Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Dealing With Scraps

^See my trash? How great is it when you just have sliver trimmings of fabric to throw away when processing scraps? I am still going through my DH's grandmother's stash, and I am cutting all the smaller pieces into pre-cuts for my scrap user system. While I am at it, I brought up some of my own scraps to deal with. My scraps have been bothering me for a couple years, and every time I start dealing with them, something happens and I get interrupted. Well, I'm giving myself a deadline this time. Any scraps I don't have cut into the sizes I save by the end of this year must be given away to someone who will use them. I use the scraps once they are pre-cut, I avoid them when they are a wrinkled mess.

I don't have a lot of time to cut up scraps, and because I have so many to cut up, I decided on the end of the year for a deadline. Even in 15 minutes a day, I should be able to process them in 11 months. Of course my hope is to be done with them long before that! I am thinking if I press a handful of scraps every evening, I can cut them a few minutes at a time the next day. Today I just rotary cut, tomorrow I am planning on using my Go Cutter. I have some plastic shoeboxes already labeled with some of my Go die sizes, and I am hoping to get those boxes filled with pre-cuts! Then I can sew lots and lots of quilts with little prep!

My string collection is already growing by leaps and bounds, and I love making string quilts so I am happy to have those. I am sticking crumbs in a box, and those will be given away when the box is full. I've made a few crumb blocks, and someday I'd like to make a crumb quilt, but not right now when sewing time is at such a premium for me. String blocks don't take me near as long to make as a crumb block, so giving away the crumbs I make now makes sense, as it would take me years before I worked with them, and by them they would have overrun the house.

I got the centers of two gift quilts together, but haven't worked any more on Easy Street. I need to figure out borders for the gift quilts, and start working on the scooter rally quilt too. Lots to keep me busy!

My DDIL and Miss E will be coming to town later this week. DDIL needs surgery, and she is having it here so life will be really busy for a while. She will be staying with my MIL, since she has room and no stairs, and we have no room and stairs. I will try to spend at least one day a week over there helping, but with having the twins 50 hours or so a week, I don't have much time to help. My MIL is being great by stepping in and helping! I am anxious to see them, I haven't seen Miss E since she started walking!

Oh, I started cutting a new size now, and I'm thinking the possibilities are good with this. If the fabric is large enough, I am cutting 10.5" squares. I can piece a backing a la Bonnie K Hunter from quiltville.com with those. I could trim them and use them in layer cake patterns. I can use that size square on all but one of my Go dies. Best part of 10.5" squares? I have a container that they fit in exactly, and I have an empty container the same size. Some women would say a 10.5" square is not a scrap. If I want to get a fabric out of my stash, I don't care if I have three yards of it, it's getting cut for my scrap user system, because then it will get used and be out of there. Once a fabric is less than 12" wide, I normally cut it for my scrap user system. Since 90% of my quilts are scrap or multi-fabric quilts, this makes sense for me.

Every time I move something in my sewing room I am finding more fabric. It is the less than one yard pieces I am overwhelmed with, so I see some pieced backings in the near future to clear some of those out. I brought home a trash bag of what my MIL told me was batting scraps, and when I looked in there today, there were three grocery sacks of fabric scraps in there! Yes, there were also batting scraps in case you were wondering ;-) Some of the fabrics were polyester blends, which I am donating, but a lot of the scraps got added to pile of scraps needing processing. So many scraps, so much potential! Someday they will be lovely utility quilts, keeping people warm and loved!


Ann Marie @ 16 Muddy Feet said...

Hurray for you. I put all my crumbs in jars, one for each color. They sit on the shelf and add a rainbow to my room at the same time. Kinda like decorating the studio in style. If I can't cut a 1 inch square from it, it goes into the jar if it is still kinda chunky. The slivers go into bags that will become pet bed stuffings. No fabric pieces at all go into the trash can at my house.

Katie M. said...

I have a very strong love/hate relationship with my scraps. I've tried processing for Bonnie's scrap user system but find it tedious and I get easily side tracked :-) I love scrap quilts and keep thinking someday I'll use my scraps..... Kudos to you for being so well organized.