Hopefully you've started looking at your scraps with new eyes now - eyes that see the potential in those bags or boxes or tubs! But when you look at those scraps, do you wonder how to cut them up? So many choices - do you leave them big "just in case" or cut them up into usable sizes and make them work? Today I'm going to present the case for several different options.
Have you ever done a Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt? I never have, and really wasn't ever tempted to do one until I saw Celtic Solstice - and fell in love! So I went exploring on the Bonnie Hunter blog, Quiltville's Quips & Snips and found a great page on her blog called Scrap Users System. On that page she shares her tips for storing scraps, and how she cuts them up. It seems to me that if you want to make a Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt, you should seriously think about cutting your scraps the same way she does - because that's probably the sizes she's going to use in her mystery.
Another option is to take advantage of all the publications that publish designs for quilts made from precut fabrics, and cut your scraps to those standard sizes - 2.5" strips, 10" squares, 5" squares, and 2.5" squares. Moda Bake Shop releases free patterns online that utilize their standard precut sizes, and their site can be searched by precut size, also. Because of how widely accepted those sizes have become, there are many patterns available and you're sure to find one or more that you like!
You may find a book that really speaks to you with a great way to cut and use your scraps. I found this book a while back - Cut The Scraps by Joan Ford. In it, she suggests cutting your scraps into 2", 3.5" and 5" squares, and provides 20 patterns for quilts that utilize those sizes. We use this system at church and it has proved to work well for us. I've found that not only do we use patterns from the book, but we also tend to make the sizes we have cut work for us.
Or you can use my most recent technique - stumble on a pattern that you love and cut the pieces for that particular quilt! I've done that this month with a bow tie quilt, and I've also sorted out strips for string blocks (and even made a few!).
As you add patterns to your repertoire, you could even set up boxes for each type of quilt or block, adding to them as you cut up your scraps. Sew them up when you need a quick project, make a few blocks or a whole quilt's worth - over time you'll have plenty of quilt tops to give as gifts or to charity!
I'm sure there are many more options for cutting up your scraps - the trick is to find the way that works best for you. Do you have a favorite method to your scrap madness? Share it with the rest of us - because most of us are still trying to figure it out!
Keep working on those scrappy goals - we're halfway through the month! Just think how virtuous you'll feel when you share what you accomplished - and how useful those scraps will be in the future!