I received the following comment, and I'm wondering how to answer it. Maybe you have some insight. Maybe you feel the same way as this commenter, or maybe you feel the way I do. In any case, I believe there is room for both sides of the spectrum and every degree in between.
Do you ever use good quality $9.00 yard fabrics or just the old stuff. Seems you put so much work into the quilts but we never see any of the latest fabrics. Would you like me to send you some. Are you going for the utilitarian look. Rag muffin?
So what do you think? Do you ever feel a reason to justify why you like to sew with scraps you've collected over the years?
I just LOVE this picture, and the saying is so true. "The happiest people don't have the BEST of everything, They just make the MOST of everything!
In one of my lectures I talk about the difference between quilting with a pre-cut jelly roll or fat quarter pack from a designated fabric line or collection, versus sewing with remnants from other quilts I've created over the years. My quilts hold my memories, and that includes the scrap quilts I make, revisiting each fabric and remembering where I was in my life at the time that fabric came into my collection. Good memories, hard memories, fun times, sad times. They are all woven into the threads of these fabrics, and the pieces of my quilts.
I think there is a definite difference between a true "scrap" quilt, and a multi fabric quilt. Scraps are those pieces saved from the creating of a "first quilt" or project. Until it is a "left over" it isn't a scrap. To me anyway.
Did you ever realize how quickly we can pin-point the approximate year in which we acquired a particular fabric? If I showed you a dusty blue paw print or heart print, would you be able to remember where you were in your life journey when that fabric was the rage? I can tell you! It was the mid 80's to the early 90's and I was having my babies, buying our first house, exploring my creativity as a doll designer and getting my patterns published through Butterick at the time. The scraps from making those dolls and stuffed animals ended up in my scrap quilts then, and as I come across them now, they make me smile. I love revisiting!
Those hearts and paw prints were in my pre-longarming days definitely, but was I still fabric addicted? Oh yes! I am that same person as I always was, but now as I look back.....I marvel at where the journey has taken me.
Can I go out and buy $9.00 a yard fabric and make quilts with it? Surely I can. I have manufacturers sending me bolts to use in the quilts I am designing. But these fabrics are no better/no worse than the ones I have in my collection. In fact, they sometimes appeal to me less. Maybe like faux-pearls they are pretty from a distance, but they don't hold real value for me.
I often combine new fabrics with my old fabrics to give new life and feeling to the quilts I make with them. And then something miraculous happens.......I now have SCRAPS of those new fabrics to cut up and combine with my strips and squares and bricks of my old fabrics. They each compliment each other, and once used and purposed, those new fabrics have memories too.
My scrap palette is going to be different than yours. My quilts will have different memories than yours. No one is either better or worse. At my bee retreat day, I was given a WHOLE HUGE BAG of trimmed off bonus triangles. I am excited to include THESE scraps in with my own and combine my memories with the quilter who gave me her scraps. This is the essence of quilt making to me.
I am a Quiltmaker because I make quilts. Not because I buy the latest fabric at whatever price it retails at.
I am a Quiltmaker, driven to create by what I have on hand, not by the kit I can buy so my quilts will look just like everyone else's, so we can list the designers and collections by name in mixed quilt-company.
I am a Quiltmaker, not blown in any direction by the winds of change prevalent in the fashion and home dec industry. I make what I want to make, no matter which colors or fabrics are "in" or "out".
I am a Quiltmaker inspired by designs of Quiltmakers Past, who used the scraps they had from making the family's clothing, bedding,and more to make the quilts that covered the ones they loved at the most vulnerable times of their lives...while they slept, keeping those they loved safe and warm. This is also what drives me, this connection to those who came before.
Utilitarian? Absolutely! Rag Muffin? Well, the jury is still out on that one,but maybe I'll consider that a compliment. Thanks!
And with those thoughts at the fore front of my mind, I think I'll go play with those gifted bonus triangles!