Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Taming Those Scraps - Part 2

 Last week, I shared the first steps I take at taming my scraps.  For many quilters, setting up an initial scrap system will be all that is needed.  I think just being disciplined to organize scraps as they are made and having them as accessible as possible will help to ensure you use them and that they don't become a chore.

But I have a LOT of scraps.

So I have some additional storage areas that I keep my scraps organized in.

I was lucky enough to come across some old locker baskets from a local pool.  I snagged 12 to further sort my scraps.  They fit perfectly on a metal storage rack I already had in my laundry room - which is right outside my sewing room.  So once a smaller color bin is full above my cutting table, I will empty it in it's appropriate basket.  You can see that these are all pretty much overflowing!

When I am ready to work on my RSC blocks or when I start a new scrap quilt, I like that I can just grab the color bin I need.  And because I can easily see into them, I can sometimes just see a piece I can readily snag and get to cutting.

Did I mention I have a lot of scraps?!!!

I have one more level of scrap storage.  These bins are the old way I used to store what I keep in the baskets.  But I found them a bit difficult to use.  They are smaller (so therefore they were always crammed full) and they were hard to get the drawers in and out.  And when a system doesn't work well, you tend not to use it.  I should also mention, these bins are in a closet down the hall and in another room from my sewing room.

Nowadays,  these drawers store larger scrap chunks that I can get folded up and stored on end so I can see them.  These are all pieces that are smaller than a fat quarter (I know many may consider this stash).  You can see they are also organized by color.

So why all of these levels of storage?

Because I like to get the best yield out of my scraps so that means I need to use the smallest piece that works for the cut I need.  So I start by looking in the bin right above my cutting station - then I move to my baskets where smaller bits and strips are kept.

If I still can't find what I need or my baskets are running low, I can look in the "chunky" bin and pull bigger pieces to backfill my scrap system.  This keeps me from always grabbing the biggest piece and never getting to the smaller bits.  Also, because these larger pieces are down the hall, my lazy self doesn't always want to make the trek so I tend to use what I have closest.

I should also point out, that keeping large scraps in these drawers means I CAN use them more as a stash when I want to.  This makes my pocketbook happy!

And finally, when I talk about scrap storage by color, I am always asked what colors I separate by.

Lime Green

So I think I will end this second part here.  I do have a few more ideas for working with scraps that I will share at a later date.  

Who thinks I have a scrap problem!  :)

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Mystic Quilter said...

I have the very same sort of plastic storage drawers as shown in your photo, I store quarters or a little less in them and like yourself each drawer is dedicated to one colour. I also have stacked baskets for 1/2 yards and 1 yards pieces and separate storage for larger yardage.

swooze said...

I’m enjoying reading your thought process on scraps. I’ve been playing with mine a little bit more lately and your advice is very timely for me.

LIttle Penguin Quilts said...

Your wire baskets filled with scraps are pretty and appealing. Since you are full of scrap ideas, your baskets should be overflowing, so you never run out!

Yvonne from Quilting Jetgirl said...

I don't think you have a scrap problem; you have scrap solutions!

Vicki in MN said...

You are always using your scraps so you have no problem!! I love your locker baskets, now if I had that and room to put it, maybe I would use scraps more, LOL

Patricia said...

This is very similar to the way I sort scraps...sort of. I have the same colors you listed except I have black & gray together with white alone. I have also added a drawer for denim scraps. These (all) are fabric strips. Smaller scraps are cut into 5" or 3-1/2" squares. If I have a large enough piece I will cut layer cake size - 10" squares. Anything bigger is folded onto comic book boards and put on a shelf in rainbow order. Scrappy quilts are what I enjoy the most so I like to keep it organized. Oh, I do have a crumb bin as well. Maybe I do have a scrap problem??? said...

Your scrap storage solution is great! What a novel way to use those locker baskets. Being able to to see what is in the container is important. I'm relatively new to scrap storage. I've been using zip lock bags. When the bag is full, I try to make a project using that color/size. You've inspired me to have much more fun playing with scraps!

Barb N said...

I wish I could find a locker storage system for cheap! I think being able to see through the storage container is key for me to be able to use them. I have some plastic boxes that once the fabric goes in, it has become the kiss of doom, never to emerge again. Doh!

QuiltGranma said...

Love that locker basket storage, but you obviously do not have cats! I'm just getting back into cutting and sewing quilt blocks, having endured needing a hip, then getting a new hip then breaking my wrist.

The Joyful Quilter said...

Nope! You can't possibly have a problem (because your storage system looks very much like my own.)

Rebecca Grace said...

I have one of those plastic drawer bins like yours and I hate it, too -- so hard to get the darned drawers to open and shut! I love your scrap SOLUTIONS to other people's scrap PROBLEMS! :-)

Bonnie said...

Hum — those crazy plastic drawer sets. I currently use one set for strips but they aren’t by color so I can’t quickly find what I want. At seeing yours used for wsmaller folded pieces I got all excited and thought I could do that too until I read how you find them difficult to use. I’m going to rethink my current system for fat quarters and smaller. I have box tops (think of a top from boxes filled with reams of paper.) they sit on the shelves that line two sides of my room. They are great to go in and grab pieces or fat quarters. The down side is a lot of the height of the shelves are not utilized. I will be thinking of ways to eliminate the wasted space although it is much easier to look at and get to the tops with a big space above it. Decisions, decisions. Looking forward to the next installment.

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