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Thread: Scrap Organization: Afraid I will cut and then regret!

  1. #1
    Super Member redstilettos's Avatar
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    Scrap Organization: Afraid I will cut and then regret!

    I want to organize. I really do. And I don't even have my fingers crossed behind my back!

    My fear is I will take a semi-decent size chunk of fabric, say 4-6" and cut it into either 2.5" triangles, or squares, or whatnot, and then find out later on I need a bigger piece.

    Do any of you "regret" cutting your stash into usable shapes, only to find out you should have left it be?
    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 10-04-2017 at 02:34 AM. Reason: remove shouting

  2. #2
    Senior Member Wholeheart Mom's Avatar
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    I think that is what holds me back as well. I know Bonnie Hunter has an awesome scrap savers system and it seems to work well for a lot of people, but I think along the same lines as you do What if I needed a 3" square and I cut it all into 2.5"?

    LOL... I guess I wasn't much help, but wanted to let you know that you are not alone, and I think the best solution for us is to organize by color, not by size.
    I am a homeschool mom to four little ladies, a prayerful wonderer and marveller, a spirit-filled dancer, a meek and mighty warrior, and a friend to many small creatures. Nice to meet you!

  3. #3
    Power Poster sewbizgirl's Avatar
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    I cut mine into the biggest size possible. So if the scrap is 4-6", cut a 5 or 6 inch square. You can always cut them down later if you need to. I have never regretted cutting stuff up. It saves so much time when you are ready to put together a project. If I had to stop and cut a bunch of small squares when I was ready to go on something, I would probably just find something else to do!
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  4. #4
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    If you do a lot of scrappy quilts like Bonnie does, then her system works great. I just keep my irregular scraps in different drawers and a bin. I have my fat quarter drawer, my misc. bigger odd shaped pieces in the next drawer and finally a scrap cardboard box for all my smaller pieces.

  5. #5
    Power Poster ManiacQuilter2's Avatar
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    That is why I don't precut any of my scraps. When I have a project, I pull them out, choose what fabrics I want to use and then start cutting.
    A Good Friend, like an old quilt, is both a Treasure and a Comfort

  6. #6
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    my system looks like Tartans. It works well for me.

  7. #7
    Super Member rryder's Avatar
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    I have very limited storage space for my stash, so what I do is keep any scrap that is fat quarter size or larger ruler folded or folded on comic boards in my storage units that are for yardage. If it's smaller than a fat quarter, but there are multiple pieces, then I wrap them together around a comic board and they go in a drawer that's for scrap pieces I don't want to cut. Anything that is smaller than a 10" square gets cut into the largest size I can get out of it. I store these precuts in their own storage unit by size and value. So 10" squares are separated into 3 piles, light medium and dark. Same with 5" squares, 3.5" squares and 2" squares. I also store some 2.5" strips if I have a scrap that is longer than 10 inches. By cutting my scraps, I have been able to maximize what little storage space I have and I find that I am more likely to use them that way.

    Everyone is different, what works for me might not be a good fit for your way of working.

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  8. #8
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    I cut my scraps into the largest size I can use...such as, a 6" piece would be 6" square or rectangle/ strip. A 10" square stays a 10" square. Smaller pieces or odd shaped pieces are cut into the largest size I can get. I cut squares, rectangles and strips. I do not cut odd shales ( triangles etc) until I need them then I cut them out of what ever square is the right size to get them. It does matter what kind of quilts you make. If I made lots of trip around the world Tyler quilts I might cut everything into 3" or 2 1/2" squares. Or if I made many bars rail fence quilts I would cut everything into bricks or strips. I cut my scraps into sizes I know I will use, or be able to cut needed shapes out of.
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  9. #9
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    Same here. You just may need that piece to be that size. I have a boxes of colors. The smaller pieces are on top then graduate to larger whether square or not. I have finally found a way to use my skinnier strip stash. I've started 'locker hooking" We'll see what happens but DH has been playing around with it also.
    Quote Originally Posted by ManiacQuilter2 View Post
    That is why I don't precut any of my scraps. When I have a project, I pull them out, choose what fabrics I want to use and then start cutting.

  10. #10
    Super Member Wanabee Quiltin's Avatar
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    I'm not a big fan of making Bonnie Hunter quilts and have decided to keep my small scraps just as they are. I do occasionally go through my junk scrap bin (it's different from my good fabric scrap bin) and use my GO cutter to cut either strips or whatever I have in GO dies, sometimes it's large triangles, sometimes it's 5" charm squares. I keep my good fabric together and have went back many times to my favorite pieces to cut smaller pieces. I would hate to cut it up, I just won't do it.

  11. #11
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    I leave "scraps" as they are, but separate in strip type vs. chunks. I can make crumb blocks out of chunks, string blocks out if strips, or both to make whatever then cut out what I want from that....if I do decide to do say 2 1/2" scrappy, then out comes the GO/die and dig into all to get a stack before going into fq or stash

  12. #12
    Super Member redstilettos's Avatar
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    These are all good ideas, actually.

