Monday, October 7, 2013

Save the Scraps!

I must have a dozen quilt books with ideas for using up the leftover bits from sewing projects. But now I have a new reason for saving scraps -- smoker fuel!

I enjoy sewing, and lately I've been trying to catch up on a number of quilting projects. What I've found is that leftover batting scraps make terrific smoker fuel. Batting is a layer of cotton used in quilts to provide a bit of insulation. The particular batting I use is 100% unbleached organic cotton, so it doesn't have any nasty chemicals or dyes that would harm the bees, and it makes a lot of nice, cool smoke.

I know that a lot of people have their own preferred smoker fuel ranging from sawdust, sumac berries, and pine needles to dried forest pony dung. However, I don't have a steady source of pony poo or sumac. I've tried pine needles, but they burn a bit fast for me. On the other hand, once I'm done with a quilt, I have a ton of cotton batting scraps. I used to compost them, but now I'm saving them for inspection days.

Smoker and scraps of cotton batting

P.S. Often, quilters use a spray-on adhesive to sandwich their quilt layers together before they do the actual quilting. If you can find a quilter to save her scraps for you (sorry if that was sexist), make sure any scraps you put in the smoker are glue-free.

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