Thursday, January 31, 2013

Scrap Management

   Week one of cutting scraps is coming to an end. I am trying to cut scraps on Monday-Thursday, which are the days I have the twins all day. If nothing else, I am cutting during naptime. I press a small pile of scraps the night before, and rotary cut some at night if I have time. During naptime I am using the Go cutter. I finished a decent amount this week, more than I thought I would truth be told.

 Here is a pile of 10.5 inch squares I cut last night. These are adding up quickly, because DH's grandmother had a bunch of 12-15" cuts. This pile is about an inch high as shown, but if I squish it down, it is about 5/8". This pile has 50 squares in it. The container I have the fits these so well is about 6" high. If I fill the container, I was trying to figure out how long it would take me to empty it. Using the squished down size, I'm figuring maybe 500 squares would fit in that container. If I use these to piece backings, I could empty it in five 100x100" backings, or more likely ten 60x80" backings. That's really not that long when you stop to think about it. Even in a bad sewing year I usually get at least a dozen quilts finished. I am pretty consistently making large quilts too. When I make a wedding quilt, I try to make it over 100x100, so it could be used without a bedskirt, and could be used with one on a king sized bed. If I made a backing 110" square, it would use 121  of these squares, and that would make a huge dent in it. Until I piece a backing, the fabric is still in a pretty good sized piece to sub-cut into other sizes too. I think I am in favor of saving this size. Most of my scraps aren't big enough to cut into this size, but I may go through my stash of smaller sized pieces occasionally and pull some that have been sitting in the stash long enough and cut more if this size becomes one I use regularly.

The Go cutter is making processing scraps so much easier! Here is the fabric "waste" after cutting 6 dozen two inch finished HST triangles in one pass of the Go cutter. The little triangles I threw away, and the outside edges were cut apart and tossed in the string bin. When I cut from yardage I have far less fabric around the outside, but I am just using pieces as I grab them out of the scrap pile, trying to cut them as few times as possible. I am matching the size of scrap with the die I use to cut it, cutting the largest size piece I can of the dies I am currently using. I am not using every die I have for this, I am trying to stick with the most common shapes I use, and a few that just make great scrap quilts, like the tumbler dies.

I am almost through DH's grandmother's scraps. If I do as well next week as this, I will be on my own scraps by next Thursday, possibly sooner.

I'm hoping to get some sewing in tomorrow and through the weekend. I won't have a ton of time to sew with everything else planned this weekend, but I'm thinking I should have a bit of time each day. I have several things piled on my machine cabinet ready to go, so any time I have to sew should be productive. That seems to be the key for me right now. I only have short bits of time to do things, so if I have everything prepped the night before (scraps pressed if I'm cutting, or pieces sub-cut or pressed and ready to go if I'm sewing), then I get much more done when I do have time. It's making me change how I spend my evenings, but it is making my days more productive, and that is worth it.

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