Friday, October 08, 2010

Jorth vs Fabric Scraps

Oh my sainted aunt - what is that... that thing vomitting all over my kitchen table?


Before I end your suspense, a little background: today I had the day off work, and decided to get cracking on Grumble's summer wardrobe. Foolish me thought it would be a mere matter of opening the bureau door and fishing out the fabric I had in mind, but instead I was confronted with a jumble of fabrics all threatening to spill out of the over packed cupboard, and all baying for attention with the same refrain: "Remember me? I was meant to be a dress by now! So when you gonna sew me up, huh? HUH?"

With a sigh I set aside my initial intention, got down on my hands and knees and began the job of sorting through the fabric stash, and figuring out my plans. Fabric that I did have a specific project in mind for was neatly folded up with the corresponding pattern placed on top, and carefully lined up on the shelf. Scrappy bits that were kept for whatever reason were reevaluated, and either consigned to the op-shop bag or to the 'other projects' pile. And all those weird odds and sods were put into a bag to be donated to the local kindergarten.

After working steadily for a good half hour, I rocked back onto my heels and surveyed with satisfaction the work I had done. But alas! I had forgotten the scrap bag. Now that I came to think of it, I hadn't come upon the fabric I wanted for Grumble's top, so I took the scrap bag out to the kitchen table, and began to hunt for it.

All those scraps - mostly left over pieces from clothes I had made for Grumbles - spilled out onto the table. Here was a piece from her first summer dress. Here was a piece from the jeans I had made, and lined with spotted cotton. Here was a piece from the top she wore on her first day of kinder. Here was a piece for each day we were happy, sitting in the sun, just my girl and me. Each one felt like a precious memory, and couldn't be thrown away, but collectively the bag seemed to be taunting me. "LOOOOOK!" the scraps brayed, "Look at all these pieces left from the clothes you made your child. Clothes for a little girl that you can never make again, because your daughter is growing up faster than you would like, and you can't have any more children, so you'll never be able to make those clothes again. BWAHAHAHAHAHAH!"

Good grief! It was like the fabric elephant in the room had come to life. I almost burst into tears looking at all the pieces. The worst thing is, though, that even though I don't want these scraps to hang around as a reminder of what-might-have-been, I don't want to throw them either. The bittersweet memories were suddenly too much, and I was feeling them too deeply. I was standing in my kitchen, having a meltdown over a bag of cloth, battling to keep my emotions in check. But bloody hell - the cloth scraps were winning!

Then I thought of something. My salvation, so to speak. I would make the scraps into a yo yo garland! That way I could do something useful with the scraps, and keep the happy memories associated alive, but could put it away when I tired of it.

Restraining myself from doing a little happy jig, I leaned in and whispered to the fabric bag "So! What do you think of my clever plan?"

The scrap bag was silent. It knew a winner when it saw one.


  1. I kept thinking "make a quilt", but a yo-yo garland - super!

  2. I thought you were going to make a quilt too!

  3. Oh you're alive! Nice to hear from you Jorth. Your scraps are mighty pretty.

  4. The oldest of my 4 children turned 40 this year and I sewed and knitted most of their clothes all their childhoods (including gabardine wool suits for the boys and woolen over coats with bound buttons, smocked dresses and formal dresses in year 12, etc. etc). The clothes they wore when they were smaller were the ones which I wished I had kept just a couple of pieces (maybe just 2 x 6" squares) to make into a "memory" quilt for old times sake now since I have more time and they have all left home. Maybe it could be a small quilt for a grandchild and each piece could have a story explained when the child got old enough to understand

  5. I was thinking bunting, but I like yo yo's too!

  6. I was thinking quilt too but wasn't sure how big some of your pieces will be. The garland or bunting would work with smaller pieces :-)

    Oh the memories held in a piece of fabric.

  7. It's the most unexpected things that get you, isn't it? My mum said a similar thing about a bathplug in her mother's house. Good on you for transforming those pretty scraps into something beautiful.

  8. GREAT idea! Can't wait to see the end result!

  9. Anonymous12:03 am

    Garlands are great. I fully support all-conquering of overly confident scrap bags by sewing garlands.

    Three Cheers.


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