Conquering Scrap Mountain

Sunday brought more rain, so I went back to the studio. But I didn’t end up sewing. It won’t come as a surprise to long-time readers… but I am very bad at properly cleaning up after a project.

I have a tendency just to move things out of my way, and end up shuffling a lot of piles.

As soon as I headed into the studio, I had the urge to do something about it. And even though I really wanted to sew something.. I’ve learned not to ignore cleaning urges. They don’t come along often, so I have to take advantage when they do.

One thing that really needed doing was the taming of scrap mountain. When I finish a project, I throw all the leftover fabric (anything less than a 1/4 yard that is) into a big basket. The idea is to cut it up into pieces and sort it into my scrap bins. Ideally, I’d like to do this at least once a month. But it usually ends up being about six months between cutting sessions. It was definitely overdue.

Happily, the world’s most handsome feline is always willing to keep me company while I toil. It took several hours, but I soon had every last scrap cut, sorted, and put away into their respective scrap bins.

It might be hard to see the labels, but the sizes I cut to are 2.5″, , 3″, 3.5″, 4″, 4.5″, 5″, and 10″ squares. I also have bins for 2″ strips, and 2.5″ strips.

These bins are where all my wonderful scrap quilts emerge from. My current Leader/Ender project actually depleted several of the bins so it’s nice to have them full again.

Another thing I try to do with leftovers is cut and prep binding. When we trim the quilts after quilting, there are usually some good lengths left of the backing fabric. I like to cut these into 2.5″ strips, sew them together, and iron them into binding.

I measure out how many inches I have, and mark it on a piece of scrap paper.

Then they get bundled up and put in my binding bin. The idea is, that when I finish a quilt, I check here first to see if I have something that will work with it.

Now the studio is feeling much tidier, though there’s still a few things left to do…

I hear you, Lemmy! The Flannel Foothills are looking rather daunting and need to be tamed too. On the next rainy day, they will be chopped into 5″ and 8″ pieces. I plan to make some pet blankets to donate to local animal rescues, as the flannel scraps are really adding up!

10 thoughts on “Conquering Scrap Mountain

  1. My goodness, you are so organized with your bins all labeled and full of scraps. Good for you! You’ll be all ready to sew again. I think Lemmy is worried about you stopping and not getting HIS basket of scraps taken care of. 🙂


  2. Araignee

    Stash mountain…..that’s a great way to put it. I need to do the same with my mountains. That photo of Lemmy is too precious. What a face!


  3. I procrastinate about cutting scrap sizes, too, but it feels good once it’s done. My scraps are cut the same size as yours, but I also have a 6.5 inch bin. I can’t believe some people toss their scraps into the trash.


  4. Shirley Elliott

    Yay for taming scrap mountain! I organize pretty much the same way but I have never had a binding bin. Might need to work that into my system.


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