For the last couple of years -- about half of my quilting life -- I have saved skinny strips left from squaring up yardage or left over from cutting strips for piecing, even strips of backing that remained when a quilt had been quilted and trimmed. Creative or cheap? You be the judge. The jar you see below was crammed with skinny strips (at least 1", not quite 1-1/2").
The little pink and white rectangles at the back of the photo were left from Annie's Women Heart quilt. I don't even recall why I have so many. Did I cut the wrong size? Or just too many?
I had the bright idea that I could use these scraps as leaders and enders to make a postage-stamp quilt. This past weekend I started sewing some up, just to see whether the project was worth pursuing. Funny, what seemed like a lot of fabric turned out to be not so much. I thought I had a lot of variety, but ended up making little piles of two-patches to be sure there weren't a lot of the same fabric in a row.
Of course, when half of each square ends up in the seam allowance, they do end up tiny! That's OK. I don't know what this might turn out to be. Maybe a doll quilt?
But I forgot how unforgiving small units can be. A wobbly stitch or two will throw the whole thing off. It doesn't really matter, of course, if this is just going to be a doll quilt (the doll will never know). i could continue by foundation piecing to add stability, I guess. But with so many other projects in the queue, is this really worth continuing?
If I just take the time to cut the remaining yardage for the flying geese in the Otsego quilts, I can be using those as leaders and enders and maybe even get the quilt tops finished this year.
So maybe I'll just toss all these strips and squares and this little 5" piece into the doggy-bed bin. Still, it's been fun to revisit so many other quilts. Finished: Annie's Women Heart quilt; the Civil War block swap (now on my bed!); my niece Molly's baby quilt and her blended-family applique wall hanging; and the first quilt I ever made. Unfinished: the Otsego quilts; Easy Street (the first Bonnie Hunter Mystery that I tackled); blocks from a class I took at Pieceful Quilting (R.I.P.); placemats that I've cut but haven't even started sewing. And up there in the upper-right-hand corner is a dark green fabric from the early 1980's.
If every quilt has a story to tell, this one surely tells the story of A Quilter's Path, a journey that continues.
By the way, this is the doggie-bed bin where I toss scraps of fabric and batting that are bigger than lint. When there's enough, I'll sew up an ugly piece of yardage and stuff it with this stuff and give it to my friend who volunteers in a shelter.
Those foam squares? Oh, I got those back around 1975 to make soft blocks for my daughter. Never got those finished, either. She's now 42.