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Thread: Re-organizing my Scraps the Bong Way

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    Super Member pollyjvan9's Avatar
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    Re-organizing my Scraps the Bong Way

    I got an e-mail from Martingale this week and they had a tip from Gayle Bong on how to organize your scraps in 3 steps. I think I am going to give it a try. I have always sorted by color but agree with her statement that she never uses just one color so she organizes by size. I'm not sure if she cuts them into specific sizes, I am not going too, just trim up scraps to a neat size and put them in a tub labeled with largest size I can cut, does this make sense? I really don't know, going to try it anyway because my scraps are definitely OUT OF CONTROL, but I just can't part with them.

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    Super Member rwquilts's Avatar
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    It sounds interesting. I do organize by color as sometimes I do controlled scrappy, but I also have some scraps organized by size and even cut blocks, but that gets a bit tedious! Good luck and show us pictures of your work...it's fun to see what others are doing with their "ever growing" stash of scraps!
    Ronda





  3. #3
    Super Member DebraK's Avatar
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    I go by size for my strips because I can sort color as I piece. For everything else, I have a basket for warm colors and a basket for cool colors. I also have a basket for neutrals.
    I have chosen to be happy because it is good for my health - Voltaire

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    Super Member KalamaQuilts's Avatar
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    http://gaylebong.blogspot.com/2009/0...obsession.html
    They look sorted by color to me...although this post is 3 years old,

  5. #5
    Super Member patchsamkim's Avatar
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    My fabrics I do store by color, but scraps are stored by size...strips and squares. When a piece gets pretty small, I cut it up into whatever I can, strips and/or squares. My squares are 1-1/2" to 6" and my strips are 1-1/2 to 2-1/2"...works for me!

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    Super Member pollyjvan9's Avatar
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    I started sorting a basket of blacks at 8:20 am and stopped at 9:20 to eat some breakfast. As you can see, I haven't made much progress. I have sorted by 1", 1 1/2", 2", 3", 4", 5" and 6", triangles, and some larger chunks. This will take me forever if I do all the tubs and baskets. I have scraps sorted by red/pink, yellow/orange, brown, green, blue, purple and black. This will definitely be a long ongoing project.

    I have just had a thought; I am going to start cutting 'less' than what I think I need. I work a lot without a pattern and don't always know how much I am going to need. By the looks of these strips that I have cut, I either cut too much, or change my mind a lot. So, maybe for me a solution as to what to do with scraps is to make 'less' scraps.
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    Super Member pollyjvan9's Avatar
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    Kalama, I think that probably her stash, but not sure. I sort my stash by color, am only going to reorganize scraps by size.

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    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    Here's another way to organize:

    http://quiltville.com/scrapusersystem.shtml
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
    Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

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    I'm going to try it, I think I'll start with ironing and sort into strips, squares and triangles as I iron. That will also be a good time to decide what I can toss out. After ironing I will probably determine if I want to cut them into specific sizes or not. I already have a lot of clear plastic bins so I can start today.

  10. #10
    Super Member Sierra's Avatar
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    My scraps are in plastic drawers according to color. Right now I'm doing a row robin and I am using a lot of scraps! There is NO WAY I would cut down my scraps to be a certain size!!! I have a sand woman with a tiny bikini that is less than 1.5" each part. If I had cut my scraps.... agggh! I use my scrap drawers (arranged by color) almost with every quilt. I made a quilt of squares recently (mocking microscope photos for a marine biologist) and most of them came from scrap pieces. I also have two drawers of tiny scraps, one irregular bulky shapes, and the other of long stringly shapes. It seems like most quilts NEED a little surprise here or a bit of color there, or a sprinkling of bright colors down the side, or... whatever. I could only make so many quilts of squares before I began to hate them... and to HAVE to make them because I had all those pre-cuts to use... the idea makes me insane.

