Monday, February 22, 2016

Keryn and I are both trying to clean up our sewing rooms and make sense of the stash. We have differing view points on how we use our fabric, and how we organise it, but that's ok. Each to his own. I'm still in love with scraps, Keryn less so.

She wants to get stuck into the yardage and cut up swathes of material; the gorgeous stuff that we've had squirreled away, sometimes for years. I always check the scrap drawers first to see what I can use there, then I start looking at the larger pieces. Keryn gets frustrated by the itty bitty nature of the scraps, I like to tame them by cutting them down to useful shapes.

We were going through some containers in her sewing room recently and she declared that she was sick of the sight of all these bits and said"You can have 'em all" No need to tell me twice! In fact one of the reasons I'm so keen to "help" her clean up is that I always come away with some goodies that she's sick of.

So what's the first step in taming this mess of bits? I like to go through the whole container and make some piles to start with. Scraps are overwhelming if you look at them en masse, so the trick is to start breaking them all down into manageable chunks.

I separate the pieces that I can usually just get one shape from, a square, a triangle, a brick. This takes a lot of the flotsam out of the equation, and things start looking more doable straight away.

If there are any pieced bits like this I put them aside. I can make four patches out of this lot, so they're already spoken for.

I put all the lights in one pile because I can usually cut them straight into shapes to be used immediately. I'm always piecing HST, so these can be cut with the Easy Angle or the Scrap Saver and go into the Leader ender container. I never seem to have enough lights ready to go, so this little pile is a welcome sight.

Then there are the strips of fabric that I have to cut with my long ruler, I straighten them up and then they can be filed in their respective drawers.

Finally there are the bigger hunks that have a few possibilities, I usually just iron them and sort them out according to colour. I don't want to cut larger bits down into one and a half inch squares and then realise I could have used the bigger piece for something.

If I do this  sorting as soon as I bring a bag of scraps home it doesn't get too overwhelming and I know immediately what I've been given. It can all go back into the same container, with sheets of paper separating the categories for the time being, then later I can tackle it bit by bit. In the next post I'll show you how I do that.

After some more tidying, guess what  Keryn gave me?.... back to the sorting!


Sassi February 22, 2016  

I wish i had a sister like that lol. I love scraps and like you will search the scrap box first before cutting yardage. Scrap quilts are so comforting

Mary Johnson February 23, 2016  

My Mom quilts too and I help her out by cutting a lot of her projects for her. She also likes to start from yardage and doesn't want the leftover scraps from her quilts so I bring them home and they usually end up in one of my string quilts. I spend so much time with scraps or fat quarters that I wonder if I'll ever use up the yardage in my bins!

Samplings from Spring Creek February 25, 2016  

I tend to save every little scrap. When I started making miniatures I learned very small scraps could be used in the quilts to add variety. It is difficult for me to cut large pieces of fabric

Lucy March 07, 2016  

Ohh I have a big shopper ful with scraps. Looks like I never see the bottom of it. I have to do the same thing like you do.

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