Thursday, November 7, 2013

Cleaning and Managing My Scraps

Over the last couple months I've been pretty busy so I just grabbed whatever free time I could to sew and let my scraps lay where they fell while the lint piled up on my design wall.  I couldn't stand the mess any more so I've been cleaning and managing my scraps.

I used this great tip from Nicole involving freezer paper and an iron to take the lint and stray threads off the design wall.  It didn't get every last thread, but it sure looks a whole lot better than it did!

Since I have a large roll of freezer paper right in my sewing room, I can clean off the design wall regularly - no more excuses!

I've also just recently found Bonnie Hunter's blog and was motivated to try her Scrap Users System.  I gathered all the loose scraps (meaning all those scraps not currently residing in one of my scrap bins - you know the pile at the end of the cutting table, that bin of stray charm pack squares, that other pile of scraps on top of the bookshelf) and I got busy cutting them into useable squares and strips. If it's over 12" long, Bonnie cuts it into strips. Shorter pieces get cut into squares.  The sizes I used were 2 1/2", 2", 1 1/2", and 1" strips (the 1" strips I'll probably use for string blocks). I also cut 5", 2 1/2", 2", and 1 1/2" squares. Bonnie doesn't cut 5" squares but since I make a lot of Schnibbles patterns, I figured I'd find a use for that size square. I also didn't cut any bricks, I figure I can cut those out of some strips if I ever need that size.

It took a good number of hours over the last couple weeks, but all the loose scraps have been tamed. Next up are those scrap bins!!

Although this has been a chore getting started, the key to making this method manageable is to cut up those scraps as soon as you finish whatever you're working on. As Bonnie says, it's like doing the dishes right after dinner instead of letting them pile up.

So I cut up my Bonnie and Camille scraps as soon as I finished making the One Piece Bag last weekend and this is what I ended up with:

a fat quarter, some 5", 2 1/2", 2", and 1 1/2" squares, and some strips that were 2" and 1" wide. Then I immediately put them in the correct bin by size.

I'm always drawn to scrap quilts so if I stay with this method I'll have lots of useable scraps with which I can make projects.

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