I want to thank all the new quilting friends that have signed up for the email. I can’t believe how many of you have found me and want to join in on my scrappy passion/addiction/or whatever is it! Who ever thought that I’d be doing this. This little old lady from upstate NY who collects scraps and actually uses them (some who know me are rolling their eyes right now) and now people from all over the world are doing her mystery quilts! But who knew? This will be my fifth mystery quilt! My how time flies! And for all of you out there who think you could never do this……..I never thought I could do this!!! What a learning experience I’ve had……From putting together a mystery to figuring out how to do a blog to selling patterns on Craftsy! You are never too old to learn something new!
OK, after that brilliant opening, my original thought was that I would write this post to tell my new readers and maybe refresh some older readers on just how I organize my scraps. If your scraps are wadded up in a bag or stuck in a box somewhere under the table how are you ever going to use them? My scraps are cut and ready to use……boxes of them! Well, actually shoe boxes that I purchased from the dollar store are all labeled by size and lined up on a shelf over my cutting table. But I started small with sandwich bags pinned to a cork board. I save my scraps by size and not by color. As you may notice, I usually do not have a color pallet in mind when I make a quilt. I prefer to use anything and everything, mixing all colors, patterns and textures in my quilts. So, as I get a piece of fabric scrap, I decide what is the largest square I can cut from it. The largest square I cut is 10″ and then 6″ on down. I cut out as many difference size squares as I can until there is only a crumb left. I don’t save crumbs although many people do. Mine go into dog or cat beds for the animal shelter. The smallest square that I cut and save is 1 1/2″. I also save strips in various sizes. Start by figuring out what sizes you use the most and cut them. You’ll be surprised how fast they pile up.
So, if your scraps have multiplied into a ridiculous pile how do you start to get them under control? Well, you can’t eat an elephant in one bite. But one bite at a time will work! People literally give me garbage bags full of scraps……..a huge pile! When that happens, I grab a handful and press/iron them flat and place them on the corner of my cutting table. They are then ready to cut up as I have time. You probably don’t like to cut up scraps for hours and neither do I. But if I have a few minutes here and there I will cut a few. If you are waiting for that load of wash to finish, that cake in the oven, or you have ten minutes before you have to leave for an appointment……cut some scraps! Play a game with yourself. Every time you have to trim a square….cut a scrap! Set a timer and cut for 15 minutes before you sew or get up to move around! Before you know it, that scrap pile will be gone and you will have to iron up a new pile and before you know it all your scraps will be cut and ready to go! You will have made your own layer cake or jelly roll! Your very own pre-cuts! The best thing is to cut up those odds and ends as you get them! Don’t throw them in a pile to cut up later! Because, you know it, that pile grows and grows and then when will you take the time to Cut The Scraps!?!
I hope this has inspired you. Just have fun with it and stay tuned! Wednesday will be here soon!