Wednesday, February 18, 2009

scrap management

I've had some questions recently regarding scrap storage. I thought I would share my process. (I feel like I'm revealing a lot of myself here, so please, go easy on me.)

I really like using up every last bit, most of you know that. But it's time really consuming. And it requires a lot of organization. I'm getting there, but I have a lot of room to improve. This is my preferred method. At least for now.

First, when I'm cutting, I put all my extra fabric in a bin that sits next to my cutting area. This is a new thing for me. I used to just throw the extras anywhere and leave them wherever they landed. It made for an extremely messy sewing room after a project. And clean up took forever. The box helps a lot. When it's full, I sort. What a novel idea. :)

I take out all the larger pieces and sort them by color. Bonnie has an impressive scrap users system. And I have tried something similar once, but for me, it didn't work. I do a lot of improvisational piecing and I don't like trimming down fabric to certain sizes. I like having random sized scraps. So the color sorting method works for me. The smaller boxes are just cheap plastic shoe box-sized storage bins.

Pink and white scraps seem to rule the roost.
Are you surprised?

The "pretty" salvages are put in one box. (I like using my fabric storage cubes for these.)

Then I put aside the strings and not so pretty salvage pieces, to be used for knit rugs.

These pieces are perfect sizes for my spiderweb scrap quilt.
They are 1"-2" wide, approximately and most are not very long, maybe 6" or less.

Then I have the strings that are too wide for the knit rug, but too skinny for the spiderweb quilt. These are set aside for card making.
I have a small stack of 2.5" squares.
They are nice standard size square to have on hand.
I think most of them are leftovers from projects over the years.

Now this is where it gets ridiculous. Snippets. These are less than 2.5" square. I think most are 1" x 2" or so. But I have used these. So I continue to save them.
Then I have scraps in bags. These are a mixture of things. Some are projects that I wanted to save the scraps for another project...someday. The green scraps I liked too much to put in with the other greens, so I bagged them. Then I have my red and green bag-scraps for a Christmas quilt...someday. If I would recommend one thing, I would say, DON'T START storing fabric in plastic bags. It's dangerous. And...I think they multiply in the back of a dark closet.

And this is my blue + purple bin. And misc. fabrics.
I really need to sort through this monster.
It's embarrassing.

So there you have it.
Now, how do YOU sort your scraps?

106 comments:

Jess said...

Let me say that I'm very impressed that you have a storage system, and one that seems to work for you! I just went through mine and tried to organize it, but it kinda looks like when I started! I haven't tried any quilting yet, jsut other random sewing, but you've posted tons of tips that will help- like now I understand how you free motin quilt. It's always been such a mystery....

Lauralness said...

Thanks for sharing your system!
I try not to keep a lot of scraps but I do keep some. Mine are in rectangular plastic "baskets" that you can get for $1 at DG. I also have a special basket that has the small scraps that are perfect for starting and and stopping w/out leaving a tail.

I Love Baby Quilts! said...

That's a lot of scraps! I have mine stored in gallon plastic ice cream buckets with handles and lids. I have one for flannel, one for big scraps, and one for tiny. I also keep small scraps (1" or so) because I also have used them. I used them as chimneys in a house photo quilt I made. You can see it on my blog.

DIDI said...

Thanks for all this information, because I'll start having leftovers tomorrow when we start block 1 and we thought one just threw the scraps away (lol)

Judy said...

I tried Bonnie's method too and once I started cutting I needed other sizes. Nope, didn't work. I have a big basket under my sewing table that I toss the pieces in to start, then I also have a tin for 1 inch squares for mini quilts later, another paper basket that gets any CW scraps just the right size for my upcoming tulip scrap quilt, and I have a bin for strings that are for a spider web string just like yours one day.

But I just hate tossing out those little pieces that could be the flower center of applique or something else! I keep the bigger pieces in two bins, cotton and homespun. One day I will have tons of bins for all the scraps and still not have enough.LOL! I do like the color option!! That might work better for me...have to think about that!

Jessica said...

Impressive :) I'd show mine, but I would feel like I'm showing everyone my underwear drawer! Right now my scraps are completely out of control (who am I kidding? My *stash* is completely out of control!!). Maybe as I get around to sorting it all out, I'll post something. For now, I'll just hide behind my computer screen :)

underthebigbluesky said...

