Wednesday, March 2, 2016

I Have a Problem - You May Have The Same One!

Hi, all!

All right, I'm going to admit it right here - I DO have a scrap problem!  Do I see anyone else out there willing to admit that they do too?


I knew it!!  I'm not alone!!!  The scraps in my studio are threatening to overwhelm me, even after boxing them up neatly when I cleaned up the studio in January.  

Maybe the first question to ask and answer is - - - is it worth it to save scraps?  First, let's take that honest look at my own personal scrap stash...

First, the tubs of scraps under the quilt frame.  They start with the good (sorted by color, some even pressed and folded)...


...then we move to the bad (lots of scraps thrown into big tubs because I got tired of seeing all the bags of scraps lying around)...


...and then on the back side, there's the just plain ugly - two more big tubs full of scraps!


I did a little experiment the other day with all those scraps.  I took a yard of uncut, quilting weight cotton and weighed it.  A yard of quilting fabric weighs about 5.8 ounces.  THEN I took all those tubs of fabric and weighed them.  Guess how many pounds of scraps I have?  Almost 200 pounds!!!  (I told you it was taking over!)  At 5.8 ounces per yard, that means I have the equivalent of about 547 yards of fabric sitting under my quilt frame in those tubs.  At a conservative $6 per yard, that's more than $3000 worth of fabric!  Are you looking at your own scraps a little differently now?


Of course, there are some parts I'm pretty proud of - the lovely little plastic shoeboxes with scraps sorted by size...


...eve to the strings and "little bits" too small for even the 2" box, but so cute you just can't throw them away!


I mean, I even have the best intentions - those wire baskets on the bottom shelf are being used as a place to neatly store current scraps, neatly folded and ready to be cut up (if I ever get time... LOL!)


OK, so they are all neatly contained, but at the moment, totally useless to me because who has time to sort, press, and cut scraps when they're ready to start a new project?

So I want to get all my scraps processed - sorted, ironed, and cut into usable sizes.  But I've wanted to do that for years - and all the while, my scraps have been reproducing like bunnies, and now it's such a big job I have no idea how I'll get it done!

With all that being said, here's my proposal - - - I am going to challenge myself each month to tackle part of my stash.  I'm going to post that goal on the blog on the first Wednesday of the month, and post pictures of my progress on the last Wednesday of the month.  I'll have a linky party on both those Wednesdays so you can join me if you will!  No pressure - you decide your goal, and can skip a month if you need to.  

In between, I'll be posting ideas for cutting or storing your scraps once they're no longer jumbled up in storage tubs, and sharing great scrap quilt ideas I've found so we can use all those lovely little pieces of fabric!  Because, after all, the idea is to use them, not hoard them - right??

*&*&*&*&*&*&*

And here's my March goal - at the very least, press and fold all the scraps in my green tub.  The fabric in this tub weighs about 7.5 pounds, which means there's about 20 yards of fabric in there.  For bonus points, I'll cut it up into usable sizes if I have time!


Are your scraps reproducing like bunnies while you blithely ignore them?  Wouldn't you rather turn them into beautiful quilts that will bring a smile to someone's face?  Join me, and we'll cheer each other on as we conquer the stash monster that hides in our studios.....



You can link up your blogpost or an Instagram pic of your March goal below - I'll leave the linky party open until March 15th to allow plenty of time for folks to join in!  Come back next week when I'll be posting about useful sizes to cut your scraps!

Hugs!

Sarah

PS - feel free to grab the "I May Have A Scrap Problem..." button at the top of the right sidebar if you're willing to raise your hand proudly and take the first step to conquering your scrap problem - admitting you have one!!



39 comments:

  1. Oh, I definitely have a scrap problem. Two summers ago, I made four or five scrap quilts to prepare for when my long arm was installed. I barely made a dent! But I want to tell you my favorite scrap quilt to make, because it allows me to use a couple of sizes of squares: the bowtie block. If I have a piece of fabric that is a certain size (I kind of recognize it by sight now!) I go ahead and cut up two 3.5" squares and two 2" squares and put them in a plastic bag with all the others that I've cut. Guess what? I now have a queen-sized bed quilt made of these puppies - all I need to do is bind it. And when I'm really clever and plan ahead, when I'm working on another quilt, I use those blocks as my enders and leaders. I look forward to seeing what ideas you share with us! :)

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  2. Oh dear I'm putting 2 hands up too lol. I love your idea and am going to try and join in. Thanks for making me feel normal hehe.

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  3. Oh dear I'm putting 2 hands up too lol. I love your idea and am going to try and join in. Thanks for making me feel normal hehe.

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  4. With fabric so expensive I save scraps because one day I feel I won't have fabric for the
    Charity quilts . Now i put bags of scraps out for church members to iron then I cut. Last year I requested scraps and
    Was over whelmed.

