Thursday, September 13, 2012

My Scrap Saver System

Wednesday is the day I get to sew with my friend, Vicki. We talk so much while we sew, that there always needs to be a seam ripper nearby! Slowly, but surely, our Good Fortune quilts are coming together. We are trying to sew at the same pace: one not getting ahead of the other...more fun that way, we think! I'll put it away until next Wednesday.
 I don't think that I have converted Vicki into a leader/ender fanatic yet, but I can always hope. Here's my pile of leader enders, sewn into 3'sies already. Next I'll sew these parts together as my leader/enders. (See this post for a description of how to use leader/enders to make "Free Quilts".) Oh, how I love my scraps!
 Yesterday I started sewing random light colored strips together to make a low value quilt using the directions in Sunday Morning Quilts....easy peasy, and another good use of my scraps. This will go together really fast and will make a great donation quilt.
 There were a total of eighty-three comments on my last post about saving scraps and many of you have a great system in place, some very similar to mine. Bonnie Hunter's organization ideas were mentioned several times and is the basis for my system as well. After working with it for several years now, I have honed it down to the sizes that I use the most, collected and stored in plastic labeled containers. I regularly cut small scraps into squares measuring 2, 2.5, 3.5, and 5 inches. I sort them by size but not by color as I enjoy looking through them to pick out what I might want to use for a project. Animal cracker containers corral my growing selvedge collection...(I need to start using them instead of just hoarding them.)
 Several of you mentioned that 2.5 inch squares were your favorite size to collect and use. The same is true for me, with 2 inch squares coming in as a close second. Here's my collection right now....
 Likewise, I find that I use 2 inch and 2.5 inch strips the most, but also cut 1.5 inch as well as 3.5. I never let myself have more than one tub full of each, so that they don't over run my sewing closet. (As you can see, I am a bit behind in cutting up some of my scraps into usable strips so I'll be pulling these out to work on while watching Monday night football this fall.)
 Here's my very-full-1.5 inch tub. I'm going to need to come up with a way to use them soon if I want to keep to my rule of only one tub per strip size! As you can see, I prefer to keep them neatly folded in the tub...I can get more in the tub and don't have to iron them to use them!
 It was a lot of fun to read about every one's scrap storage and to know that even when you already have a lot of scraps, there's always room for more...and in this case mine! I hope that my ideas, (and those of others in the comments) have motivated at least one person to start organizing and making a plan to use their beautiful fabric. One last thought, and that is to address those who feel that they might be sorry that they cut something up...I feel that way sometimes too, and am usually only cutting up narrow leftovers or small uneven pieces. If it can be folded neatly, it goes back into my stash which is sorted by color and stored in plastic drawers. I will show you that another day. 
And now, (drum roll, please!) the winner of my Farmer's Wife scrap pack, chosen by Mr. Lollyquiltz, is number 59, HandSewFull who said:

I sew a lot of clothes and bags as well as quilts so many of my fabric pieces have very odd shapes cut out of them. When I am done a project I try to trim down the left overs to the largest possible piece that is still WOF which goes back on the fabric shelves. Then the weird leftover piece gets trimmed down to any available squares (I keep any 6" squares for Alzheimer's touch quilts) then the rest is cut into strips of varying sizes as the shape allows. These are then stored in clear shoe boxes as "squares or strips". There aren't enough of them for a colour arrangement.... but, I have the shoe boxes ready for when they breed!!
Thanks, everyone, for your creative ideas. You're the best!


  1. I'm so glad to read this. I'm going to get my scraps organized. I love seeing how you make beautiful quilts with yours. Very inspiring!

  2. I loved reading about your system! Thanks for sharing pictures. I need to get myself some bins and get organized! Enjoy your weekend.

  3. I`m going to reorganize my scraps.Enjoy your weekend!

  4. Each time I read about your system I have this desire to organize my scraps. Then I go in there pull out the scraps and go running for the hills because i just can't wrap my head around how to organize them and I really really don't want to iron all those big scraps to cut them up. I know I just need to do it, but still... it is just too scary right now. However, I have started bonnie's rule of anything over 6 inches goes back in the stash and anything under gets cut up, it is just all of the scraps from before.

  5. Your low volume is looking fabulous. I loved making mine!