Welcome to the first (probably) of various posts (probably on a Sunday) about scraps.Before we look at what we/you can or could do with all the accumulated scraps we thought it might be an idea to take a look at organising those scraps. We use the term ‘organising’ very loosely here!
We define scraps as those pieces that really aren’t all that big – less than an eighth (fat or thin) – usually, but its a bit of a loose definition. Less than a fat quarter sometimes gets classed as a ‘scrap’, a lone strip from a jelly roll is a scrap, trimmed off triangles are scraps, so are excess units (those ones that get made when you aren’t really concentrating and make twice as many HST units as were required) . . . and trimmings when squaring up a quilt before binding it – those are scraps.
Where do we put them all?
Chris chucks everything into a large plastic sack that hangs from a door, the floor is also a recipient of many of these pieces – her aim isn’t that great! Eventually the sack gets too full and heavy and its time for a sort out. Very small pieces and bits of wadding are either recycled into cushion stuffing, donated to the nursery school for ‘art’, or handed over to the recycling centre. Small cotton shreds are composted. Bigger, usable (possibly) pieces are sorted by colour and chucked into other plastic bags in the cupboard – out of sight, out of mind. Eventually some of these get used: a small piece of a particular colour may be required – there’s sure to be one in a scrap bag, which gets tipped out onto the floor to be rootled through in the (usually) vain hope that a big enough bit in exactly the right colour will magically appear.
Very occasionally the urge to make a truly scrappy quilt arises and all the bags are tipped out, fabric bits are sorted out into different sizes and shapes and usability and then, after a mammoth pressing session, they can be used – providing the urge to make a scrappy quilt has survived all the pre-preparation! If it all gets too out of hand the larger ‘scraps’ get donated (unsorted, unpressed, sorry) to a local Linus group.
As for storing larger bits of fabric – half-metres, fat quarters, and slightly smaller pieces are stored in baskets, largely by colour. Big chunks of fabric (backings etc) are in another cupboard.
Barbara is considerably more organised than Chris – as she does a lot of hand-piecing her scraps are sorted into bags ready to be turned into (or already turned into!) hexagons or diamonds or . . . While larger pieces are neatly folded into large crates under the cutting table, fat quarter sized pieces are, again neatly folded, stored on shelves along with pre-cuts.
Some exceedingly organised folk we know cut all all their scraps into sensible sizes – squares, triangles, strips and then store them in labelled boxes. Chris can only marvel! Yet others profess to just binning all left-over pieces. Eek!
So, join us as we try to impose order on the chaos that is Chris’s scrap collection and come up with ideas to use some of it up. (Note – ‘ideas’, not actually do it; never make a promise you can’t keep!)