Cleaning Up

After finishing a project it is easy to just move on to the next thing, leaving a pile of “leftovers” in your wake.  That is fun, of course, but it isn’t productive in the long run.  I work well in the excitement of creativity, but it can get to be just a mess. No one really likes living messy.

After I finish a project, I spend time cleaning up.  So, I thought I would share a bit of my cleaning up procedure with you as I am moving on from the Fancy Forest quilt.

My sewing space is in a combination laundry room, second guest bedroom and fabric hideaway.


There is a bed that doubles as a staging area for organizing works in progress or next ideas.  This is what the bed looked like last week.  You can see Fancy Forest on top with a few other project peeking through in layers.  Embarrassing, yes.  But this is the truth about my “system.”  It isn’t perfect, but it works for me.

I throw nothing away except the tiniest of trimmings while in process.  Sometimes you end up needing those little pieces and I realized on this quilt that would often be true.

But, once it is done, it is time to sort.  I love scraps, but I love to be able to use them, and that happens most often when they are organized.


Here is most of my gold/orange pile.


I sort it into pieces to refile large pieces by color and smaller ones by size:  5″ squares, 2-1/2″ squares and strips, 2″ squares, 1-1/2″ squares and strips.  Anything larger than 5″ is generally re-filed in bins by color.  Smaller pieces are cut into squares and put into tins by size.  Pieces smaller than 1-1/2″ square are thrown away.  This might seem wasteful to some of you, but I have to be realistic about what I really will use in the future.


Here is the blue pile before…


And after.

Now it is all sorted, piled and filed and I can move on to the next thing.

I’ll share that soon.



4 thoughts on “Cleaning Up

  1. If it works for you, it can’t get more perfect. =) I moved my throw-away size from 1″ to 1.5″ earlier this year. Honestly, we can save TOO MUCH! They do look so nice all organized. I use a lot of shoe boxes for small scraps and strips! And projects. I’m always getting shoeboxes from Stacey, who has growing children.

  2. I’m with you girl. I have to clean up after. My room is small and most days there are 2 of us in there. So clean up and organizing the scraps is a great help when you need them.

  3. Your timing couldn’t have been any better. I’m just getting ready to try and organize my scraps, but have been at a loss as to how to proceed. Since I started quilting about 5 years ago I’ve been storing the big pieces of leftover fabric by color, but the smaller pieces have just been stuffed into a zip lock bag to be dealt with later. Now I have LOTS of zip lock bags waiting for me. So I LOVE your ideas and will be sure to follow your example in the future. I do have one huge request though. Any chance you could send out pictures of the scraps in their storage containers? That’s the last piece of the puzzle for me. I’d really appreciate it. Again, thanks for sharing your very helpful suggestions. 🙂

    Stephanie Petrick

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