Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Playing with Scraps

I get a little distressed when my sewing area is messy and that makes me not want to quilt. I've been so busy with other stuff and that's been my excuse, even though I know that the simple act of quilting will make me feel better. So, while I haven't quite taken the time to exactly tidy it ALL up, I  did start organizing some of my scraps (again and again and again). I love making scrap quilts and I have a few cute ideas but my method of making scrappy quilts requires a little planning.

Some quilters like to choose their fabrics at random when they make a scrap quilt, but I prefer to take my time and play with different colors until I find a scheme that I like. Takes longer, but I really enjoy that process. And I think that the simple act of playing around with fabric brings inspiration. Sometimes I simply choose a few colors to start a quilt and then use different shades of those colors over and over again interspersed with tiny bits of other contrasting scrap pieces.

I'm still trying to finish up the quilting on this quilt I started last year. Believe it or not, there's a theme here . . . .

Anyway, I usually start organizing my scrap pieces by taking them out of the baskets I throw them into when I'm sewing a project.

I will sit on the floor, turn on the TV and just mindlessly organize all the small pieces into piles according to color. Maybe it's silly, but I save even the tiniest ones because . . . well, you just never know.  And I love to place even a very small piece of one of my really old favorite prints into a quilt.

I place the scraps into zip-lock bags (according to color) and then put the bags into a "scrap bin" which I almost always take out when I start another project. This way I can easily see the colors of the scraps I may want to mix in with my new fabrics and have the choice of different shades of the same color right there in the bag when I want to make a block.

It's very easy to pull pieces and just sew a scrappy block -

Larger scrap pieces go into bins with drawers that are easy  to pull out if I need a bigger piece.

I have a hard time sewing if my space is messy and when this happens (right now, LOL) I can get lazy and ignore it and just get involved in something else. So the sooner I get it cleaned up, the more likely I am to make something fun. But, hey, at least the garden is looking good. One thing at a time . . . .

The peonies popped! And today they're fading already . . .

I haven't planted Sunflowers since the kids were little . . .

Do any of you have your own special organizing tips for making scrap quilts?


Elyte said...

Great tips Kathy, thank you.

Quiltendewilma said...

I just love the Inglish Country Garden!!

And your fabrics,..

Jans said...

The theme is windmills, I think and no I do not organise for scrapquilts.
I just pull some fabric that I like out of the closet and when it does not "fit" I take another one.
My friend Pjam thought me tot quilt, she always said, just do. So I do.
Greetings from a foggy Holland.
Janny S.

Anica gp said...

Hi!my sewing area is messy too and this is awful because I can't find my tools:pins, scissors,needles,threads...all these small things under a big mountain of scraps...ahhhh! and I hate it because I always prick myself on my fingers with the lost pins or needles!!!! oh!!!what a beautifull plants there are now in your garden,congratulations on your new garden Kathleen,bye greetings from a sunny Galicia(Spain)

Lizzie P said...

I have the same little plastic bags of sorted bits! Read a post by 'Quilter by Night' blog-writer Cynthia, an American in Japan. She says she's taken on board the japanese concept of 'Mottainai' which means 'waste nothing' - so there's at least 3 of us that save all our bits! Have seen some lovely little quilts using 'crumbs' - will take your advice and mull colours over carefully before cutting.


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