Sunday, March 24, 2013

Piecing Together a Project

What's the skeleton in your closet?

Come on. All of us have one. I'm no exception, but the skeleton in my closet happens to look more like a stack of boxes. You see...I have a fabric problem.

Fragments of vividly-hued feed sacks from the 1930s, kimono silk in slender sections, remnants left over from thrifted dresses that have since been upcycled into aprons or dinner napkins--I've kept it all. I can't help myself! Over a lifetime of yard sales, antique fairs, and late-night eBay splurges, my fabric stash has grown from one well-mannered, neatly-folded shelf into something with a mind of its own. Recently, I was forced to confront the situation when moving apartments required an extra trip across town just for fabric retrieval. All of these scraps that I've lovingly tucked away just in case have become an albatross--a multicolored, floral-printed albatross.

Clearly, something must be done. After much soul-searching, I've come to terms with the fact that a lot of my beloved collection needs to either make itself useful or hit the road. So I was delighted to find Joan Ford's 2012 book Scraptherapy cut the scraps! : 7 steps to quilting your way through your stash.

This book is a no-nonsense guide to turning your misfit odds and ends into something beautiful and practical. Experienced quilters may find that the patterns included are more timeless than novel, so if you're on the hunt for new and exciting advances in the field of quilt design, you should probably look elsewhere. However, if you're like me and are looking for a book to help you formulate a functional project that makes good use of your favorite, impractically-tiny fabric tidbits, you're in luck. A wide variety of projects (with clear, helpful instructions) are included. As a bonus, tips on how to work with irregular fabric sizes and plan quilt themes that make the most of what you're working with help to make scrap projects less daunting. Ford also imparts some really useful tips for organizing and managing the fabric that you do keep.

If you're a fabric collector in need of an intervention--or just a new project--I suggest giving this book a whirl.

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