Scraps: a gathering

The scraps build up alarmingly. I have no idea where they all come from. I find it difficult to concentrate on a large piece of work when there are so many tiny bits shouting for attention and I have a couple of large pieces waiting to begin, so I’ve been trying to get the scraps under control first.

The way I usually handle the tiny bits is to arrange them on a base of very lightweight fusible interfacing, iron them down and then cover the whole thing with a sheer of some kind (usually chiffon or organza) and then stitch onto the surface. I think of these as backgrounds for later, but some of them turn out to be quite attractive in themselves.

Short strips of cotton and silk layered under hand-dyed silk organza with hand stitch, 4” x 12”
Fabric collage under silk organza, 5” x 7”

Sometimes I dispense with the sheer covering and just layer the various bits.

Scrap of patchwork covered with vintage hand-dyed cotton lace on hand-dyed linen, 6” x 8”

I have quite a big pile of these waiting, which makes for a nice relaxing evening job – something of a manageable size and scale that can be pieced and stitched while watching (in my case, listening to) TV.

Scraps collages stitched, waiting to see what happens next

Some of these little backgrounds are destined for studies of ancient rocks and monoliths, as an extension of the sketchbook I’m currently working on. This piece is very small, made from tiny layered scraps and a piece of decorative lace that I’ve had for many years:

Tiny monolith, 3” x 4.5”

In the quest for zero waste, I think we’re doing ok so far.

Author: Karen

Textile and mixed media artist

6 thoughts on “Scraps: a gathering”

  1. I especially like the linen and lace piece (#3) … the yellows work so well with the complementary purple base (which is beautifully mottled)

    and I had to laugh when I spied the piece in the upper right corner of #4 … when did you come and raid my “stitched and waiting” bin? Ha!

    1. Ha! We probably all have something like these 🙂 I love purple with everything, especially yellow, orange and brown.

  2. I must track down some sheer fabric to try. Even without, what a sweet idea of tiny pieces of art stitched down and a giving hand in zero waste. 🌏

    1. Thank you, yes with or without a sheer top layer, you can get some really nice texture just placing tiny scraps on a lightweight backing. Rows of stitch bring everything together nicely.

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