Sunday, January 18, 2009

Scraps, Scraps, & More Scraps


I'm not the most organized person, but I do make an effort when I can. Since my hours spent sewing are precious and few, about six months ago I decided to give Bonnie Hunter's scrap system a shot. I was a little nervous and skeptical at first - it felt as if I was being wasteful, or destroying possibilities for those scraps. Afterall, that's why I've hoarded two 18 gallon rubbermaid tubs worth. I thought to myself, "I really like Bonnie's quilts, but I don't know if I want all of my scraps to be in "everything but the kitchen sink" type quilts", as Bonnie describes her own style. But then I realized, I don't have to throw everything in if I don't want to. I can be choosey of my scraps. I could probably be more choosey of them if I could see them too. See them all nice and neat, pressed, and ready to be sewn. I began slowly cutting and started paying more attention to what sizes and shapes of fabric different scrap patterns I liked would call for. I have always had this "thing" for keeping the same fabric together - scraps or not. So if I had a 2 x 2 inch square of red floral fabric - you bet I'd keep it with the other 2 yards of that same fabric! I thought - "who knows, maybe whatever I use this for will call for a 2" x 2" square! Then I'm ahead of the game!!! I already have one cut!" Lol* Well, I've let go of that mindset a little bit. If it's smaller than 1/4 of a yard, it's a scrap. Done and done. I still have a ridiculous amount of scraps, lol*, but eventually, I will have a very organized, very usable selection of pre-cut scraps.
I haven't made an incredibly significant dent in my bins yet. It's an on-going thing. I've already raided my pre-cut bins several times to find strips already cut to the perfect size for my project. For me, this seems to work. It also gives me some hope that I might be an organized person, someday!

11 comments:

Trisha said...

I really appreciate this post. I am trying to use scraps more and am trying to use Bonnie's methods but haven't totally committed myself. It was a nice reminder to read this today! I applaud your efforts.

Julie in the Barn said...

I had the same problem trying to commit to cutting my scraps all up. My solution was to cut at least one 6 & 1/2" square as well as strips. I like mostly 2&1/2 inch or 3&1/2 inch strips. That bigger square leaves me additional options if I find a pattern I love that calls for a bigger piece than my strips. I also leave anything larger than fat quarters uncut for now.

Zannah said...

What a fabulous idea! I seem to have more and more scraps, and have little or no idea of what to do with them. I save just about everything, no matter what size 'just in case'. Do you put your scraps in the right bags as you go along, or will you have a 'sorting session' every so often?

rachel griffith said...

oh man...look at you.
i don't know if i could do it.
hahaha.

i think i just like mine color cordinated.
tehehe.

bluebird-lyn said...

Hi Valerie, you have organised your scraps well.Hmmm I put my scraps in a plastic bag and give them to the local hospitals craft group.Regards Lyn

Red Geranium Cottage said...

Your looking pretty organized to me!!

holly said...

I have a ton of scraps. I have a three drawer unit like that will 2 inch strips, 2 1/2 inch strips, and 5 inch charms. All the others are just mixed together for now. Some day I will be organized.

StitchinByTheLake said...

I have a very large plastic bin filled and overflowing with scraps. I want to do Bonnie's method but the time.....I think it might take me a month just to get all this ironed and cut! blessings, marlene

YankeeQuilter said...

I have committed myself to cutting scraps for 15 minutes a day and have made an amazing amount of progress! I am also a bit particular about what goes into my scrap boxes...I have now filled two other boxes with scraps for the girlscouts!

Quilt Hollow said...

I felt the same way as you....I was afraid if I cut my scraps into strips I might need a larger piece for something else but then they still just sat there. Fabric already cut into strips is great if all you want to do is sit down and sew! Did you see the front page of www.quiltville.com? Bonnie's back is to my camera (we are in my sewing studio)...anyway see that one tub sitting on the floor next to her....that is her paper piecing bits and it was stuffed full. I like how she has all her strips cut organized enough to make each scrappy top look different. Have you noticed that? I think you've got a good start from the look of things!

Thriftyideastoday said...

When i am done a project I have been cutting them up into pieces. i have a Accuquilt machine and love it. When I get tired of cutting I put the leftovers in a bag and give them to a friend of mine who makes crazy quilt blocks. She has been a huge help with me getting rid of many bags of scraps.