It is time to deal with scraps instead of talking about it. One motivation is that my sewing machine is in the shop (only routine maintenance, nothing dire). So since I am a one-machine gal, I need to do something other than sew. I opened one box of scraps, the oldest box.
Believe me this is less than 1/10 of the total. I’ve been collecting for a long time. This batch comes from when I was dressmaking. So the shapes, being odd, require individual attention. Nothing streamlined here.
I pressed a bunch that now looks like this.
Luckily I did the pressing on a cool day because today is in the high 90s without a breeze. The small blue pile will go into the crumb jar. Everything less than 1 1/4 inch-square but bigger than 3/4 inch goes into the crumb jar. I have some extremely small pieces from early days before it occurred to me that I needed to allow for 1/4 inch seams and then to still have fabric visible. Those I do discard.
I think it is a gallon jar. When it gets full I’ll sort by color and proceed to make improv fabric for some future project.
So far I have two piles.
This one for immediate projects.
Here I have 3 1/2-inch squares, 2-inch squares and 1 1/2-inch squares. These are for Variable star blocks, the four-patch block, Sunny Lanes, and small 9-patch blocks for cornerstones. The latter will be my leaders and enders when the current L & E project becomes a primary project (which is soon). There are also 2 x 3 1/2 rectangles to accumulate for a pattern I recently saw on DesertSky’s blog. it will take a long time to have enough of these to work with, so it will be ongoing for a long time.
My approach to scraps is this: If a piece is smaller than a 10-inch square, I start with the largest useful square I can get from it. Six and a half inch squares are the largest I usually use, so I start there if I can. And I keep making squares smaller as I am able–and some rectangles too in sizes other than the above mentioned. I once made a list of sizes I needed for various patterns I like to make, and it seems I can use most any size.
As I cut, if they are not the sizes for immediate use, I toss them on a heap to be sorted later.
I started out sorting as I cut, but it was too cumbersome and took up too much space. This works much better. The tray s right under my cutting table. When the pile begins to topple over, I’ll sort by size and by light/medium/dark. That allows for making a pattern and paying attention to value but not the color. If I choose to design by color, I’ll sort further at at that point.
I’ll try to keep going with this even after getting my sewing machine back. A little time each day, I’m told, adds up to a lot. Meanwhile it is a good thing to do without a sewing machine since I haven’t gotten into EPP or other hand work.
Tomorrow I’ll like with Oh Scrap! (button in sidebar).