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how do you sort scraps

Gainesville, FL(Zone 9a)

OK, so Im about to come apart at the seams. Thought I would 'sort' scraps and its a nightmare. Could you all tell me what you do.
This is what Im doing, first its been tons of ironing. I am cutting 6" 5" 31/2" and 2 inch squares....is that to many sizes...not enough...???
Its the pieces of fabric that I have a full length of that is throwing me the most. Do I keep it in Strips..6,5,4,3,2"...maybe just 5" and 21/2", or should i just cut them in blocks too...Im keeping the 1/4 yard and up full lengths as they are, fat quarters stay.
Do you seperate colors and themes as you go, or just cut and come back.
I know when done, Im gunna be glad, and will probably use alot of fabric for scrap quilts, that would have just sat there for me to look at. Right now tho, Im in a bit of a dither. This all started with those darn wonky blocks ;-) Im guessing I should not have started this till after the new year.

(Barb) Manchester, NH(Zone 5a)

After the New Year would have been good!!!! I think it is a personal choice for each of us. I started cutting into strips - 5" or smaller down to 2" Then if it isn't a full strip WOF, I cut them into squares. I store them in plastic containers and in bags inside those according to width of strips and size of squares. I don't worry about color. Fat quarter sizes are stored in fat quarter holders according to color. and anything more than a fat quarter is stored in my cabinet folded to fit the shelves. That's how I do it. I also have a grab bag of scraps for applique. There is always that time when you just need a tiny scrap. I don't throw away very much....

(Marion) Havana, FL(Zone 8b)

I do very much like Barb does with my scraps. I cut into sizes (depending on scrap piece) and store in a plastic box labeled with sizes on the front. Not thought to colors...just sizes.

(thunder)Wildwood, FL(Zone 9a)

Wellll I have baskets, and bins. and boxes. I have a big basket, and when I am working on projects, I toss any scraps into the big basket. when it gets full , I pull it all out and start to sort. and every now and then I just pull some out and cut.
I start with cutting a 1.5 x 1.5 as I am wanting to make a postage stamp quilt.....then I cut a 1.5 x 5'' another project I want to do.
then I cut what ever sizes I can get out of the pieces??? can I get 5'' a 4''... cut that etc.... I have boxes for the different sizes. I have 5'', 4'', 3.5'',3'', 2.5'', 2'', and 1.5'' . I also have some rectangles, not too many as I just started to cut those. 1.5x5 , 2.5x5.

I also have baskets that are some what color sorted, pieces of various sizes, not cut into anything specific. some of it I could get a few 5'' sqs and a some other cuts, some of it close to fat 1/4's. I have baskets for reds, pinks, yellows, greens, blues and purples together, browns and oranges and blacks together, one for whites. I pull from these when I need a bit here and there for swaps, or appliques, or whatever.

if they are big pieces, and I can get a good strip, I cut a 5'' x wof, then 2.5 , then 1.5. I have the 2.5 and 1.5 together in a box. I use them for sashing, binding, straps for bags... cut into squares for whatever.....I just made a few things that I used pieces from 2.5'' strips I have the 5'' strips on a shelf. I have fat 1/4's in a container, and on shelves, bigger stuff folded to fit my shelves, unless more than 3-4 yards, those are on bolts.

I also have a few big bins of scraps not yet sorted in any way. as I have some wonderful friends who have sent me stuff, and it seems like when I get a bin somewhat sorted....I get another box or bag given to me....so that gets dumped in a bin for future sorting..

the thing you need to do before you cut a bunch of scraps ...is to think how you may use them???? do you think you will use 5'' squares?? if you won't, don't cut anything that size. do you want to do a bunch of 1/2 sq triangles, what sizes would you want for that??? will you REALLY use a 1inch square??? probably not...so don't cut it!!!

I am doing some funky chickens appliques so I have been saving a few odd pieces for that....greens that could be a sprig of grass, yellows for hay...that kind of thing.....sew you need to think what you would use.....

I would say do not try to tackle it all at once, do some here some there...every time you sew on a project, spend 15 mins sorting and cutting...or something like that....

have fun and happy sorting ^_^

Gainesville, FL(Zone 9a)

Thanks everyone. I think m onto it now. I do need to get some more clear storage bins tho. I put all the scraps back in the boxes I had not pulled out and opened up.Got them tucked in the closet for later. I then ironed all the scraps I had out and laying around.Today Im going to cut those scraps and put away till after the holidays. I can then move on to cleaning the sewing room ASAP. At least I know my system and it will make doing the others a little less stressful, just going to take some time. I have stacks of fabric I didnt want and was gong to put in the drop box, along with some old qulting books. Once I get thru these stacks of magazine recipes and quilt patterns Ive torn out over the years, Im hoping to have a much more productive next year. If I wait till January to figure out what to do, its to late, I need to be ready to roll.

