A Life Full of Laughter: I need to tame the scrap-monster!

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Saturday, March 6, 2010

I need to tame the scrap-monster!

I really need to put more time into taming this scrap-monster that has been growing in my sewing room!  Plus, it keeps adopting more scraps that arrive in the mail almost everyday! LOL!  Seriously, I have been thinking that I need to get into gear with my organizing stuff.  This morning I was surfing some of the blogs I like to read and came across one on scraps.  Mrs. Goodneedle was talking about it here.  I love her pictures of all the scraps in their containers!!  She mentioned Bonnie Hunter's scrap users system and it is a great idea.  I would just like to hear even more details about each of their processes and all of yours as well. 

For instance, do you start with a piece and cut the largest size they can from it?  Then the next largest and so on until there is only a crumb left?  What do you do with the crumb?  Do you save it or pitch it?  What about string quilts because I love making them.  Do you cut specific strings or just accumulate them as you go?  Do you leave any bigger chunks or do you cut everything up?  Now, onto sorting, do you sort by size or by color?  Or by color and size?  But then I think I'd have tons and tons of containers.  Which brings me to another question, what do you store your cut scraps in?  I had been using plastic baggies but everything is becoming a wrinkled mess.  I probably need to buy some shoebox size plastic containers and use them to store the pieces.

A few weeks ago I started working on sorting and organizing the fabric that you all have been sending me.  I sorted everything by some main colors.  I also took out all the strings and sorted them by color as well.  Oh, and I made up a few baggies of fabrics that I thought would go together in quilts - sorta like kits without the pattern or sizes decided yet.  I have bigger plastic baggies full of strings, each seperated by color in their own baggie.  Then I also have the bigger pieces seperated by color and put into plastic grocery bags. 

It's a start but I'm not satisfied yet.  Honestly, I find myself not wanting to use the fabric because it is still messy.  When I'm ready to sew I end up picking up kits that have been sent to me already combined and ready to go.  Those are great and I love using them, but I want to use everything that has been donated to me.  Plus, I'm still getting stuff in the mail all the time (and hopefully will for a long time!!) so I need to get a working system in place here.  Any advice?!?



autumnesf said...

No advice as I am new to this myself. Would love to hear whatever you learn. And if I lived close I'd offer to come over and help you make some "kits"! LOL!

As it is you have ruined me! I am working on no less than 4 charity quilts (2 for nursing homes and 2 for kids in the hospital) plus 2 for Christmas! And I have my first actual machine quilting class this coming Monday so I can do more than just stitch in the ditch. Thanks again for being an inspiration for someone you have never even met.

Nancy Eaton said...

Hi Lisa, Have a great suggestion for the strings. I actually have begun to oganize my strips into clear shoebox sized tubs, each one labeled with the strip width (2", 2.5", 3" etc) and then I cort that box into colors. I stack them on their sides so I can see the colors and take out the 'chunk ' of blues, whites, reds, whatever as I need it. Sooo much easier that throwing them in the tub and flipping through them to find any particular color. Good luck. I hope to post this on my blog,, soon

Helen in the UK said...

Love the new quilts you've made.

I know what you mean about scraps ... once they get together they multiply!!!
I use a version of Bonnie's scrap system. If something is smaller than a FQ I cut it down into 4.5", 3.5", 2.5", 2" or 1.5" strips. Anything that is 'wonky' or left over I put in my string pile. Less than 2.5" square and it goes into crumbs. I think you need to develop your system as you work and see what sizes you are most likely to use.
For strings I sort into colour groups, but everything else just has one large plastic tub allocated to that size as I don't have enough scraps to warrant sorting colours seperately for everything. Oh, I also have a tub for odd triangles that would work for the corner of HeartString blocks.
Hope that helps :)

Roslyn said...

The taming of the scraps is a constant challenge but I have had much better luck using my version of Bonnie's scrap saver's system. I think whatever system works for you is great, but we definitely need SOME kind of system or we have chaos,lol & the big old unuseable rat's nest!

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