“Grandma’s” Forest Floor Scraps

As I ironed all the brown scraps of fabric from the bag that Crik gave me marked “Scraps from my Grandma“, I wondered if all the work of sorting and washing, ironing and sorting again was worth the time I was spending to prepare them to make into potholders.

My idea was to hold onto some of the potholders I make from this bag of scraps and have them available for people to buy when it comes closer to the holidays.  Last year I found that people wanted more potholders than I could make up to a couple of weeks before Christmas.

This kind of thinking ahead is unusual for me. But it was the bag of scraps that set my plan in motion.  As if their arrival was an affirmation of my idea.

I only had to start sewing the potholders and my doubts left me.

Piecing together all those old odd shapes of fabric was entrancing.  At first I had a hard time throwing the smallest scrap away even if unusable, thinking that it had survived all these years.  And I felt a connection to Crik’s grandma, who, like me, obviously understood the value of those small leftover pieces of fabric.

So I was back at it again today.

This time I dumped the brown scraps in the washing machine and took them to my studio still damp.  One by one I peeled them apart from each other and flattened them one on top of the other getting a feel for the patterns and colors.

And as I created a temporary collage on my work table, I saw in the fabrics the leaf-covered forest floor from my afternoon walk in the woods.

The idea that these scraps are not worth my time comes from a voice inside of me that I don’t choose to nurture.

Next week I want to finish working on the quilt for Liz, my shearer, who will be coming at the end of the month to shear the sheep and bring me two new ewes for my flock.  And I can’t wait to get back to my Shield of Words fabric painting.

But I know how powerful the call of those scraps on my work table are.

Like the piles of firewood that Greg Burch drops outside my studio window all summer long that taunt me into stacking them for the winter, the scraps of fabric will sing like sirens, demanding after all theses years, be made into something both beautiful and useful.



8 thoughts on ““Grandma’s” Forest Floor Scraps

  1. Wow, isn’t that a metaphor for how so many of us, who long to create and share, judge the worth of our own experiences–“these scraps aren’t worth my time.” You are making me think Maria. Maybe someday you can enter some of your work into art shows. Perhaps you already have! In the meantime, thank you for still creating with “scraps” all those smaller pieces that we can view on your blog and purchase to keep. Your passing the power along. And the joy.

  2. I know you are a snail lover. Have you read the book, “The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating.” If you haven’t read it, I suggest you may enjoy the story. Much information about this incredible animal.

    The author is Elisabeth Tova Bailey.

    1. I have read it Belle and loved it. Now you’re reminding me that it was made into a movie. I have to check to see if it’s available to stream anywhere.

  3. this batch indeed reminds me of your forest floor, Maria. I love the color palette so popular during the 70’s……the greens, mustards and oranges……never my personal favorites LOL……but with your *vision* they will become the forest. I look forward to seeing them!
    Susan M

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