Still talking about the management of scraps – one noteworthy system that is quite widely practised (but not by us!) is to cut leftover fabric into useful sizes and shapes. So for example you could cut leftovers and oddments into 2 1/2inch squares and store them in a box marked 2 1/2inch squares. Similarly, cut smaller scraps into 1 1/2inch squares and store them in their own marked box. Other boxes could contain 2 1/2inch width strips of varied length, 1 1/2inch strips of varied length, 5inch squares, 10inch squares (think Charm Packs and Layer Cakes here). Once upon a time Barbara even devoted a book and scores of classes to a system for cutting up fat quarters into useful shapes with minimum waste (Fast Quilts from Fat Quarters, pub David & Charles 2006). But we digress….
Barbara is not necessarily more organised than Chris when it comes to scraps but she does have a great fondness for ziplock bags and those lovely stacking storage boxes with lids. So there’s a bag of blue scraps, a bag of red, a bag of shirtings and neutrals, a bag of black and white – well, you get the picture. These bags contain odd sized bits and small pieces that are left over from previous projects and are fairly easy to switch between the Rural Office and the Overseas Office when necessary. There are two small handy stacking boxes at the Overseas Office and
three four five much larger but equally handy stacking boxes (OK, crates – Barbara) at the Rural Office. Handy stacking boxes in both locations contain fat quarters, fat eighths and other regular sized pieces of fabric and a couple of lavender sachets in each container for good measure. And it really is amazing how much fabric you can squash into one of those boxes if you fold it carefully.
One of Barbara’s wilder ideas for scrap and stash management back in 2017 was to cut a 2 1/2inch strip off EVERY SINGLE piece of fabric in her stash. The concept originally was that this would create a stash “reference” which could be kept and possibly eventually used. It was a very satisfying project to undertake, every piece of fabric was handled, the strip cut and folded and the parent fabric pressed and refolded into the relevant crate. The reference strips are all carefully boxed up at present but may be released and cut into at some point in the near future – perhaps a megahexagon quilt, who knows?!
Several years ago Barbara “rescued” the scrappy quilt below and stored it in The Cupboard – every star block is different and the unknown maker certainly seems to have made great use of her scrapbag.
Scrap (or scrappy style) quilts are enjoying yet another revival at the moment – our long-time favourite print references are “Great Scrap Bag Quilts” and “Scraps can be Beautiful”, both self-published by Jan Halgrimson in the early 1980s. Well worth searching for secondhand copies and also a great reminder of just how far quilting-related publishing has come over the past 30 years.
More scrappy stuff next Sunday ….