Saturday, August 28, 2010

Organizing the scraps

This hasn't been a highly productive quilting week.  Things are changing around here and my quilting time has been significantly reduced.  First of all, Miss C., my 3-year-old started preschool this week!  I am trying to run all my errands during preschool because it is way easier to get things done with only two kids rather than three.  That leads to the second change.  Morning naps for the twins are a thing of the past.  They haven't been taking great afternoon naps recently so I decided it's time to eliminate the morning one.  Finally, Miss C. finds it unnecessary to take her afternoon nap anymore.  This one makes me really sad.  We have had a great run.  I think she has taken one nap in the past two weeks.  We still pretend she will sleep.  I read her stories and put her to bed and she plays "quietly" in her room while the babies sleep.  Today wasn't so quite so I took her "special crayons"--the fabulous Crayola markers that only write on their special paper.  Those are a brilliant invention.

I did learn one lesson this week.  While you are happily quilting in a quiet house during naptime, don't assume they are all truly napping.  Your 3-year-old just might be quiet because she may have found a bottle of lotion on the shelf that she is now liberally applying to herself, her sheets, her books, her bed and the carpet.  But boy will that room smell nice when she is done.

Onto what I actually did accomplish.  I was inspired by an article in the most recent issue of Fat Quarterly e-magazine on dealing with scraps.  I decided it was time to get mine under control and make them more usable. They had lots of great suggestions, and I decided to cut mine according to how I generally use fabric.  I didn't take a before and after, but I think the after looks pretty great.  I reduced the mass a lot by just cutting things up.

In general these were my guidelines.  I gave myself several different cutting options and was able to save the majority of each scrap. 
  • 5" charms for anything large enough
  • 2.5" x 5" coins for anything I couldn't make into a charm
  • 3" squares for half square triangles because I like to square them up to 2.5" squares
  • 2.5" squares for scrappy borders and smaller HST
  • 2.5" strips for anything longer than 10"
  • thinner strips went into my bags for strings quilts

The top bag is just leftover binding strips. 

If I had a lot of one particular fabric line, I kept it all together.  Here I have a ton of Figgy Pudding from Basic Grey last Christmas.  I made a quilt from this as well as skirts for my girls and had lots of smaller scraps.  I cut this into 5" charms, 2.5x5" coins, 2.5" strips (for anything long), 4" squares, 3" squares and 2.5" squares. 

I had quite a bit of Verna left over too after two quilts.  I cut it into charms and coins.

I also really cleaned up my fabric strips.  They are now all organized by color.  I'm considering making a spiderweb quilt with them.  I have to use them up somehow.


  1. Wow, your scraps look so organised!
    Sometimes with littles it is "too quiet", my oldest (now 4) smeared nappy rash cream all over the change table, carpet and wall, then he covered it with powder! I can't believe that was 2 years ago, scary and sad how quick time flys!
    Sorry about the long comment, Memories, what can I say!

  2. What a great idea! I really should make the time to do something like this. My scraps are pretty much all over the place. We're doing a Super Saturday activity that I'll be donating some of my scraps for so maybe that'll be a good time to do some scraps organization.

  3. I wish I could get the bug to organize. I like the story of your daughter and the lotion. I will never forget the time mine was 'napping' and I found her covered in her sister's Desitine! Or the other time she found a wide permanent marker and colored herself!

  4. Oh yeah! We had the marker thing too. My now 35 yr. old son when he was about 3. Around his eyes, up and down his arms, tops of his feet. Cold cream and my fingernail got most of it. Probably about the same time he cut off half of the front of his hair. Today he and his son were cleaning up his room. He was cleaning - little boy was playing legos. I told him it was payback!