Ingenuity turns scraps into winners

A doll and a storage bag caught the judges' eyes in this unusual contest.
DETROIT -- Sewing clubs occasionally offer challenges to their members, and here's one that was especially interesting.
The Needlework & amp; Textile Guild of Michigan, which meets monthly in Birmingham, invited members to create something out of a bag of fabric scraps.
The contest fee was $5, and although they agreed the fabrics they received were downright ugly, about 20 brave souls took up the challenge.
In the bags were 30 pieces ranging from 5 to 12 inches, and most shapes were irregular. There were scraps of cotton, polyester knit, wool and upholstery-weight tapestry.
The rules said the project had to include some amount of every piece of fabric, with the possible addition of two more of one's own choosing. Trims were allowed, too.
Participants exercised their imaginations over the summer, then submitted entries for prize money at the first guild meeting. Winners were selected by a membership vote from the display of quilts, wearables, tote bags, dolls and more.
A doll, a storage bag
Eileen Kapalka of Sterling Heights, Mich., won first prize for her whimsical long-legged art doll, called Lady of the Evening. Small fabric pieces were fringed to make her hair, and more fabric covered her chair. Three more scraps became tiny pillows, one was a rug and another piece breathed life as a little stuffed cat.
Shary Cohn of West Bloomfield, Mich., made a hanging storage bag for her sewing supplies, with multiple quilted pockets. She incorporated all the fabrics and added ribbons, charms, plastic flowers, cording and other trims. The project won second place, shared with Susan Terbrueggen of Clarkston, Mich., who created a colorful duffle bag for travel.
For the travel bag, the scraps were machine-embroidered with names and logos of travel destinations. The squares were pieced in crazy quilting, enhanced by antique doilies, gold buttons and multicolor fringe. Handles were attached, and lining sewn in to complete the bag.

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