Scraps, ugh!!

Old 06-17-2019, 02:13 AM
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Hi and welcome from North Carolina! You will love this Quilting Board! You'll get all kinds of help and ideas here.

I just throw my scraps into a large tote bag and 'deal with them later.' Actually I do the same with all my stash... in totes, boxes, bins, on shelves, in closets, etc., just in a confused mess. I tried the 'cut into squares' system for a while, but ended up with dozens of bins of squares!

I find that the best approach is to sew them into quilts as quickly as possible and have fun!
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Old 06-17-2019, 02:44 AM
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I almost never buy more than a yard of any fabric unless it's for a back. I keep larger pieces by color as noted above, and also cut some sizes of squares a la B. Hunter. Then I have a basket for "strings" (I like making string quilts) and a tote bag of selvages (I like making things with them). Have to admit, I do quite a bit of ironing when I making anything scrappy. I recently ordered a grab bag of scraps from a hand dyer, and every piece needed ironing. But they were beautiful and very useful! I love "The Big Book of Scrap Quilts," by the way.
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Old 06-17-2019, 02:52 AM
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Old 06-17-2019, 03:43 AM
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I throw my scraps into boxes and totes, I was making good progress with cutting them and putting them into the pre-cut drawers, but then had to stop because the drawers were full, so now I have to use the pre-cuts. LOL
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Old 06-17-2019, 04:31 AM
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I mostly work in scrap quilts and I keep all my fabric sorted into color/theme sorted boxes. I use cardboard "banker" boxes because they stack well and keep out the light and I don't have any issues with bugs. To some people even though I have been reducing it, I have a huge stash. For me, I figure it fits in one room and I know people with entire basements and storage units of fabric... I prefer to prewash my fabric so it is ready to be used, I press and fold ready for cutting -- the box size is very convenient for that.

For years I used to throw my scraps into a hamper but it was a terrible mess to work with, it wasn't pleasant to sort through and I always had to spend a bunch of time with the fabric once I found it refolding, ironing, etc.

A few years ago I started cutting my leftover fabric to pre-determined sizes, badly cut ends went into their own "string" box which periodically got sewn together into "fabric" for use in various projects. They stacked neater and I could sort through them easier but I realized that no matter how I had them organized, there was no single answer. I keep them loosely color sorted but maybe this time I want all civil war or 30s or florals or whatever. Still, I can sort through a large amount of fabric quickly and easily.

In the last year or two I've decided I don't want to keep/store anything smaller than 6.5" wide. because although I can cut a piece smaller I can't make them any bigger. I had a moment recently with finding some Y2K squares and looking around and realizing that I could spend my entire quilting career with nothing but 2.5" cuts... while that could be sort of fun and satisfying in one way, in another way I was horrified! I made up a top for me and the memories and sent all the other strips and squares away.

So that's what I do now with my small scraps. Fat quarters and up go into the sorted theme/color boxes. Smaller than that and they get cut into a 6.5" WoF which goes into the 6.5" strips box. The remnants get sent to a crumb quilter I met here on the board. I keep a flat rate postage box by my cutting area and the scraps get put in there (neatly as I go) until I fill the box.

I've been working on reducing my stash, largely because I am dealing with progressive vision loss and no, I'm never going to use up all this fabric I've collected over the years. In the race about "she with the most fabric wins", I've already placed. Had to face a bunch of things and look at life with a different perspective. Life is too short to burden ourselves with the things we don't want/care about and that includes at least some fabric! Keep the stuff you love, ditch the rest.

First to go was my garment construction stuff, I found a textile student from the local arts college on Craig's List and gave her all non-quilting yardage. Another person into Cosplay took the fancy bits and pieces of velvet and lame and such. All the craft stuff went to a local elementary school art teacher. Bags of fabrics and orphan blocks and UFOs (mostly ones I picked up at thrift stores and not my own, but a couple were mine) went to a church group that supported various causes. It's easy to find people who want larger pieces of fabric. There are people here (and at most quilt groups) willing to take the small bits, some are willing to pay for the postage even.

Last edited by Iceblossom; 06-17-2019 at 04:35 AM.
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Old 06-17-2019, 05:27 AM
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welcome back to quilting and the board!!
I was blessed with one of IceBlossom's scrap boxes. I did a fast presort into main colors, setting aside the ones hand size or smaller.
I then pressed the stacks and as I pressed I sorted each color stack down into largest to smallest, so when cutting down I could make best use of the same size cuts, all the 2.5" strips at the same time, for efficiency.

I only cut 2.5", 2", and 1.5" strips so as I cut I just made three stacks, neat and tidy, easy peasy.

The hand size ones I cut down into those sizes too and boxed. I love my precut "pantry".
A large priority box took about three days.

So do a quick sort by color and the rest of the job will fall into place.
And I'll try not to lust for your treasures
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Old 06-17-2019, 05:44 AM
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If you want to keep those scraps, on a day when you don't have much energy for anything else, sit at your ironing spot, pull out the bins and iron those pieces and place them back in the bin neatly. It sound like a boring job and it kind of is but you will be able to sort through and decide what you want to keep also and you might even sort them to suit your needs.
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Old 06-17-2019, 06:16 AM
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LOL, you go Kalama! I considered that box a "collectors request" and let you do all the clean up cutting work. I will do those from time to time, it helps me organize my boxes and sometimes it's just fun to play with the fabric. I've also realized that while yes, I do need some pieces of yardage there is a lot of what I have that I don't love and will be happier with just that one 6.5" cut. This past year I've sent out quite a bit of fabric to various people for various reasons, right now I think it's time to work on a few more projects...

I have several (3-4) "fabric intensive" projects where it has taken some time to collect enough for the project. Once each of the tops (and some will have pieced backs as well) is done that will mean the rest of that box is surplus. But before that happens, the poster here needs to get in to her sewing room and get some work done!

It helps me to keep motivated that I need a portable project to take to my Tuesday small group each week. I have one more Tuesday left of finishing the hand binding of a baby quilt. I need to have something ready to take to small group next week and haven't decided on a project yet. I have some bigger stuff to do like piecing backs and making bindings at home.
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Old 06-17-2019, 07:22 AM
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I lay mine flat in a shoe box type container. I do not want to have to re-iron and re-iron.
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Old 06-17-2019, 07:33 AM
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I think you first have to define what size of fabric you consider a scrap and find a method that works for you.

My scrap fabrics are different sizes and stored with different methods.Some are plus or minus a FQ size. Those are ironed and edges trimmed neatly. Then ruler folded on a 5 inch ruler. These pieces are stored upright in a plastic bin. Easy to pull out a specific color or pattern.

Smaller pieces or strips are sorted into smaller plastic bins. I started sewing 2.5 inch strips for mindless sewing. I have no idea how they will finish into a quilt or project. LOL.

There are times I play with the accu-quilt and simply cut scraps into squares, triangles or strips. Just depends on the mood.
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