Sunday, March 01, 2009

When to scrap a scrap


I am winding down today after having my oldest sister visit for a few days. It was fun to have her here but I learned a few things...we may look a lot alike, dress a lot a like, but when it comes to how we look at fabric we are not even on the same planet!

When we talked about here coming here while her husband was at a meeting in Charlotte she said she would help me get my sewing room in order. Sounds good to me...I am not to proud to take any help offered to get that mess under control! I think when she looked at the room she regretted making the offer....

Organizing a sewing room takes a lot of energy, patience and persistence. None of those words hold a lot of meaning in the my life right now. For my sister however they are not just words they are a mission statement. So when she walks into my kitchen an sees strips of various lengths of fabric "organized" by width over chairs, plastic boxes, a wooden bowl, a ceramic planter of a cart pulled by a Scottie dog, and an empty cardboard cat-food box. She turned a bit pale.

She is not one who is easily intimidated however. By day one the strips had been rounded up and neatly corraled into well marked boxes. Squares were bagged by size, any pieces less than a 1/4 yard were in a basket on the cutting table. I was having a large cup of coffee thinking we were finished when it happened - she found the box of salvages and bags of fabric strings hidden underneath my "walk the dog rainjacket" by the back door. She tossed the box (a rather large box but luckily Goldie wasn't in it at the time) into the center of kitchen and took multiple deep breaths. It was time for big sister-intervention.....

"Do you think this is fabric?" she asked. I began to wish I put something special in my coffee...if I went for the Baileys now she might see the 2-inch patriotic squares I hid in the liquor cabinet. Instead I ran for the little postcard I made using the salvages. She was not impressed. "So just how many of these cards to you think you will make?" Duh, I hate these counting questions! How many quilts do you own? How much fabric do you have? How many quilt tops? Do I look like the census taker?

So when is a scrap a scrap? My sister can make any clothing, window covering or upholstery she see's. She isn't a quilter. She sees absolutely no reason anyone would save a piece of fabric less than a fat quarter. I on the other hand once made a jacket for my Mother only to find out later my sister had taken it apart and put it together again. I do make nice quilts though. In my world any fabric larger than 1.5 by 1.5 has a bin with it's name on it. We had to agree to disagree.

She had a mission though. My room was to be organized and my kitchen cleared of fabric. I was afraid to go to sleep. In the morning I found "scraps" in my kitchen barrel. I was dumpster diving for fabric in my own house! I had to get her to focus on something else...hanging pictures abd quilts, finding a dress at the mall for my anniversary cruise, making a Red Velvet Cake, more airplane binders, and rearrange pottery on the shelves. I am exhausted but my stash is safe. Now I just have to take the plastic bag of recovered scraps from under the couch, iron them and find thier place in my newly organized sewing world....

24 comments:

karenfae said...

LOL - a scrap is any piece of fabric that you can attach to another and another to end up with a square of any size -- or a scrap is a scrap that you can turn into a flower petal :)
I save a lot of tiny stuff that I'm sure a lot of other people throw away!
Karen
http://karensquilting.com/blog/

Elaine Adair said...

Funny, funny, funny! You poor thing and yet it's organized. Are you still speaking to each other?

Pieceful Afternoon said...

HIlarious post - though I'm sure it wasn't funny when you were going through it. Nice to have the help - but sorry you had to rescue your fabrics from the cleaning fairy. Enjoy your hidden scraps.

Gypsy Quilter said...

I think your sister and my sister are related. Which means you and I are probably adopted. Hey, maybe we're long lost sisters. Wouldn't that be fun! May I just add that so long as there's a bin made to hold it and a place to store the bin, any size fabric is a keeper. What is the pattern of the quilt in the hall by the way?

Magpie Sue said...

LOL! Fortunately my sister collects yarn and I collect fabric so we don't get in each other's way :- ) Good job rescuing the scraps from the trash (in your own home no less!).

KimP said...

Your entire conversation sounds like one VickiW and I had last year. She's incredibly organized with her "scraps", but still, when I found out she was keeping selvages, I told her she had lost her mind. As revenge, she sent me a birthday postcard composed of nothing but selvages.

I think you and VickiW are sisters in scrap spirit!

Lindah said...

chuckle -amazing how different the perspective of 2 peas from the same pod. You're a good story teller. Among other things.

