Thursday, September 9, 2010

Oh Scrap!

Okay, I'm sure you all have your scraps sorted and ironed and stored in nice tidy containers separated by color, right? Or, you're more like me and have them all dumped into a couple of big plastic wastebaskets under your cutting table.

Pretty useless in this state of being, for me anyway.

I'm launching my own little experiment to see what can be done with scraps. Some of mine are a pretty good size, some are teeny tiny but still cute, and some only made it to my scrap pile because I was too lazy to walk the three steps over to my trash can and throw them away.

But here's the deal ~ all of that fabric cost money. Even if I got it on sale and only paid five dollars a yard, that means I paid five dollars a yard for my scraps too. Well, I don't know about you, but I don't want to throw them away unless I'm sure they have no useful life left in them. And even then, I'll probably turn some of those scraps into stuffing for a kitty cat bed or some such thing.

So, here's what I did first. I ironed my scraps. Yes, it sounds slightly insane but all the time I spent mentally convincing myself what a waste of time it was ended up taking more time than actually DOING the ironing.

Then I took my larger pieces and made either 2 1/2" or 1 1/2" squares. I put these in separate labelled containers so that I have them ready for patchwork. You can make patchwork pieces any size you like as long as you're consistent. I also started a container for 1 1/2" x 4 1/2" strips. (A little side note: I love 2 1/2" squares for a couple of reasons. One, that's the size jelly rolls come in so when there are leftovers, it's easy to use them in patchwork. Two, a square this size is perfect for piecing 1" hexagons.)

Even after weeding out the fabrics that can be made into patchwork squares, there are often teeny tiny pieces that seem too small to be useful. But stay tuned and you'll see the possibilities!

Hopefully, being a little more creative with what I have will help me with my upcoming Fabric Fast (more on that later). How do you handle your scraps?

And speaking of scraps....head on over to A Few Scraps. It's not too late to join in Christina's quilt along and learn a bunch of great stuff about free motion quilting on your home machine! Go check it out.


  1. Megs, my scraps are in a sad brown paper bag under my cutting table. They occasionally get dumped out by children wanting to 'help' make a quilt. I love how you got yours organized, you'll soon be the queen of patchwork, you have such a great style! And now you can whip it out faster than ever, you won't have to cut! I'm seriously thinking of joining you on your fabric fast. We can go over the specifics on Saturday...

  2. I just reorganized my sewing space. I use to only have scraps in nice
    Iittle bins by color. thats is until I found three HUGE bags of scraps hidden out of site. Now I have my pretty little bins and two over stuffed drawers. I love the idea of cutting them into square for patch work.

  3. I used to be so good about scrap management... cutting them into useable squares or strips and labeled by size but alas, I've gotten lazy and now they're all in a jumbled mess in a box under my sewing table. I do have a few left in their "proper" containers and *oh my* aren't those nice to just grab when I need them.

    If only there were a scrap fairy to come and clean up the big messy box again!

  4. This is so smart. I've thought about trying this but I always get stuck pondering what sizes to cut! Why did you choose 4.5" strips? Oh, thanks for the very thematic promo too!


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