So – what do you do with it.?? I dump it all out on the cutting table and look at it all!!! I’ve seen some of these pieces before in other bundles this particular person has gifted to me. I sort it a bit in sizes, and “scrappiness” . Big pieces, little pieces, strips and others.
Then it is “off to the iron”!! I press a pile, starch it like crazy and take it back to my cutting table. I cut the scraps into the largest piece I can. Square it up, and “file it away”. I pulled a piece 11″ x 44″ out of this bag. That got folded, marked with the size and put in my bin of “STASH” for the primary color. I try to keep pieces that large intact. They could be used for many things, and cut up later if need.
And then I store them away for future use!
So, when you are ready to make a project, you pull out the bin and start there before cutting yardage. Bonnie Hunter (QUILTVILLE) has a great chart Patterns by strip size on her website. So, if you have an abundance of a particular size (for me it is 2″ squares and 1.5″ strips), you find a pattern on that chart and work with it to reduce your overflowing box.
I’ve done lots of scrap projects this year, using what I had on hand to make two Grand Illusion Mystery quilts, the Scrap Happy Little Wishes quilt and the latest baby quilt pattern Scrap Dance. And if you have read the blog in the last week you will have seen some other items on my design wall too.
It seems every project creates scraps and I am working hard to contain and control them. I can be satisfied with one little basket that needs “management”. I enjoy the cutting so, it keeps me busy. Right now, it is a bit distracting, as I have other projects in the line-up; but I must control the chaos before I begin again. And NO, I don’t sew 24 hours a day….I’ve hardly sewn at all this week.
And, no, I won’t get this all cut today or tomorrow. I don’t worry about putting back into the basket what I haven’t gotten cut. It does help to sub-sort in the beginning, and decide to work on a particular “group”. If I iron it, I will get it cut on the same day. (Don’t tell anyone I vacuumed the quilt room before I began cutting the scraps today. )
One last thing – Scrap Quilter Joan Ford ( Joan’s website ) said to us at our guild in October that “It’s ok to throw it away” when the piece is just too small. Bonnie Hunter (Bonnie’s blog) says “If it’s still ugly, you haven’t cut it small enough”. Check out both of their scrap storage systems and books they have written, patterns for using the scraps. And don’t forget to check out Pat Sloan (Pat’s website ). Pat also has a collection of “scrappy patterns” and will encourage you to work on your projects even if you only have “just 10 minutes” every day!
What are you working on that is filled with scraps?
note: Grand Illusion Mystery Quilt was a pattern by Bonnie Hunter; Scrap Happy Little Wishes is a pattern by Pat Sloan, and Scrap Dance is a pattern FROM MY CAROLINA HOME blog on WordPress.