Saturday, February 12, 2011


I love making scrap quilts.  The visual texture you get from a large variety of scraps is appealing to me.  I appreciate scraps and put them to use!  I'm lucky to have scraps gifted to me from some quilt friends.  It may be a few selvages or a leftover bit or even some odd pieces.  I regularly attend two quilt guild meetings.  At one of them, I usually get a bag of scraps.  One member saves her scraps for the month ang gives them to me at the meeting.  It's like Christmas!  (Thank you Marian!).  Since I'g getting ready to teach a scrap management class at the retreat, I was talking about my method of what I call Processing my scraps.  Since I had the Bag-o-Scraps, I used them as an example.  And got a sneak peak of this month's treasures.  I kept the thought of describing my process as I drove home.  I took a few pictures as I processed this bag of scraps.

Step 1:  Dump scraps onto table.  Paw through them and ohh and ahhh!

Divide into groups.  In this case, the top left is selvages.  Moving clockwise, pieced pieces, large pieces, strips at least 2" (this is the GOLD pile!), scraps, strings. 

Selvages are put away for selvage quilts, the pieced pieces will either be unpieced or put away as larger pieces.  I will probably put them away and use further process them as needed.  Large pieces can either be cut into smaller squares or "filed" in the appropriate color bin.  Strips - these will be cut to usealbe widths (1/2" increments) and then cut into squares or used as strips.  Most of what is here was cut to 2" squares.  Scraps are pieces that are less than 2" square or a string.  Strings are strips that are larger than a generous 3/4" and smaller than 2" and are at least 3 1/2" long.  The edges do not have to be parallel. 

Althought this sounds like a lot of "rules', pickingup these pieces an tossing them into the correct pile is quite easy.  The "rules" are flexible. 

So here's how I divided this group

I cut the short strips down to useable strips and squares.  That generated more scrap.  And trash.  I do throw away the trimmings that I don't use.  I left them in the bottom left bin to show you.  The bottom middle shows scraps and that large piece of purple that I wasn't ready to cut. 

Here are all of the bins stacked.  There are 228 squares in this top bin.  When I showed the bag of scraps, a member said "I throw away stuff that small".  I understand that.  But I use stuff like that! 

I'm looking forward to seeing the quilt that Marian made with those black, white and red fabrics.  And I will remember where the fabrics came from when I use them in a future quilt.

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