I pile mine up while I'm cutting and then put them in a giant glass jar downstairs, when I get a minute I sort them into baskets upstairs. I'm not as dedicated as you the tiny ones go in a plastic bag hangin on my cellar door to go to the textile recycling.

I think when you love fabric so much, it's so hard to get rid of any of it!

Two Dogs and a Quilt said...

Thanks for sharing! It's given me some ideas. I love to use up every last bit too.

PunkiePie said...

Wow. I am impressed! I only save 2 inch wide straps or bigger - the rest in the trash. Maybe I need to re-think my strategy.

Amy @ Park City Girl said...

I'm impressed! I keep all that I own in a chest . . . not very big. So I tend to be selective in what I keep - but I do keep a lot! it's all just shoved in the chest - LOL! I take it all out and rearrange piles every-so-often - I promise!!

Suzy said...

I store my scraps in bins based on value -- one bin for lights, one for mediums and one for darks. Seems to work well for me. Congrats on your impressive organization. :o)

Esther Gregory said...

Wow, thanks a million for sharing your system. It's so detailed. I just started quilting this year and am trying to figure out a system for storing fabric let alone scraps. Right now I have so few scraps I toss them in a decorated oatmeal can. I then make a scrappy patch as soon as I'm done with my project.

BUMBLE BEANS said...

I kind of do the same thing. I have 3 large bins, 1. greens and browns 2. blues & reds 3. everything else. Then when they start overflowing I start cutting them into various, 2",3", 4" 5" 6" blocks. I have so many blocks, now. I can't imagine sewing them all together! oh well!

Carrie P. said...

Great ideas for storing bits and pieces. I am sorry to say that I just throw my pieces in a large paper bag and then I take them to my quilt bee and let the ladies go through them. But I might try some of your ideas for cut pieces. No plastic baggies for me. No where to put them.

jess said...

I love your homemade baskets, those rock. I have been saving anything longer or wider than 1" because I MAY use it at some point. I love the idea of cutting the leftover squares; I could see myself using those. What a neat quilt you could make with those- all these little squares with memories of all those quilts you made.

Muddling Through said...

Mostly I just cram them into a box. :) I AM trying to better, and I do plan to do some of the scrappy quilting. I like the look of them, just not sure when I'll have the time to invest in making one. But when I do, I'll have the scraps!

Cathy said...

I am bad, bad, bad, because I don't save my scraps.....I give them away. I love the look of controlled scrappy quilts so I should start saving them.
I love the boxes that you make- so cute.
Cathy

Anonymous said...

I've just started to quilt so I don't have many scraps to organize. But your idea will help me a lot later on for sure!

Thanks for sharing.

scrappy quilter said...

Thanks for sharing how you store your scraps. I keep all sizes and shapes. I have different plastic containers for different sizes. Strips are kept in a dresser drawer. I don't color co-ordinate them which I probably should do. I often have to take a day to sort them because I'm not like you, when I'm sewing the odd pieces always end up along side of my sewing machine and often stay there for quite some time...

Jessica Christensen said...

Before reading your blog, my only system was to just put stuff in those 52 gallon bins. They kind of line the back of my garage. Some of them contained finished quilt tops; some contained partially finished projects; and the rest were just a jumble of fabrics -- scraps, yardages, whatever, all thrown together. However -- and I know I always say this -- you have inspired me. I've started putting the scraps in bins, buckets, whatever according to color and trying to keep them separate from the larger peices. It's so daunting, because I do save everything and have been doing so for a while. If I ever get organized, I'll put it on my blog -- the hugest stash and scrap pile ever. = )

Mal* said...

Oh goodness! This post is getting immediately bookmarked as I LOVE seeing other people's processes (and organization p*rn). I do my scraps kind of like you -- sort things by color, mostly. I also save the really tiny snippets because I use them in other things than just quilts -- appliques, journaling, collages, etc. Because of extremely limited space (and limited patience, once I am into a project), I actually IRON each tiny scrap before it gets stored. Yes, this has led to many, many moments where I question my own sanity.

Jaime said...

Wow that is impressive!
So far this is my method:
- cut a 5" square and add to my stack (I'm trying to collect a square from every fabric as I use it)
- if it's foldable, it goes in one basket
- too small to fold but big enough for applique or something, in a big bag
- little bits go in the trash. I'm very short on space!

