Monday, January 13, 2014

Fabric Scrap Organization

I've got bins of fabric scraps that I've been saving since 1969. (Yeah, some have moved with me eight times). Don't get me wrong, I use them, but I probably add more than I use. It would be interesting to know just how many yards of fabric I have bought in 50 years of sewing. And I wonder how many times I've sorted through and touched each piece of material. That would probably boggle the mind! 

My fabric storage system works well for yardage. It's easy to find the pieces when I need them. You can link to that article here. Scraps are another matter. As you can see, right now I just toss leftovers into plastic bins sorted by color. It's hard to dig through them, and I have to iron each scrunched up piece before cutting, which delays my project.

I have a new plan to simplify how I store and use my scraps. First, I tackled this project one bin at a time to keep from making a big mess. As I sorted, I tossed anything I know I won't use or pieces too tiny to quilt. I ironed the fabric, then cut off the odd shaped edges. Then I folded the larger pieces (half yards and fat quarters) into uniform sizes and stacked them neatly back into their color coded bins and baskets.  

The leftover edges and small pieces are sorted by size, for use in colorful scrap quilts. I rotary cut useable strips; 1 ½” to 4 ½” wide, and stacked them carefully into labeled shoe boxes on a rolling cart. I can stash it under my cutting table when I'm done.

This initial sorting/cutting process took a couple of days, but now I have a simple method of managing my leftover fabric scraps. Immediately after any sewing project is finished I will cut the pieces, fold and store them.

The result: I'll have strips and pieces ready at my fingertips for stitching quick scrappy quilts anytime. A rainy day activity all set up and ready to sew!

To continue my simplify theme, I pulled out a few pieces of fabric yardage and listed them for sale in my Useful Remnants Etsy shop.  I added vintage patterns and a modern mini quilt that I made yesterday from some of my newly sorted scraps.

Useful Notion:  "The simplification of life is one of the steps to inner peace." - Peace Pilgrim