Sunday, September 22, 2013

Getting the better of my stash (Let it go, Karen!)

You may remember from a previous post that I'm trying to get the scrap chaos in my studio under control, and spiffify the space. (You know you all understand what that word means.)  Part of that is a pledge to not have more scraps of any one color than will fit in the fabric bins I'm making.  That I did not put a deadline on that pledge is not an oversight.   One day I'll decide on a deadline.

I'm not a quilter who can take a pile of scraps and systematically cut them into standard sizes; it's just not going to happen.  I'll cut leftovers from cutting projects but I just won't do it with an existing pile of scraps.  (And I also realized this week that I have YET to use any of those standard-sized strips and scraps that I've cut anyway.  Getting control of those controlled scraps is the next step.)  So, my answer?  Crazy patchwork blocks--utilitarian crazy blocks.  (They'll be fun and pretty--I hope--but won't have all the embellishment usually associated with crazy quilting.)  Semi-crazy, maybe?  The point is that the pieces can be fairly large, and I'll make my way through the scraps more quickly.  That was the plan.  It doesn't seem to be working as quickly as I had anticipated but...ever onward.

I just grabbed a few scraps from each of the color-sorted stacks of larger scraps and got to work.   Part of the challenge is to use all the scraps, whatever color or intensity or saturation.  It will all work together in the end. 

The biggest challenge for me, surprisingly, is letting go of small, small scraps.  I have pieced little tiny crazy blocks because I felt guilty about not using every little bit of fabric in a quilt.  I still don't like to "waste" fabric by throwing it away but I need to let the itty bitties go.  I can release them to the folks who make dog beds from fabric and batting scraps but I NEED to let them go.  It's hard for me!

Scraps this size?  Let them go, Karen.  Yes, you could make a little tiny crazy piece but then what are you going to do with it?   Release it to the comfort of our canine friends.

And when I trim the edges of a block?  That is always the end of the line--I won't debate about whether or not the piece is big enough to use in another block.  Let it go, Karen.  (Oh, but what about that red piece on the lower left corner?? It might be big enough.)  Just let it go.  :-)

So, in the end I have blocks that aren't masterpieces but will make a fun quilt. (Do I want to use sashing between the blocks?  I haven't decided yet.)  If I make a block every day or two, I'll get there.

In the meantime I need to make some more fabric bins.  I can use scraps for that, can't I?

How do YOU control your scrap stash? If you're one of those quilters who can cut those standard sizes--and then use them--boy, do I admire you!  I wish I knew how you do it!


  1. I am grateful for having found a couple of friends who love my scraps. Yes, I am a fabric waster, but I collected a huge bin of scraps that I don't think I ever touched after they went into that bin. I realized that it is okay to let them go -- it's good for my mental health and my creative spirit (when it shows up) to declutter both my studio and my mind. I've found that "art" quilters seem to enjoy the scraps the most.

    On a side note, I love organizing closets, cupboards, and my studio, but hate cleaning! I will be watching your blog to see how everything turns out. Good luck!

  2. It sounds as if you have the scrap thing figured out, Deb! I'm getting better, and my studio WILL get organized and under control. I'm sure of it. Mostly. :-)