Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Scrap Solutions

I have a couple of scrap quilting books. I love scraps and scrappy quilts, but my scraps have gotten out of hand. After reading my scrap books I realized that my main problem is that I just throw the scraps in a king size blanket bag instead of dealing with them as I make them. A few months ago I decided to get serious about my "scrap problem."

I started by cutting width of fabric strips from every fabric I could and some squares. I blogged about this here. But this didn't really address my scrap problem. It was just a way to use up older fabrics.

To tackle the scraps I began by cutting a tumbler shape out of every fabric in my scrap bag that was large enough.

I got that tumbler template from a Colorado Springs quilt store when we lived there. That was in 1998 through mid 2000.

Part way through this process I realized that this didn't use up much fabric! I only need a 3.5" by 4" piece to cut a tumbler shape. So I began sorting the rest. Fabrics I really like or have used recently (within the last year) went into a basket.

I'm keeping the ones in the blue basket on the right
Fabrics that were too small to cut a tumbler shape, older fabrics I don't really like, and fabrics that were donated to me and I'm done with went into bags to be given away.

fabrics bagged up to be given away
The blanket bag in the photo above is the king size bag I used to keep scraps in. Before I started this process it was so full that it wouldn't zip closed. I had started a second scrap bag in the blue basket sitting behind the bag that now contains the scraps I'm keeping. Unfortunately I didn't take a before photo. I thought I had, but if I did I can't find it now.

I also have another container of scraps that I'm cutting into 2" and 4" squares.

Next to it is the bag of scraps left over from my Modern Monday quilt. They will get added to this container.

I have a couple of scrap patterns in mind to make with my 2" and 4" squares. Below is one.

This block is called Scrap Jar Star. Click the link to see where I got the idea and for a tutorial to make the block. The tutorial calls for the star points to be made from HSTs. I used my Winger Clipper ruler to make my star points from flying geese units. It is a little harder to get a really scrappy look with my method, but I think with more blocks I can mix up the geese better if I want.

I'm going to try to cut up the rest of the scraps I'm keeping into usable sized pieces instead of just throwing them in a basket or bag. I now have a manageable amount of scraps to attempt to cut up. The overflowing king size blanket bag of scraps was an overwhelming amount of fabric for me to cut up! Giving scraps to someone else is an acceptable technique for scrap management in my book.


West Michigan Quilter said...

I sent you a comment, but don't know if it went through. Crazy computers!

The Slow Quilter said...

I never do scrapy quilts because I always think the the fabrics do not match or something, put I plan to start because I have a whole lot of bags, boxies and other contains of scraps, some need to be throw away, other cut to reasonable size. I plan to try the scrapy star soon.

Barb said...

Now that is alot of scraps...love your star block!

Susan @ Blackberry Creek said...

All of my scraps are in a big plastic blanket bag just like yours. The cats love to play in it. I've found that the more I cut from them, the bigger the pile becomes. What's up with that?

Mama Pea said...

I have been trying to cut up my scraps into strips of whatever width I can. I'm still not using them. Amanda Jean recommends sorting them by color, not size. I think that's what I need to do. Still not sure I'd use them. Maybe someday. I've kept up with getting scraps from current projects (i.e., in the last two years) for the most part. But I still have a huge tub of scraps from the past several years, which has never been dealt with. I do like having it when I need a scrap to do some practice stitching on. But it's overflowing....