It's Sunday again, time for Hands2Help and another installment from this year's guest bloggers! Today we're lucky to get a post by my friend Sharon, who has the greatest address EVER!! She's got a pretty great blog, too, called Vrooman's Quilts, where she shares all of her fabulous scrap quilting efforts to inspire us.
So without further ado, here's Sharon!!
Welcome to Vroomans Quilts on Quilt Lane - yes, I live on Quilt Lane. I began my quilting journey as a scrap quilter back in 2009 while recovering from an accident. Handed a box of scrap fabrics and using a very old beat up machine, and the wonders of the internet - I learned to quilt. And I still love getting those boxes and baggies of someone else's treasured scraps and turning them into blocks and quilts.
I found (and sure you have too) very quickly that scraps multiply FAST. Now how do you manage them? More importantly, how do you manage them so you USE THEM? My intro to scrap management was from the Queen of Scraps - Bonnie Hunter - and you can visit her system HERE. But just as we are all different quilters, we need a system that works for us. So I offer some basic tips that will help you find a system that works for you.
1. What Kind of Quilter are You?
No, I don't mean are you a traditional, modern, applique, fiber artist - I mean .....
Do you use large pieces of fabric? Do you prefer large blocks? If so, you are going to want to keep your scraps in large pieces. ** this is a free pattern you can find HERE
Or do you prefer tiny blocks? Or are your large blocks made up of small units? This all breaks down how you will maintain and store your scraps - HOW YOU USE THEM.
Now we need to break old habits - or keep those starting with a small pile of scraps from forming habits. It is so tempting to just stash those scraps into a baggy or box or tote.
BUT IT GROWS and then we are overwhelmed! Where do we start? If you have used #1 to analyze how you use those fabrics, now you can sort down those scraps. I don't recommend cutting down unless that is how you really want to use them. Sometimes having that extra fabric or long strip is more useful.
Storage units depend on you - shelving, totes, bins, rolling carts - it is what fits you and your space. I always 'shop' my kitchen first as you can see my snack barrels and desert tubs. And I still have that bad habit of cute baskets - but I think the key thing I hope you can see - is you CAN SEE what you have to use. If it is visible, you will be more apt to use it.
Yes, I have large piece storage because there are times I need those larger pieces - and these are the only storage I separate into color. I have small piece storage - I love to work tiny blocks. And I have 'go to' blocks and patterns that I know will use up those small pieces. If you have looked at your quilting style - you will see what your 'go to' block and patterns are. OR you can search that wonderful internet for them.
Where to start? If you are just starting with that sorting and storage, it should work up quickly. BUT if you have been 'stock piling' those scraps, take it in baby steps. You just won't tackle it in a day! FIRST - take out the largest pieces and put them away. You will see immediate light of day. Then work your way down the fabric food chain you have chosen. Be it strips, squares, triangles - have a place for it and put it in its place.
And keep that system going. After each project or work session, put things in their place immediately - DON'T STASH THEM. I think that is most quilters' down fall - it's easier to clean up by just 'shoveling' it all into a bin or tote to deal with later and later doesn't come.
I always use the clean up into my fabric food chain. Large pieces put away first, smaller units may be stored or cut down into useable size (my snack barrels).
Even those little cut off triangles from a project. Don't tuck them into a baggy for later. Stitch them right up, square them right up, and store them so you can SEE them. They are handy little units to have at the ready.
AND, there is no shame in passing fabrics along - if it doesn't fit your style or use - give it to someone who will love to use it. Yes, you can pry that fabric from your grip! I rather see fabric used rather stored out of sight.
I hope this has helped you in getting a plan for your scrap management. Remember, it is as easy as 1,2,3:
1. What type of quilter are you?
2. Storage to meet your quilting style and your space
And if you need more insight to management - I only wish this was mine!
Teresa of Fabric Therapy had this wonderful post HERE
Thanks so much, Sharon, for sharing your proven methods for dealing with scraps. As prolific as you are at making blocks, it obviously works!!
Oh, how I wish I had those minions right now to use all these great tips to organize my scraps! Sharon is absolutely right when she says to deal with them as they happen - they can take over your sewing space in a hurry!
|My own personal scrap stash of shame - it doesn't look this good right now!|
Keep working on those H2H quilts, and I'll see you next week!
PS - By the way, it's been a big weekend here, and here's a pic to prove it....