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Thread: I'm jumping in..starting my journey into developing a scrap system

  1. #1
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    I'm jumping in..starting my journey into developing a scrap system


    I've been "researching" a lot. (this is my way of dealing with avoidance/fear of disappointment-perfection)

    I've spent lots of time reading and admiring all the amazing things on this site.

    I've read Bonnie Hunter's blog (OK devoured all the information)

    I've watched endless You Tube videos.

    I've ordered rulers, books, and when I first began quilting again 3 months ago, actually made 4 items.
    Somehow I wasn't hesitant then, but as I read more and more, my fear (the scant 1/4", etc) climbed.

    Anyway, after reading Bonnie Hunter's scrap system. I decided to try it out. This seems "freeing" & my inertia began to melt.

    I went on a hunt & was in luck. My local Goodwill has an outlet. Can your believe it?!! an outlet Goodwill?
    They sell clothing for 79 cents a pound!! ( I knew I had to limit my time in there or I'd collect too much--I went for cotton, color, and the most fabric in the item--also not smelly). I came home with 12 lbs of some of the most amazing cotton to "cut up" into strips, squares, and bricks.

    My plan is to practice scrap system techniques. I decided to cut sizes into 2, 2 1/2, 3 1/2 & 4 inches.
    It took a while for me to decide on these sizes, but that's another story.

    I spent all of saturday, washing, & cutting the clothes. Before I cut them into the scrap sizes, I decided to starch them (which I never do) Well, I ruined my iron with the starch, it's all gummy now. (Lesson to learn)

    some things i've observed:
    cutting up clothing is a lot of work
    Men's oxford shirts have amazing construction
    pajamas also have some amazing construction, pockets--darts??
    kids clothes have cute fabric but a lot of work to de construct--better love the fabric to be worth the effort
    buttons are difficult to take off & shirts have lots of them
    I have to stop myself from "keeping this for so & so" (and not staying on task)

    if i can figure out how to post pics of my "find" i'll try to do that.
    this week's goal is to cut fabric into desired sizes. (and get a new iron, or figure out how to clean the gunk off-spray starch)

    next goal is to then sew up some blocks from said fabric.

    wish me luck, I'm looking forward to having fun.
    I'll post pics as soon as I can figure out how to do that.


  2. #2
    Super Member Monika's Avatar
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    Good luck! If your iron is not teflon, the "hot iron cleaner" stuff is amazing!

  3. #3
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Using clothes for fabric is a great money savings but it takes time to as Bonnie says 'debone a shirt'. I can spend a week organizing my scraps and I get as much satisfaction from that as finishing a quilt!
    Got fabric?

  4. #4
    Super Member NikkiLu's Avatar
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    Welcome to the QB from the Sho-Me state - Missouri. This post is the most interesting post that I have read on here in a very long, long time!!! I am in awe of your energy and enthusiasm. Lots of luck to you and do not hesitate to ask as many questions as you need to. My advise would be to make a very simple quilt/or block or whatever you decide to make first. I found a book in a deceased friend's bookcase that I almost did not even look at - it is:

    Open a Can or Worms - by Debbie Caffrey

    It is all about cutting your scraps into 2 1/2 inch strips - she called them "worms" - evidently this is before the now popular jelly rolls. Anyway, uses the same principal. The book then has all kinds of patterns for quilts using these 2 1/2 inch strips. Very interesting.
    Nikki in MO

  5. #5
    Super Member fayzer's Avatar
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    I can't wait to see what you create with your hard work.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Chester the bunny's Avatar
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    Love the idea of reusing clothing as there are so many in the thrift store that have barely been used.
    My only question is why cut it up in strips right away? What if you cut a bunch of 2 1/2" strips and then find a pattern that uses 6" squares and you realize that "that was the perfect print"?
    I would deconstruct the clothing and of course depending on how much you have, sort into colors/plaids/creams.
    Once you've made a quilt, save your leftovers and store them into marked containers for sizes.
    I have a box for each size under 1 1/2" , 1 1/2", 2", 2 1/2", 3", ....up to 6" and over. Anyting bigger than 10" goes into a FQ box labelled by color. Yes I know, can you spell OCD...........

