Quiltmaker 100 Blocks

Quiltmaker 100 Blocks
My block is in the November 2015 issue!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Organizing Fabric Scraps

I've started working on my first Scrap Addicts project.  I can’t tell you what it is, but I can say that it uses 1 ½ inch strips.  I don’t have a lot of 1½ inch strips, for a number of reasons.  One is because I always considered that a 1 inch finished width was too small for me.  I guess the joke's on me, because this project uses lots and lots of  strips.  Each block has 14 pieces and finishes at 7½ square. Yikes!   So I guess that I need to modify my scrap organization system to include more  inch strips.  ‘System’ – ha!  That’s a laugh!  Well, let’s just say that I do organize my scraps, but ‘system’ is too grand of a word for what I do. 

When I cut up the leftover fabric from a project, I usually try to cut 2 ½ inch strips if the leftover piece is long enough, and 5 inch ‘nickels’ if it isn't.  If neither of those cuts is feasible, I cut the largest square or widest strips that I can without wasting fabric.  So if I have a leftover piece that is about 3 1/8 inches wide, I’m not going to cut that down to 2 ½; I’ll cut it to 3 inches.  Likewise for fabric chunks - I’ll cut the largest square I can from it, up to 5 inches. There really isn't any reason to stop at 5 inches; it's just a habit I got into when I first started trying to organize the chaos.

I started saving my scraps when the first Nickel Quilts books came out, so my method is heavily influenced by that concept.  I was also in an online swap for 'nickels' for a couple of years, so I have a TON of 5 inch squares.  I also have a bunch of the leftover cuts from swapping nickels. Since fabric widths vary, when I cut the nickels for swapping, I'd end up with anywhere from 1 1/2 to about 3 inch ends, so I saved them.  I have three bins that are about 6 x 8 and around 5 inches deep. 

My bins of 5 inch cuts.

Then I found Bonnie Hunter’s Quiltville site and started cutting my leftover pieces into strips.  So I have a couple  of drawers full of strips, too.  And then there is the bin of scraps from the local quilt store, which I haven’t cut into anything yet.  I haven’t touched that bin because I think it’s a good idea to have some chunks of fabric so I can cut them into whatever I need when I start a new project.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!


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