Taming the Scraps

For me I’ve found one of the best ways to tame my scraps is to sort and cut a quilt out with them.

I’ve had several different ideas on storing fabric.  At one time I sorted out and kept every scrap of everything sorted by color only.  It didn’t matter the size whether it be a 3″ x 3″ scrap or a fat quarter or a strip that was 2 1/2″ wide.  I only sorted by color.  I hated that system.  I’ve gotten around to sorting some of those “by color” totes but most are still there.  I abandoned that idea of storage started a scrap users system instead.  I like it so much better.

Well I designed a quilt and decided to make it.  It’s a quilt that will be a scrap lovers dream.  It’s SUPER scrappy.  Well I needed black.  I pulled everything I could use out of the scrap user’s totes-Still needed more black.  I went to go into my yardage to cut more when I remembered I had this small tote of black.  YES!  This was the perfect opportunity to dig in and sort this.

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There was all sorts of scrap in there.  It was sized from teeny tiny to 1/2 yard cuts.

The two sizes I needed are 1 1/2″ and 2 1/2″ so cutting and chopping to those sizes was my mission.

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(no judgement on the open rotary cutter)  Just look at all the color and variety in those blacks.  This is going to be an amazing quilt.  MOST of these small scrappy pieces came from blog readers.  Some people don’t like dealing with leftover triangle pieces, half strip pieces and the junk that’s left over after making a quilt.  Me, I love that.  I had the best day ironing and working to make these scraps usable.

Knowing that these are going directly into a quilt keeps my motivation to work on these HIGH.  I so enjoy making quilts from these bits and pieces.  I feel like I am getting a quilt for free when I use these up.  I love little scrap bags that get sent my way especially when it comes time to make a quilt like this.

My stacks grew and grew.  I was in such a scrap-happy mood that I went and found some neutrals to cut up as my quilt needs neutrals too.  I have no idea if I have enough for the quilt yet.  It’s one of those quilts that I can’t really cut out ahead of time.  I can only cut strips.

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So being you’ve been so good and stuck with me through the entire post, how about I give you a sneak peak at the blocks I’m making with the scraps…..What do you think?scrap-3

You can see how the scrappiness is really going to make this an awesome quilt.  I had the best time putting these block together.  I can’t wait to get more sewing time in on these.  It’s going to be a fun quilt.

I always get asked what’s the best way to tame the scraps….HONESTLY, the best way to do it is to have a quilt in mind and cut it out while sorting the scraps.  That way two things happen at once…a quilt gets cut out AND the scraps get sorted.  My tote that had the black scraps in all sorted….and I have plenty of scraps to sew on for a bit.

You might not see a lot of this quilt for a bit.  I’ll be working on it behind the scenes but I’m hoping it will be heading out to be published in a fall magazine….we’ll see how it looks after it becomes a top.

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12 thoughts on “Taming the Scraps

  1. Stoney Monte

    I really like the strong contrast that’s going on there, plus the orangey yellow centers give your eye some big time pretty to look at!!!

  2. Carolyn Sands

    Very cool! I’m on my second black log cabin quilt and still have lots of black fabric left. Now I know how I can use up a lot more of the fabrics. Thanks for the inspiration.

  3. Anne Deedrick

    I love how the bits of color in the fabrics just make the blocks come alive. It’s going to be a great quilt. Can’t wait to see it!

  4. Nell

    Great blocks, good work on the scrap tote! I kept scraps for years and just threw them in totes, I collect scraps at retreats or classes and I have friends who gift me scraps. Right now, I am overwhelmed with the amount I have. BUT, I am dedicating an hour a week in 2018 to processing them. I dug through them for Ringo Lake, I am cutting for Carolina Chain and Texas Braid. Pleased to say that I have done more than an hour a week so far. I also love the feeling of cleaning something up, using up the last little bits. Thanks for the scrap management post, I love knowing others have totes they haven’t touched in awhile.

  5. Kim LeMere

    It is going to be a colorful quilt and I see some pumpkins. I drop all my bits of scraps into a bag and when its full I pass it on to a lady at guild who does miniature quilts, she loves those treasure bags. I don’t have the space to store so much. Keep on stitching, it looks great.

  6. Erin

    I have so many scraps, I feel like I’ve made at least the last few quilts almost exclusively from scraps!! I love working with them, too and I agree with you Jo. I feel like I’m making a quilt for free when I use scraps.

  7. Catholic Bibliophagist

    I love posts like this! I look forward eagerly to seeing your progress on this quilt.

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