    Everyone has their own system, I just never precut fabric for the sake of having scraps.

    Have fun and welcome to the world of never having enough fabric.

    Carole

  7. #7
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    hi carole, i know what you mean; felt the same way about "the perfect print". i decided just to "jump in" and learn as I go. I know about OCD & decided there is no perfect answer, so just go for it & learn as i go.

    monika, thanks i'll try that

    nikkilu, i'm in st louis!!

    BellaBoo, i liked the "finding & acquiring" not so much the deboning, maybe it will change.

    thanks all for the encouragement, fayzer, yes i plan on sharing my journey with others who "understand"
    can't wait to share what i've come up with.

  8. #8
    Senior Member stillclock's Avatar
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    love! can't wait to read more about your progress!

    aileen

  9. #9
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    Try the Magic Eraser by Mr. Clean on your iron. It did wonders on mine when nothing else worked, and it's inexpensive and easy to use. Good luck with the scrap system.

  10. #10
    Super Member auntpiggylpn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dunster View Post
    Try the Magic Eraser by Mr. Clean on your iron. It did wonders on mine when nothing else worked, and it's inexpensive and easy to use. Good luck with the scrap system.
    I was going to suggest the Magic Eraser also! Good luck with all your endeavors!
    No one has ever become poor by giving. - Anne Frank
    Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

    http://www.etsy.com/shop/TheQuiltedPig

  11. #11
    Super Member hopetoquilt's Avatar
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    Let the iron cool. Take pieces of the shirts that you are NOT using (rags) and wet them. Then wipe down the iron. Next time you use starch, spray it, let it dry and then iron it. I made the same mistake with the last quilt I made.

    I would love the see the quilts you make. I am making a floating stars quilt with my husband's old shirts (he tore 28 expensive dress shirts in the elbows even though we started buying him shirts with longer sleeves). My husband is 6'5" tall which means I have ALOT of material to work with.

    BTW, unless you are entering your quilts into shows or selling them or doing a block exchange, the "scant" 1/4 inch is not that big a deal. I don't worry that much about it. Quilting should be relaxing and enjoyable!

  12. #12
    Super Member barri1's Avatar
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    We have a Goodwill clearance center not too far from me.. I made two denim quilts from jeans I bought.. I also found a lot of high quality flannel shirts for the rag quilt.. I double bag the bag I get from there, and don't take anything into the house for fear of little hitchhickers.. I go directly to a laundry place, and use very hot water.. The thought of having a bug infestation scares the crap oput of me..

  13. #13
    Super Member JJean's Avatar
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    Welcome and I like your attitude and energy! An early quilt pattern that I liked was a log cabin. I love scrappy quilts--they are all I make. Happy quilting!
    Jean

  14. #14
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    You have a wonderful analytical mind [sounds like]. Wish I could figure out stuff like that. Good luck. Good start.

  15. #15
    Senior Member IAmCatOwned's Avatar
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    I was mentioning your starch issue to my mom and she said to use a press cloth when you use a lot of starch (Back in the 50s and 60s, Dad's shirts all had to have starched collars so she was used to it).

    Good to know though. We don't have an outlet store that I know of, but my sister lives in a rural area with a couple of local charity shops. She's already put in a request for them to let her know when they are ready to eliminate all of the past year's flannel shirts, which is by the end of June. Then we'll have a cutting weekend and cut them all up, ready to make a quilt from Bonnie's book (quilts to be tied and donated to mentally ill adults).

    Two years ago, we cut up a whole bunch of cast off shirts from the same charity place for my sister's neighbor to make rag rugs (she's 89 -keeps her busy). Cost $5 for a garbage bag stuffed with shirts that couldn't be sold due to something wrong with it. I agree, the shirts take a long time to cut up, but it really helps to have freshly sharpened scissors!

