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Sorting & Storing Fabric Scraps

Orlando, FL(Zone 9a)

Looking for ideas on how to sort and store my fabric scraps.

I have lots and lots of scraps that end up getting stacked here and stacked there with no organization of any kind.

If I have smaller pieces left from a bolt I tend to cut them in to fat eights or fat quarters but I also have lots of scraps that can't be cut in to that.

So, how does everyone sort and store their scraps? Do you go by color? Season? Novelty? etc... and if you go by color do you take the main fabric color? Or do you use the one that pops out of the print?

Just looking for some ideas on what to do and how to store mine since they are currently a giant mess. Just today I was looking through a pile of scraps and I was like "wow! I didn't know I had this!" ugh... So, any thoughts?

Thanks in advance as always to my fellow quilters/sewers, your advice and ideas are always appreciated.

Bev

(Pat) Kennewick, WA(Zone 5b)

I know Mittsy's group cuts scraps into block sizes and stores them in labeled clear boxes. 2 inch squares, 3 inch etc. I store my scraps by "general color". IF the shoe box size boxes are not very full, I stack them without lids and put a index card attached to top only. Then I can stack on top of each other and get more in a space without losing the "sorted" benefit.

(tish) near Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

I like those three drawer plastic drawer units, about 12" wide and deep. I have a drawer for blues, one for reds, then greens, brown/beiges, pinks, purple/lavender also yellow ...and there are those I can't decide which drawer, so they go in a drawer. I have some clear shoe boxes for some colors I don't have many scraps of, like blacks and orange and such. Now smaller scraps, I cut leftovers into 2" and 2 1/2" strips and they just get a box of their own....going to do another strip piecing quiltlet (kid size quilt to donate) with them one day. For the front of the drawers, I have stip pieced a rectangle of some of the assorted prints in that drawer...I've been thinking I don't like that much and maybe I'd like to make some fabric flowers, maybe yo=yo's they would look more fun.

This is a good topic, looking forward to some more hints.

tish

Orlando, FL(Zone 9a)

I started at one point waaaaay back to cut them in to charms, 2", 3" etc... but then it just seems like I am sitting cutting and cutting and cutting and I'm not getting any where making stuff. So, that's when I started only doing the fat eights and the fat quarters. And yes, I do iron them all nice and put them away. But, I have such a disaster with the leftover pieces that I am just at a point where I could scream. That's why I so desperately need those ideas from everyone.

At one point I was thinking of getting one of those color wheels just to figure out how to organize things by color.

(Pat) Kennewick, WA(Zone 5b)

A good friend of mine, who had an obligation that kept her on the phone A LOT, invested in an ear piece and would cut out the squares while on the phone. It was a win-win, she could keep her hands busy while on the phone and all those squares got cut. We were using donated scraps so we didn't have the luxury of cutting in anything as big as fat quarters. We initially would sort all the garbage bags full of scraps into piles by colors. THEN we would do the cutting, one quilt at a time. We made some very pretty bright baby quilts. I'll have to ask Holly if she has any pictures I can share of those quilts.

Orlando, FL(Zone 9a)

Pat did you have any particular sizes you were cutting your scraps in to? I mean are there any that get used over and over, size wise. And when you sorted your colors did you go by the main color of the fabric or by the color that popped out of the fabric? Just curious as to what you and Holly did.

(Pat) Kennewick, WA(Zone 5b)

No, at this point I was just cutting into the "biggest blocks" I could get generally. We used a lot of 2.5 inch. We sorted by "theme" I guess you could say. We sorted in "general" and then resorted if the piles were overly big. We had been given 6 garbage bags full of fabric scraps. Generally the biggest block we could cut was 5 inch!

Fleming Island, FL(Zone 9a)

I have a pile of clear plastic "shoe box" size containers. I cut my left overs into strips - the largest I can get from a strip. I then store them by width of strip only. Over 6" I fold and put into a fat qtr container. The narrowest I keep is 2". Smaller than that I take to my quilt group for those who like the small pieces

Amazing how often I go to those containers to get "something I need" for a project I'm working on. The other day I got enough to bind a quilt.

Also great if you decide to make a log cabin. And I'm thinking I can pull out all sorts of 2 1/2" strips to make a really crazy Jelly Roll quilt like Barb's. Since it is so COLD out, I may just do that today!!!!

Marietta, OH(Zone 6a)

Good idea, Jean! I was thinking those Jelly Roll quilts would be good to use up those 'what was I thinking when I bought this' fabrics... or some of the stuff I've gotten from Ebay in lot goods... although I think I would cut the WOF in half to mix up the patterns more. Someone suggested this in the other house, maybe Jean? Even those leftover strips could be just stitched together, end to end, then straightened (or not) and finished the same way.... That way some of the 'leftovers' wouldn't have to be stored, just accumulating in a basket for a quick quilt...

Fleming Island, FL(Zone 9a)

I just used up 48 left over strips of various lenghts & have a top 48 X 62.
Next one, I'd use shorter lenghts to start with.

