Taming the Scrap

Before I get on with today’s blog post I want to send a HUGE shout out to my partner here on the blog, KELLI!  For those of you don’t know, Kelli is my oldest daughter and happily one of my bestest buddies.  Today is her 30-something birthday!!  Happy Birthday Kelli!!

Now onto the blog post….

Over the last month I’ve been reading and hearing from more and more quilters that they are putting time and effort into “taming their scraps”.  It’s something I struggle with as well.  Scraps come in faster than I can process them!!  That’s okay.  I love the scraps and am happy that I have the joy of dealing with them.  I will be the home for scraps any day.  I think it’s the scraps that make my quilts sing!

I’ve heard people make the suggestion that they will “work on them 15 minutes a day” or work on them for “one hour each week”.  That’s great….but I don’t operate that way.

I have to be immersed in them….I have to have them EXPLODE all over the place in order to get anything done.  I have to drag them out all over my kitchen to the point I can’t get anything else done before they are dealt with….that’s what has been happening the last three days!!

Notice them on the far counter and on the island.  There are also scraps in the laundry room on the washer and on the dining room table.  I wasn’t joking when I said they are everywhere!!

For three days I worked on them while my childcare children napped and then again at supper time as the food was cooking.  This is what I ended up with…. This is how I cut and sort them….

These are my scraps that are jewel tones, Civil War scraps, and anything that leans towards those colors.  See the cake pan overflowing?  I have scraps cut in the sizes 1 1/2″, 2″, 21/2″, 3 1/2″ and crumbs/strings.

People always ask “How do you know what size to cut?”  I cut as the scrap prescribes.  Sometime the scrap is 5″.  To make best use of it, I cut two 2 1/2″ strips.  Beyond that I know that 2″ sized are my favorite.  I also know that Becky over at Quilted Twins had 36 FREE patterns that all use 2″ strips.  The quilts are fun and super scrappy.  I’m hoping to tackle a couple of them so I cut an extra amount of 2″ sized strips.  Here is the link for the 2″ FREE patterns.

I had quite a few scraps that fell into a neutral and good coordinating fabrics.  I kept them all together and put them in this bucket.  I’m not sure what pattern I will make with them but I really like them together so they are staying together.

I cut the same size varieties of the bright prints…again I cut more 2″ sized.


I made a couple other piles as I went too.  I pulled a pile of batiks and novelty prints.  I also saved a pile of selvages.  I don’t plan to keep them and will pass them on to someone who collects them. After that I started sorting through some orphan blocks that were sent to me.  I want to make some doll quilts for charity.  I enjoy doing them when I need a finish.  Often in a matter of 20 minutes or so I can have a finished little project if I use orphan blocks.
I also had a small pile that I will be passing on to the Lutheran World Relief quilters in my area.  I don’t save seersucker.  There were also a few fabrics in the bunch that were iffy.  Sadly they were lovely shades of yellow…but alas.  They will be put to good use where they are going.

I have all these cut and sorted.  I stopped there.  I have more scraps that need to be tamed but this is a good start and I feel really good about the progress.  If I do this again for another session, I think I would be entirely caught up.  That’s a good feeling.  Who am I kidding?  That’s a great feeling!!

Thanks to all who have donated their scraps to the thrift store- and I found them…and thanks also to the blog readers who have sent me their scraps.  I love them all…next step, SEWING THEM!

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15 thoughts on “Taming the Scrap

  1. Sandy Allen

    Happy birthday Kelli!

    I am like you, I have to tame a huge pile of scraps at a time. Can’t seem to make myself deal with them before then. ☺

  2. Carol Lorraine Stearns

    I am so much like you and I love taming the scraps! I also quilt with the Lutherans each second and fourth Mondays. We appreciate the yardage and scraps that come our way. Sometimes you wonder why they kept it and it goes in the dog bags. We keep pillowcases and fill them with scraps fabric cut offs, sew them up and they go to the local dog pound. We used to throw the scraps away when I came up with the idea of the pillowcases, which we have a lot of, and fill them with fabric scraps. The dog pound is extremely happy to get them. Last night I was cutting squares from shirts for a planned quilt. So much to do. Thank you for your blogging. I sew enjoy it. I vow to get my blog up and running this year. http://www.tealeafquilts.blogspot.com Carol

  3. Ellie

    Happy Birthday Kelli!
    You’re showing good discipline with the scraps! I should follow your lead. I believe they multiply at night while we sleep! I think they are related to the odd sock in the laundry problem! Lol!

  4. Nell

    I forgot we are birthday buddies, Kelli— (mine was yesterday!) Hope you have a fabulous day. I am of the hour a week camp, although I am way ahead for 2018. I have found having a pattern in mind to cut for really helps. I have cut and sewn a Mary’s Split Square for a grad gift. I have the darks in ranch/cowboy prints cut for another and hope to get the lights cut tonight for a second one. Just before Christmas, my husband’s boss gave me two 18 gal. totes and 2 milk boxes full of scraps from her mother’s estate. It will take me awhile to get clear through them. Very grateful to have scraps, as those are my favorite quilts to make.

  5. Diane W

    We sing happy birthday to you. This is your birthday song. Celebrate all night long. May all your wishes come true, Happy Birthday to You, Kelli!

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