Do you ever feel like some books find you at just the right time?
I passed over 15 Minutes of Play last year when I took Victoria Findlay Wolfe’s class. I liked scrap projects with right angles. I just wasn’t into the angled scrappy patchwork.
I’m not even really sure I’m into super scrappy right now, but a few things have changed since last year. I’ve just moved to a new house, and during the packing process, I had two epiphanies: (1) I now know just how much fabric (specifically scraps) that I have and (2) I realize that I barely touched my scraps over the last few years. I’ve pulled a few things for some bee blocks, but when it comes to projects (mostly paper piecing projects), it’s so much easier to pull out a fat quarter or a fat eighth and lop off a corner than dig into a sea of scraps. I love a big stash, but there comes a time when “more” is actually “less.”
There is overwhelm.
After Sandi at Crafty Planner scheduled Victoria on her podcast, Sandi asked me if I’d review 15 Minutes of Play. I borrowed a copy of the book, and despite my reluctance to continue to accumulate things, I’m adding it to my library. There are gorgeous pictures, but I have yet to pick up a quilting book that doesn’t have gorgeous pictures. Publishers pretty much have that down. The reason I’m keeping it on my shelf for a while is because it fits nicely into my new strategy for scraps (and my new limits on sewing time) which goes something like this:
- Cut bigger pieces into 5″ squares – a.k.a. charm squares.
- Cut smaller pieces into 2.5″ squares for english paper piecing hexies.
- Cut other pieces into triangles for the Quiltcon Simplicity EZ Template Challenge
- Throw the new angled scraps from cutting triangles into a bin and pull them out during the snippets of sewing time that I eek out in a day. Also adding fabrics to this bin that I don’t love enough for hexies or charm squares.
- Throw away anything that doesn’t fit in one of these categories. (Okay, I’m actually collecting them in a bag and hoping someone more creative than me can put them to good use if I volunteer to mail them! I. Just. Can’t. Stop. The. Hoarding. and there will always be plenty more teeny scraps for those adorable scrap notecards.)
Many of my scraps had right angles, and creating triangles for the Quiltcon project has helped create pieces perfect for Victoria’s approach. I know she often cuts fabric up randomly to make scraps, but I can’t stomach the thought of wildly slicing through fabric. That’s why this book is perfect for me now – I actually have pieces that I want to put into something. Instead of feeling like I’m limiting myself by reducing big scraps to small things to use in these blocks, I’m adding value to pieces that have sat unused – and might have continued to be unused!
Maybe it’s my new constraints that make me love these blocks? Maybe I’m just getting better at the crazy-quilt approach (because I hated my first attempts)?
Victoria’s book has a lot of ideas of things to do with the little pieces of “made” fabric, so I’m keeping the book to reference once I have a stack of them ready to go. She’s designed so many ways to add order back into the chaos of her made fabric. And I’m a sucker for stars… of which there are several good ones!
Even if you’re not into the “made” fabric look, give this book a second look. There are several ways Victoria restores order in her compositions for those of us that need a few right angles or regular shapes. And, at some point, you’ve got to do something with those scraps!