(Barb) Manchester, NH(Zone 5a)

Did you join them together straight across or on the diagonal? I did the diagonal and I think it uses up too much fabric. I'm going to try another maybe later this week and di ithem straight across.

(Marion) Havana, FL(Zone 8b)

Will love to hear how it works with cutting the strips straight across Barb. Slowly (because I have been to Moms) getting my scraps under control. Such a feeling of accomplishing something!!!!

Fleming Island, FL(Zone 9a)

I did the diagonal. You don't lose much. What you lose on 1 piece you make up on the next and I think on the diagonal gives it a nice look.

(Pat) Kennewick, WA(Zone 5b)

I still I'd like the quilt better "framed" with a couple of borders. Simply binding the strips looks unfinished to me. Another thread here somewhere, SOMEONE, did a JR quilt for donation and added a couple of leaves that were appliqued on. I can't remember who!!! Anybody help me out with a link?

Fleming Island, FL(Zone 9a)

I am thinking of adding a thin dark border and then a wider. I have this crazy fabric with multi colored circles that I think might look nice.

Lowell, IN(Zone 5b)

At the end of my quilt top sewing, I've been rolling my strips (all the same in one roll) and rubberbanding the roll, then putting them in shoe boxes labled with the sizes. When I was cutting my 12" denims recently, for a couple of rag quilts soon to be started, I cut the remainders into 8", 6.5", and 4.5" blocks. The remaining pieces went into a bag for Thunder's
project or the trash bag. Gotta somehow do the same with the pieces from past Qs that are willy-nilly in boxes now. I also have several sections of scraps that have been sewn together, then squared, then added to and squared, etc. that includes practice squares and oopses. Some of these have already made it to dog crate covers and dog beds. I've wed several togther. And yet other scraps went into my charm quilt from another thread swap. If I can keep up making the squares and strip rolls and filing them after each project, I should have a pretty good library and some order.

Longboat Key, FL(Zone 9b)

well since so many of us are so smitten by this strip quilting challenge - perhaps - 2-1/2" strip WOF exchange would fly?

(Pat) Kennewick, WA(Zone 5b)

Helene, THAT's an idea for a swap we have never tried! How fun would that be!

Orlando, FL(Zone 9a)

I have just one question what is a WOF?

(Karen) Traverse Cit, MI(Zone 5a)

Width Of Fabric

(Barb) Manchester, NH(Zone 5a)

Also defined as selvage to selvage.

(Karen) Traverse Cit, MI(Zone 5a)

So right Barb, I should have added that, great minds...lol

BTW how you doing? Thinking about you.

(Barb) Manchester, NH(Zone 5a)

I'm still in the waiting mode. Waiting for the pulmonologist to call me now.....Breathing can be such a necessary evil.....

(Marion) Havana, FL(Zone 8b)

Great idea Helene. I for one would love to do a swap with 21/2" strips.

Odenton, MD(Zone 7b)

I made the jr with the leaves on it. Here's the picture.

Thumbnail by Catbird423
Longboat Key, FL(Zone 9b)

Yes, it would make a good swap I think. I wouldn't want to host it as I am in the process of moving North to one of my DD and have stuff to do here and there and not very able. But would participate.

Fleming Island, FL(Zone 9a)

Helene - what, you are leaving FL before I move down?????

(Marion) Havana, FL(Zone 8b)

Helene, I so understand what you are involved in at the moment. Good luck we will miss having you in sunny (?) Florida.

Longboat Key, FL(Zone 9b)

well you guys don't come to visit - I am all alone - - - -
do have DD's Perhaps I can handle 6/6.or 8/4. I am keeping my Apt. it is lovely here. 3BR/3B Have it for 26 yrs.
Draw back this summer there will be no store on LBK. Publix is closing to enlarge for 6- 8 mo. and that is the only bodily need supply place here.No McD's No anything else....Do have Pharm.

Sunny yes, but cold -man it is cold today. I am asking myself how will I manage in NJ???

The other thing I was thinking maybe a red and white block swap? After seeing those 600 + on display last year in NYC.



Fleming Island, FL(Zone 9a)

If you can find someone to buy my house in MD, I'd come visit you!!!!!!

Perhaps you can be a Snow Bird....................

(Karen) Traverse Cit, MI(Zone 5a)

Gee I hope you all will wait for me for a swap. I'm already missing one in the other house that I really wanted to get in on. I need to see where we are going to be living next. LOL

(Marion) Havana, FL(Zone 8b)

I can agree Helene, it has been cold the past few days--54 now.

Now I feel bad I haven't stopped by to see you but when I hit the section of 75 I am so ready to be at the nursing home that I just keep rolling!! Hanging head in shame.

Longboat Key, FL(Zone 9b)

I do want to come back on track.
I do press seams open when making bindings, either on bias or WOF and bias seam for both. Not sure if this is correct but being the seams are not straight I figure it is nice and flat to hand sew.

It's ok - marion, - you have your hands full and than some.

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