What do I do with ALL those strips and squares!?

So, now you have your scrap stash shrinking and your strip and cut square inventory growing. How do I use all that new found treasure? First, I look at the bulging bags or overflowing bins. What needs to be used? I can almost hear them calling me! Lol! There’s a quilt in the making….or a border……or sashing…..or cornerstones.

The larger squares can be cut into smaller sizes. I had a block pattern that needed four 3″ squares that were the same. Instant match! One 6″ square provided what I needed. Plus I had a whole bag of 6″ squares, so I pretty much had my quilt set up.

I have one large bag of miscellaneous strings. Do you ever have a day where you just need to do something mindless? I sure do. Some days I just need to zone out! That’s a good day to sew those strings together. As I sew, I vaguely sort the lengths, and sew the ones that are similar in length together. Now I have long strips that can be cut into squares or used as a border. I have not used these for borders yet, but I’m sure there will come a time when they will add just the perfect touch. They are waiting patiently in “time out”!

Whew!  Looks like enough to make a quilt!

Whew! Looks like enough to make a quilt!

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Another, neat idea is to sew those squares, end to end to make your own sashing. Mindless, to be sure. But what a statement! Talk about scraps with attitude! This top has been in “time out” for a while waiting to be quilted. I’m a hand quilter so my waiting to be quilted pile is never ending. Those pinwheels will pop when I give it my special touch. 2014-11-19 11.59.44

So, look at those bags or bins and say
“Speak to me!”
Happy Quilting!

So now What Do I Do?

Ok, so you found a few minutes here and there to tame that scrap stash. I probably err on overkill! Behind my cutting table I have a large cork board hanging on the wall. On the cork board I have plastic bags (sandwich size to the next size larger) pinned to the board with push pins. Each bag is marked with a size. You can put the label on the bag or inside the bag…whatever you like…so you can see what the size is. I cut and store squares only by size. I like the mix in my quilts of all the happy scrappy colors and fabrics (unlike some who store by color). This makes it really easy to cut up that last little bit of fabric and GET RID OF IT! when you are working on strips or fat quarter leftovers, etc. Just cut it up and put it in the bag. GONE! (for the moment at least…and not in that scrap pile any longer!) So here is the clincher……how many bags does Charlotte have on her board! I just counted! Oye!!! Currently I have 22 different sizes that I cut. The smallest is 1 1/2″ and the largest is 6″. Do you have to have that many? Well no. But I use them ALL!
I also in the last year have begun saving strips (1 1/2″ to 3″). This is mainly because in the “gifted scrap bags” that I have received, there have been many great strips and I just don’t need that many squares that are all the same! so I don’t cut them up…YET!
So, to begin building your scrappy stash squares, I would suggest that you start with a few common sizes. 1 1/2″ squares make nice cornerstones or borders (I also do 1 3/4″ and 1 7/8″). 2″ and 2 1/2″ squares are a staple (I also do 2 1/4″, 2 3/8″, 2 3/4″ and 2 7/8″ for HST’s). 3″ and 3 1/2″ are a must! (I also do 3 1/4″, 3 3/8″, 3 3/4″ and 3/7/8″ HST’s again) I know…..I’m nuts! On to the 4″ and all the same increments in between. Then there is 5″, 5 1/2″ and 6″. If I can eeeck out an odd sized square in between I surely don’t want it to go to waste……..I must have been fabric deprived as a child! The other odd bits go into a bag for a friend who makes beds for the animal shelter. So that’s the story!
I cut the largest size that I can get from a scrap and cut my way down to the smallest and the rest is Dog Bed! Those little bags fill up before you know it and then you have the fun dilemma of “What Will I Do With Them”?
Until next time! Happy Cutting!

Baby, it’s Cold outside!

We had sloppy wet snow off and on all day! I love it when the weather is bad! It gives me time to get reacquainted with my quilt room. I was looking through my WIP and found the quilt I started last Spring for my newest granddaughter. I had pulled most of the fabrics but I had only three blocks sewn together. I don’t normally cut everything I need all at once (how many times does it just not look like you thought it would). So I started cutting the rest of what I needed. Love that Easy Angle tool! Since I need 3 1/2 squares and HST’s to match, it’s a no brainer to cut the background from strips. The rest is scrappy of course, monkeys, kitties, dogs and bunnies to name a few with some crayon box colors to tie it together. Looks cute! I think I’ll go sew!

So Many Scraps…….So Little Time

Are your scraps overflowing the scrap bin? Do they seem to multiply over night? Or are you lucky enough to have been gifted a garbage bag full of scraps? WooHoo! First count yourself lucky and then lets get down to business! What? You say you don’t have enough time to cut up all those scraps? Well Rome wasn’t built in a day! You can’t eat an elephant at one sitting! But……One bite at a time will take care of it! So, Grab yourself a handful of scraps and iron them flat. I put that little pile on the back of my cutting table ready for those stolen minutes that I use to cut them into usable squares and strips. Then, when I have a few minutes (like just before I have to leave for an appointment, just before it’s time for dinner, waiting for that cake to come out of the oven or time for the next load of wash in the machine) I set the timer and cut away…….for maybe 10 or 15 minutes. In no time that pile of unruly scraps will have been tamed to something I can look forward to using. As the squares and strips accumulate, my mind starts thinking about just what project will they work into…….hmmmmm. Of course, now that you have a system to cut up the scraps don’t forget to take care of business when you are cutting from your stash. Everything left over either goes back in the stash or gets cut into strips and/or squares. It only takes a minute to slice it up or put it back. Get into the habit and soon you’ll be ahead of the game.
Happy cutting!