Thursday, January 22, 2015

Strips, Strings, and Crumbs

No sewing for me this week. I have been processing my scraps though. My original plan was to cut for specific quilts, and I may do that for some colors, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized I use 2" strips the most. I have emptied my 2" strip bin more than once, and although I've gotten my 1.5" and 2.5" strips drawers low, I've never actually run out of those. I am very comfortable resizing quilt patterns too, so if I concentrate on 2" strips, but want to make a pattern that calls for something different, I am perfectly capable of resizing the pattern to go with 2" strips.

I started out with the bag of "too many colors to fit into one color family" scraps. I had one plastic grocery sack of those type of scraps, and this is what I ended up with.

From left to right I have some strings, a couple 3.5" strips, a couple 2.5" strips, two stacks of 2" strips, a few 1.5" strips and some selvages. Above those are a 2" square and some crumbs.  This is much more usable to me than a grocery sack jammed full of wrinkled fabric scraps.

I just finished processing the green fabric scaps today. I had TWO grocery sacks full of green scraps. 

From left to right here, I have a whole basket of 2" strips, some 1.5"strips, some 2" strips I decided not to keep with the greens, 2.5" strips, 3.5" strips, and some selvages.

Here are my green strings. I hear a lot of confusion by quilters about strings. I have heard lots of people specifically cutting strings, and that really baffles me because strings happen all on their own. I have an endless supply and have never gone cutting up fabric to try to make them.

I could be wrong, but as I understand the definitions, and how I use them are this:

Strips- a strip of fabric a consistent width
String- a strip-like bit of fabric, with an inconsistent width
Crumb- a leftover bit of fabric, too small or oddly shaped to get a decent sized square from.

Most of the scraps I'm dealing with are left over from garment making. I have stuff shaped like this.

The first thing I do with this, is get the strips I can from it.

After cutting off the uneven part, I got two 2" strips, a weird 2" section and some waste.

What went into my scrap user system was this. I evened up the top od the strips and put the triangles in my crumbs. The 2" strips went in with the other 2" strips, and that weird piece I got a 2" square from. The rest went in the trash, but most of it is usable. I didn't end up with a string from this piece, but here's one I did get a string from.

This was one piece, and I cut off the selvage, got three 2" strips, and ended up with a string left. It isn't a consistent width, I can't get a 1.5" strip out of it, but it will still work in a string block.

Here are some other strings I ended up with.

Here are some crumbs I ended up saving.

Tomorrow I start on the red scraps! I want to at least get the red and green done, but I might keep working my way through the scraps, I haven't decided yet. I hope I motivate someone to work on their scraps! Don't wait as long as I did to get them into usable bits, even cutting mostly 2" strips, it would take at least a month tofinish processing my scraps, I've put it off so long. Everything needs to be pressed before cut, since it's all crammed into bags. Pressing can take as long as cutting. 

I'm having to blog from my tablet, as my laptop is with my SIL, being converted to a Linux operating system for better security. I'm having a hard time keeping my text consistently oriented to the left on my tablet, so I apologize if this is hard to read. 

1 comment:

phxquilt said...

I celebrate your fortitude in working through a large stash of scraps. No problem reading your blog. I've been working on my scraps too. I've already pieced one top and I have another one in the works.