Organizing and Playing with SCRAPS

I’ve been doing a bit of tidying up in my quilt room as I divest myself of the 2nd Time Around committee at Quilt Guild. One thing has finally happened, and that is my husband raised my cutting table. He cut 6 new legs and raised it up to “breakfast bar height“. The legs are now 38.5” high. It seems “just right” for me. This old table was my husbands “train table” when he was little boy, and has seen YEARS of service. He tightened things up with extra screws and eliminated some of the wobble. Now my tallest drawer unit fits underneath, and I have room to store my empty “machine” boxes in the middle under & behind the storage units.

Nice tall legs for my table

Part of my tidying is sorting containers/drawer units and getting things labeled. A friend of mine who lived in assisted living left all of her sewing supplies to me and some of the units under the table were hers. I integrated my stuff into her stuff and now I feel more organized. In the process, I swapped out baskets for project boxes and took a good inventory of all the “scrap projects” I had in works.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I never met a scrap I didn’t like. Quilting generates scraps. That’s a fact. I started to follow Bonnie Hunter on her QUILTVILLE blog years ago and learned all about her “Scrap User’s System” . Not a storage system….but a USER’s system. And wow, have I made a lot of scrap quilts in between generating scraps while quilting with yardage. One thing I love about Bonnie’s system is she has a chart to use when you have an overflow in a certain container. Too many 2″ strips…look at the chart and see what patterns you can make with those strips. The other thing is, she has lots of free patterns on her website that are scrap friendly and has written many books with scraps as the focus.

I have LOTS of ongoing scrap projects and I thought I would update today what I have been working on lately.

Hearts of Hope is one project I am working on.

Hearts of hope sewalong
Hearts of Hope

At last count I have about 25 made. You need nearly 50 for the quilt in the pattern that Bonnie Hunter offered this past spring.

Another project I have been playing with is a pattern by Pat Sloan. On Pat’s blog, I Love To Make Quilts, she has lots of fun patterns. A few years ago I downloaded one called Traffic Jam when she was having a sew along. The four patches in the center came from my “scrap user system” as well as the corner blocks. I was not as “coordinated” as most of the people doing the project during the sew along week, and only did a couple of blocks. But, for a scrappy quilter, it is a great project to do when you don’t have something else going on. During a family vacation last year, I took this project along with me and my granddaughters helped sew 4 patches and pick out those corner blocks. This summer I decided I had enough blocks to assemble and used a consistent blue fabric for the sashing all the way through. That sashing was the “scraps” from a quilt backing after it was trimmed. The picture below shows the top before I added one more row! It’s now square (5×5 setting); about 70″ square.

Traffic Jam
Traffic Jam

Another scrap project I have fiddled with in the last year is crumb blocks. Pat Sloan was talking about them during her daily videos this winter and I started to play with making some. I had a basket on my table full of bits and pieces that were “waiting” for something to happen. Left over bits that I hadn’t cut up for the Scrap User System, orphan blocks left over from my quilts, the odd orphan block that came thru the donations to the guild that I couldn’t bear to toss into the dog bed scraps etc. Well…102 crumb blocks later, the 12×12 project box was full and I decided to do something. So, I got out my 3 containers of strips, and started with 2″ strips. I needed ‘width of fabric” to surround the blocks, and I started cutting sets. When I went through all my 2″ strips, I dug into the 2.5 and the 3.5 strips, trimming them down to the size I wanted. I have all but about 20 blocks with sashing pinned to the block, and about 41 sewn so far. This is what is currently on my design wall.

crumb block sashing
Crumb Blocks

I think these blocks will make several fun quilts and I won’t assemble any blocks until I have the sashing on ALL of them. Then I will sort them into more “harmonious” groups. I mentioned to a friend that i might take those blocks with the big blank white spaces and do some machine embroidery on them. Fun words about scraps is what I had in my head, like “never met a scrap I didn’t like” or something of the sort. Feel free to offer suggestions! The other thing I think I will do is to put some sashing BETWEEN the blocks that will tie them together, like the Traffic Jam quilt.

I still have a dozen bins and boxes of my own to sort through and organize, sitting around the room and under tables and such. Getting the 2nd Time Around stuff out of my space eliminates an excuse to not clear up my own junk. It’s getting better day by day, and taking time out to do a little sewing with these various scrap projects help to balance things out.

What’s happening in your sewing room on this hot summer day? Got any fun “quotes” about scraps?

Linking up today with OH SCRAP


10 thoughts on “Organizing and Playing with SCRAPS

  1. I will leave the gardening to the green thumbs and beg forgiveness while I hide indoors in the air. I don’t do well with heat and humidity anymore, so it’s already “too high to be outside”. My busy times are fun lately when I am not feeling any pressure for a specific project!


  2. I re-organized my sewing room a few months ago, but you can’t tell it now!! LOL I love all the blocks you found. Have fun sashing and arranging them! The heart blocks are very pretty too.It’s great to have a table that is just the right height for cutting. We have a tall kitchen table and my long Martelli mat lives on it unless we have a large family meal!!


  3. I love your cutting table and being raised up I am sure makes it a lot easier. Great storage underneath as well. I am with you. I have never met a scrap I didn’t like either. Your scrappy hearts look amazing and so does your Traffic Jam Quilt. Your design wall is full of scrappy goodness. Have a wonderful day . Happy quilting.


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