Clare said...

Scraps are scraps. I keep every little bit because you never know when you are going to need it!

Enjoy the nice tidy house. Knowing you it will be back to normal within days!

Did you get your dress?

Teri said...

As long as you will use it, I say save it. I really enjoyed your comentary (especially about being a census taker). Don't feel bad, my sisters feel I have a disease. I guess they all missed the the crafty gene and I received a double dose.

tracey said...

oh, bless your heart!! no one but a quilter would understand the need to *save the scraps*.
glad that you were able to get things organized!

Lazy Gal Tonya said...

agh, she didn't throw away Goldie's selvages did she? At the very least she should make you box them up and mail them to someone else - those are valuable these days. i'm working hard to not keep 1" x 1" - that really is too small. 1.5" x 1.5" is a great size though. That mariner's compass looks fabulous on the wall. I notice no photos of the new sewing room....

*karendianne. said...

What a fun post! Loved it. Goldie saving the selvedges cracks me up. And quilt hanging up in the hall. I caught myself over coffee saying outloud: "That's a bad@$$ quilt right there."

*karendianne. (ps: enjoyed all pics!)

Dionne said...

LOL! What an exhausting weekend! I'm sure your kitchen and sewing area are wonderfully organized.... I do hope your stash is safe!

Pumpkin Patch Quilter said...

Oh how cute, I very much enjoyed your post. You just can't have anough fabric and in my book, if there's more than 1/4 of an inch on each side for seams then it's a useable scrap! :)

Joe said...

Ha! I can imagine this conversation perfectly!

Sew Create It - Jane said...

LOL - dumpster diving in your own home! I can identify with that one. I've relegated fabric to the the recycling pile and then had second thoughts and retrieved it back...As Bonnie says..that scrap cost you the same amount as the yardage did ;o)

Elliott said...

Oh dear, your sister and my mother would have a good time together...glad you saved your scraps!

McIrish Annie said...

Great story! I have been reorganizing my sewing room too so I can totally relate! I have drawn the line at 1.5 inch squares and strips. I'm not saving anything smaller. Too much fabric, too little time!

limpingalong said...

I wish I had a sister!

janet said...

I enjoyed reading this story, next time the sewing room gets out of control, you could invite her back?
I'm ruthless with scraps, I have no room for storing them, sometimes I give them away.

nannergirl said...

Hilarious story! I also have a sister who clears out everything she considers 'garbage' every time she comes over. I've started meeting her at a coffe shop, just so she won't toss my stuff.

I Love Baby Quilts! said...

I'm worse than you! I save down to 1X1! But in my defense I actually used many of these for chimneys in the house quilts I made.

When I go to my sister's house I organize HER scraps because she has no respect for them and I do.

Cher said...

amusing and true story! we have to admire those sisterly strong points and then make them work for how we live. my little sister has zero clutter and is coming in May-oh my!
so glad you rescued those scraps that we know are oh so valuable! and whenever you get around to using them great, admiring them is also excellent. 1.5 is about the smallest, though some fabrics I adore I keep tiny strips and hang them up to enjoy

Fran said...

Boy, o boy...I needed a good laugh and this was it.

I'm an only child and I always wished I had a sister, instead I have multiple personalities.

Depending on the time of the month...year, whatever, my 'manic' personality kicks in and I have to organize everything or go crazy right there on the spot. Luckily for my family these occasions only happen once or twice a year.

It so happens I've just gone through one, and it was really frightening. I ALMOST thrashed all of my stash!! Then I happened upon this magic "space bag"...the one where you use your vacuum and suck all the air out and it all shrinks into a neat small package...so instead of tossing it all in a bin I tossed it all in those magic bags. No sorting, no measuring, just threw it in, zipped it up, sucked the air out and VOILA!!!! nice,neat,and hidden under the bed and no guilty conscience.
I can go through it when my mind has cleared and my sanity has returned. I've saved both my sanity and the clutter.

Now if the rest of life was that easy to sort out!! Ah well, one can only dream.

I came across your post from Belinda at Brown Dirt Cottage, and I'm so glad I did. I have a blog of my own but like Belinda I'm on break, and I'm only coasting the computer once in a blue moon as there are so many spring things to do right now. I will make this blog a regular stop from now on.
Thanks for a wonderful story.

~~Fran...:c)