May 13, 2013


I love sorting through the bits of fabric left over from previous projects to find what I need for a new project. There's something deeply satisfying about making even a small quilt without needing to buy more fabric (though there's something wonderful about new fabric too!).

This pile of 2 7/8" squares is all from left over pieces. I need 800+ lights and 800+ darks for this quilt, so I'll be cutting for a while!
Some quilts just seem to lend themselves to scrap-lovers. Applique quilts often need little bits of lots of different colours. Pinwheels looks great in a variety of prints and solids. Four patches, nine patches, baskets, Dresden plates, hexies...The list of possibilities goes on and on.

Cooking with leftovers can be wonderful too. I think my husband enjoys his hot turkey sandwiches as much as he does his turkey dinners. My boys and I enjoy leftover spaghetti so much I have to cook extra to be sure there will be enough for all of us for lunch.
Leftover spaghetti from Aiden's birthday supper.
Even the Bible talks about leftovers. "When they had all had enough to eat, [Jesus] said to his disciples, 'Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.' So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten." (John 6:12,13)

Reading Jesus' instructions to the disciples makes me wonder what happened to those leftovers. Twelve baskets full of bread. Did Jesus and his disciples eat it the next day? Did they drop it off somewhere to help a family in need? The Bible doesn't tell us what happened to the bread, only that it was gathered up. Though all four gospels record this story, only John tells us why Jesus told them to pick up the pieces - "Let nothing be wasted."

I used to think the detail of the twelve baskets of leftovers was included to show the amazing overabundance of God's provision. Maybe it is. After all, that was more bread than they had to begin with! But maybe there's another meaning. God provided as much as all the men, women and children could eat at that one meal, plus enough to meet other needs as well. Whether the disciples ate it later or gave it away, it didn't go to waste. With just a bit of effort by the disciples, to gather the pieces, they had food for another meal. Likewise, our leftover scraps of fabric need only be sorted and cut to be ready to be sewn into a beautiful quilt.

Is there some area of my life or yours where God is providing an overabundance? Could we use those leftover pieces to meet another need, either our own or that of someone else? The overabundance may look worthless to us, making us think we have nothing to offer, but we need to think creatively. After all, not everyone would see the value of fabric scraps.

What are your leftovers?


  1. I really enjoy your devotions ... thought I needed to tell you that today

    1. Thanks, Suzzy! I really appreciate the encouragement!


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