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  5. Well, I'm in avoidance since I read this and thought "I need tubs" they can't spill out and spread around the room if I have tubs, LOL.

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  6. I decided this was the year to conquer my scraps. I have made a scrap quilt for my H2H quilt. I have another scrap quilt ready to sew into a flimsy. I am ready for all the help you can give me.

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  7. LOL! Yes, indeed! I have a scrap problem. I worked on it last year, but only got about half way through the rainbow. I'll join you! Thanks for the kick in the britches....errrr.... the MOTIVATION!

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  8. I am raising my hand and waving it at you. I have a problem with scraps. I cannot throw away any fabric. I have my scraps all ironed, cut by size and sorted by size. I love to make scrappy quilts but there is no way I can use all my scraps. I have started to make my youngest grandchildren "poufs" to sit on while they read. I use my smallest scraps to fill the "poufs" so I am not throwing any fabric away!! Makes me feel better & I am making my grandchildren something they love.

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  9. Oh my...THAT is a lot of scraps!!! I have my little "strip" buckets....when I finish a project I cut my leftovers into strips and put them in their "color bucket". Once the buckets are full....I make a bright happy quilt. RIght now I am using these buckets for the RSC. Your idea sounds like a productive way to start tackling your totes.

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  10. I thought I had scraps, but you leave me in the dust girlfriend!!! That being said, I really do want to use up the scraps in my bins to make room for more :*) I've already been brainstorming ways to accomplish this, so count me in!

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  11. I do not have as much as you do in scraps but I have 2 plastic bins and a canvas box, pulse about 10 shoebox size with mostly pre-cut pieces. I do make scrap quilts but you have to work a little harder to use them i think because you are not grabbing big pieces to cut - if you don't want to deal with them you could try selling them - maybe one pound at a time?

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  12. I wrote about controlling my scraps on my blog yesterday. I don't have nearly as many as you but I worry about them. I tend to cut up and sort mine as a cut out quilts, in a bid to keep them under control and I am using 1.5" & 2.5" squares at present as my leader/ender project (although I have need some mindless sewing in the last 2 days so I've been working with them)

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  13. I just wrote about the same thing. So many scraps that I'm not sure what do with them. Good luck in sorting your tub. You can do this. I would encourage you to try and make a project with just that tub to make sorting and cutting easier.

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  14. I just wrote about the same thing. So many scraps that I'm not sure what do with them. Good luck in sorting your tub. You can do this. I would encourage you to try and make a project with just that tub to make sorting and cutting easier.

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  15. oh my goodness. in the words of the old hymn, "I once was lost but now am found"... lol, used to have bins of scrap, but declared war. It took five years - but I no longer have bins of scraps. I DO have some bins of 'parts' - squares, strings, as well as four patches or 16 patches... but it is all flat and organized.... and it is so good to be in that place.

    It just takes some time - but I found I was happiest not trying to JUST tame the scraps, but simultaneously make some quilts from those same scraps - so lots of charity quilts have been made and gifted - and that feels fabulous ! Good luck to everyone...

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  16. I thought I was making progress and then found a whole plastic tub full of scraps that I'd completely forgot about. Between my PIG's (actually projects in plastic bags more than grocery bags ;-) and my scraps...I have my work cut out for me too. We will keep the challenge going! We can do it! :-)

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  17. I love this idea! I have started and stopped working on this so often. I am trying to do a better job as I work on a project, but I still have boxes and bags lying around that I need to get straightened out. I will take a picture tomorrow and get started!

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  18. i have been working on mine on the weekend but they are multiplying as we speack

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  19. I'm in! I don't have a problem using them, use them daily! I DO have a problem organizing them and having the smallest idea about what I have. I had no idea about the weight, and that makes me realize why I'm drawn to scraps. That's way too much to turn loose without using it! ~ desertskyquilting

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  20. You're going to laugh at me but I only let my scraps get two shopping bags full - one of batiks and one of regular quilting fabric. I try not to let it get that full but it usually takes that much to have enough variety to make two baby quilts. You can do it - it's just not as much fun until you're finished and realize you have a lovely baby quilt for "free"!

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  21. I have very little these days because we have scrap parties a lot. Everyone is assigned a color to bring and we make kite quilts to donate. Just had one last Sat. Good way to get your scraps under control. You could just bring your not sorted ones and have a get together, make string quilts.

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  22. I've been working hard to put scraps to use, too. I'm making kits (pattern included with cut pieces) together to take to our next Quilts of Valor retreat where I'll share these kits with friends. Why not share that fabric? Then I can buy more pretty new fabric. ☺ I hadn't thought of weight the scraps so I could put a dollar value on it. That's scary!

