Saturday, June 03, 2006











Scrap Quilts...it's not hard to see why they are called that. I suppose they could just as easily be called "Leftovers" or something. Quite a few words describe what they are. I find myself wondering if we choose them, or if they chose us. I used to think that liking scraps quilts was directly connected to home sewers. And I do think it's an easy transition from home(clothes and such) sewing to using the left over pieces to make a quilt.
But today there are many young gals, making scrap quilts and many of them have never sewn clothing for themselves or children. Maybe they got interested, after seeing the scrap quilts of older quilters. How much easier it is today, to have, or study, or view hundreds of scrappy quilts in so many places. There weren't quilts shows and quilt market, and national gatherings way back when. There were contests and Fairs..county and state. Having a quilt ribbon at the Fair was a huge deal! I remember reading about a huge contest, nationwide, back at the time of the Chicago World's Fair....the year eludes me. McCall's Needlework magazine ran the contest as I remember, and published photographs of the winning quilt. I think all of that is part of the Smithsonian now.
So why do you do it...? With all the fabric in the world(so to speak) available to us, and fabric for well co0ordinated quilts at our beck and call, why do we cut up yardages, trade with other quilters, mix it up, beat it up, over dye it, tea dye it, etc, etc, etc to get the scrappy quilt tops of the past? I think it is about connectiion. A need to link ourselvcs, hand to hand, or quilt to quilt with what came before us. We add our footprints and handprints to the path across time, knowing and trusting that those who come after us, will do the same......a passing of the torch, so to speak.
The quilt above(which was suppose to be right here) is a Jacob's Ladder Variation. It's not usually set to form the straight furrows that you see. It's also not usually made from all Polka Dots...*S* But as the quilt maker, that's MY choice. I can make it the traditional set and colors, or I can make it MY way. This one reflects my collection of polka dotted fabric, with all muslin for background. It is machine pieced and utility quilted. Its called "Open Call For Polka Dots, Alot of Wanna Bes". It has gone on to live with the son of a special and very important to me Dr. I owe what vision I have to him...*VBS* I loved making this quilt and probably will make another, but different.

12 comments:

Linda_J said...

I love it! Jacob's Ladder looks great set in straight furrows as you did. The polka dots made it a fun quilt for the young gentleman that received it.

I thought of you yesterday as I came upon a background pieced that I had to piece to get the block done. Surprisingly, it was not a BOM kit that was short either though I may have shifted pieces around from one kit to the scrap bag. Not a fabric I owned so I that is probably the case. My tribute to the Finn approach of "make do", I guess.

dot said...

This quilt is very nice. It caught my eye immidately. I like the Jacob ladder pattern but have never made one. Maybe now is the time. Thanks for sharing and I love your story on scrap quilting.I like it because there is so much variety and movement in a scrap quilt.

Fiona said...

You are so right about scrap quilts - maybe part of the charm is that no matter how many you see you still know that you can make something that is unique and individual to you and your taste, whether you have 'chosen' the fabrics from a store or are making do with what is at hand.

Judy said...

You're right, of course. I though about it the other month when I was washing new fabric and slicing it into strips to go into my "scrap" quilt" that something was backwards. Unfortunately I don't have a stash of older fabrics and I like to make the scrap ones too, so we now do what we have to do and "make do" as they did back in the day.

I love this block. It can be set so many ways that it almost looks comepletely different depending on the setting choice. This is the first time I have seen it set like this and I'll make a note in my journal so I don't forget the setting. Another great block is Brave New World...it works up like this one...so many different ways!

anne bebbington said...

Polka dots are terrific aren't they - and are so suitable for a masculine quilt where you might shy away from florals but not want to use plains - I think another great charm of scrap quilts is being able to spot something different each time you look at the quilt

cher said...

to me, scrap quilts are happy quilts-they always make me smile.
and they seem so liberating as well, I mean, you can't really chose the wrong color as long as you use lots and lots of colors VBG
this quilt turned out wonderfully Finn-thanks so much for sharing!

Maggie Ann said...

What a beautiful quilt...stunning really and such a beautiful gift to your Dr.'s son. I just know you made your Dr.'s day when he took this quilt home...smile. Yes, county fairs are still a big deal around here. Used to be, I entered my doilies and brought home a ribbon or two. I love to go in the daytime and see the needlework and crafts and sewing. I am not a crowd person, don't know why not just am not...*s*.

Lily said...

I think we young'uns like to make scrap quilts because you're using a tried and tested block pattern (that you know works) but we can pick whatever fabrics we want and make something that's truly unique and something we created ourselves (that at least has the guarantee of working because some of our smart quilting predecessors did all the hard work for us!!)

I like the Jacob's Ladder variation all set into furrows. It's very strongly geometric and it's just very pleasing to the eye!

Darcie said...

Your variation is very charming, Finn! From the setting to the polka dots...very striking!

Joanne said...

It's a great quilt.
In answer to your question -- I make scrap quilts because I love them, pure & simple. I didn't sew previously; I've made my share of planned fabric quilts; I have an overabundance of stash and I love using lots of it in one quilt!

Laura said...

Finn I think you have coined a new quilting term! I love the idea of "leftover quilts"!

Dawn said...

It may not be a Jacob's Ladder variation but I LOVE it! What a fun quilt! I have to tuck this idea away in my head too!