The dictionary defines a scrap as a small piece of something, especially one that is left over after the greater part has been used. It is those left over bits, not large enough or useful enough to be used on its own.
As a quilter, I save my scraps, as I know alot of us do. The reason we save them, is usually to make a scrap quilt, or to use in applique, or some other project that may only need a small piece. Many quilters have their own opinions on what constitutes a scrap. For some a scrap is anything smaller than a fat quarter, for others it is as small as a 1 inch square, for even others, even crumbs are kept.
I have been working on a scrap quilt this month as part of my Project Quilting off season challenge for May. It was not until tonight that I had any idea who it was going to be gifted to. But I know now. And more importantly, I know why. Sometimes when I am making a quilt, I know ahead of time, who it is going to be fore, so I take that into consideration when I am choosing pattern and fabrics. Other times once a quilt is finished , someone will love it so much that I gift it to them. With this quilt, I had no idea. I just knew that there was a challenge, and I was going to take it !
Like I said, this quilt decided to speak to me, while I was quilting it tonight. I was quilting away, and smiling as I came across a fabric that I could remember what quilt I had used it in before this particular piece became a scrap. There are memories of past quilts in all of the scraps that make up this one. I did not cut any fresh fabric for it, other than the backing. So each new color, each new design, holds a place in my memory. I can tell you who the quilt was made for, the occasion it was made for, and probably what mistakes I made when making it !
It dawned on me then, that for me, looking at this quilt was like looking at a family picture album. Alot of different people , all sewn together into this crazy thing we call Family. Some of us were born into it. Some married into it. Some started out as friends, but get pulled into the fold . And sometimes they marry in, but get divorced, and yet we still keep them, because they are family. It takes alot for us to let go of someone ! We have had our share of losses. Some of us more than our share. Some we lost to age, others we lost far too soon. But they are always with us.
We are all just scraps. Bits and pieces of ” something greater” that have been stitched together in this quilt of life. Alone, we may not look like much. Some of us are older, some are more ” modern” , some shine bright, while others are more subdued. Yet once you add those stitches that bind us, they make us stronger as a whole. Together, as a family, we are stunning !