I mentioned in my post about clothing and linen history how women recycled worn and outgrown clothing into patches for quilting. When you didn’t have much money and fabric was scarce or too expensive to buy new, you improvised with materials you already had. I’ve always saved fabric and scraps from clothing that I loved enough to wear out. And I suspect most of us who sew and make things have a hard time throwing out materials (however small) that might be used for another creation.
This is a section of a quilt that I started about 20 years ago when I was in college. There are pieces from dresses and blouses as well as scraps from my mothers and grandmothers sewing baskets. That parrot print is my all-time favorite fabric and I wish I had more than a few squares left.
This pattern is called Trip Around the World or Grandmothers Dream and it’s great for using up tiny scraps. It falls into the genre of charm or postage stamp quilts, which are composed of random squares—some as small as one inch. They can be random or form a pattern like this one that repeats in rings around a central square. If you alternate dark and light rows of fabric it's called Sunshine and Shadow.
I really should finish this quilt one of these days. And get involved in quiltmaking again. More as a personal endeavor than a business one. Quilts take so long to make that I wonder if it's even possible to make a profit selling them. Still, the scraps do tend to pile up and quilts are a great way to use them up!
I'm fascinated by the history of quilts and will probably be talking more about quilts in future posts. I feel like I'm getting sort of one-dimensional with all the embroidery talk, and I do have other interests :)