So, have you seen this book called 15 Minutes of Play by Victoria Findlay Wolfe?
Victoria had the Best in Show quilt at QuiltCon this past February which was well-deserved. She used a technique in that quilt that she writes about in her new-ish book. The concept is that you sew your scraps together to make a new piece of fabric, which you can then cut into parts of blocks, or borders, or whatever you'd like!
Now, I have OODLES of scraps and they are getting out of control, so this book definitely appealed to me. The book is really cool - Victoria gives a few techniques for creating "Made Fabric", and then there's a nice section of block ideas where you can use it. Plus, there are a lot of pictures to give you plenty of ideas. I was talking to my friend and co-guild member Kate, who also has the book, and we decided it would be a good idea to get together to try making our own fabric with our scraps. We had fun and made some cool fabric!
Here are the pieces I made.
Just so you know, there's no rule that says your new fabric HAS to be a square. This was the first piece I made and it was a bit more challenging than I thought it would be. I learned that you need a wide variety of scrap sizes since your fabric piece constantly gets bigger as you add to it. If you don't have a large enough piece, you need to make a piece with smaller scraps first.
This one is nice and square, and it has a pretty big scrap in it, which made it go faster.
This one is pretty big - I figure I can get a lot of block pieces from it.
As you can see, I wasn't paying much attention to matching any colors or patterns, I just used whatever was a good size. I'm trying to not worry so much about having things match, which is something I learned from Denyse Schmidt, who you may have heard about. One of Victoria's theories about making fabric from scraps is that it will "free your mind" (as En Vogue would say) and unleash your creativity (or something like that).
Kate may have more internal good taste than I do because her Made Fabric turned out great. Here's a nice multi-colored bit that she made. She has awesome scraps, too. (We both found out we LOVE big, obnoxiously colored Kaffe florals.)
Here's one that Kate made where she purposely went monochromatic. I like this idea and I've even organized some of my scraps by color already, so I think I'm going to give it a try.
Finally, Kate made this groovy diamond-shaped piece that we both loved.
One thing about the 15 minutes... We probably sewed for a good 2 and a half hours, and didn't get tons done. I only made the three pieces shown here and Kate ended up with 5 pieces. I'm sure it starts to go faster once you get the hand of it, but I don't think I'd get much done in just 15 minutes. So my recommendation would be to set aside an hour or so when you first give it a try. I do like the idea of having my scraps contained in larger pieces instead of floating around my sewing room in tiny pieces. And I love the look of scrappy, colorful quilts!
So, I'll keep you posted on my attempts to make new fabric and any projects I make with it! If you have this book I'd love to hear your opinion on it. I think it's very inspiring!