Alissa said...

Mine are all just thrown in one big basket! With the warms kinda to one side and the cools to the other... Yours are so organized! Impressive.

em's scrapbag said...

Thanks for sharing your method. Nice to hear what works for others.

Rebekah said...

wow! It looks like you've got this down to a science1

Christina said...

You just made me feel so much better about keeping all my tiny little scraps. :)

Anna said...

I came across Bonnie Hunter's scrap saver system and have implemented it pretty well. I love having the leaders and enders to prevent those tails and birds' nests behind my sewing. I don't really finish enough projects at a time to have a lot of scraps so I generally put them in a scrap bin until it gets full then spend a few hours at a time cutting them into the different strips. Since I haven't done any scrappy strip quilts yet, they are just patiently waiting for me. I posted about this system on my blog. Sometimes I think I spend more time organizing and should just use that time for sewing! I have a small bin for the "crumbs" or those little tiny pieces. I usually save them for someone who makes crumb quilts, but I've heard that you can put them in your backyard and the birds will use them in their nests. By the way, I don't think anyone should feel bad about giving away their scraps, why not? At least they are going to a home where they will be used. OK, that's my two cents. Thanks for sharing!!

pratima said...

Wow, you have a wonderful system to store the scraps. Thanks so much for sharing and inspiring to pay a bit more attention to my scraps.

Andrea said...

You're supposed to save the scraps?????

Amanda said...

I sort my scraps by colors. I don't make a lot of quilts with small pieces, but I have a friend that does. She makes quilts with 1 1/2" pieces, so I bag those for her.

I used to put every scrap in my scrap baskets, but here lately I had started folding the scraps along with it's large piece of fabric and put it on my shelf. I have been quilting for 14 years now, so my scrap baskets are running over.

I also sort by theme, such as holidays or fabric lines (30's).

Anonymous said...

wow i called that very organised. What is fabric knitting, do you have a tutorial on this. thanks

Diane said...

Couldn't help but smile when I read this...Gee, you make me feel so totally unorganized.. (love your blog)
Diane (Middle TN)

Alma said...

I am impressed by your self-discipline.

What do I do with my scraps? I throw them away. (gasp!) I just threw out a bunch of them or I'd offer to mail them to you.

I don't make scrappy quilts, and am always pressed for time.

LOVE your blog.

Leslie said...

i love all your scraps!! Your storage plan is great, very impressive!!! They look so pretty when they are sorted by color. I keep my fabric in bins, my small scraps in a old bucket and another one holds the large scraps. Nothing nearly so elaborate

amandasasikirana said...

oh amanda jean, your post is very entertaining. I know you're crazy on scarps but really, I never knew there's an organized scrap collection hehe... me, I just dump my scraps in a cardboard box and dug through it every time I need to. of course I haven't been making quilts as much as you so the box is still half full. maybe once it's full I should consider your method of separating by color.
thanks for the post!

Calico Road said...

I put mine in big clear plastic pretzel barrels. I have not sorted them by color yet, but one of these days i'll have the time. (yeah right)

Iva said...

What an impressive system you have! I've never considered saving my selveges.... what ever do you do with them???

Linda said...

I have one bin of snippets and really small pieces, then I have a bin of scraps suitable for string quilts organized by color. Then one of selvages and small strings, too small for quilts, but maybe good for knitting a rug. Then everything else that is less than a quarter yard or less than fat quarter size is in another bin sorted by color. Then I have fat quarters, half yard pieces, one yard pieces, two yard pieces and then big stuff. Now, if I only had the time to actually get in and USE them! LOL Maybe you should come raid my scrap bins. :)

Jane's Fabrics and Quilts said...

to be honest, I do not sort, which is why I have boxes of scrapes, so if i want to use them, i just dig through a box, quite a system hun!!!

heatherandrienne said...

The fun thing for me is that you already know how I organize my scraps because I copy everything that you do!:):) I just don't have as many scraps yet!:) Give me a few years!:):):) Heather

Chicago Sarah said...

That's a great system. I tend to shove all mine into plastic bags and declare "I'll sort these later". Like maybe in sixty years- and I'm pretty sure I won't be able to see very well then. Ah, we all leave a legacy- mine will clearly be fiber.

Almost done quilting. said...

