Organized Scraps

While it is so close to the New Year, most of us are making lists of New Year's Resolutions. If you are anything like me, your list includes some of the same things every year that I can't seem to do for more than a couple of months (like a diet to shed those pesky extra pounds).

I love making resolutions concerning quilting. Even if I can't keep the resolution all year, it gives me an excuse to work in my studio that much longer while trying!!!

Last year I made AND KEPT :) one of the best quilting resolutions I ever made. My resolution was to organize my fabric scraps. I don't mean the big scraps, I mean the little scraps (Are you aware that some people actually throw them away? They could box them up and throw them my way!!!). Here's how it works.....First, I bought 12 plastic boxes ( shoebox size ). You can also use the plastic boxes that the bakery cookies come in from Sam's Club (be sure to wash these thoroughly after enjoying the cookies). Decide what scrap quilts you may want to make and label the boxes accordingly. Depending on how big my scrap pieces are, I cut what I can from the leftovers. Sometimes I have only enough to save one square.

I start by cutting 4 1/2 inch squares. These make fast and easy quilts. If I can cut two squares, I place them in my box labeled " 2 of each, 4 1/2 inch squares for four patch". One would go in the box labeled "4 1/2 inch squares for charm quilt". Then I cut 3 1/2 inch squares and place them as follows: "5 of each, 3 1/2 inch squares for nine patch", "2 of each, 3 1/2 inch squares for four patch", and "3 1/2 inch squares for charm quilt". Next I cut 2 1/2 inch squares and save them for a twenty five patch, a nine patch, a four patch and a charm quilt. I also cut tumblers and triangles for those charm quilts and I have a box where I save strips of fabric at least 3/4 of an inch wide to use in string quilts. You, of course, could save any size and number you wish.

When the box is full, you already have the pieces you need cut to make a scrap quilt. Your fabric stash is much neater without all of the little pieces with uneven edges. Your little scraps actually get used and don't end up wadded up in a tangled mess in a box or bag never to see daylight again.

I have two quilting friends who also cut 4 1/2 inch squares and we trade one each. This helps up collect all different fabrics for a charm quilt faster than if we were each collecting only from our own fabrics. HINT --- If you are trading pieces already cut to size, make sure the person or persons you are trading with cut accurately or you will end up with pieces you are unable to use.

I hope this works as well for you as it has for me. I would appreciate you sharing your resolution ideas with me. You can leave them as a comment to this blog or e-mail them to me!!! ( Thank you.

Happy Quilting,