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    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I have three big plastic wash tubs that I sort my scraps into darks, lights, mediums. These are ready to be cut into strips or squares. Honestly if spent all the time needed to keep my scraps organized by color and size, that would take all my quilting time.
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    Super Member pollyjvan9's Avatar
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    I agree Sierra, I am not going to cut my scraps into any certain size - What I have pulled out so far is left overs from other projects. They are already cut into strips. The larger chunks I am only gong to trip off the weird pieces attached to the larger piece.

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    Super Member pollyjvan9's Avatar
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    Yes, I am a quiter, re: Scraps the Bong Way

    I admit, I am a quiter. I haven't even sorted scraps for two hours and got so bored and tired that I decided to sew together some of the really skinny strips and very small pieces. You know what? I am not bored, I am not tired, and I think I have done pretty good for less than an hours time. I have a length 6" wide and 52" long, and that includes trimming and pressing time. Think I will use my own system, sorry Ms Bong.
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    Super Member DebraK's Avatar
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    There ya go ;-)
    I have chosen to be happy because it is good for my health - Voltaire

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    Super Member MaryMo's Avatar
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    This is much better than sorting through scraps! Quilt tops will go together so much faster with this method. Thanks for the idea ... and inspiration. Have fun!
    Make it a scrappy happy day!

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    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    If quilting is your hobby, you should do whatever makes it fun. Hobbies are for fun. If organizing is your thing, do it. If you don't care about organizing, don't do it.

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    That is perfectly okay. I AM an organizer and feel I save much time looking for stuff if I know where it is. I can't keep track of it, if it isn't organized. And Yes, the picture of the drawers are my main stash, not my scraps. My scraps I keep in smaller boxes. The church scraps I also organize the same way. I do NOT cut my stuff ahead to specific sizes, it's mostly just leftovers. The church comfort quilt scraps ARE cut to specific sizes. Just put 8 kits together lickety-split from precut pieces. Could NOT have done that had it been sorted by color or value.


    >>Think I will use my own system, sorry Ms Bong.[/QUOTE]

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    Super Member pollyjvan9's Avatar
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    Hi Gayle, I am going to start from this point sorting scraps from each project by size and see how it goes. I have so many scraps it is just too intimidating to start now. Will let you know how I do. This is what I have done with some of the scraps so far. I am trying to get into the 'improv quilting technique' but I have very few solids, will just use what I have.
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    Power Poster Mousie's Avatar
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    For me, it's too much work to cut up all my scraps "ahead of time".
    Like others have said, I just sort leftovers by color. This way I can keep pieces of same fabric together, whether they are the same size or not.
    I may "kick the bucket" before I get to all of them, and don't want to look back and got more scraps cut, than quilts made
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    Senior Member Letty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pollyjvan9 View Post
    I got an e-mail from Martingale this week and they had a tip from Gayle Bong on how to organize your scraps in 3 steps. I think I am going to give it a try. I have always sorted by color but agree with her statement that she never uses just one color so she organizes by size. I'm not sure if she cuts them into specific sizes, I am not going too, just trim up scraps to a neat size and put them in a tub labeled with largest size I can cut, does this make sense? I really don't know, going to try it anyway because my scraps are definitely OUT OF CONTROL, but I just can't part with them.
    Hi,I really feel for you.I am really hopeless in organizing my scraps.A lovely friend however who is really 'Miss organization' always sorts by size. I am doing just that because all my pieces are used for scrappy blocks, however I do also sort into light and dark squares ---which then of course get messed up !!!!!! Goodness me, is there anyone who has this problem sorted, I do hope not. Love Letty

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    Super Member vickig626's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pollyjvan9 View Post
    I started sorting a basket of blacks at 8:20 am and stopped at 9:20 to eat some breakfast. As you can see, I haven't made much progress. I have sorted by 1", 1 1/2", 2", 3", 4", 5" and 6", triangles, and some larger chunks. This will take me forever if I do all the tubs and baskets. I have scraps sorted by red/pink, yellow/orange, brown, green, blue, purple and black. This will definitely be a long ongoing project.