I like to say I store my scraps in my quilts. Since I am 65 (and I can see just fine) I am getting rid of all my fabric, into quilts. Since I can now tell what fabrics I probably won't use, I donate those to a) the quilt guild, b) to the church quilting ladies, or Goodwill. And somehow there is plenty of fabric to work with every day.

Bekhy said...

What a great post! I've always been so curious about your scrap storage/stash as clearly you have a lot (judging by how many scrap quilts you have managed to sew together :P). I have a robe gift box under the cutting table that I toss scraps in as I'm working on a project. When I'm finished with the project, and I'm in my "cleaning up the sewing room" phase, I sort through the scraps and try to square them up into strips or squares (ie no curves, and I don't care too much for severe wonkiness so I keep the strips fairly even width). I have 1-2 plastic shoe boxes of these--the ones I can part with my daughter plays with to practice sewing etc. The others are there "just in case" but typically once I overflow the shoe box I get overwhelmed and I donate it to the local Project Linus. Particularly as last year I made a series of 15-20 scrap quilts inspired by Bonnie Hunter's website (including the spider web quilt) and I've kind of worked it out of my system :P. I also discovered while doing these quilts that, although I like scrappy quilts, I really like being able to cut & sew efficiently, so unless the strips end up a standard size that I can easily put into a scrap quilt, they tend to get donated. I do love your mini/snippet scrap quilt and have kept small snippets in case I want to make those :). And I've been saving some strings to make cards similar to yours. The charm size I pick if I have enough fabric left over is 6.5" square as it's the size of the ruler :). I collect these and use them for scrappy baby quilts etc. w/ sashing or sew together to cover cards etc. I try to use up scraps as they come up without waiting for huge batches unless the fabric is one I dearly love and don't want to throw into any old scrappy baby quilt. What I'm having a hard time is with the home dec fabric scraps--I love them (the fabrics) to death, don't have a lot of them, and they're all curvy! (from making bags etc.) I can't imagine what I'm going to do with them but I can't bear to part with scraps that cost $20/yd :P. Any advice??

Joyce said...

Right now I have a big huge jumbled pile. I have to do some sorting asap. Thanks for the ideas.

Mand-a-Lin said...

I never kept small scraps, until I did a mini wall hanging foundation piecing workshop. The finished blocks were only 2", with some of the blocks having 20 stitching lines! Now I am compelled to keep absolutely everything. Storage was a real issue for me, not anymore though, now I have plenty of ideas.

bopeep said...

Dear, Dear, AmandaJean, I LOVE LOVE LOVE this post, I have to say it took a while to read, because I kept reading all the ways to use up the scraps, you have a great way of storing and I love it. I am in the process of making a crumb quilt, I thought it would use up a lot of my scraps, I think I have enough blocks to make two quilts.
Thanks For Sharing,
Come visit my blog.
Prayers, Bo

Rose said...

I'm impressed! My scraps occupy only one plastic bin, and they are not organized in any way. I can say though, that your recent posts have inspired me to save more scraps. I used to throw away alot because I never knew what to do with all those little pieces. Now I know, so THANKS!

Diva Quilts said...

My system is similiar to yours: I have large, clear plastic bins for larger pieces (by colour), medium sized for everything else (by colour) and clear plastic zip lock bags for tiny bits, selvages and similarly shaped pieces - all according to colour.

Bravos Grandkid said...

I love that you sort your scraps, mine are all in the same big basket and I have to sort for every project. I also love that someone else keeps snippets... i use them for foundation piecing, they are so handy! Great post, thanks.

Cheryl said...

You absolutely amaze me! I've been reading your blog for some time now...I've gotten lots of inspiration and maybe someday I'll actually be a productive quilt maker too! Thanks for all the tutorials, ideas, advice and just general information! I love the quilts and other stuff you make. Again, you amaze me!!!

Kerri said...

I love how you organize your scraps! I only have one large basket of scraps so far. Hopefully someday I'll have to get creative on how I organize them, when I've done much more quilting. :)

Patty H. said...

I sort mine on mood. Example: my good mood means everything gets thrown into a scrap box for scrappy projects. Bad mood means I sweep them all into the trash and yell about how I never have time for scrappy projects anyway.

Your method seems more effective.

3 M's said...

it's good to know I'm not the only one out there saving the snippets! :) Thought I was alone!
Thanks for sharing- your method isn't far from what organization I've got going, tho you are much more of a master than I at quilting.

