Fabric Archeology

The scrap bag was just about to split or overflow, so today was the day when I felt the need to sort it out before the bag bio-degrades. This is my pale collection of bits and pieces that are too small for current projects or larger leftovers from previous ones. 

I don’t have storage boxes for different coloured scraps like other quilters seem to find so useful because I would probably find the odd dead or alive house spider in there and wouldn’t like that very much! I prefer to put my pieces in large freezer bags, the ones which have a grip seal strip and the only criteria used for this big bag is that the fabric must be pale coloured.

It has been quite an interesting and very relaxing day. Now I know why some people are fascinated by archeology. Looking back through this bag of goodies has reminded me of projects past. I remember where I bought the fabrics and who I went to the fabric shop or quilt show with. Some designs were bought on the internet and I’d saved details of the sellers for future reference.  All in all, today has served up a potted history of my last year or so of quilting.

So these pieces are all freshly pressed and chopped but most still have selvedge edges, so although it looks like a tidy pile, there is still much preparation needed before they can be turned into something nice.

How the darker bits managed to find their way into the “pale bag” I’ll never know!

I do love those Michael Miller hedgehogs! but they don’t scream “pale” to me. Nor do the red polka dots.

So, quite a bit of work has been done but there is still plenty left on this lot. There’s some quite big bits in here!

These ones on the right are a much thicker cotton, a bit like canvas. I can feel a pencil case or two coming on here 🙂

Did this really all come out of one bag?? Yes!

Well, it may seem to some readers like a waste of a day and, at this stage, I agree because it hasn’t been too creative. However, it is the preparation that is the most important step for any project. I’ve had lots of time to be creative in my head and now have numerous ideas for using up this goody bag AND it was like rummaging through my own personal treasure chest!

There are several projects to keep me busy for quite some time in one bag of scraps and I didn’t have to spend one penny. Also, I wouldn’t dare go and buy more fabric today as I know DH has squirrelled away some Moda charm packs for my birthday. Roll on Tuesday 🙂

Leave a comment


  1. Hi! That looks a yammy bundle of fabrics! I keep my scraps in bascets and open boxes and try to have them by colour or size but they are always all mixed up!
    Have a wonderful week! x Teje

  2. Scrap preparation is critical to creativity for many reasons. One of them is just getting rid of physical and mental clutter. But, handling the fabrics and seeing different pieces together allows one to see them in a different light–many new ideas, many new projects.

  3. As they say, ‘the time you enjoy wasting is never wasted time’ 🙂 sounds like it was very productive if it’s given you new ideas, also it’s just nice to see what’s what and have a little think. So, does that mean its your birthday on Tuesday? If so, happy birthday!
    And did you decide what to do about your extra sewing machine?

    • I like those old sayings…….my favourite is “If everything is urgent, nothing is urgent”. That takes care of my “To do” lists at work 🙂 Yes, it is my birthday on Tuesday. The machine is going to get fixed!!!! Yey!

  4. sewewe

     /  February 12, 2012

    I too have bags, (baskets), of fabric to sort through. If I ever do so I may find myself with oodles of projects. I already have a few UFO’s to finish, but, maybe I need to get as productive and just dive into my scraps. Besides the fabrics stored in those baskets have memories attached to them.

    • Thanks for reading my blog 🙂 It was fun revealing the smaller bags of scraps as I got further into the big bag as the oldest ones were at the bottom. Avis x

  5. Ooooo you can’t beat a good bag of fabric…….x
    Thanks for the follow back 🙂

  6. I love your scraps…so lovely! I also like to go through my stacks ..while I do that I come up with many ideas of new projects…I just have to find time to actually do them.

    I’m following you via email now. 🙂 Thanks for visiting my blog.

  7. I like how you went back through the fabrics and they each brought back memories for you. Makes quilting so personal 🙂

  8. Hi! Difficult to write how to spell my name … I guess it could be like this {Teye}, j = like in word yes. I am from Finland but my name from Egypt. Teje was Tutankhamon’s grandmother.
    Have a great week!
    x Teje

    • Thanks Teje. So your name is ancient Egyptian. Mine is latin for “bird” apparently. Have you tried the sunny faces yet 🙂 Happy stitching!

      • That’s exiting! I didn’t manage to get sunny face – I guess my greek/english keyboard needs other keys for that. Never mind – I enjoy your smiley faces!
        x Teje

        • It is probably in Dashboard, settings, writing. You need to then tick the box near the top beside where it says this

          Convert emoticons like 🙂 and 😛 to graphics on display.

  9. Your scraps are lovely and most of them go together very well. I love organising things and looking through fabric gives loads of inspiration so it’s hugely creative. My scrap bags are not so beautiful sadly!

  10. frogzone1

     /  February 16, 2012

    You need to get yourself some Really Useful Boxes!

    • But SPIDERS can get into boxes hehe. It has to be sealed bags for me 🙂

      • I wouldn’t like spiders either! I love your idea of fabric archaeology – I have two little girls and I am thinking about keeping some of their clothes to make into a quilt or something, just for the memories.

        • Oh, now that would be AWESOME! I wish I’d kept some of my daughters things but I passed them to friends. Don’t forget to blog about the results 🙂

          • I do find it hard to keep perfectly good clothes when I could pass them on. I’ve passed on the 0-3 month stuff but got the 3-6 month and 6-9 month clothes to go through so I might just keep some of the really sentimental pieces and see what I come up with – maybe in a few years when they’re a bit bigger.

            • It is a lovely idea. One of my friends made a treasure chest to be opened on her baby’s 21st birthday. It is about the size of a shoe box. She won’t say what is inside 🙂

      • frogzone1

         /  February 23, 2012

        Really Useful Boxes have clip-shut lids. Houdinispider might get in but I doubt it!

  11. suetortoise

     /  March 5, 2012

    Thanks for visiting my blog, I’ve enjoyed seeing yours, although I do’t do quilting and patchwork. I love poking through my stash (embroidery threads and fabrics, in my case), just musing and coming up with ideas. It’s very good for inspiration and creativity (and I find things that I’ve totally forgotten about ever buying). A lot of my stuff is kept in those fold-up plastic stacking crates with gridded sides, but one thing I’ve never found in my stash is a spider – I guess they can spin their own threads, and don’t want mine!

    • He-he, welI found a live spider in my paper shredder once. What it found to eat in there I’ll never know! There was no way it could climb out by itself 🙂
      I like to browse through blogs too. I’ve done some canvaswork, needlepoint etc. before but not bargello. I think I might plan a piece to take on holiday this summer.
      Thanks for reading my blog 🙂

  12. I get you totally. Some of the fabrics in my collection is old clothing, or old sheets from my grandmothers or things I’ve picked up on days out so they all have memories!

    I keep my fabric scraps in vacuume bags so they don’t take up as much space and i keep them in a suitcase….but that’s just the big bits. I too am guilty of keeping scraps and smaller pieces in plastic carrier bags *blush* however, mine aren’t organised into light and dark like yours!

  13. Oh I wish I had some vintage fabrics:-) All of mine is just what has accumulated over the last few months really. I had no idea there was so much useful stuff in there! The little organised piles are still on my sewing table awaiting inspiration. I have a few of those vacuum bags too. Thanks for the idea. Avis x

  14. Hah, you shoud do a fabric swap, it’d be cool to have a patchwork quilt made up of fabrics people had swapped all over the world ^^
    I’m horribly guilty of mixing fabrics and making scrap quilts rather than trying for colour/co-ordination. Interesting effect but horrible to think about washing!


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