There are so very many ways in which to organize, or not organize your scraps of fabric. There are many methods, containers, and philosophies. I’m curious, what method do you use?
- Do you keep your scraps in a grocery bag or a plastic tub?
- Do you consider only sizes smaller than fat quarter a scrap?
- Do you only keep scraps larger than a certain size?
- Do you keep the selvedges? (or do you prefer the alternate spelling: selvage?)
- Do you sort your scraps by size or by color or both?
- Do you cut them up as soon as you’re done with a project into desirable sizes?
- Did your method evolve according to your needs, or were you influenced by someone in the quilting industry?
When at the end of a project, I will keep anything larger than a fat quarter complete. But if my scraps are smaller than a fat quarter, I’ll cut it up into useful sizes. I know there are many ideas about what sizes should be kept. But over the years I figured that only squares and strips are useful to me. I never cut my scraps into bricks (2 x 4, etc.) Bricks aren’t flexible enough for me. Strips are easily cut down into the size brick I might need.
I cut strips as large as 4 ½” and as small as 1”. I’ve found 4 ½” and 3 ½” strips are particularly useful when I use my Accuquilt cutting system. Those sizes fit perfectly across some of my longer dies. I have the Studio cutter, so my dies are a bit larger and I can cut numerous layers at once.
I was keep my scraps sorted by size in plastic tubs, then by color in zip-lock baggies. But that is more time consuming than I have time for. So for now I just have everything sorted by size alone. Mostly I use plastic shoe boxes for storage, one for each size more or less. But I keep my wee little crumbs and my strings in two clear canisters.
I try very hard to stay on top of my scraps and cut them up as I go, or at the very least as each project is finished. But because I always have overlapping projects and multiple commitments to my family, work and elsewhere - as we all do, I get behind sometimes. When that happens I leave my scraps in a pile on my cutting table. I work on that pile as often as I can, but when it gets overwhelming, I sweep it off my cutting table into a plastic bin under my cutting table. That bin is getting rather full, I haven’t looked at it for quite some time, but I know that eventually I will have to pull it out and tackle that bad boy!
So, what about you? How do you organize your scraps? What sizes do you find most useful?
Oh, and here are the scraptacular quilt blocks I made today.