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  23. I believe I will join you in this effort, though my scraps would probably fit in half of one of your bins. Still, for the space I have I need to do something about them. I'm currently working on a scrap quilt but I need to do something with the ones I'm not working with. Thanks for inviting us to join you!
    --Nancy. (ndmessier @ aol.com, joyforgrace.blogspot.com)

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  24. I would be lost without my scraps, unfortunately do not have many as have not been quilting long but dive into them to try out new blocks etc, will certainly be following you with all your tips, have just made a doll quilt with a few of mine so the pile is going down until I start a new project

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  25. If you can commit to spending 15 minutes a day working on your scraps, you will be amazed how quickly you will have them under control!

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  26. So - I don't think your time is well spent pressing and organizing all those scraps unless you KNOW you'll actually be making scrap quilts. I try to cut and organize my scraps as they occur - as I use up fabric and have small amounts left over - and pieces which I don't want to save go into a big bag made of upholstery fabric, so do cut up pieces of left-over batting. When the bag is full, I stitch it closed, and it's a dog bed. Making dog beds, which means I'm not actually ever throwing anything away, has helped me and keeps my scrap collection much more manageable.

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  27. This year on Tuesday I tackle my scraps by cutting Squares of 5", 3",2 1/2", 2". and put them in marked boxes and cut strips 1 1/2 x 11, 9,7, 5 for strip blocks to make 6 1/2 strip blocks. I will never get the scraps all done working a few hours on Tuesday makes me feel I am accomplishing something.

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  28. I did have a scrap problem at the start of this year. We are going to be making some changes to the room I use for sewing so needed to clear out the "stuff". When I saw how big the bin of scraps really was, I knew I had to do something. I had some awesome help from my mother and cut the scraps into usable squares and strips. My goal is to make at least one scrap quilt a year. It took me 2 years to get my last scrap quilt done so 1 per year is a pretty big goal. The sense of accomplishment for getting things back into control...immense!

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  29. You are supposed to press scraps.....who knew!!!!! Yes I think my bins might just rival yours.

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  30. this is one meeting i have to attend...after all, somebody else's scraps are someone's treasures...lol

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  31. Such a brave confession! I too am part of this 'situation'. I love how you calculated your stash too! I recently started following Bonnie Hunter and took a class from her. She uses the Easy Angle ruler to eliminate dog ears, as she says "Those dog ears costs up to $12 a yard!" Got me to study my stash a lot closer. A week went by after class and I cut an ENTIRE quilt out of my scraps. Because of the variety - this quilt is developing real character and personality. It's fun seeing only one piece from 20 years ago in it, so many memories. Sorting and cutting does take time, but 15 minutes here and there was a great investment of time and really enjoying the payoff now.

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  32. I only have one giant tub og old scraps. My more recent ( last ten years) always get cut up into squares as I go, and then filed in he correct drawer of plastic bin. Larger pieces get cut into strips the wof or fq size. Then there are pieces ready when I get an idea. Someday I will attack the large bin. I have made crazy quilts from the bin and just iron as i use a piece.

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  33. I'm joining in the scrap challenge. I feel better about how much I have in the way of scraps and I like the idea of weighing/calculating worth of them - makes the time invested in making something so worthwhile! Thanks for the inspiration.

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  34. Good luck to you on tackling the problem. We all have a scrap problem I'm sure, it is part of being a quilter. I've been thinking of how I want to get a handle on mine too but there isn't time right now to deal with them.

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  35. Very ambitious goal! Good luck!

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  36. I just found this blog post and I am jumping in with both feet. I have my own scraps and than I have friends that give me their scraps. I love that and I really look forward to getting those scraps. Right now they all go into a tubs or plastic bags till I can cut them into strips or squares which never seems to happen since I want to sew scarps not press and cut them for a box.

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  37. Most of the scraps in my sewing room come from other people's projects! Almost every quilt or smaller project I make is made with OP's scraps! and still they come!
    I found, dedicating a set amount of time, say an hour a day, or the time it takes for the iron to run out of water, to press, cut and store these fabrics helps a lot!
    Fabric in Australia at the LQS starts at $24 a metre (yes, you read that right) so throwing scraps away is simply beyond my understanding!
    Your scrap-along sounds like fun; so why not?

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  38. I kind of wish I had a scrap problem. I am just getting started. All the fabric I own could fit in one bin. And when I go to pull fabric for a project, I almost always don't have what I need. However, I can see that the pile of fabric is growing just over the past 9 months of sewing. So I bet in a few years I will probably have the opposite problem.

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  39. I straightened up my fabric storage room and moved a number of tubs of scraps to the same location. I have a lot of scraps. I did make a queen sized step zig zag quilt a couple of years ago plus a bunch of baby quilts, but it didn't seem to put a dent in the pile! I don't know that I am ready to join a monthly challenge to try to deal with them right now. It is an eye opener with the math you did! That's why I save them! I just wonder how many quilts I could make just out of the scraps?

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