Earlier last year I made two or three scrap quilts – well, tops, anyways – in girl-ish fabrics from my scrap bin. My bin went from bulging sides to just full. I started cutting down blue/boy scraps right after, whacking my larger scraps into 4.5″ wide chunks to piece them into strips. For months I carried around a storage bag to stitch-and-sews and measured and cut bigger pieces into little pieces. Then I stuck the bag under my sewing table and promptly forgot about it. I had started a couple of handwork projects, so why should I take that when I could be piecing?
Well, I found it. And decided to turn those scraps into a top. I sewed them together. Into pairs, then four-somes, then on and on until I probably had a piece long enough to stretch from the front to back of my house. At which point I decided on a pattern that only required 14.5″ strips. So then I cut it back down. I ended up having enough for 2 large lap sized tops, once I set all those random scraps together with some navy blue, with a couple of feet of sewn together scraps left over.
Now, since I made my pink scrap quilts I’d been topping, and quilting, and binding for quite a long time. Generating more scraps. And when I finished my blue scrap tops I realized that my bin was overflowing, bulging sides and all, and I still had quite a lot of scraps that hadn’t been cut down and needed to be put in.
(this is the bin after 45 minutes of sorting fabrics out of it…can you imagine what it looked like when I started?)
Then I got the email. Quilt in a Day had their large vinyl storage bags on sale for $2. I love these bags. I ordered 10 of them. Red, orange/yellow, green, blue, purple, white/tan, black/brown, pink, novelty, block bits, and random.. (Yes, that’s 11, but I had the bag the scraps were in originally.) The idea is sound – when I’m looking for scraps, I’m usually looking for a specific color. This way I can go right for the colors I’m interested in. And as an added bonus, the clear bags let me see much more than the bin.
So I started sorting my bin into the bags. It was – is – a pain. The bin was stuffed, so when I pulled out on a long scrap I was never sure if I was going to get just the string, or if it was tangled into something else and would be like a scrap-volcano erupting little pieces of fabric and tangled strings all over the floor. After about 45 minutes, I was done for the night. And had sorted just enough scraps out of the bin and into the bags that I could add the other scraps in and create…a full bin!
Phew. This will be a few more evenings’ worth of work, because I’m overly inspired right now by sewing and don’t want to sort. I just finished two baby quilts, and have a drunkard’s path to quilt, and started making dresden plates at a sit-n-sew last weekend. (Ever seen dresden clocks? Come back in a few days and you’ll see what one wonky value can do to a plate.)
Thanks for reading!