Thursday, March 31, 2011

LHQ - 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 ( "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 ( "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 -

1 comment:

Bea said...

I'm proud to say that I have finally made enough quilts that I really need to use this great system! Thanks for having it easy to find on your blog.


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