It was almost painful to take a break from sewing to share this with y’all, but I just had to. Here is the first piece of yardage that I’ve created using this fantastic method. Amy, you may have created a monster, but a very happy one!
The scrap heap in the studio is…overwhelming. Larger containers have been brought in, but there’s very little containment going on. You would think that I’d been raised during the Depression the way I hang onto scraps (and, after sifting through the pile yesterday, I can assure you that the word “scrap” is even a little generous for some of the stuff I’ve kept), but it really pains me to waste fabric. It’s a strange mystery how some of the pieces, although I’ve fished them out and cut into them again and again, never seem to run out. Then there are new additions every day; the pile just keeps growing.
A few years ago, I took an art course at the local community college. One of the projects required that we use a random method of some sort to execute the design. I don’t remember what I ended up with, but it had something to do with grabbing strips of colored paper out of a bag and scattering and attaching them to the base piece as quickly as possible. It wasn’t strictly random, although there was some complicated way I went about selecting the colors and shapes, something to do with a numbering system and dice maybe. Anyway, the thing I do remember is that the whole “random” thing was very uncomfortable to me. For a person that’s not particularly meticulous, I have a very hard time just throwing together colors. I’ve turned the scrap bag out several times with the intention of making something with, say, the first ten pieces that my hand touches. Yeah…never been able to actually do it. That’s the beauty of this method: you have a little bit of control, but not enough to get too wrapped up in matching and stuff. I just dug in and found a bunch of blues, greens, and yellows, and then cut them into two-inch strips. Then the real fun begins.
When I was about nine years old, finger crochet was all the rage. To this day, I have no idea why. What the heck do you do with that long tube of yarn once it’s finished? Wrap it around to form a rug? Stitch it together and use it as a blanket? I think I actually tried to make something like that, but the results weren’t very attractive. No matter – I trailed my mile o’crochet all around the house every weekend, just weaving and pulling away. Working with this method reminded me of that. The small stack of fabric turned into a huge stack of strips, which were then to become a ridiculously long strip. Oh, and such instant gratification. It’s not particularly important to be precise or to mind the color combination of each pairing, and I wanted to give a nod to the random approach, so I just tossed all of the strips into a bag, shook it up, and started grabbing a couple and sewing them together. No pins required, which is another plus. And the best part? The pieces that went into this project are gone. The tiny half-inch strips that were leftover had to go. I have to start drawing the line somewhere.
There are two more mile-long strips calling my name, not to mention the potential goldmine calling to me from the heap(s). Pity the poor fool that comes between me and them this weekend. [I kid, of course…sort of.]