Pikku- Kettu said...

Wow! You're organized! I just throw mine in a pretty paper bag. :)

Then when I have the time, I cut 2,5 inch squares and 1 inch strips out of them to make scrappy cabin logs.

Christine said...

Great System! I have decided to give most of my scraps to a friend who quilts. She is handicapped and lives on a very limited income. She has limited use of her hands and arms, yet she quilts... She has a machine that has a push button to start and stop. She spends 3 to 4 hours each day quilting. Her work coach does her cutting, but she designs and quilts everything herself. It inspires me and it makes me feel good to know that she will really use the scraps I give her. You have a wonderful blog and you finish so many quilts...

jacquie said...

interesting...i've read bonnie's system and it didn't work for me either...your system is somewhere between hers and mine...mine are simply sorted by color. i should do a bit more sorting by size. where to find the time is my question. at least i don't throw everything on the floor any more...that used to be my system.

becki said...

WOW! You are super organized, I wish I could be more like that!! I don't really have a method for saving my scraps. They just end up in a bag and I use them for my spiderweb quilt. I need to get some bins and do as you do. I'm sure I would have more beautiful quilts like yours if I did!!!

Judy said...

I already commented once but just had to say that I followed your links and found your cube storage boxes and I think I am IN LOVE!! I will be making tons of these soon!
I've been using paper bags..but not anymore!

Stefanie said...

Wow, I'm in awe! Once again well done. I personally have a plastic hamper that I put all my scraps from the sewing room in. When the hamper overflows, it gets sorted into three large clear plastic storage containers: light, medium, and dark. I usually also keep another bin or basket for the scraps I am currently working with and sewing together randomly. This seems simple enough to maintain, but easy enough to use.

Sarah said...

Great system! Amazing how we are all able to figure out what works for us... For me, it helped to define what I thought of as a scrap... Anything too small to be a dominating fabric in a quilt or handbag. So a cut up half yard can still go folded on my shelf, but once it gets too small, it goes in a box. Small pieces go in jars. Strings and tiny pieces go in a basket under my cutting table - I'm making some pillows soon and I'm going to use all this as part of the stuffing. My scrap box needs some work - maybe baskets by color or something.... I think I feel a blog post coming on! Mind if I steal your idea? ;)

KateKwiltz said...

Hah! I store mine in plastic bags, and I swear they really DO multiply!

I sort anything wider than three-quarters of an inch by color into sandwich baggies. Anything else, regardless of length (or useability, for that matter) goes into the really fancy stainless steel garbage can that I can't use for garbage because it seals too well and starts composting in my kitchen.

One day I'm going to go through it and pull all the really long pieces out and make one of your rugs, and use the rest for stuffing.

Anina said...

Very impressive! Some of mine are cut and stored a la Bonnie's system, but I tend to get behind and end up with just a bin full of odds and ends.
You should come and join the "nothing but scraps" challenge.

kat @ Taylor Made designs said...

Maybe I should put my meager scraps in a plastic bag, seeing that everyone says they multiple :) I would be pretty happy!

Thanks for sharing. When I do have a stash to organize, i will think of you and your methods!

Anonymous said...

this is a non-scrap management question. Last night I pieced together the back for a quilt and I cannot seem to get out the seam from the fold when the fabric was on the bolt. I've ironed and steamed lik a mad woman but the darn crease is still there! I was thinking of putting it in the dryer with a damp towel on low but it's already pieced with the other fabric so I'm hesitant to do that. Any suggestions?

Thanks!
y.t.

Megan said...

This is how: http://www.flickr.com/photos/craftyintentions/3227763395/in/set-72157606317818345/

lera said...

I have one basket for all my scraps. When it gets too full, I pack them up and ship them off TO YOU! :-) That's how I manage MY scraps! lol

Caroline said...

Right now I don't have the luxury of scraps! I wish I did, but I don't. I ALWAYS plan out my quilts to the T; I print out a mock-up of what the quilt will look like in the end, figure out the dimensions of every piece, then do the math and end up with EXACTLY what I need to do the quilt. Part of that is due to the fact that I am just a poor, starving student, and I have to budget everything, so I cannot afford to have extra fabric. Someday I'll be able to get extra fabric and save up scraps for miscellaneous projects.