  16. #16
    Senior Member AnitaSt's Avatar
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    Glad to see another scrapper! My favorite thing in the world is a scrappy quilt. I too devoured Bonnie Hunter's website and have her book on using clothing...Scraps and Shirttails is the name, I think. My storage is sort of limited so I cut my scraps into 2.5" strips or 2.5" squares. Anything more narrow is a "strip." And I only keep bigger chunks if it's about FQ size.

    I've made several scrappies and my favorite recent scrap venture was my "crumb" quilt. Lots of fun and I used one of Bonnie's settings from her book. I posted pics at this topic: http://www.quiltingboard.com/picture...p-t183509.html

    Anita

  17. #17
    Senior Member craftyheart2's Avatar
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    I think the best way to go with this is to find yourself some patterns you would like to make and cut according to that. No use cutting 2.5 squares if what you want is 2 inch strips when you finally get to sewing.

    The thing with Bonnie's system is it is a Scrap User's system not a Scrap Saver's system and that is how I use it. When starting a new scrap quilt I always start with my precut scraps and go from there. Sometime I don't even get to my FQs.

  18. #18
    Senior Member sewplease's Avatar
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    You are going to find this so liberating! When I started my scrap users system, I started cutting up FQs for a Bonnie mystery quilt - pinks, greens, browns, and neutrals. Some of my FQs were over 10 years old. What was I saving them for? If I need a different color or more variety, I now purchase a quarter or third yard piece - usually cheaper than FQs, and just cut the strips I need plus a couple other sizes. Cheaper visit at the LQS, but still get that satisfaction of buying fabric. :-) I mostly cut strips, and for pieces less than 12 inches cut squares. You will be amazed at how quickly it all starts building. i haven't cut many bricks - figured I can cut them from strips if needed. It is so fun to do a scrap quilt and just reach for the pile of whatever strips you need or open the drawer with the squares. I also thought long and hard over what sizes to cut. I cut 1.5", 2", 2.5", and 3.5" strips and squares.
    I've even broken into the yardage stash if there is a color I need, but generally try and save the big pieces for borders or pieced backs.
    Have fun!!!

  19. #19
    Super Member Pickles's Avatar
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    I think it is a good way to do it, and it sounds like you have it all worked out, Happy scrapping !!!
    May you always have Love to Share , Health to Spare, and Friends that Care!

  20. #20
    Super Member Chicca's Avatar
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    I had been quilting for several years before I made the decision to organize my stash. It took me quite awhile, but it was so worth it! I wish it was something I would have started doing at the beginning. I cut all my scraps into squares from 1 1/2 up to 6 inches. I love it. Just this past week, I began an applique project and it was fantastic to just pick already cut blocks to use for the individual pieces. Another advantage to using this system, you can just sit down and choose a block size and sew 4 patches, 9 patches and so on. Have a great journey with your scraps and creating unbelievable quilt treasures.
    Brenda

  21. #21
    Senior Member stchenfool's Avatar
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    Wow you go girl! I love your enthusiasm!
    Love 4 stchen

  22. #22
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    I use the stuff that you use to clean glass top stoves with to clean my iron. I read it on here and I don't remember who said it but it works great.

  23. #23
    Junior Member joycet's Avatar
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    try a used dryer sheet on a hot iron. I have an used this method before and it's worked great!!

  24. #24
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    I don't cut the buttons off old shirts, I just cut the strip of buttons and the sleeve placket with the buttons and pin them together. It takes up more room, but the sets are together. Later, when I sit in front of the television, cut off the buttons and thread them together on big safety pins.

  25. #25
    Super Member Grace MooreLinker's Avatar
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    The Goodwill is the place to pick up jeans for making the jean quilts. I bought enough there to make 8 double bed size quilts. I use flannel for the backing and no batting.
    But you can sure find alot at the by the pound shopping store . Like you I have to limit my self or the car won't haul it all.
    everything goes straight to the washing machine, nevers enters the inside before it's laundried.
    Have fun and thanks for sharing you trip there.
    Freedom is costly and quilting keeps us busy...

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