    I have just had a thought; I am going to start cutting 'less' than what I think I need. I work a lot without a pattern and don't always know how much I am going to need. By the looks of these strips that I have cut, I either cut too much, or change my mind a lot. So, maybe for me a solution as to what to do with scraps is to make 'less' scraps.
    I love to look at sewing rooms and almost always see a bed for the visiting pet buddy. :-)

    I have to rethink my scraps too but do have a good handle on them at the moment (using that term loosely). But I've started (about a month ago) cutting down the scraps after a project is done. Example -- if I have a true scrap (can't do anything else with it), I'll cut the widest strip I can (2-1/2" is my max). If it's too short for a decent strip, then I'll cut into largest squares (largest is 5"). I have bins for 1-1/2", 2", 2-1/2" strips and a bin for 2" to 4" squares and a bin for 5" squares. I'm going to start one with 10" squares if a large-enough scrap happens.

    I figure these bins will be perfect for grabbing to work on a project when it gets full enough.

    Also, by cutting up the last of the scrap (typically less than a FQ), this fabric won't go back into the stash.

    I also started folding my larger fabric onto the boards but decided to change that plan. I am now just doing this when I pull a fabric to use. If there's enough fabric left to use for a future project, then it gets folded onto a board and put back into the stash (I use shelves). I figure in time I'll see what fabric I no longer need in the stash since it hadn't been touched in such a long time.
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    I make a lot of quilts for homeless families (425 delivered since 1996 and counting). At least half and maybe two-thirds of the quilts I make are string quilts. I therefore cut my scraps into strings which could be as narrow as 1.5 inches or as wide as 3.5 and maybe 4.0. Lengths will vary. I do l like the look of the string quilt when some of the strings are pieced from crumbs, so I keep crumbs. I keep strips from one fabric together to scatter in the same quilt. I store these in a very large laundry basket under my machine's cabinet where I can easily reach them. The dark strings are on the left, the mediums in the middle, and the lights on the right. I do not sort by color as I've found that most everything goes together so long as I give the eye places to rest. The strings are all trimmed and pressed when they go into the basket, so if I am careful not to wrinkle them, I do not have to press each seam as I go except with a wooden presser. This saves a lot of time.

    If I have scraps left and there is coordinating yardage, the scraps - and any fat quarters - are stored with the yardage. More than once, I needed just a bit more, and the scraps have saved the day.

  23. #23
    Super Member annesthreads's Avatar
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    I've always sorted mine by size, by width: I have drawers for 1in, 1.5in, 2in etc, up to 6in, beyond which I'd probably decide it was more than a scrap. I'll decide which width would make the best use of a piece, eg if it was 1in wide at one end and 2in at the other, it'd probably go in the 1.5in drawer. Triangles, I use the width of one of the shorter sides.
    Recently though I've just left strips in the drawers and the rest are a glorious mix in a box, because I started making crumb blocks and wanted a random selection of colours and shapes!

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    Quote Originally Posted by pollyjvan9 View Post
    I got an e-mail from Martingale this week and they had a tip from Gayle Bong on how to organize your scraps in 3 steps. I think I am going to give it a try. I have always sorted by color but agree with her statement that she never uses just one color so she organizes by size. I'm not sure if she cuts them into specific sizes, I am not going too, just trim up scraps to a neat size and put them in a tub labeled with largest size I can cut, does this make sense? I really don't know, going to try it anyway because my scraps are definitely OUT OF CONTROL, but I just can't part with them.
    I would organize by color if I were organized...LOL.....

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    I've always sorted by color but I read an article recently that sorted into three bins, light, dark, and basically everything else would be medium value. Some of the mediums might eventually be used as lights or darks depending on the other fabrics you're using but it sounds like a workable plan. Certainly anything that reduces the number of bins I have would be a help. Does anyone else sort this way?

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