One of the best things about being a blogger is to read the blogs of others who have the same interests. Recently, I read Laura Kates’s blog which she named “Crazy out of control scrap heap”. At the end she said “Who of you has solved the Scrap dilemma, and will you share your solution with me, a frustrated fiber artist. ”
I really haven’t solved the dilemma, but I’m working on it. In the past, when I took a class, the other students started placing their scraps on my table. I even robbed the waste basket after class. It was during the time that I was making my Garbage to Gaa-Barge art quilts. I used every little scrap for those pieces. I even made pieces with leftover threads. I had organized the tiny scraps in baggies. Each baggie was color coordinated. I used the colored fabric like paint. I threw nothing away. Now, several years later, I’m no longer working on that project and finally cleaned out that bin and threw most of it away. I felt guilty for about one half of a second.
I still have lots of scraps. In a perfect world, I have a good system for taming them. Of course, I don’t always put them where they belong. I do have a bin for fabric that I might “file” in the right drawer some day. I bought four Ikea wire drawer units. They are stacked two tall and are in closets. The drawers can be removed and the fabric dumped out to check for what I need. These scraps are the larger ones. The scraps are folded and each color has it’s own drawer. There are drawers with Asian fabric, Ginny Beyer fabrics, solid fabrics, etc.
There is a drawer with purchased pre cuts and panels. It would be nice if the fabric would stay folded, but after looking through a drawer to find what I need, I don’t always refold.
Once in a while, when I finish a project, I will make my own precuts. I cut 10″, 8″ 5″, 3 1/2″ and 2 1/2″ squares. They are stored in a plastic drawer unit, waiting for the right project to come along.
Then, there are the Mile A Minute scraps. They seem to grow overnight when I’m not looking. I thought that I had used them up but I found two big bins in the attic. Fortunately, I’m teaching a class at the Guild and will give them away to the students. The scraps are in all colors. I’ve separated them into strips and scraps. The fabric has been pressed and is ready to use.
I kept the blue fabric that was left over from the Canadian 150 quilt in a separate bin that I bought at the Dollar Store. I’m making a few samples for the Mile A Minute class with this fabric. When the samples are finished, the left over fabric will go in the bags with the other fabric. Hopefully, all this fabric will be gone by the end of the class. Of course, I can always make a few more Mile A Minute blocks.
The best place to store scraps is in a quilt, so bring them out and sew them together. The quilt doesn’t have to be big. Table runners, place mats, mug rugs, tote bags, charity and baby quilts, etc. are all small projects that can be made quickly using scraps.
I hope that I helped you with your dilemma, Laura Kate.
Have a great day and happy quilting.