Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Sorting Scraps

My dining room is my sewing room, and slowly but surely it looks more and more like one.  A new makeover is underway, largely in part because of these drawers:

very humble beginnings

Eight humble drawers (white frames from Ikea, drawer fronts by my husband). Oh, but the plans I have for them! I mean for the outside. With some Mod Podge and braided cloth handles I intend to make them very especially ME!

The insides have already been put to good use!  The top drawers house large, flat items like my trusty Kona color card, sewing machine manual, misc. rulers, notions galore.  The bottom four drawers, which are deep, are home to my scrap collection.  It was the scraps that sent me drawer-hunting, really.  I've been sewing now for 2 years.  Scrap progression:

1.  Throw them away.  What could I possible make with scraps?
2.  Save every tiny bit.  Bottle those rainbows in canning jars.  Pull them out on rare occassions.  Make cards.
3.  Admit that I need a plan.  Start dividing scraps by warm/cool and big/little.
4. Bins overflow.  Create Bottled Rainbows.  Decide scraps must be dividided by actual color (ROYBG, etc.) and by 4 distinct sizes.

into wardobe draw sorters from Ikea

Enter drawers.  And, these nifty fabric bins (Kubb) designed by Ikea for wardrobe drawers. 

sorting scraps

When I was weak and whiney from the flu, I did the sorting from the couch or table. It was astonishing how much effort it took to lift my hand over and over again.

sorting scraps

The smallest cube is for my tiny scraps, ranging about 1-3". One long bin stores string scraps, while the other houses medium-sized chunks, ranging about 4-6". And, the largest scraps folded nicely in the large, square bin at the back of the drawer.  Drawers are red/pink, orange/yellow, blue/green and purple/neutrals.

oh happy scrappy day!

Happy, scrappy day! I fully realize that this is rather over-the-top. I mean, drawers solely dedicated to scraps!?! But, hey, I don't have a sewing room. And I probably never will. This is my "investment" into organization and effeciency. And, since the sorting took place, I have most certainly made better use of my scraps. Being able to find the needed color/shape so easily makes a HUGE difference!

Confession:  I fear letting my scraps outgrow this solution.  May it not be!

not a quilt.

The most troublesome scraps are those that are pieced - ie. cut-offs or cast-offs from some other project.  And then there are the multi-colored scraps, which are quite pesky too.  To keep things under control (ahem), I have designed a new project series specifically working from scraps in an improvisational manner.

something pretty

I should have some finishes tomorrow!

25 comments:

  1. And this is why I get into trouble at places like Bed Bath and Beyond and the Container Store - I love drawers and organize-y tools!! Looking mighty tidy there, Rachel :)

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  2. This is seriously a fantastic way to sort your scraps! I may have to steal it someday.

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  3. Looks awesome! I can't wait to see your improv project!

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  4. I was just thinking about my scrap stash last night, and how it is slowly taking over my sewing space. Your solution looks great! Ooh, and I love your new scrappy project!

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  5. I love seeing how other people organize their sewing stuff! I just finished organizing all my non-scrap fabric and I need to tackle scraps next, thanks for the inspiration!

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  6. This is a lovely way of organizing your scraps and you've given me some ideas as far as how to organize size-wise. My scrap basket is now overflowing, and I'm struggling with how to store the pieces and parts. I'm finding that the scraps can be just as inspiring as the large cuts of fabric, so I don't want them out of sight. Looking forward to seeing your next project!

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  7. Crikey oh lordy, that is some scrap organization!! Just a bit jealous!

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  8. My scraps used to be organized by size... and many still are. But now there is an "overflow" bin that is utterly unsorted and filling up, and I can feel any remaining control of the scrap situation slipping away! I love seeing how other folks manage their scraps (and that I'm not the only one who keeps the really little ones, too!).

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  9. An inspiration! I went through the "great sort" in February. It makes me want to make more scrappy quilts--so much easier when they are color-sorted. I like your white boxes better than my plastic tubs, though.

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  10. I love the progression! I've gone through the same sort of thing, minus actually ever using them :)
    I just don't know how I should sort them and what pieces are actually useful, and for what.

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  11. Obviously, when your scraps outgrow the allocated space... it's time for a scrappy project!!

    I should start thinking about organising my scraps...

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  12. Great organizing...your different size break-ups give me somewhere to start. Right now my scraps are in a mutlti layer basket...it's starting to get messy! Thanks for the insight into scrap baskets!

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  13. gorgeous!! I hear you on the weak and whiney progress. I've been weak and whiney with morning sickness and wishing I had the power to move things with my mind! By brain is sewing, but my body doesn't want to cooperate. Kudos to you for getting this done while not feeling well!

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  14. Such organization. Wow. You are really getting your scraps together. I have an all scrap quilt I am dying to try. Maybe it will be my next quilt. Your scrap quilt is so sweet. Can't wait to see more blocks.

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  15. what a great scrap system! Just the nudge I need to organize my own.

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  16. Oh, Becky, I'm sorry to hear that! It's no fair how morning sickness goes on and on and on... Be nice to yourself =)

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  17. I am brand new to quilting and have NO scraps!! I would love to know where to purchase some scraps like these... I see all these cute scrap quilts but have no stash to go to!!

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    1. Scrappy quilts can be made from fat quarters or just small cuts of fabric. They don't actually have to be scraps. And a scrap can be any size cut; it's just something you haven't used yet. Many scrap patterns have a main color to tie everything together and will say buy 1/2 yard of green, for example.

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  18. mmmm... organization porn. Thanks for sharing, I'm in the process of moving my sewing room to a public part of the house as well, and any ideas are welcome... This one is great!

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  19. Love your ideas! You always make me smile.

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  20. Nice way to organise!
    and I can't wait to see more details of your next scrap busting project - go the scraps! :)

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  21. Well done, so much easier to read about it than do it! Looking forward to seeing what comes next

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