Friday, 20 June 2014

Scrap Fabric Challenge - June: Patchwork Drawstring Bag for Storing Undies

If you work with fabric, I bet you have a huge pile of scrap pieces. I certainly do. And they are all jumbled up in a huge box, which I find much easier to pull out all over the floor than to put back tidy!

I recently read a fantastic book about scrap quilts (and how to sort your scraps) and am completely inspired. I've set a date for sorting my scraps - the 1st July seemed like a good start - but in the meantime I'm going to make a start on using them productively.

Upcycled denim with vintage scraps
I do use my scrap pieces - especially the larger ones - but it mostly tends to be to trim or accessorise a project I am making from my stash of fat quarters or yardage. So the scrap box gets even fuller.....

But recently I have been deliberately using larger scrap pieces on the denim jackets I've been up-cycling.

On this denim waistcoat, I hand sewed panels cut from Tana lawn cotton scraps in a gorgeous poppy print. My mother-in-law had been storing these pieces of fabric for years - I think she had made a blouse with the original material, but the scraps were just too precious to throw away.

Ohio Star and Nine Patch Blocks

But I want to do more - I'm starting to do specific scrap projects, where the main purpose is to creatively use up scraps of all shapes and sizes. And I want to have a go at more irregular, random creations.

I am pretty good at improvisation - nearly everything I make is designed and adapted from my head rather than planned out in advance, but they are still ordered or structured and I like things to line up and be balanced.

Which is why I love doing patchwork with traditional block patterns and repeats, such as my Gettysburg Ohio Star quilt. I used reproduction American Civil War prints in blues and tans and designed the quilt top using Ohio Star and Nine Patch blocks and geometric borders.   
Scrap Fabric Challenge June
But I'm being increasingly drawn to the fabulous random scrappy quilts I found in the book. They look stunning and I really want to make something similar but the deliberate mis-matched seams, random placements, assorted colours and different shapes scare me pretty silly.

So I'm setting myself a challenge. I'm going to create at least one scrappy project each month for the next year - which will have both the benefit of reducing my scrap mountain and help free up my creativity in different ways.

And here's project number 1 - a little drawstring bag for storing underwear - inspired by an offcut of fabric featuring vintage style bras.

OK, it's still based on squares and it's all carefully co-ordinated colour wise, but it is completely made from fabric I found in my scrap box, including the striped backing and white lining. And the patchwork placement is (almost) random - I admit I did play around with it a bit to get a reasonable balance, but it isn't in an ordered pattern. I'm happy with this one - it is early days.....

I made this bag as a donation to a charity raffle being held on the Creative Connections Facebook page on the 21st June - to celebrate a whole year of sharing and promoting the work of small independent crafter designers.

Creative Connections is a on line crafting community where crafters from all backgrounds and techniques can get together to share ideas, get support, show off their latest makes and promote each others work.

Why not pop along this weekend to join in with the Fun Day, or check out the Facebook page at any time. Just click on this link.

1 comment:

  1. I know what you mean about it being difficult to be random Sharon. I have the same problem about creating things that don't have a pattern. The curse of being organised I guess. :)