It’s been a while, but I’m back to reuse of materials – fabric remnants and wool scraps. The sewing machine has been busy lately. All other tools have had to be put away so that curtains can grace a bay window at the front of the house in time for the onset of winter. I’ve been grappling with metres of fabric, interlining and lining, crawling around on my hands and knees with pins and tape measure, smoothing out fabric on the largest area of floor I can find, pinning then hauling the results to the sewing machine. Yes, hauling. It’s a workout for the arms: who needs to go to a gym?

It certainly didn’t seem like a warm weather project, which is why it has taken some time to get round to it. But, Mr L and I can definitely feel the insulating benefits – the woodburner has been roaring away this week and the heat in the living room stays… in.

Just at the point when I wondered whether the amount of work involved made this a mad project to take on, Mr L informed me that he’s read that thick curtains can reduce heat loss by 60% for single-glazed windows. I’m glad he’s imparted those words of wisdom.

Window insulation aside, the remnants from another pair of patchwork curtains made a few months ago have now found a useful home as a border to a large area of plain oatmeal colour fabric in the new curtains. They are remnants of remnants, so to speak. The patchwork curtains were made from shop-bought curtain fabric remnants. Some of these also ended up in a patchwork quilt (still part-finished).

Thrown into the new mix are pieces taken from an ugly fabric – a curtain left behind at the house when I first moved in. I didn’t like it, so it ended up in the loft. Now, I’ve dragged it into the daylight because I realised that cutting it into smaller strips neutralised its ugliness. Mix an ugly fabric with others and its potential emerges.

Cut into bias strips it covered cord to make the piping.

fabric scraps

So from large remnants….

fabric scraps

to remnants in strips which made the curtain border…..

and smaller, or possibly ‘unfeasibly_small_never_going_
to_use_these’ remnants…..

How far along this road can I go? Perhaps the waste from the latest project (thinner strips) would make a good log cabin patchwork quilt? Once started on this road it gets hard to throw anything away. Every scrap becomes loaded with possibility.

Even tiny scraps of wool left over from sewing in ends in a granny square throw have evaded the bin. I love tweedy wool, and it occurred to me that shredded down further they could be spun with a plain colour fleece to make my own version of a tweedy yarn.

Now don’t get me wrong; I’m not that much of a hoarder. After all I can clear out, edit and de-clutter with the rest of you. It’s just that where textiles and arts and craft materials are concerned, I probably need counselling. Will I ever end up in re-hab?