At least once a year I make the decision to organize my sewing room. This usually happens right after I make the shocking discovery that “IT” has happened again. I don’t know how IT happens or when IT happened – but IT does and IT did. IT’S everywhere I look. SCRAPS. Scraps in baskets, scraps in bags and scraps in containers. Scraps from everything I have touched or sewn since the last time I noticed that IT was everywhere.
Nothing like a pandemic to make you take a closer look at the evil living in your sewing spaces! Why do I collect them – and never use them? Something has to change here! So I decided to go all Marie Kondo on myself and began by pouring the contents of every basket, bag and container into one HUGE scrap mountain on the floor. Is there a 12-step program for this? It was kind of pretty in a sick demented way as flashbacks from the Hoarders TV series flashed before my eyes. Quilts are really just lots of little bits that we cut and sew back together right? Then why don’t I/we use THESE little bits and pieces? Because these bits were not cut with a purpose like the yardage they came from! OMG! They’re just there! And that’s when the Hot Pot Scrap Quilt was born. I grabbed a pad and pen and started writing down some easy to follow steps (there are only FIVE) to make those scraps bubble and boil! Read on!
1) First we need to create our Scrap Pantry:
I decided that since there are tons of patterns available for pre-cut fabrics that I would cut most of my scraps (ingredients) into charm squares and 2.5” strips. I also started a separate container in my pantry of interesting odd sized scraps for Improv quilts! And yes – some odd bits that were too small to sew without tweezers and a magnifying glass got hacked off and thrown OUT. Let them go. It’s okay. You’ll make more!
2) Sort your Ingredients
I sorted by color families – brights, jewel tones, earth tones, modern, etc.
3) Select a Recipe
I picked a recipe (pattern) called Terrazzo by Lee Heinrich
4) Select a pot (project container) to cook in:
5) Shop in your pantry for the ingredients (fabric)
Now I began to pull as much as I could from my pre-sorted pantry. I challenged myself to find ways to use what I already had – ready to go. Here is how my first finished Hot Pot Scrap quilt turned out and I LOVED IT!
Going forward now – I keep two hot pots in the vicinity of my sewing machine at all times. One for 2.5” strips and one for 5” charm squares. Scraps need a purpose (recipe) in order to grow into a quilt. Whenever I have a few minutes to spare – or I don’t know what I feel like sewing on – I open up a pot and cook a few blocks!! I’m always on the lookout for new recipes for my pantry and I am no longer just collecting scraps – I am using them. Go figure!
AND THIS IS KEY. When you finish a project – fold up the larger pieces to return to your stash and make sure to recycle and chop up those leftovers (scraps) so your pantry continues to be versatile and well stocked!
PS – I call them “Hot Pot Scrap Quilts” because they’re no longer on the back burner and there is always something cooking in my quilting kitchen!