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Thread: Storing the Scraps...Ideas?

  1. #1
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    Storing the Scraps...Ideas?

    OK, to all of you that have those fabulous stashes stored on boards...I'm totally envious. Personally, I just don't have that much yardage. But, what I do have is a lot of scraps. Big ones (1/8 yds.,) to little ones (1" squares,) they're flying all over the place and getting mixed up. I'm planning on making a scrappy quilt, but there's 3 others ahead of that project. In the meain time, are there any ideas on storing the scraps?

    THANKS!

  2. #2
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    Sorry my scrap storage is just to stuff them into one of the drawers in my plastic rolling cart. Once I can no longer close the drawer, I make a scrap quilt.

  3. #3
    Super Member JenniePenny's Avatar
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    I use old fashioned tin kitchen canisters to hold different sizes.
    "He who masters the grey everyday is a hero."
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    For the bigger pieces, I use Bonnie Hunter's scrap user's system - once it it less than 6" wide, it gets cut down into strips - 5", 4.5", 4", 3.5, 2.5", 2' and 1.5" - short pieces get cut into squares of those sizes. Anything smaller than a fq gets folded by color in a plastic drawer, and I go there first for small projects.

  5. #5
    Senior Member TinkerQuilts's Avatar
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    I use zip lock bags for the small scraps, and write the approximate size on the bag with a black Sharpie. Then I put the bags in a bin.

  6. #6
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    Go out to www.quiltville.com and read Bonnie Hunter's information on what to do with scraps (Scrap Users System). I have some cut up and ready to go but more just stuffed into plastic bags. I have a big Rubbermaid Tub that I use for my bits and pieces. Some are larger than others.

    I am not the most organized of people though. I swear that my scraps all breed the minute I walk out of the house. There always seems to be more when I walk back into the room. How else can it be explained?

  7. #7
    Senior Member Old_Rosebud's Avatar
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    Scraps absolutely do reproduce - just like dirty laundry! I found a book this fall called Cut the Scraps by Joan Ford. She recommends cutting any scraps into 5", 3 1/2" and 2" squares. Then I sort according to size and color (dark, light, etc.) in plastic containers. I don't have my sewing area totally clear but its much better! I will have to look into the Bonnie Hunter info listed above.

  8. #8
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    Bonnie Hunters way is really awesome!

  9. #9
    Super Member deedum's Avatar
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    well I did that, I cut a bunch of scraps into many diffrent sizes. Now I created a MONSTER! I have scraps everywhere, I can't keep up with them. I have rolling cart where I keep pieces smaller than a fat quarters. I also have small pieces in baskets, when the sraps gets too small, they go in a large wastebasket for doggie bed material. I like the idea of putting pieces in ziploc bags, but isn't that hard on the material?

  10. #10
    Power Poster Mariposa's Avatar
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    I keep mine in plastic bins (totes) according to size: 1.25", 1.5", 2.5", etc. so they are sorted and ready to go.
    Do check out Bonnie Hunter's site www.quiltville.com She has great storage ideas, and lots of fun patterns!
    Be a blessing to others, as you may entertain angels unaware!

  11. #11
    Super Member DebbE's Avatar
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    I do the same as QuiltingDragon, except I don't cut 4" or 4.5", but the rest of the sizes I do. I also have a 10" square pile, which really comes in handy, too. I stack them in those sizes on shelves that have glass doors, so I can see what I have. When it comes time to make a quilt, I pull out the appropriate sizes and start sewing. It's lovely not having to stop to cut out pieces before working on a quilt! I set aside the scraps that I have from larger pieces that I've used, and when I wake early some mornings (usually its 1 or 2 a.m.), that's the time to cut those down, as its a quiet activity. Before I had enough for the shelves, I used the clear shoe box bins to store the various sizes (5" and down). Didn't take long and I was looking for open shelving to stack the various sizes. Seems like they multiply like bunnies sometimes...I've made large quilts and it didn't look like I'd taken any fabric out of there!

  12. #12
    Super Member kateyb's Avatar
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    I used to have my scraps sorted by color in the large popcorn tins, which worked fairly well until I dislocated my ribs then moving them around became a problem. I have switched to the plastic drawers made by sterlite. They come as a set of three, each drawer is approx. 13" x 10" x 7". If you don't put on the wheels they stack very nicely. I have the scraps sorted by color, a cardboard cut to fit seperates more than one color in a drawer. Anything smaller than a FQ/quarter yard goes in them. I also have two smaller bins that are 11" x 9" x 7" with locking lids with a handle for the scrap strips that are odd shaped ( the ones that are narrower on one end than the other) one lights, one darks for strippy scrap quilts. I'm thinking of getting 2 more for the smaller odd shaped pieces for "crumb" quilts. They are easy to carry and not very heavy (saves my ribs from pain) and store in a small area in a closet or under a table.

  13. #13
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    Just sort into light, medium, and dark and store them in large plastic trays or huge shopping bags. Don't cut them into sizes until I decide what size I need.

  14. #14
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    The way I do my scraps is I cut the biggest square possible and keep cutting until there isn't enough for a square then the nibblets go into a tub to make dog beds for the humane society. The squares I put into drawers in their individual sizes. I do this after each project and it doesn't get so overwhelming. When friends give me scraps they don't want I do the same. Hope this helps tame your scraps until you get enough to make a scrap quilt.

