Throughout my shirt destruction, I’ve gotten many questions. Hopefully I can answer a few of them here. If you are new to this topic here’s a little back ground. I am in love with Bonnie Hunter’s new book Scraps and Shirttails II. I want to make several of the quilts in the book just as they are and that means, I need men’s shirts to provide the fabric.
My shirts are all destructed. Now I need to cut them into strips for my scrap user’s system. I cut strips into 4 different sizes: 1.5″, 2″, 2.5″ and 3.5 inches.
Bonnie’s quilt are made primarily with these same sizes. I’ve looked through Bonnie’s book and made a chart that shows what sizes I need to make each quilt. Here is a link to the chart (I couldn’t figure out how to link it so I had to send you to my website). If you print the chart, you will see that I made notations. A “b” in the 1.5″ column means that I need bricks or squares that are 1.5″ x 1.5″. If there is a “s-tri” in the 3.5″ column, that means that I’ll be cutting strips that are 3.5″ but those strips will eventually be cut with my easy angle or companion angle. It there is a “s” in the 2.5″ column, that means I need strips that are 2.5″.
Now I just consult the chart and cut….I know I want to make Rectangle Wrangle and that uses LOTS of 2.5″ strips so I’ve been cutting quite a few of them. It doesn’t really matter what size I cut…eventually they will all go into quilts. If there are narrow strips left after I cut the 2.5″ strip, I cut them in to 2″ or 1.5″ strips. If they are larger, I cut them into 3.5″ strips. If they are odd shaped, I throw them in the strings bag.
As I am cutting, I am cutting out two quilts, Rectangle Wrangle and Criss Cross Applesauce because those are at the top of my list as favorites in the book. Once those quilts are finished and I want to make another, I will just grab the box that has the piece sizes that I need and I can work out of that box. Right now….my work area is a overwhelming mess…but six months from now when I am ready to make another quilt from the book, it will be a breeze and all the mess will be worth it!
If you are new to this, I want to make a recommendation. Purchase an easy angle and a companion angle. It will make your scrap saving MUCH easier. These rulers work PERFECTLY with this system! If a pattern calls for 3″ finished half square triangles, here’s what you do….get your Easy Angle ruler….
1.Grab two 3.5″ strips.
2.Layer them right sides together.
3.Align the ruler on the strip.
4.Cut the straight side, now the angled side.
5. Flip the ruler and cut again. Continue until you are out of fabric or you have the appropriate number of pieces.
I have used this system with my regular scraps and I am TOTALLY in love with it. It makes quilting so much quicker. This system works really good with all of Bonnie’s patterns, the free ones at Quiltville or any in her books. If you are fond of a different designer, take some time to read through their patterns and become familiar with their style. You might find that you need different sized strips to accommodated their patterns.
I saved all the backs and one front panel of my shirts. They are folded nice and neatly just like fat quarters. If I need bigger pieces or if I need more a particular fabric, I can use it. I am SO anxious to start sewing….hopefully over the next week I can tackle this mess and get some quality time with my sewing machine.