I am a hoarder in all areas of my life and fabric is no exception. I have kept all the itty bitty tiny bits from all of my projects.
Recently, I decided it was time to sort them out and put them to use.
At the Stitch Gathering last year, I attended a class on making scrap patchwork squares.
The class suggested hand sewing, which meant you could use really tiny pieces. However, I thought at the time I would like to have a go using the sewing machine and approach this as a method of using up scraps. So I had a go.
The pieces are all sewn together using a quarter inch seam, which means that scraps which are less than an inch across are pretty useless and just add bulk. These squares are cut to 5".
I have also recently had a go at EPP and have sorted through my pile of scraps for pieces which can be used for 1 inch hexagons.
Turns out they have to be roughly 2.5" square, which is handy as I have a lot of squares and strips in this size from other projects.
So, all of this has led me to devise a new system for organising my scraps (which I am now doing as I go). I've started using sandwich bags labelled with a Sharpie to house my organised scraps.
- Anything less than 1.5" square is pretty useless and can be disposed of without guilt.
- Anything more than 1.5" and less than 2.5" square (roughly, they don't have to be square, but do need to have a minimum width of 1.5") gets sorted into colour coordinated bags for making scrappy blocks. Eventually, I hope to turn these into a rainbow quilt. I am also saving white and low volume scraps to use as sashing on this quilt. A very long term project I think.
- Anything big enough to cover a 1 inch hexagon is being basted and added to the pile of hexagons I am saving to make a hand sewn scrappy EPP quilt. Again, I will probably arrange these to make a rainbow.
- Anything larger than this is being neatly folded and kept in my scraps box for use in other projects. For example, I recently raided this for some low volume scraps for my Little Blog Quilt Bee block for July. If I can, I'm cutting out 5" square pieces to add to my charm pile.
- All strips of 2" or more are being kept in one bag together.
- All strips of less than 1" are being kept for ribbon for wrapping gifts. However, I see these being disposed of (either re-housed or chucked) as I am yet to wrap a single present using these. Some of them are so lovely though, I don't want to throw them away.
So, that's how I am managing to find new fabrics, ideas and quilts in my leftovers and make the most of what I have. Quilting is a rewarding but dear hobby, so it's nice to satisfy my need to reduce waste and add to my stash.
Anyone have any other scrap busting/sorting tips?