Friday, 21 September 2012

Let's Talk Scraps

If you've been popping in here lately, you'll have noticed that I have been prompted to try some scrappy blocks by Judith's choice of September Bee blocks for Bee Blessed and for hipBees.

All of this playing has got me thinking about scraps, so I thought I'd share my scraps with you.

Let's talk size ...

I have noticed over the past year and a half of blogging that one person's scraps are another person's stash fabrics and that's certainly true with me.

For some stitchers, scraps seem to be anything less a fat quarter, but for me, a scrap is anything less than about 8" square or less than 2.5" wide (like leftover pieces of jelly rolls), and anything less than 2.5" square is destined for my tiny scraps box.  It's not an exact science (even I'm not that organised!) but in general them's the rules.

Let's talk storage ...

Scrap boxes - just two!

My fabric stash is small by comparison to lots of folks' out there, but it's plenty to be getting on with and to be storing!  Anything bigger than a scrap gets neatly folded and sorted by colour (roughly) into my stash drawers.

But everything else goes into my Ikea storage boxes, one for larger scraps and one for the tiny scraps.  Again, I don't have a huge volume of scraps and I'd like to keep them consigned to just one box each so that they don't take over the room.

I used to just pitch all the scraps into the boxes with no sorting, but I found that by sorting them into colour packages (just little labelled ziplock bags) they take up less space and I am more likely to find what I need and to use them, which is after all the point.

As you can see, my tiny scraps are still in the process of being colour sorted.

Let's talk purpose...

A little while ago I confess I had a moment when I considered dumping my scraps.  I wondered why I was saving all these little pieces.  Did I have a plan for them?  Would I ever use them?

Of course, scraps are useful to have around for little applique projects or tiny embellishments, but really that didn't use up many in the space of a year.  Fear of scrappy projects also made me reticent to use them - how could I use them without making something look horrible?  Well, no more fear.  Making the blocks Judith suggested for this month has inspired me to make up some scrappies with a view to collecting them over time and making use of fabric pieces I might once have ditched.

So now I have what I'm calling my "By The Ways" (as I'll be making them alongside other things going on) -

  • 12.5" crazy scrappy blocks (blocks in one colourway)

  • wee 5" improv crumb scrap blocks (again in single colourways).
I love these blocks and am content to have found a way of using up scraps and playing around with my own abilities in "scrappy" (trying not to over-plan) in ways that aren't risking precious fabrics.  Besides all that, they are quite fun to whip up!

So, onwards and upwards with my scrappiness - thanks J for the kick in the pants motivation I needed to do something about the growing heaps of raggedy bits.


  1. You've really got the hang of the scrappy thing now! so interesting to see how you store and sort everything :)

  2. I like how you have organised your scraps. I think that I will copy you! That is one neat fabric stash. I am in the process of making mine tidier but it involves moving other things around and there is always a snag along the chain. It is on my 'to do' list for this weekend and after seeing yours I will definitely do it! Di x

  3. Love your improv blocks such a super way to use up scraps.

  4. LOL! You're way to frugal to chuck out scraps! I knew you'd find a way! Jxo

  5. Would you like to come and sort out my scrap box? I have 2, one with small scraps and the other with larger ones. However they are all plonked in together. Perhaps I'll get them sorted one day.

  6. I've been thinking a lot about scraps lately as I had been keeping them in a tiny wicker hamper but now that's overflowing and a pain if I want a certain colour because I have to take everything out and if I'm in a hurry it's a pain to put everything back in so I can at least get the lid sort of closed! All my scraps used to fit into a small plastic box just like the one you showed. I have been thinking I ought to transfer scraps into a bigger plastic box like the other one you showed and it's inspired to sort them by colour into zippy bags by colour - going to be nicking that idea. Oh and I keep all my stash in a pine chest of drawers very like yours. If it won't fit in the chest I wont' allow myself to by more fabric until there is room for it!

  7. oh my, those drawers are soooo organised - not like my crammed in fistfuls of fabric!! I love the idea of colour coded bags, but know that I will just never find the time or inclination to be that organised. I bow down before you !!! x

  8. I love single colour crumb blocks. I just made a bunch myself. Not sure what they will become yet but they were fun to make.


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