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Thread: What size is most useful?

  1. #1
    Super Member ScubaK's Avatar
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    What size is most useful?

    I am trying to cut up my scraps.
    Is 2" square useful or should I do 2 1/2" square?
    All advice would be appreciated.
    Kirsten

  2. #2
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    I'd say to go with the 2.5" cut size. If nothing else you can always cut down but you can't make the small cuts bigger. Recently I found a bunch of unused Y2K squares and started looking at options -- there are a lot! So many that I could probably spend the rest of my quilting life doing nothing but working with 2.5" cuts.

    The 2" finished design unit is a very common, 1.5" is less so.

  3. #3
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    With 2.5 you can easily combine them with 5” squares which is common in many patterns.

  4. #4
    Senior Member juliasb's Avatar
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    It takes days and days when I start cutting scrap into squares. Of course I start from the largest to the smallest. 2.5 is the smallest I make. I will then save the smaller pieces or odd shapes to be used for crazy quilts or even DWR quilts if I can fit my template into a smaller place.

  5. #5
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    I agree with Iceblossom. You can always go smaller, but not larger. I have friends that cut their binding 2.5, and if any leftover they cut squares with the rest.
    Love to quilt and play with the great grandkids

  6. #6
    Senior Member Chester the bunny's Avatar
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    I don't cut my scraps. I sort them by size to be cut later for whatever project I'm working on. If I need 2 1/2" then I look in the 2 1/2" box and the 5" box.
    What if you find a pattern that uses 3 1/2"? Also if you cut things down to 2 1/2", then you will get an awful lot of waste on some pieces.
    Having said all that, everyone has a system that works for them and makes them feel more organized, so it's just a humble opinion )
    Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by zozee View Post
    With 2.5 you can easily combine them with 5” squares which is common in many patterns.
    four 2.5 inch squares sewn together would only make a 4.5 inch square (unfinished size)

  8. #8
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    1" - 2-1/2" can be used in strip quilts. I don't cut my strips down as they can also be used as sashing strips.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  9. #9
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    I just cut a bunch of 2" squares as the scrap was too small to try and squeeze a 2 1/2" square. I figure i can sew a bunch together and eventually I will have a bigger square made up of 2" squares.

  10. #10
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    When I cut my scraps I cut the largest square I am able to and work my way down. Generally the smallest I cut is 1 1/2” square. Or 1 1/2” x how ever long.
    I think it is best to think about what kind of quilts you make- what will you use. If you do appliqué small pieces can be useful but if you only make big block quilts you probably won’t use those little pieces. If you are interested in making scrap quilts then check out the website for a scrap Quilter ( like Bonnie Hunter) they generally have a * system* and usable size range they recommend.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray View Post
    four 2.5 inch squares sewn together would only make a 4.5 inch square (unfinished size)
    I thought about that after I posted. Guess I didn't have enough coffee on the brain at the time! It takes a lot of coffee to help me do simple math.

  12. #12
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    If you are cutting squares - the least I would cut is 2.5 in. squares. Personally I don't cut them down unless I have an actual plan on how to use it. I keep my fabric separated by colors and types.

  13. #13
    Junior Member Bobbinalong's Avatar
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    You might think about this from the 'other direction'? What patterns do you use most frequently for scraps?

    I have a couple of go to patterns for quick scrap quilts and cut left-overs accordingly. The first option is a 6.5" square that can be used uncut with 9 patches of 2.5" squares or a square within a square made with 2.5" strips.

    Rather than cutting into squares, I generally save strips of various widths. 2.5" goes in a box with left over binding and can be cut later into squares, bricks or strips for log cabins, scrappy binding etc.

    5" charms are always useful. 3.5" squares go with four patches of 2" squares but I have stopped keeping these.

    I keep 1.5" and 1" strips for string blocks.

    Not wanting to waste any scrap of fabric, I used to cut into more sizes, but found it over complicated things and I had fewer of any size when I came to using them. The important thing is to use scraps rather than collect them. A lesson that took me a while to learn!!
    Singer Featherweight 221, Janome MC 4800, Janome Horizon 8900QCP Special Edition

  14. #14
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    I leave my scrap pieces folded into what larger piece is left from a project. It's a lot easier to find in the stash. Sometimes there's that short piece of binding or sashing that is perfect for just the bit I need but I wouldn't go searching for a small piece if it was hidden among other small pieces in a box or sack.

  15. #15
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    I think it depends on what you like to quilt - bigger or smaller blocks? applique? I keep 2", 2.5", strings, selvages, and even triangles (future HSTs). I like to make scrappy quilts. The 2.5" squares have been useful for applique, and sometimes I use the 2" squares for appliqued circles, too. Right now I'm on a string kick, but I also have an ongoing selvage sampler in the works.

  16. #16
    Junior Member Bobbinalong's Avatar
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    Ooh. I forgot about selvedges, I have a box of them waiting for inspiration. Some of my quilty friends save them for me and I really have to bite my tongue when I see people not taking them off before they cut fabric.
    Singer Featherweight 221, Janome MC 4800, Janome Horizon 8900QCP Special Edition

  17. #17
    Member christinelf's Avatar
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    Our guild is having a sew a long next week using a Debby Brown pattern; those participating have handed in 800 2 1/2 inch squares, which will then be mixed up and distributed to those in attendance. This will make for a VERY scrappy quilt, 80” x 80”. I am looking forward to it!. so I would say cut them 2 1/2 inch squares.

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