More Scrappy Information

In a previous post, I encouraged you to cut your scraps.  You showed so much interested, I thought I would share a little more information on how it works for me. Subject to change with no notice at all. 🙂 Quilters evolve.

Here are a few of your questions, with answers:

1.What sizes of squares do you cut out of scraps, and how do you store the different sizes?

Any piece much larger than my hand doesn’t really count as scrap and is filed by color.  Smaller pieces are cut into 2-1/2″ strips, 2″ strips, 1-1/2″ strips, 5″ squares, 2-1/2″ squares, 2″ squares, 1-1/2″ squares. They are in bins by size.

2. When you start with a scrap, how do you determine what size(s) you will cut it into? That’s what stumps me.

Well, generally I cut it into the largest size possible.  If a piece of fabric is larger than about 5″ x 10″, it doesn’t get cut right away.  I file it with my other fabric in bins by color.  If it is smaller, I cut it into the standard sizes mentioned above: 2-1/2″ strips, 2″ strips, 1-1/2″ strips, 5″ squares, 2-1/2″ squares, 2″ squares, 1-1/2″ squares.  These are each stored in bins by size, all colors mixed together.  Often, I will cut several pieces from one scrap.  Two 2-1/2″ squares and two 2″ squares, for example.

3. Do you use the Cut the Scraps method by Joan Ford? I have her book and am contemplating whether those sizes will work best for me.

There are many famous scrappers out there:  Bonnie Hunter, Joan Ford, Gayle Bong, Kim Brackman… Each has their own specialties and have influenced me.  My method is flexible as I frequently design my quilts rather than using patterns.  Joan Ford seems to use about three standard sizes; I use more than that.  I don’t think there is a “perfect” scrap system.  Pick something.  Try it out for a while.  Modify as necessary.  The big secret is to just get started. 

7 thoughts on “More Scrappy Information

  1. I cut my scraps into 5″, 4.5″, 4″, 3″or 2″ blocks. I have a bin for strips, I don’t cut mine into an exact width but maybe I should start. I have used many of these blocks for a quick baby quilt. Right now I have gathered some together to do granny blocks. You are right about “just do it”. I have found I do best to fill a small box with scraps and then devote an hour or two to cutting into blocks. I have also cut into blocks at the end of every project but sometimes that is more hassle than it is worth. Thanks for sharing your organizational method!!

  2. Slowly I am becoming a scrapper. .So far as I have participated in Rainbow Scrap Challenge, I have used that month’s color selection and cut my scraps into 2 1/2″ squares and 5″ squares. It’is minimal but it’s a start.

  3. Thanks for sharing your tips on sizes that work for you and for sharing your enthusiasm. I loved the pictures of the 100 patch! Blessings sent your way.

  4. thanks for telling us your system..i am a scrapper but have never thought of sorting by size..i know that seems like it would be a fundamental thing to do with scraps but i only sort the 1.5, 2, and 2.5″ squares in a container of that size..the rest i would cut and put in a large container..well i love to organize so i got some organizing to do..and i love the idea of also sorting strips by size..do not know why i have never thought of doing this..i cut the strips usually as long as i can in increments of 1/2″ as you do..so i have some sorting to do and what fun that will be…thanks so much!!!!

  5. My plan is pretty similar to yours, except I sort various sizes into light, dark, and medium values. I also have more sizes because I made a list of favorite blocks and what size pieces they need–it turned out to be about everything from 1 1/2 to 6 1/2 square and a few rectangles. Because of all that subdividing, and because I’ve not been doing it too long or too faithfully, they fit in ziploc bags in a big shoebox. Obviously, as I get caught up on the scrap pile, I’ll move to bigger containers. Or make blocks.

  6. I agree 100% with all your answers. =) I have found that I don’t use anything smaller than 2″, and usually not those, either, though I keep them. The scraps between 1″ and 2″ go in a shoebox or kleenex box (or two or three!), even odd shapes, and I piece them together in bits and pieces (bp = beepie) blocks when I have nothing else for leader-enders. I’ve made several full size quilts from those for the soldiers, and they look amazingly wonderful! I make some log cabin style and some just weird shapes together and some sort of combined, whatever works for the scraps. Scraps smaller than 1″ go in the – gasp! – garbage can! Unless it’s a long skinny piece I can use to tie my hair back. =)

  7. Thank you for taking the time to share more about your scrap system. I think you are right – we need to customize and find what works for us, but this gives me a great place to start!

Thanks for taking the time to comment. It is nice to hear from you.

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