    Am I the only one who secretly is thinking I should cut all these into shapes and then if I don't have what I want I get to go shopping for more?

    I am so so working against myself here.
    LOL

  13. #13
    Super Member mike'sgirl's Avatar
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    I only cut my scraps into smaller pieces. I also do what Geri B does, get out my Go! and cut whatever shape I can get out of them. I leave anything fat quarter or larger alone. I have bins for certain sizes: 2 1/2, 3, 5 inches and so on.
    Last edited by mike'sgirl; 08-10-2016 at 09:04 AM.

  14. #14
    Super Member Snooze2978's Avatar
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    I rarely cut my scraps into manageable sizes, rather I measure the small section of the piece and throw it into the bin for that particular size. Then when I start a new project using scraps I know I can pull out that bin and find numerous scraps that will fit. Right now I"m working on making scrappy sashings and borders for 4 embroidered blocks I found in a plastic tote from back in 2004. Took out my bin for 2.0 and 1.5 to search thru for solid black scraps to surround each block. I hate to chop up a perfectly good scrap till I need it.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by redstilettos View Post
    These are all good ideas, actually.

    Am I the only one who secretly is thinking I should cut all these into shapes and then if I don't have what I want I get to go shopping for more?

    I am so so working against myself here.
    LOL

    Nope, I was on the exact same wavelength! After all, lilac in 2.5" is SO much different from periwinkle in 3" when you gotta have it .

  16. #16
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    It's so much that I've regretted cutting down to smaller sizes, but rather been ecstatic (or relieved, depending on the desperation) to find a piece that's large enough, even by 1/2" .

    I find that sorting by color into clear, lidded shoeboxes help keep the smalls (FQ and smaller) contained but separate from bigger pieces/yardage.

    That said, once I'm completely tired of a fabric and have used it six ways to Sunday, I don't care WHAT size it is, it's OUTTA here!

  17. #17
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    And then you could always stuff dog beds with your scraps.

  18. #18
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    I have had pieces that would have been usable for my project if I had left them "as is" instead of cutting them up.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Pagzz's Avatar
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    I need major sorting and organization but I have had some success in cutting up scraps as they accumulate. I still have a large bin to go through. I cut for 3 projects. I cut some 2 inch strips for my ongoing leader and ender nine patches, 2.5 inch by 16 inch strips for another scrappy trip around the world (Bonnie Hunter), and strings for a string quilt. So, if in the course of sewing and cutting on my other projects I have some scraps that work for those three things I cut them and put them with their project, otherwise I put the chunk back with the same color fabrics and move on.
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  20. #20
    Super Member annette1952's Avatar
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    Mine are only sorted in bins by color. I haven't yet got anymore organized than that. I keep thinking I will make some scrap quilts but seems like something else is always coming up that I want to do. Maybe this winter I'll get them out & decide on a pattern & use them up. Or at least some of them. It will be fun once I get going on it.

  21. #21
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    I have two systems going, but have plenty of space to store the stash.

    1. Shoe boxes of pieces < fat qtr that I hesitate to cut up. Blue, green, yellow and brown, red and pink, etc.
    2. Handmade precuts from my stash 2.5 inch strips, 5 inch squares, 2.5 inch squares pretty much cover the sizes I will use.
    ++ Fat quarters are folded and stored by color group or specific category (i.e. Civil War repro or batiks). This tray fits into a clear plastic tote holding larger yardages.

    I tend to plan on selecting fabrics for certain types of quilts over the long term. It seemed forever before I had acquired a nice selection of conversation fabrics for kids! I'm in the stage of finishing UFO's and only purchasing backings -- and -- cutting from my own stash for new projects.
    Last edited by kay carlson; 08-10-2016 at 01:29 PM.

  22. #22
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    I cut up the very small pieces but leave the bigger ones alone. I'm like you- I know I will regret cutting them up so I don't.
    The joy of the Lord is my strength.

  23. #23
    Super Member cathylynn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ManiacQuilter2 View Post
    That is why I don't precut any of my scraps. When I have a project, I pull them out, choose what fabrics I want to use and then start cutting.
    this way has always worked for me.

  24. #24
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    I cut scraps and "unwanted fabric" into sizes I use on a regular basis. 2.5" strips, 5" squares, 3.5" strips are the ones I cut the most of. The strips can always be cut in squares or rectangles. And then as I go, I cut the leader/ender project size I am using. Still working on Bonnie Hunter's Tumbler LE from 2015 and have another ongoing LE that is still not large enough. I also use shorter scraps to cut for piano borders (scrappy is great) and also use "one of a kind" strips in making ahead scrappy binding bundles. I call this my mindless sewing times.

  25. #25
    Power Poster oksewglad's Avatar
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    The key question is what type of quilts do you make? Then decide how you want to cut your scraps...I'm much like zozee. My reason is I make miniature quilt blocks and often use setting squares or triangles to unify my scrappy blocks...a coordinating 2 1/2" strip may be what I need for an outer border or binding...it does me no good to have it cut up into squares..so the clear shoebox of one color is the place for me to store the odds and ends.
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