Saturday, September 24, 2011

Crumb Quilt Inspiration: The Case of the Teeny Tiny Triangles

"The true economy of housekeeping is simply the art of gathering up all the fragments, so that nothing be lost. I mean the fragments of time, as well as materials. Nothing should be thrown away so long as it is possible to make any use of it, however trifling that use may be..." Lydia Marie Child, The American Frugal Housewife, 1832.

When I read this quotation, crumb quilting immediately leapt to mind as it makes use of my smallest bits of fabric. Though I probably waste too much time rooting through my scrap drawer in search of the right color or perfect sized bit for those cute little flying geese units or star points.

Which also reminds me . . .

Years ago I bought a grab bag of scraps at my guild's Trash & Treasures meeting. The contents included a Ziploc bag of tiny right triangles. But how could I use them? I always work with preshrunk fabrics, but obviously I couldn't toss these little guys into the washer -- not even in a lingerie bag. They'd turn into a tangled mass of threads. So they remained in my stash all these years. And though I considered them unusable, I couldn't bring myself to throw them away.

Yesterday, when I was making my Wonky Star blocks, it occurred to me that these little triangles might be useful as star points. Perhaps I could preshrink them by spraying them with water and then ironing them dry. I put a piece of muslin on my ironing board and gave it a try.

Eek! The color from the triangles leached into the muslin. So much for that idea.

But what if I sewed them into something that would never be washed -- such as a pin cushion?

I'm having a go at that tonight. If it doesn't work out (and I have real doubts about what will happen when all those points meet in the middle) maybe I really had better toss them in the trash. After all, Ms. Child mentions advocates the wise usage of "fragments of time, as well as materials." 

1 comment:

Michele, a distracted quilter said...

I thought I was crazy when it came to the little bits - but I would award you the "crack-pot" award! Can't wait to see you pin cushion.