Now, to think about Christmas, Im just not 'there' yet.

Thanks again, and have a great day.

Fleming Island, FL(Zone 9a)

Like Thunder, I have a box at my cutting table where I throw "scraps". When it overflows I start cutting. I leave any piece that is 12" be and have a box for those. Anything else I cut into either 5 1/2 or 2 1/2" strips. If it is less than 1 1/2", I throw it in the recycle bag and then take those to the LQS and they use them to stuff dog beds.

(Marion) Havana, FL(Zone 8b)

Great idea about the smaller pieces Jean. Wish I had know about that sooner....could have made a bed for my son's chocolate lab for Christmas with the scraps I dispose of a while back.

Gainesville, FL(Zone 9a)

That is an excellent thought. I just grabed a wod of scarps out of my ironing board bag catcher, and even thought, to bad I cant do something with these. Now to forage the trash. A dog bed is to big for me to try, but Ive been wanting to make a kitty bed.

Im watching for some containers to go on sale the first of the year. They seem to be a big sale item since organizing seems to be a big resolution. I like the lock and lock type.

(Marion) Havana, FL(Zone 8b)

Pam, I found some really neat containers at Walmart that I use for storage. Similar to Lock and Lock but cheaper. Very strudy and stack ever so nicely.

I made a dog bed years ago for my son's first lab. He actually wore it out but for some odd reason I haven't done one for the new one. Might have to do that after Christmas.

Fort Campbell, TN(Zone 6b)

I don't cut or iron my scraps until I need them. I roll them up and keep them in various-sized baskets by color. If the scrap is 1/2 a yard or more, I fold it on to a white cardboard comic book protector... not sure that's the correct name. They use them to store comic books safely. These I also store by color. I use Ikea shevling and put the scraps in the bottom shelves and the folded scraps up top. Excuse the mess as we just moved, but here's what one shelf looks like right now.

This message was edited Jan 3, 2013 11:37 PM

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(Pat) Kennewick, WA(Zone 5b)

WOW, I'm impressed!! That looks great and each piece is easily seen.

(thunder)Wildwood, FL(Zone 9a)

Pam, Joannes has storage stuff on sale !!!

Gainesville, FL(Zone 9a)

Off to look. I can use free shipping and 25% off total order coupon. These scraps take up more storage than one thinks. Im barely into to too.

Victoria Harbour, ON

We are now into a new year..I also follow much of Barb's method when organizing scraps.

On a day when I'm not up to sewing it's cut into usuable project sizes..

Want to do several throws using twister tool, that means 5" square

As well, a couple Christmas Tree quilts which had stripping along side the main tree, that means 1 1/2 x 4"

With all my sewing this past Christmas I've a large bin 3/4 full of fabric, you've got me thinking, on a quiet evening when I'm not into sewing, organizing and cutting strips could fill that time in..

Gainesville, FL(Zone 9a)

Ive actually been cutting scraps on and off today. Im not sure I have the hang of it, takes me forever, and I think about every piece and what to do with it. I need to just pick a few sizes and go with it. I feel like the more I cut the more I have to do, the containers of scraps seem to be growing, not diminishing.
I seem to have the same problem outside. I have been moving things around, but I seem to be better at digging up than deciding where to replant.
Betty, it sounds like I need to do what your doing, pick a few projects and cut those sizes. I looked at the pile of fat quarters I cut to size, I dont even like them, but never know when they might come in handy for a charity project, or practice.

Victoria Harbour, ON

that's the thing, those you don't really like are the ones you'll be in search of at some point, best you keep them in the bottom of the pile.

Might do some cutting tonight as well..have I think 8 sets of 6 christmas placemats ready to quilt for this christmas, I know I'm ahead of the game.. this morning I cut out backing for a few sets, still some needed so I aim to pick my least favorite of fabrics for this. Good way to use them up!

Fleming Island, FL(Zone 9a)

I have a sm suitcase full of scraps to take to my guilds Camp weekend next month. I am so used to sewing with my machine in a cabinet I don't get a good seam with it on top of a table. So figure that will be the perfect time to turn the pile of scrap into useable pieces.
I just think - 12" block, and cut pieces to a size that would go into a piece finishing 12". So 6 1/2 for the largest square then working down fm there with squares, rectangles & strips.

Gainesville, FL(Zone 9a)

I happened onto a couple of 10" squares I really loved, I got to cutting more of the same size, and it was just a pain. I think henceforth, Im gunna stop at 61/2.

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

I take everything large enough and stable enough to not shred and join in every direction while rotary cutting as I go. You know when you learn to knit and you make one long thingy that never ends? I do that with relatively small scraps. Then when I get wild and crazy, quilt wise, I can whack off squares. I make strips 8 1/2" wide by endless lengths for future eight inch squares and then store. This might not work for someone who dislikes random acts of quilting.

