Wednesday, December 14, 2022


Over the weekend, I finished the square in a square blocks I had prepared before surgery.  I'm now onto the 2.5 inch squares of Christmas fabric leftover from two holiday quilts of yester-year. 

One night while watching tv, I sorted the remaining 2.5 inch  scraps:  dark, bright, light, medium.  But I also sorted by style of fabric: 30s fabric,  novelty, etc.  

That's when I realized it:  I have scrap anxiety.  I've never EVER made a quilt that incorporated a true variety of fabric scraps. 

Did you ever take a quilt class and you were supposed to cut up your pieces, put them in paper bags and were supposed to just randomly pick fabric to piece?   
I could never do it. 

Instead I gravitated to a specific theme or color in my scrap quilts.   Here's an example.  It's an Asian scrap quilt made for one niece using the scraps of a quilt from another niece.

This one I used green and brown scraps for some cohesion:

There always had to be some organization to the quilt.  In fact, 
the thought of mixing batik alongside novelty fabrics makes me physically uneasy.  

I think it must be a fear of really letting go or a longing for orderliness. Order left my life long ago with my second marriage:  more kids, grandkids, dogs, and a loving husband who deposits "stuff" on every horizontal surface in the house.  I'm happy with our crazy life but sometimes I still long for peace and order.

So I decided to do a Pro and Con List.
Pro 1:  I like old scrappy quilts because of the variety of fabrics in the textile.  This is particularly true of first half twentieth century quilts when quilters were "making due."  It ultimately adds to the interest of the quilt.

Pro 2:  I have a lot of 2.5 inch scraps but when I divide them into categories, I don't have enough to make even a lap quilt.  I could make a lot of little projects but my family has enough table runners and wall hangings.  I could use them to make placemats--but oh--I have a whole drawer of fabric and blocks for placemats that I haven't touched yet.

Instead I need to look at this project as an exercise in community building.    If I build a "community" of the different factions, I have enough for at least one lap quilt.

Pro 3:  The fact that I'm so hesitant to do this means that I should absolutely bite the bullet and do it.  It's a good exercise in letting go, right?

Con 1:  What if it's a hot mess?

Will I take it apart to save 2.5 inches of fabric?

And that's when it hit me--


Thanks for listening/reading as I argue with myself.
Have a safe and happy day!


  1. I'm right there with you. I like my fabrics to "sing the same song," whether its color or period or theme. When I do go all-out, I unify with a constant alternate fabric.

  2. Your post today is hilarious, Michele, and I love it! I love scrappy quilts with all the colors, but I also love the ones where there's something that organizes things, too. Maybe your 2.5 inch squares could become 16 patch blocks that have a background fabric around them as sashing to unify the design? One thing I always think of, though, is a flower garden. I like all the colors together in my flower garden - why not in my quilt?

  3. I can identify with every statement you made in this post! I actually tried a really random scrap quilt once. I think it is my least favorite quilt ever. I'm looking forward to reading how you resolve this argument with yourself.