Question: Do you wash and dry all of your fabrics before you start a quilt? A quilter friend and I are debating about this because I was taught that you ALWAYS wash your fabrics, and she was taught to not. So what do you do? (To wash, or not to wash, that is the question! ;o)

StephanieDJ said...

Oh Amanda Jean, you are my favorite blogger! I'm embarking in this great world of quilting because you inspire me so much!!!

What do you do with your "pretty" salvages, the ones with the name of the fabric on them??? I'm curious to find out! thank you!

V and Co. said...

i need a better organizing process. this helps me want to try it again!

Kadie said...

I think that it is great that you keep everything and have a use for it. As fabric can be quite expencive I too do not like to throw any away. I am not as organized as you. I fact I have no system right now. I was wondering what you do with the salvage ege? I have alway thrown them away. I would love a good use for them. Thanks. (BTW I love your blog it is inspireing to see how much you can get done!!!)

amandajean said...

anonymous,

re: fabric knitting. follow the link to the rug in this post and i wrote brief instructions how to do it in that post. let me know if you have further questions.

aj

amandajean said...

iva,

i've made a checkbook cover with selvages. so far that's it. i want to make a purse with them someday soon.

aj

amandajean said...

bekhy,

is there any way you can incorporate those decorator fabrics into quilts, too? that would be fun. otherwise, you could use some smaller pieces for coin zipper pouches. that's what i can think of off the top of my head.

aj

Jenn Boerger said...

I'm pretty new to this and don't have many scraps! But, a gal I met at my local quilt shop saves every last little bit and puts them to use inside (as stuffing) doggy beds she makes and donates to the local Human Society. Great way to use those itty-bitties!

amandajean said...

y.t.,

i wouldn't worry about the seam line too much. quilt it, bind it, and when you are done, wash and dry it. that seam should come out then. that's what i do, anyway. :)

aj

amandajean said...

caroline,

i don't pre-wash. i was told i should, but i much prefer using the fabric before it's washed and still has some starch in it. this is one of those personal preference things. do what works for you. :)

aj

amandajean said...

stephanieDJ and kadie,

i have used my selvages to make a checkbook cover and so far that's it. i hope to make a purse with them someday soon.

aj

Amy said...

hmmm- i apparently do not do enough sewing. i have no storage solution right now, but maybe in the future i can come up with one...hopefully that is!

Sarah said...

Okay,I admit it....I have been a blog stalker now for a while! I love,love all the projects and quilts you do.....

I have a new website and added you on our blog roll. Come check us out sometime and join in on the fun. Maybe we could do an interview with you or something?!?!?!

Debi said...

You are so good. I have so much fabric and really should organize before I buy more. My sister spent a week of evenings folding fabric and even enlisted her husband to help! She posted a picture on her blog too. I guess I need to get with the program!

Thimbleanna said...

Wow Crazymom -- that's impressive! What a lot of work! I just have plastic bins and sort by color -- but only small pieces -- if a scrap is of any size, it gets folded and put back into the main fabric stash.

Kristy Vernon said...

Thanks for sharing your scrap storage ideas! I always love to get ideas from other people. Sadly, I don't keep scraps but would love to start, especially after seeing what you are able to do with them. I just have such a lack of space (2 bedroom apartment).

Quilting Jeanne said...

I soak all new fabric on my soak cycle, it really doesn't need to be 'washed' But I like to get out the sizing or whatever might be in or on the fabric, I like this 'feel' better than un-soaked fabric now. I do this in the evening, then hang the yardage from the sewing table, ironing board, etc., and its dry in the morning. Touch with an iron and it's ready to cut or be the backing. Soaking doesn't agitate, and I never put into the dryer.
It works for me.

Aunt Spicy said...

Thank you! I feel much more normal after reading your post and the above comments...I used to think I was the only one!

Anonymous said...

Boy o boy are you thrifty!!! and here I throw all mine out, even the selvedges!!..Jewells

Wendy said...

For a couple years now, as I work I throw scraps in a container on the back of my cutting table, when it gets full, I sort it by warm and cool, then store in boxes under the table.... your system puts mine to shame! I have been working on using up my scraps though, and thats the main idea, right?!

erica said...

I have a bin under my sewing table and one under my cutting table, I also have a vintage suitcase that I stuff the overflow in so that my studio doesn't look so messy. I am impressed that your scraps are separated by color. In my dreams.....

