My encounter with evaluating the preciousness of fabrics has been twirling around in my mind. I’ve also been thinking about my friend Danielle‘s recent assessment that “purely insane simplicity” describes the designs that i do.

So the two Big Questions are: What is my relationship with fabric? And what do I truly enjoy doing with it? There isn’t enough time or space for prolonged navel-gazing on this, but here’s a first draft.

I have been known to make quilts from fresh fabric yardage with precision piecing techniques. However, as a quilter, I most commonly worship at the Altar of Scrappiness. When it comes to scrappy quilt design, these things I believe:

  • I believe that one ought to use every last piece of fabric. Nothing goes to waste.
  • I believe that no scrap is too precious to slice and dice, although some cute fussy-cuts can capture my heart.
  • I believe that one need not confine a quilt’s palette to one designer’s fabric line, although sometimes that’s pretty fun to do.
  • I believe that a quilt’s color palette need not be limited at all, although sometimes that’s exactly what you want to do.
  • I believe in (carefully) mixing fabrics (cottons, silks, linens, etc) and textures.
  • I believe in careful, sound construction, although the appearance might be delightfully wonky.
  • I believe in squaring-up often and using steam when pressing.
  • I believe in simplicity among chaos.

By embracing Scraptacularity, a quilter can make truly one-of-a-kind things. For example, this fabric basket, this quilt and these quilt blocks.

I have begun to write a few tutorials to help even a beginner patchworker get started down the road to Scraptacularity. For these explanations, I will assume that the quilter has access to fabric (it need not be “scraps” in the strictest sense of the word) and that s/he knows how to make a log cabin block. [Here’s a log cabin tutorial.]

Look for Scraptacularity, Part I: Working with On-Grain Scraps on Thursday. I hope you’ll find this useful.