Making do with what we have


Central Texas is always the first to feel a financial crisis. And we are also the first to create the most interesting ideas. It doesn’t make sense, but when we have less, we become more productive and creative, squeezing the very last drop out of the day and the dollar. That’s why being scrappy is such a great challenge, one we should all learn to appreciate.

Being scrappy is making do with what you have. When you have an abundance there isn’t a reason to be extra creative. Crafters should have some leftover scraps. If you do, then you have started a great habit. If you don’t, I would recommend you start keeping some of your leftovers just in case. To really get creative, first you gather your favorite scraps from your collection, then spend some time on-line looking through Pinterest or Etsy. Look at what the “flippers” are doing with whatever they find in a garage sale.

Every craft is taught by passing it on from one person to another. In the early days, quilting was passed on all along the western routes, since so many were moving west for better opportunities. Women traveling in the same direction, did their chores together and when they could take a break, they would share how a certain block was made. Usually, the group would meet up with their sewing baskets in hand and use the scraps they had to practice. They could also swap amongst themselves right there.

For knitting some would unravel socks that didn’t fit, adding a little wool from a sock that a neighbor exchanged and re-knit for a better fit. People tried to make the best of a challenging situation, some mercantile owners used fabric sacs for packaging which could be repurposed. The less people had, the more creative they would become. I attribute that to the spirit of community that women all over the world still create today. And in doing so, we create lifelong friendships.

2023 is the unofficial start of the year(s) of the scrap, many of us started making things from our scraps during COVID, never explaining why we seemed unaffected. Primarily, those of us that have had to create from scraps a few times are looking forward to the new friends we’ll make, the new ideas and new ways to do what we do differently. In the end we all benefit from the camaraderie that is created as we swap materials and chat about trying something new. Those with a little extra will give away some of their leftovers and those who are tight will exchange. Either way, makers are a friendly and generous bunch; we won’t leave you or your hobby behind.

I hope you’ll find encouragement in my words and the pep you need to pull out those scraps you have and “flip” them into the project of a lifetime.


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