Because we’re moving house at the moment, most of my creativity has been sapped by box-packing and estate agent-wrangling. So instead of my creative space, I thought I’d share some of the creative shopping that I’ve been doing lately!
The idea of scraps has been slowly working its way into my consciousness and my Google Reader recently, but I have to say that the first occurance of it was the Technicolour Yawn Quilt over at I’m A Ginger Monkey. Since then, I’ve been eyeing my scrap pile and wondering what I could make with it.
Apparently there’s no need for me to wonder, since a quick trawl through blogs and shops brings up a huge range of scrap patterns, not to mention all the tutorials and blogs that have great ideas to use things up. The ones that particularly caught my eye were:
~ Fifty Cent Weights by Elizabeth Hartman at Oh Fransson
These are cute little pattern weights that look like they might save me from having to sellotape my fabric to my cutting board!
~ Quilting from little things by Sarah Fielke
I have Material Obsessions by the same author on reserve at the library, and I’m now pestering them to buy this one as well. It’s such a lovely idea, and the designs are stunning.
~ If quilts seem a bit daunting, Sewing with Scraps: 35 Projects using fabric scraps by Sandi Henderson has some smaller projects to use up those little bits and pieces, as well as a quilt pattern made from sizeable pieces. I have to admit that I’m kind of desperate to make the forest creatures from this book. So cute!
~ Bottled rainbows at Stitched in Color
Because these blocks were done as a quilt along, there’s lots of help and guidance and inspiration at the site. I’m blown away by the colours and would love to make something this awesome.
~ Going back to where the whole thing started, I’m going to see if I can make a block or two for Katy, who has a proposition in her post here for anyone wanting to chip in.
~ If you’re wondering where to put all those scraps, look no further than this basket at A Cuppa and a Catch Up
~ And if you’re still short of inspiration, Burda have a whole list over at this post
Some of these are enough to make you want to haul out your stash, cut the lot into little pieces and see what happens!
Rather than do that, I decided to go out into the big wide fabric-shopping world and see what scraps were available on the market and how they compared. Yes, I know, the sacrifices I make for the sake of blogging. It’s a tough job etc etc.
First up, I did a pretty thorough survey of what was available. And on the basis that three brains are better than one, I also asked Fiona of The Sewing Directory and Ali at Very Berry Handmade for advice, although I want to stress that all opinions below (and pounds spent!) are my own. Also, I bought everything myself, without mentioning to any shops that I was going to be talking about them on my blog.
Between us, Fiona, Ali and I came up with a fairly impressive list of shops that sell scrap bags, from which I chose 5, and added my local (much beloved) haberdashery Darn It and Stitch to the list. It was hard just to pick 5, but hopefully they represent a range of shops and fabrics, and will give you an idea of what can be had. Since the post is long and picture-heavy, it’s under a jump cut. Clicking on the collage for each shop will take you to their website, and if you want a closer look at the pictures, they’re in a Picasa album here
And if all this has whetted your appetite, check back next week for a quick upcycling idea for what to do with all those lovely scraps you just bought!
Darn It and Stitch
Size of bag: 50g
Cost of bag: £4.50
Best for range in package and variety of content
This little brown bag has trimmings in it as well as fabric, and as it’s done by weight, there’s no way of knowing exactly what you’re going to get, although you can peer through the window and try to guess. I went for something that seemed to be in my colours, and am pretty chuffed with what I got, especially that pink cotton. The contents are co-ordinated, and I think I could make something cute from this. If you’re just looking for fabric, it might not be what you’re looking for, but if you’re looking for inspiration, it could be just the ticket.
M is for Make
Size of bag: Fat Quarter
Cost of bag: £2.50
Best for price and unusual fabrics
First of all, I have to say that I’ve always found delivery from M is for Make to be SUPER-fast, and Kate to be incredibly helpful. I placed all my orders on a Thursday, and this arrived the very next day. It’s a pretty little roll with a good selection of fabric, and what particularly struck me was the size of the pieces. These are good for more than just scrappy things and would work for whole, larger projects.. M is for Make’s collection for me is always characterised by beautifully chosen pieces, often subtle, sometimes lively but always beautiful in some way, and this roll is no exception.
Vintage Fabric Market
Size of bag: 50g
Cost of bag: £3.60
Postage: included in price
Best for seeing what you get and range of choice
I haven’t used Vintage Fabric Market before, and liked that you get a preview of the scrap bags before you buy them. As well as this 50g bag, they do smaller 25g ones, and there were plenty in the sale category. I was pretty pleased with what I got – the prints are like the ones in the picture, the feel of them is lovely and they arrived nice and quickly. Again, the pieces are a good size, and the feel of the fabric is incredibly soft and drapey. These would really add a gentle texture if you put them in a quilt, or I could imagine making a soft toy out of them that a little person would love to cuddle.
Saints and Pinners
Size of bag: Fat Quarter (40g)
Cost of bag: £2
Best for variety of fabric and little pieces
I think the Saints and Pinners scrap roll is the epitome of the saying “good things come in small packages”. Look at that gorgeous little parcel! Inside, the pieces were strikingly different to the ones above. Rather than a few larger pieces, I had a dizzying array of fabric in all kinds of sizes. The biggest there is about six inches long, while the smallest is just two inches square. I love the variety here – this is a scrap parcel in the truest sense, and I also liked how it gave me an idea of the fabrics that Saints and Pinners sell. The little collection of polka dot fabrics would be a great trial run for something bigger.
The Fabric Loft
Size of bag: 100g
Cost of bag: £5
Postage: £1.75 (Although I didn’t pay this, since I live locally!)
Best for value and size of scraps
This was one of the bigger scrap parcels, and came with some of my very favourite fabrics from The Fabric Loft. The pieces are a really good size, and because it’s such a big parcel, I could imagine myself making a vibrant summer bag from these. If there’s one thing I associate with The Fabric Loft, it’s colour, and these didn’t let me down at all, absolutely zinging out of the parcel and demanding to be sewn. Lizzet also included a solid in the package, and it felt very much like a collection of hand-selected, co-ordinating fabrics.
Moda – via Hulu
Size of bag: 1/2 lb (~250g)
Cost of bag: £11.95
Best for classic design
This is something a bit different. Moda scrap bags are sold from quite a few outlets, but I chose Hulu since the combined cost was lowest – if I’d been buying other things from other shops, the combined postage might have worked out cheaper. The Moda bags are considerably bigger and correspondingly more expensive than other bags, and although I chose not to express any preferences, most shops will let you say what colours or styles you’d like. The ones I’ve got aren’t necessarily my colours of choice, but on the other hand, that’s part of the joy of scrap shopping. Moda scraps are from the making of their jelly rolls, so the pieces are long and thin, which could make them trickier to use, but I have a vague idea to sew them together to make something stripey, and the feel of the fabric is lovely.