LEFT-HANDED QUILTING - Scrap Management
Note - these instructions are written in LEFTISH. If you are right-handed - just reverse the directions.
One of my readers recently asked me about Diane -
How is Diane doing? I never understood why you would want to cut certain shapes when you don't know what you are going to use them for. I can see 2-1/2" strips as they are so versatile. Or FQs or 5" squares...
And my awesome answer was - (just checking - as always - to see if you're paying attention)
A couple of years ago I read Bonnie Hunter's (Quiltville.com) "Scrap User's System".
She has this method of cutting scraps into standard sizes - sorting them into separate baggies, boxes, bins, etc. - and then sewing pairs of, say, 2" squares together as "leaders" and "enders" while you are making other quilts.
Before you know it, you have a bunch of "twosies" - then you sew the "twosies" together for "foursies" (four-patches). Then she has patterns for scrap quilts that call for, say, a hundred four-patches (from 2" squares) - and you already have them sewn - "between the lines" - so to speak.
'Cuz - nobody really wants to make a quilt that starts off with "Make 100 four-patches from 2" squares." (I made "Christmas Lights" with a bunch of four-patches that I had done that way.)
It's a really cool system.
Anyway - that's what I'm doing with Diane - cutting my scraps into 3-1/2" - 2" and 1-1/2" strips - and 2" squares - then sorting the rest into "strings" - "crumbs" - "bits & pieces". That way they are all pre-cut for scrap quilts - and they really are quite versatile - if you make scrap quilts.
I have the scraps from the last six or seven quilts I made - plus all of the left-overs from other quilts through the years - so I have a ton of scraps. I should do a post on that, huh? Give credit to Bonnie - but show what I do with my scraps. What do you think?
She agreed - so here's the post - This Is How I Do It -
And one thing I forgot to mention in that email exchange was - that one of the main reasons 2-1/2" strips and FQs and 5" charms are so versatile - is that that is what the fabric companies make/cut now - so pattern books are built around using them. (You don't really think it was the other way around - do you?)
Anyway - you really should check out Bonnie's site -
Bonnie Hunter's (Quiltville.com) "Scrap User's System".
Somewhere along one of her sidebars is the link to her Scrap User's System. It's terrific!!
I use it to sort my stuff into the following categories. These categories are arbitrary and flexible - so make a set that suits your style with the sizes that you use the most.
First - let me define what I mean by SCRAP -
I consider a SCRAP to be anything less than 6" wide - the length doesn't matter to me. If it is larger than 6" - it goes with my fat quarters. To me - 6" is a useable chunk of fabric - but it's a totally arbitrary cutoff number that I chose a long time ago - so pick a size that suits you and your stash. (I'll do a post on how I handle the rest of my stash in a couple of days.)
STRIPS - any length - in a bin - sorted by size/width (1-1/2" - 2" - 2-1/2" - 3-1/2" etc.)
I don't necessarily cut squares until I actually need them - and I can always sew a light strip to a dark strip and then cut them apart to make four-patches. The ones in the baggies were cut using Diane - I wanted to keep them separate - so I could tell which of the strips had been die-cut. (I also included the baggie of 2" squares - also die-cut.)
STRINGS - any length - less than 1-1/2" wide - in a bin
String quilts are very popular - you can never have enough strings. And if I need more - I just raid the "STRIPS" bin.
CRUMBS - in a bin
Bonnie has a tutorial on her site for making "Crumb" blocks - they use up the odd sized chunks and left-over triangles, etc. from other projects - check it out - it's really cool!
BITS & PIECES - in a bin -
I save the little bits and selvages -in separate baggies - to use for "Snippet" quilts and "Selvage" blocks - someday -
THREADS - baggies (Yes - I save thread bits)
Check out this book - it looks like great fun - Fast, Fun, and Easy Incredible Thread-A-Bowls
When I'm done - I have this -
I know - I'm a pack rat - I don't throw anything out. If you have scraps you don't want or can't find a use for - send them my way. Scrap quilts need variety - a little of a lot of different fabrics. The more the merrier. Even ugly ones have friends!!
Talk to you later - gotta go -
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