How do you organize a scrappy stash?

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dardar Posted: Sun, Jun 17 2012 2:47 PM

I am trying to bring some order to my fabric. I read about members having collections of 2.5 quarter squares. This made we wonder what dimension or sizes do people organize into (or use the most). I have started cutting smaller scraps into 2.5 squares, I have a plastic container for them.. And I have some 2.5 inches stripes, otherwise I am clueless.

Also is there a piece you consider too small to save (being realistic about being able to use it). I have not even started the scrappy quilt. I finished MQ6.  And just finished a quilt for my DH, Still  want to do one for a friend who just lost her mother. But I have saved the instructions in a word document. I'll live vicariously through you all until I get caught up. Also used most of my scraps in  MQ6, so sort of starting over putting together 2.5 sq

I love seeing how everyone's quilt turns out. They are beautiful.

 

Thanks for your help.

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Erin replied on Mon, Jun 18 2012 8:04 AM

Jacy gave us an idea to use clear shoe boxes (about $1 each), label and stack them. I don't have a huge scrap stash, but the sizes I cut were.... 2.5", 3", 3.5", 4", 4.5", 5" and 5.5" squares.  2.5" X 4.5"  and 2.5" x 6.5" rectangles and 2.5" strips.  Anything under 2.5" square I throw into a large zipper bag and anything 6" or larger but smaller than a fat quarter I put together. It's working out great and it makes so easy to get what I want/need quickly.  I even bought different sized totes for Fat Quarters, pellon and batting. Since I have birds, dogs and a cat I like things put away but easy to see through the clear boxes.

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Jean replied on Mon, Jun 18 2012 8:23 AM

I bought the clear shoe boxes too.  Labeled them 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, 3.5 and larger.  Don't know if I should cut the larger pieces to these sizes or leave them.  I wish there was a universal way to get a stash together and organized.  I do find it easy to find pieces or put pieces away with the boxes.

 

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Erin replied on Mon, Jun 18 2012 1:32 PM

Jean- I cut my 4" up to 5.5" scraps because I knew about the July scrappy project and knew it would take quite a few. Those are also the fabrics larger prints. I have found a couple patterns that calls for those size blocks as well so I just went at it. When I found pretty FQ really cheap I cut them up as well; I started cutting the 2.5" and kept cutting up to 5.5" so I had a few pieces from each FQ. The 6" and bigger ones I have not decided on what to do with yet so they are "scraps in waiting" LOL  They will probably become scrappy hearts since I just learned how to make them!! :) But honestly I think it is up to the quilter. You know what sizes you like to work with and what you work with the most, so do what makes you happy! :)

 

 

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dardar,

Erin and Jean have given you some good ideas.  You asked about how small of a scrap to save.  It kind of depends on the types of quilts you like to make. Some of the folks here don't worry with scraps narrower than 2" wide. They make lots of beautiful pieced quilts.  Personally, I save anything that is wider than 3/4".  But that is because I like to make a lot of strip blocks, where I sew 'strings' together, side by side, until they make bigger hunks of fabric.  So if a piece is 3/4" wide I have room for two 1/4" seam allowances and 1/4" of fabric to show. But that is just me, and one of the types of quilts I like to make.

I try to keep all my narrow strips (less than 21/2" wide) together. I don't sort them by color, but I do sort batiks separately from anything else. Only because when I make a batik quilt I only use batik...so I keep them together.  I have a storage tub about 6" deep and 18 X 22, with a lid. I throw my narrow strips into it.  I don't have a large supply of scaps, so I just sort my 2 1/2" or large scraps into ziplock baggies, quart up to one gallon size. I precut some 2 1/2" square, 5 1/2' square, 21/2 X 5, 2 1/2X 8. I just use those sizes because those are the ones I use most often.

I try to keep my FQ's sorted by color, and my larger pieces of fabric ( 1 yd or larger) I hang on plastic pants hangers on an overhead pipe in the basement. DH says it reminds him of the drycleaners!  I don't mind...I just hate getting ready to so some serious cutting and having to press my wrinkles or foldlines out of fabric! Lazy!! Hope you find what works best for you, depending on the space you have and the type of quilts you like to make.

Here is a sample of what I do with really narrow scraps. The 'block' in the upper left of the group measures about 10" square. So you kind of have to decide what is 'too small' for you.

If you have a style of quilt you really enjoy making, think about precutting your scraps to sizes that those quilts use most often, If you are still 'finding yourself' in the quilting world the sizes Erin and Jean have suggested are a good start.  Have fun! 

Max

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