  15. #15
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    The way I do my scraps is I cut the biggest square possible and keep cutting until there isn't enough for a square then the nibblets go into a tub to make dog beds for the humane society. The squares I put into drawers in their individual sizes. I do this after each project and it doesn't get so overwhelming. When friends give me scraps they don't want I do the same. Hope this helps tame your scraps until you get enough to make a scrap quilt.

  16. #16
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    That's the say I do mine also 3 Carol. Then if there are strips available to be cut, I cut them in the largest width I think I will want on down to the narrowest I will use. I do not have a good storage system for the strips, but have plastic storage boxes for the various sizes of the squares I have cut. I start with the largest I can get up to 10 inches, the 7, 6 1/2, 5 1/2, 5, 4 1/2, 4, and on down to an inch and a half. I don't cut anything less than an inch and a half as I figure when it is used, it will only be an inch square. Now to get to using them is the next problem.

  17. #17
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    I don't cut mine. I do machine applique and if it's all cut I might not be able to get a bird body or funky tree branch from that perfect cut square or rectangle. Plus I actually like digging thru them. I have mine in small bins so they're not so heavy.

  18. #18
    Junior Member krisgray's Avatar
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    I use Bonnie Hunter's method of cutting and lots of plastic shoeboxes that can be found at WalMart or such stores for about $1 each. Since they're clear, I place an index card in the front as a label with the size so I know exactly what's in each box. I like these boxes - they stack nicely - they're clear -they're cheap.

  19. #19
    Super Member jetayre's Avatar
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    I put mine in plastic like others, and do them by subject flowers, animals, etc and then plain by colors an fabric that is flannel, cotton etc. Don't have to go through so much. Other ideas are good, too.

  20. #20
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    I also love the cake takers from WalMart that Bonnie Hunter turned me on to. They are great for holding all the pieces of a project in progress together. They are about $6 each. If WalMart ever finds out what all us quilters are doing with the cake takers, they will jack the price up.

  21. #21
    Senior Member petthefabric's Avatar
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    My scraps get stuffed into a large Sterlite plastic translucent bin. Along with other quilt objects I don't want anymore. Other people quilting here, also contribute. I do art quilts that take whatever size I can find. My cat loves to sleep in it. Friends take from it. It's a pretty loose arrangement, but works for me. Occassionaly it gets editted. Anytime I go to a retreat, someone is making dog beds, so I contribute what I don't want anymore to that. Pieces get used to demonstrate or practice. I have no intension of being thrifty with it. I have one friend who loves my cast offs for her scrappy quilts....she's an expert at scrappy. When she's here, the scrap boxes (her's & mine) usually end up spread out on the floor. We have a wonderful creative time together.

  22. #22
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    I cut my scraps the way J Carol does but I also include some of Bonnie Hunters cuts. And I store them in boxes I got from my scrap therapy class. If I need more boxes I just go to my LQS and order more.

  23. #23
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    I am in the middle of taking care of two large plastic tubs of scraps. I determine the largest square I can get from each piece and then proceed to cut what is left into usable into 3, 2.5, 4. and 4.5 squares. Each size goes into a seperate smaller tub. I have smaller tubs of 2.5 jelly rolls, 2 inch strips and 1.5 strips. If I need 2.5, 2 or 1.5 squares I dip into the strip bin and cut away. I am so happy to be able to go to a certain place for something instead of trying to remember where the pieces were. I am doing the 'happy dance'. OOOPS....I forgot to mention that I originally I had FOUR large tubs and I offered two of them for 'free' on craigslist and got rid of them in two days. What a relief......and I met the nicest people. If you tired of sorting-Pay it Forward. You will feel very good.
    Last edited by trolleystation; 03-03-2013 at 04:12 PM.

  24. #24
    Senior Member w7sue's Avatar
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    I store my scraps in those storage containers you can buy at JoAnns that connect together - 3 to a stack with only one lid - I put the 1.5" ones standing up, the 2.0" and 2.5" ones stack up - I put a label on the outside of them with the size so I can tell at a glance what's inside. When I am ready to make blocks, I take out coffee filters and lay about 10 of them out in a row. I take my scraps and deal them like cards so each coffee filter has one of each different scrap in it. That way all the blocks I make when I take a filter to the sewing machine are different with no duplicate fabrics. It doesn't matter that the same material will be in the next filter's worth of blocks because they will be in a different order. Hope this makes sense. I also trim my HST's to those sizes and store those in the boxes too - they can be that 'little surprise' in a block that can make scrappys more fun. I have gotten to the point in my stash that I really don't have yardage - anything bigger than these sizes are stored by color in plastic bins about the size of shoe boxes. I LOVE SCRAPPY QUILTS and am completely hooked on making them. There are always two or three of them going in my sewing room. But, be watchful - they do tend to have babies when you aren't looking!

  25. #25
    Super Member AZ Jane's Avatar
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    Even if you have a small stash, it does take a while to get organized. But once you do, you will love it. The "trick" is what works for you. Then after you get organized, don't wait. After each project, organize those new scraps right away.
    Better to do something imperfectly, than nothing perfectly.
    Done is better than perfect.

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