Saturday, May 27, 2017

The Taming of the Scraps

I love scrap quilts.  In fact, I just plain love scraps.   I love them so much that I actually buy other people's scraps.
For example, here's a bag I bought at a recent quilt show.  As you can see, it cost a whole $2.00.
This is what it looked like, dumped out on the floor.
Then I laid out the pieces...
and gloated over all the great stuff in here.  I might be a little cracked when it comes to scraps.

There's only one problem with accumulating scraps.  Somehow or another they have to go from this
to quilts.  They have to be tamed, and shaped into parts to be further cut and sewn.
So that's what I've been doing this week.
I started by straightening up a bit, and doing a little organizing by categories.  For instance, I sorted them into bright colored scraps, the reproduction 1930s, the 1800s repros, the plaids, etc.
Then I put a subset of the scraps into a small basket.  Whenever I had time, I pressed and cut what was in the basket, until it was empty.  I started with bright colors.  Shown above are the plaids, which I will work on this coming week.
I've tried other systems, like working for 15 min. at a time, etc., but this seemed to work better for me.
Here's what I got done:
These are strips ranging from 5 in. wide on the left to 1.5 in. wide on the far right.  In between are 4.5 in., 3.5 in., and 2 in.
So where are the 2.5 in. strips?
Here they are, two big stacks.  Another bag I bought at the quilt show was full of 3 in. cut strips.  I trimmed those down to 2.5 because I know I'll use them if they're that size.
I almost filled up a shoebox.
When I'm cutting strips, I also cut squares if the scraps are small.  These are 5 in., 4.5 in., 3.5 in., 2.5 in., and 2 in.  The rectangles are 2.5 x 4.5.  I've got a project in mind for them.
So now I've got parts to sew with, and this is what I'm doing with some of them.  There are pieces here of 3 different quilts.
Now I need a strategy for focusing on my projects.  Any suggestions?
Have a great week, everybody.
I'm linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts and Busy Hands Quilts this week.














17 comments:

  1. I need an organisational day! You're inspiring me :) I am wanting to sew but feeling stalled and not sure where to focus. I'd love a stack of pre cut strips, I'd better get cutting!

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    1. Hi, ES! It takes me a while to get started, but once I do I kind of get into it. It does take time away from sewing, though.

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  2. I enjoyed your post about organizing scraps. I like to do that too, and have all of those sizes. Now to figure out what to make with them. Maybe I should just start putting together a string quilt. Never have made one before so it is about time.

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    1. Good luck with your string quilt! They are some of my all time favorites.

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  3. Hmm, I may be doing it wrong (for everyone else) but I sort 'em and toss 'em in a color basket. Nothing else happens until the basket spills over OR I need scraps for a particular project. I sometimes start with scraps when I want to make a kit to put in the camper for when we travel.
    I love scraps, too, but truthfully, Sylvia, I've never bought scraps. I did do a fancy happy dance when I won scraps in a drawing. We're all just a little nuts, aren't we?

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    1. Hi, Mary! It's a fun kind of nuts, isn't it?

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  4. To keep track of projects I put all of the things I am using, such as templates and pieces ready to assemble and finished blocks in a clear shoe box or larger boot size box I buy from the dollar store. I put an index card on the side facing out with information printed BOLDLY as to what the project is and with packing tape, I attach a gallon or quart size zip-lock bag to the top so I can slide in the pattern or picture of what the finished top is supposed to look like as well as a list of what I need to find to finish the project. I keep three of four of these in rotation on the shelf as I am also a flea market, charity shop scrap finder.

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    1. Thanks for the great ideas, Betty's Daughter! I should try the dollar store for the clear boxes.

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  5. I too buy other people's scraps, mainly from thrifting but sometimes from an online secondhand auction site.
    I wash all that fabric and have sorted by color but I think I need to take it further and sort by cut size.
    Popped by from FIUF
    http://thriftshopcommando.blogspot.com

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    1. Hi, Tami! Nice to know I'm not the only one! Hurray for scraps!

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  6. I love scraps too. Most of my quilting friends think I am beyond crazy, but hey.....at $12.00 + per yard, think of all the fabric in a shoebox of scraps!!!!

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    1. Exactly! And I don't mind being scrap crazy at all.

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  7. I love scraps as well. Mine are cut into 5" & 2.5" squares. I also cut them into various strip widths for this year's RSC. I'm making strip blocks this year. Those oddball sizes are placed by color in little detergent/dishwasher soap containers. I use them for Crazy Quilt blocks. Bonnie Hunter's Leader/Ender system helped me go through a bunch of Christmas squares!

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    1. Hi, Miaismine! I need to do something with my Christmas scraps. I just can't decide on a pattern.

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  9. I also purchase other's scraps. i went as far as to purchase half square triangles from my guild's garage sale last month. I work with squares from 6" down to 1 1/2" and the smaller sizes i leave how they are and am now working on 1" EPP triangles and tumblers. i made 4 quilts out of scraps last year. my blog is lifeaspostedtwo@blogspot.com if you want to check it out.

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    1. Hi, Margaret! Nice to meet another scrap lover. I checked out the blog, love your many trips around the world. And of course, the Peeps quilt!

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