Emily said...

Your system is AMAZING! I used to sort by color- but since I've had kids I just throw everything from a project into a gallon ziploc and it goes to the back of the closet. (nine years of this! I will have some cleaning to do when they go off to college!!)

I love your snippet quilt, it is my fave. Keep on keepin on!

bzsclmom said...

I'm impressed that you have any sort of system at all for storing your scraps. My system is this: I have a basket near my sewing table, and when I make a scrap I think is big enough, I throw it in the basket. Then when I need a small piece of something, I dig through the basket like a maniac, saying things like," I know I have a scrap of green here somewhere!"

leigh said...

Do you really use all the scraps? I try, but I never really get to it. Then I get annoyed that I have so many and donate them.

ps - thanks for you blog. it's really really great!

amandajean said...

leigh,

i do use scraps quite a lot. they accumulate quickly, but i prefer (usually) to use scraps over yardage many times, so that helps. :)

there is NO harm in donating them. good for you!

aj

Miss Behave said...

Thanks for posting this, it was just what I needed to get my butt up to do some scrap cleaning :)

jessica said...

Wow. That's impressive and a good deal more organized than I am. Basically I have 1-2 shoe boxes that are neither sorted nor do they ever seem to shrink, even when I take on projects specifically designed to use up my scraps. Possibly if I invested more time in trying to manage my scraps, I'd take on more projects that actually use them up.

Ooh, and I spot some HR mushroom fabric in that bin of miscellaneous fabrics. That's one of my favorites of all times!!!

sulu-design said...

I am totally impressed with your sorting system. I'm sure you know that my anal retentive tendencies really appreciate good organization. I would imagine that you and others with little kids could make a game of sorting scraps that might be a time saver. Or it might mess up the whole system...

Plays with Needles said...

This post sent me over the moon! Very very helpful!!!!!!

Diane said...

a storage idea for fabric scraps. What a novel idea, I thought they were just meant to lay in every nook and cranny of my sewing areas.
Thank you for the great idea. I will start organizing asap.

Cheryl A said...

That is quite the system! All my scraps go to one of three places: back in the appropriate coloured bin if they are larger than a 6 inch square, in a ziploc with every other scrap to donate or to play with, or the garbage if they aren't at all useful.

sandra said...

that is the best sorting of scraps I have ever seen. I don't do anything like that!

Sheree said...

I just started working on a "system". I have bins and bins of scraps. And they are large, since I mostly make clothing. At first I was going to give them all away. But, now that I am playing with quilting, I figured I sort them and start using them in projects. I saw an over the door shoe holder used for scraps...looked pretty cute for small bits. But I have no idea yet what to do with my large bits. I'll figure it out eventually, I hope!

Amalie said...

Wow, this is awesome. Besides the fact that I just love your blog, I love that people show how they do things like this. It is great!!! I put mine in bags in separate crates. That was I can see the side but it looks really organized in te room without tons of bags. I love to hear that people separate them out by colors too. I keep all sizes even when I can't use it again. Oh well. The next time I move I will get rid of those. If you hadn't shared this organization and let us see, we wouldn't be able to read others comments. I love it and thank you soooo much.

RAE said...

Great organizing! I just have 2 scrap boxes-one for biggish pieces, one shoe box size for smallish. I really do use the biggish pieces quite a bit, but not the smallish so much...

DIDI said...

Hello Amandajean, and how about all the narrow strips you get when you straighten fabric? We can't forget about them, lol

have a look:
http://mollychicken.blogs.com/my_weblog/2008/06/fabric-pom-pom.html

Biquiños

kristinknits said...

I am in awe of your stash - so much fun fabric!!! And your quilts are fabulous!

Suzanne said...

Yay for me! I just knew that you'd have a system and with a little looking, I found this post easily. I got good ideas from you and several of your readers and as always, traveled down new internet roads of inspiration. Thanks, Amanda Jean.

suemac said...

I have the classifying by color down but don't have enough to sub-classify

Jamie Lee said...

I am doing the scrappy stash qal with Ellison Lane quilts and I was just trolling looking for good ideas for scrap storage. I think I saw the one I'm going to use in your book--shoe holder that hangs on door. I was looking around to see if any had tried it. Now that I've gone through my scraps and really tried to whittle them down, I'd like to put them away more neatly when I'm all finished.