Friday, March 31, 2017

Scrap Control the MHQ Way!

Everyone agrees that scraps are part of quilting!
For one to use them, one needs to organize them in such a way that they are accessible.
There are lots of ideas for organizing scraps in the blog-o-sphere.
This is not one of those ways!
It's the big blue Ikea bag that is meant to hold all the towels you own?!?
Yikes, it's a big bag???
I took it to my annual quilting retreat and offered the scraps to anyone who liked them.  Some disappeared but I decided it was NOT going back into the studio.

So earlier this week, I committed to sorting through it and dispersing everything into more usable forms.
I started by sorting them loosely into color stacks.
A few were set aside for current projects!
This little stack will blend into my Dodecagon quilt.
When I reached the halfway point, it just took another mug of tea to push through to the end.
What surprised me was how small the stacks are. 
Eventually the bag was actually empty!!
The current challenge is to maintain my dispersal momentum.
Cutting them into certain sizes is an often suggested strategy but it's important to cut them into sizes you will actually use in your projects.
Over the years, I've settled on three baskets of pre-cut scraps.
From left to right -- 3" strips, 2 1/2" squares and HST's, and 2 1/2" strips.
And the "rule" for managing these is that when the basket is topped up, it's time to use some to reduce the quantity!
Two lap size quilts were born out of the 2 1/2" strip box during the winter and now it looks tidy again.  I shared about this one HERE.
I started the Jen Kingwell Lone Time Gone FAL using Marti Michell's templates and adaptations a couple weeks ago -- last week's block and this week's block both started with picking through the
2 1/2" square basket!
The beauty of starting blocks in these baskets is how quickly I can pull a scrappy combination together and without messing up my stacks of fabric!
I'll show you the finished blocks in a few days!
The challenge this weekend will be to keep moving through the stacks of scraps and making them into easily used strips or squares!
Two down, eight to go!! 
It's raining here in Northeast Ohio making the gardens and yard much too wet for outside work so this weekend will be dedicated to stitching!!
I'm looking forward to that!
Hope your weekend is a good one as well!


  1. That is a BIG bag! I bet all quilter have a scrap problem. Thanks for sharing your solution.

  2. My scrap solution ... only recently arrived at ... Do. Not. Keep.

  3. WOW that was one big bag! I try to cut and sort as I finish a project...note I said try.

  4. I haven't been quilting long enough to have a large accumulation of scraps but it's starting to get there and I think I need to do something! Thanks for sharing your method, Mary!

  5. Yay for scrap busting! I find a similar method works for me - cutting them into sizes I will use - but each to their own, right?