Thursday, October 27, 2016

Playing with scraps


I am a scrap-a-holic.

I come from the generation when you never threw anything out if it could be re-used.

The first quilts I made were using scraps from my old clothing that had been taken apart to use for making clothing for my little daughters.

It included scraps from a quilt my great grandmother had made. When my son made holes in elbows or knees of clothing, I shortened the item and used the cut-offs in quilts.

Even when I could afford to buy new fabric, the scraps got saved. When daughter got a new dress, so did her doll get a matching one, and yet some of that fabric still remains.

Well, I do throw things out, that is, anything smaller than an inch square plus enough for a seam.
The plastic box on the right contains lots of one-inch squares ... divided into baggies by color.

I have a tin of two-inch squares, three-inch squares, 4-inch squares, and a baggie full of squares to be measured, marked, and cut before going into the proper tin.

The shoe box contains baggies of 1x2, 1x3, 1x4, and 1x5inch strips. And the tin to the bottom left contains 2x2 and a half, 2x3, 2x3 and a half, and 2x3 inch strips.

The runner currently on my table is made by assembling blue strips and squares into five-inch blocks.

All these tins and boxes live under that coffee table and are just waiting for me to come up with a plan that will use them. I have made a log cabin quilt long ago as one of my first projects to consume scraps.
A rainbow quilt for my grandson's big-boy use used a lot more ... as did the one I made before for his older brother using green and blue scraps.

Sitting beside me on the sofa is another tin, piled with squares made over the weekend. My brain is spinning trying to come up with a creative way to use these scraps.

Meanwhile, I took some of those two-inch scraps and tossed them together into a little mat for my trash bin top.

When we lived in the former house, I kept two plastic bins under my sink ... a red one for burnable items, and a blue one for un-burnable trash.

When we moved back to the rabbit hutch, there was no room under the sink or in any part of the kitchen. An open trash can was also an invitation to Nikko for a trash-fling-party. (even a small wastebasket by the sofa is an attraction should I leave it unattended for a minute or two just to answer the door-bell. ) So ... I was very lucky to find a double bin.

It sits right at the entrance to the kitchen. Burnables in the top bin and un-burnables in the bottom. Nikko is unable to open the bins that tip open at an angle and it is very handy for a chain-drinker of coffee ... fill the cup part way, set it on the bin, reach to the side with right arm and open the fridge, take out the milk container from inside the door, fill the cup to the top and return the container, pushing the door shut.

At the bottom of the bins is a small drawer that contains plastic bags to line the bins. Trash is collected in bags set out on different days depending on the collection days for that type of trash.

To the side of the bin is a little box decorated by my first daughter when still small, which is used to gather glass bottled and tin cans for recycling. A bag holds pet-bottles and back by the window is another bag that collects other plastics.

In the corner of the diningroom hall there is a recycle container for newspapers (that can be traded in once a month for rolls of toilet paper, and a bag-lined box for other recycle paper ... mostly advertising flyers that gather regularly in my post box. See..... I do throw things out from time to time!

I often wonder how people living in small two-room apartments as in our early years, are able to manage all the sorting and storing of trash. Back in those days, we didn't have so much as we shopped carrying a basket and items were wrapped in newspaper and placed in the basket. No plastics, no styrofoam trays, no saran-wrap, no plastic bags ...

Well, a small mat on the top of the trash bin is not going to use up many scraps. Even the pile of three-inch blocks has hardly made a dent in that stash.

I am wondering if I can sell my daughter on something very scrappy for her poncho.

Norie and Leia are coming for an over-night stay so maybe there is a chance for a scrappy appeal.

Meanwhile, the cookie factory will get in gear for fall and Halloween cookies.

I hung out the ghost and before it had been out five minutes, the doorbell rang with a question from a neighbour wondering what was up.
Shops have been full of Halloween decorations for well over a month but ghosts are not as accepted in Japan. I remember my neighbour, in the old days,  cutting all the branches on another neighbour's weeping-willow, just at the time they were looking most graceful and lovely. When I asked her why, she said they looked like ghosts. Well, it is only a few more days and I will put my decorations away.  Meanwhile, I shall celebrate a scrappy holiday. Hope you have one too!