Victoria Harbour, ON

Knitting a purse/bag with 1" strips, all one color but wouldn't hurt to do one in multicolors..knits up easily and you can keep larger pieces for lining

St. Simon's Island, GA(Zone 9a)

I have several baskets that I put scraps in, and I do sort by color. I just keep any pieces that I deem "usable" and don't cut them into any shapes or strips. I just stick them in no matter what shape they are. I do a lot of appliqué and don't mind the odd shapes. Anything that is larger than a fat quarter but smaller than a yard, I fold and stack in a glass cabinet, also by color. For my larger pieces I have a wall with shelves that I fold them and stack them, again, by color.

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(Pat) Kennewick, WA(Zone 5b)

Such an attractive sewing room!!

St. Simon's Island, GA(Zone 9a)

Thanks, it was a requirement for our new house that I have a room that all my sewing stuff would fit in, so it didn't end up spread out all over the house. And of course, it is filled to the brim.

St. Simon's Island, GA(Zone 9a)

Here are a few more pictures.

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(Pat) Kennewick, WA(Zone 5b)

How big is your room? It looks BIG!!! lucky you!

Gainesville, FL(Zone 9a)

Very very nice. That is a good example of what my sewing room Doesnt look like ;-) Even if I had the wall of shelves, which I would love, it wouldnt look like that :-o

Fleming Island, FL(Zone 9a)

happytail - I was just up there on Sunday to go to the fat 1/4 sale at the LQS up there. Had never been up that way before & found the town to be very nice. And the LQS has some very nice fabrics.

You room looks lovely!!!! I believe I have the same Bernina. What type of long arm do you have? I use a HQ-16.

Looking at all your organization, I think I'll be forced to go out & re-fold/sort my stash!!!!

I get the WM $9 deli deal and it comes in a nice plastic container with a clear lid and they stack. Been saving them for a "purpose". A couple days ago I realized they would be perfect for sorting strips, squares, etc. of various colors and or sizes. And they are FREE!!!!

Victoria Harbour, ON

Above nice..now if I could get rid of stained glass/painting supplies, knitting machines I could take a few hints from you as to how to organize my working space..

(thunder)Wildwood, FL(Zone 9a)

wonderful room !!!

can you tell me please??? do you have a pattern for the round piece on your design wall ??? a source you can share. I want to make something similar for a friend, and I have been unable to locate a pattern.

(Barb) Manchester, NH(Zone 5a)

Thunder - look for a Mariner's compass pattern. Or are you talking about the blue circle to the right?

St. Simon's Island, GA(Zone 9a)

Thunder, it is a Mariner's Compass, from Brenda Henning's book "Reach for the Stars". Picture of the entire quilt is below.

Qwilter, the machine is a Voyager, made by Hinterberg Frames.

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Gainesville, FL(Zone 9a)

WOW, that is one great quilt.

Fleming Island, FL(Zone 9a)

I've never heard of that machine. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do mine.

(Barb) Manchester, NH(Zone 5a)

That quilt is simply stunning!!!

(Marion) Havana, FL(Zone 8b)

Oh my dream sewing room Happytail!!!!! Lucky, lucky lady. Like Pat, I am curious about the size of the room.

St. Simon's Island, GA(Zone 9a)

The room is @13' X 30'. On the original house plan, it was 2 bedrooms, but when we built the house, I just had them leave out the wall between the two rooms. They still framed a door, but we just covered it with sheetrock. So if someone ever wanted to make into two rooms again, all they have to do is put in a wall and cut out that space for the door.

(Pat) Kennewick, WA(Zone 5b)

Good forethought! Beautiful room and it certainly is being put to good use now.

Gainesville, FL(Zone 9a)

13x30, boy could I make a mess in there! I was wondering, after drooling over the room for about the 30th time, what the round piece is over the thread, down by the design wall. Also, did you pick the fabric on the whole quilt, I keep looking at it too, I could have never gotten that effect of having a sheer piece laying over a darker piece, brilliant.

St. Simon's Island, GA(Zone 9a)

The round piece is part of the Mariners compass quilt pictured a few posts above this one. And I did pick the fabrics for the quilt. That's almost my favorite part of making a quilt. I love putting together colors and textures for whatever pattern I'm working on. Here is my latest:

It is a pattern by Anthology Fabrics called "Floriga". Twelve wedges come together in the middle to a point. I did a good bit of swearing before this one was finished, but I'm very pleased with the outcome.

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Gainesville, FL(Zone 9a)

Pleased should be an understatement. If I saw just a wedge, I would go...nice. Seeing them all together, its just fantastic. I could have never envisioned that from one wedge, not in a hundred years. Shoot, it would take me that many years just to get all the little orange squares in place.

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