Scraps At What Cost?

This week has not gone as planned. Nothing on my to do list was finished by when I'd hoped and that's the way it is. I'm learning to be flexible, go with the flow, do my best, and I have a life outside of work, even work I love - VBG.

I started this coat in the spring and then hung it up in the guest room closet and ignored it until last week. With the weather starting to turn cool, it's good timing for a fall coat. The cord fabric is made from polyester and has a fabulous drape. It's likely to become a favourite. The collar, button band, and pockets are made using the reverse side of another polyester fabric. I like the texture on this side better.

When I was done the coat, I used the scraps to make a patchwork Winter Bag using a carpet bag pattern and some purchased handles. The bag is the topic of today's video on my YouTube channel. Although I plan to sell it so I'll never know, I do think it'll age beautifully and develop a soft, worn patina over time like waxed canvas in some ways.

On Tuesday morning, the power was out for almost five hours which totally interrupted my work flow yet allowed me to get caught up some other things like folding laundry and sorting scraps. I love the idea of maximizing scraps but I'm not sure that all scraps are worth saving at any cost. There has to be more pro than con on many levels.

I'd recently read an article... or watched a video... I can't remember which... about making fabric bead cores from scraps including strips of foam and batting. It seemed worth trying. I started by wrapping the foam tightly and then covering it with a strip of the batting that was twisted while wrapped.

The layers were secured with thread, tied off at the end. I used a needle with a very large eye so I could thread it one handed, pull the end through the bead core, and knot it to the start.

I had enough foam strips to make round beads and rectangles to make longer ones. Pretty early on, I was starting to go crazy. The article (video) had said to use glue and thread to put the elements together. That was too mucky for me so I only used thread however, it takes quite a lot of thread as she had noted. I started to question what am I using that I wouldn't be, or that isn't a scrap already, if I wasn't trying to save these particular scraps? Glue... extra thread... tubing... and whatever goes on top for the exterior layers... to name a few.

Is it worth it? For me, no. Not only was I using supplies that weren't already scraps, the process was too fiddly, not fun, and I couldn't imagine how I'd store the scraps for making these or what I'd do with the finished beads or when I'd ever think this was the thing that I wanted to do now. My mind has an endless flow of potential ideas and at my age - LOL, how fun to write that - fun is huge factor. If I was going to make beads, I'd prefer to use polymer clay or copper wire.

Not for me... not at this cost... BUT... on the other hand, I saved all of the selvage edges from the corduroy fabric and cut the remaining scraps into "cord worms" by slicing along the wale lines. The jar at left is packed with worms and I think it'll be enough combined with other scraps - like the jar at right with the start and stop threads from sewing seams - to make a scarf using soluble stabilizer. This is more doable for me. How do you use your scraps? What do you save? What goes? I've been researching where to recycle fabric scraps and unfortunately the nearest place is about five hours from me which isn't going to work. I am debating filling bags with "quilter's crumbs" when I next send a box to the thrift store. There is a large quilting population where I live so it may work as long as the person sorting at the thrift store knows what they are. I'll help by adding a label. Talk soon - Myrna Grateful - knowing what does... and doesn't... work for me