


And sometimes I want to create from this box…


Happy Crafting!

Studio, What's on the Design Wall

What’s on the Design Wall: Flannel Shirt Log Jamming

Check out Sassy’s related post on her blog Schnauzer Snips about her time napping in flannel shirt material  Okay, I promise – no more posts about log jamming for a while after this post…maybe. The log jamming continues and now I have a new recruit: If you read the post This is the Story of a Quilting Husband, you read that my husband Terry recently learned to quilt. This past weekend I taught him to log jam (see posts What’s on the Design Wall: “Log Jamming” and “Log Jamming”: The Sequel). On the Design Wall are his first batch of log jamming blocks, made from Flannel Shirt Flannels!*

First set of shirt flannel log jam blocks by Terry, the Quilting Husband
First set of shirt flannel log jam blocks by Terry, the Quilting Husband

*The shirt flannels were rediscovered during part two of my purge of fabric (see post The Fabric Purge!). This time I worked through my flannels and weeded out those no I no longer needed and rediscovered my tucked away collection of shirt flannels. 

Fabric Scraps Obsession, tierneycreates

A Scrappy Existence

Okay. I love fabric scraps. I am not sure how or when it started but it has been going on for years. And it has developed into an obsession.

I go to a quilting class or a quilt retreat and I see piles of fabric scraps, many which are going to be thrown away.  I have been guilty of staying a little late after a quilting class to “clean up” and grab the fabric scraps left behind – on the class ironing board, on the table, under the table…okay once I reached into the trash during a quilting class (when no one was looking) to rescue a large beautiful discarded scrap!

A local quilt shop sells bags of high quality scraps and I have bought several over the years. There is something exciting about a new bag of scraps – the discovery – opening up the bag and seeing what goodies are inside! When visiting friends in Seattle during an annual quilting trip, we stop by a quilt shop that allows customers to fill up a sandwich bag (yes the small one) with scraps for $3. I see it as the “challenge of the century” each time. I have mastered rolling up scraps tightly and cramming them into the tiny bag. My friends are usually amazed when I empty the bag later and see how many fabric scraps I fit in!

My quilting friends support my fabric scrap obsession. A dear friend and original quilting mentor, Judy, sent me over the holidays a lovely package of scraps from a recent quilt she finished.

Yummy fall color scraps from my friend Judy
Yummy fall color scraps from my friend Judy

I do make quilts with the scraps, though my husband says it will take roughly 25 quilts to use up my scraps.

Today I pondered: “why do I love fabric scraps so much?” The high quality quilting fabric scraps that I am attracted are from quilts others make. I guess that using other quilters’ scraps in a quilt (or just having them in my quilt room!) connects me to other quilters and the quilts they make. Quilts are pretty special thing and I love thinking that my fabric scraps are part of handmade items making someone, somewhere smile.

Textiles & Smiles!