October 03, 2011

Whittling the Scraps

Ever since buying my wire scrap bins, I have been a little lazy in keeping things tidy & organized.  I hate to waste fabric, so even the tiniest of tiny bits of scraps have been squirreled into my growing pile.  I am a folder & stacker, so the ease of simply tossing everything into a bin has been, well, too simple.  My overflowing piles of scraps were beginning to look like an episode of hoarders (ok, maybe not that bad - it's not like I'm pulling spoiled food or mummified animals from the bins).  There was simply too many of them & they had to go.

My motivation was sparked by this book:

Joan Ford is definitely the queen of scrap organization.  Her scraptherapy system is a really smart way to weed out a large volume of scraps & make them usable.  However, if you are an adventurous quilter, you may find her scrap size recommendations are a little limiting.  I knew that despite all of her recommendations, I was going to end up tailoring things to my needs.

Upon the book's urging "It's okay to throw away!", I decided that the first step was going to be getting rid of any fabric scraps that I didn't really love, or was really tired of using.  It's liberating to get real about your stash & what you realistically are going to use, instead of keeping everything because of guilt. Yes, you may have paid good money for the fabric, but is it more valuable than the much needed space it's taking up?

The second step, on her advice, was getting rid of anything smaller than 2" square.  Even if you are a ticker tape quilt lover, there is no way you are going to use up all those tiny pieces.  Even my tiniest hexi projects utilize a larger square than that!  I had a lot of these little pieces - mostly those rare japanese fabrics that had a cute bit of print on them.  I really thought they were worth keeping at the time, but until I took a realistic view at what could be done with them, I knew they were just taking up space.

After all of this, I took what was left & squared each piece with my rotary cutter & ruler.  I cut everything into squares or rectangles & got rid of all the ragged edges.  Pieces that were larger than scrap, but smaller than a fat quarter were folded & stacked in one wire bin.  The rest of the pieces were piled neatly into the other wire bin.  I didn't get that ambitious by seperating everything by theme or color, but they are stacked neatly & ready for use!

Tidy scrap bins!
I am so happy that I got my scraps under control!  Now I can realistically see myself using what I have in the stash instead of it going to waste - or getting buried.  I will also be more willing to trim new pieces before adding them to the bins, now that I have a system that works well for me!

The weekend was spent working on scraps for my store as well!   I know that a lot of you really like the 2 oz Vintage Sheet Scrap Packs, so I decided to offer up a companion.  Check out my new 5 oz Vintage Sheet Scrap Bundles!

These bundles feature larger cuts of assorted vintage sheet scraps & are perfect for those larger patchwork or crafting projects.  As with all my fabrics, each bundle comes freshly laundered, pressed & ready to sew!

So get out your scraps, get them organized,  be inspired by what they could be!



  1. My friend organizes her scraps in a large bin. I go over and raid the pile. This, she calls organization -- by making it my problem! LOL I am trying to learn to donate scraps to my niece's school for art projects. So far, so good.

  2. ^^^ I'm the one with the bin - Nancy raided it today, LOLOL!! Mind you - she raided it after she gifted me with some lovely travel fabric she found in her stash, so I'm not complaining! She also saves me HER scraps and her selvages, so this works out well for both of us :D

    It's nice to "meet" you - Nancy mentioned your blog and Etsy store today when she was over so I'll be having a little peek around!