Sunday, January 5, 2014

Reorganization

It started innocently enough.  I was working ahead on the rainbow scrap sampler quilt and didn't have much purple.  I've been a user of Bonnie Hunter's Scrap Users System for many years.
When sorting my scraps recently though, I just didn't feel like cutting them all up.  I seemed to be needing sizes that I didn't have on hand and having to cut down bigger pieces anyway.  So I just sorted my scraps by color and left them together in some nice little baggies.  It was so handy to pull out the purple bag and start rummaging for some appropriate pieces to make a nice little 6 inch block.  But the bag was small and it occurred to me that there were more purples in the 2.5 inch drawer, and some in the 2 inch drawer, and wait, I almost forgot about the 3.5 inch drawer.  My purple scraps were segregated by size and I was having to dig through all of the drawers to find what I needed.  Wouldn't it be easier to have them all together by color?
So this is what happened next.  It looks scary, doesn't it?  But it is always darkest before the dawn.  Check out the poor little purple block left abandoned on the cutting mat.  Not abandoned, just waiting patiently.
I now have ROYGBIV drawers.  Doesn't it just make you smile?  Look at all the rainbow projects sitting and waiting to escape from storage.  They want to be liberated, I can tell.
Some colors needed bigger drawers.  Kind of wrecked my rainbow theme, but these colors are bigger than the others.  Pink?  Really?  Who would have thought I had that much pink?
I'm not abandoning the scrap users system.  I think it is an awesome approach to organizing scraps.  However, I have been working on a more color schemed approach since the rainbow scrap challenge, and I think this will work better for me.
How do you sort your scraps?  Any good tips and tricks to share?

20 comments:

Kaelyn Angelfoot said...

Great system! I don't sort my scraps yet - they are filling a paper box right now and I grab what I need from the box. I can get away with it because I only have one (medium sized) box!

katie z. said...

I sort by size and then by color. So far, cutting into four sizes has covered all my scrappy needs. Until joining the rainbow scrappy challenge I only used my scraps occasionally and I don't have oodles of scraps, so I don't mind pulling out and sorting for colors in each size each month!

pamela thorne said...

I sort my scraps by color since I use my Sizzix cutter to cut out my quilts. I cut off whatever size chunk I need to place on my die. When I get down to that last bit of the scrap, then I will cut it into a 1.5, 2 or 2.5 inch strip.

sophie said...

My scraps are sorted by color and stored in recycled plastic bins that spinach and salad greens are sold in.

Julie in GA said...

Right now I sort my scraps by size rather than color, but like you might decide to switch to grouping them by color. That would definitely make it easier for the rainbow challenge.

Amy said...

I sort completely by size, and then within my size bins, I have baggies of colors sorted.
My 2" bin is quite empty! Must have been from my Pineapple blossom this past summer. (??)
My 2.5" bin is also quite empty; been using up strips in scrappy bindings.
My 1.5" bin, however, is starting to beef up again... I might see some 3" 9-patches in my future.

LOVE the organized chaos pic :)

Lynne said...

I don't precut anything. I just store all the scraps by colour, that's it!

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Bonnie's system is a good start, but then you need to adjust to what suits you. I sort by color and size - from the ittiest to the large yardage. Left over HSTs or QSTs are stored just by size - boy, they need playing with.

Dasha said...

I have LOTS of scraps and make LOTS of scrap quilts. I have a system where I cut things down to specific sizes (2", 2.5", 3", 3.5" etc. squares or strips) Once cut I bag them by size and type and label. I have done that for at least a decade and it has worked well. I find that I usually want 2.5" strips, or 3" squares, never mind the colour. But starting on the RSC I found it a waste rummaging through the 2" square bag for the blue squares, so I am considering sorting things into colour. But if I do that, do I bag all the strips/squares together by colour, then by size? Or just chuck them into a bucket with everything else of that colour? Then I would need another storage unit..... Jury is still out on the benefits of sorting by colour.

Pumlans flitiga fingrar said...

I sort my scraps by size. The smallest is 1½" squares up to the biggest 6". Then I have strips also by size from 1½" wide and up to 4". So far it seems to work for me. I have a minor storage of some scraps that I have sorted by colour as well!

Gene Black said...

Great idea. Could you do the "sized" pieces in color sets?

Lori said...

Looks like you have your scraps organized just right for you to use. I cut mine into a few sizes I use. 2.5" strips. 5" charms 3.5x6.5" bricks I use these sizes all the time, so they work for me. My scraps stay pretty well contained this way.

Beth said...

If you think your room looks scary, I don't think you should even LOOK in the door at mine! I am almost ready to put blocks together on Bonnie's mystery, I did my 3 blocks for The Quilt Show 2014 BOM, and ...well...cleaning up has NOT happened! I am SO happy in there tho! Last night there was sewing AND Downton Abbey! HEAVEN!! lol As I DO clean up, I am going to see what block I can do to play along with you in the RSC. SURELY I can find an easy block, because I KNOW I have fabric!

Andee said...

Great post! I have all my 2.5 inch strips in the front of a bin of the same color. There is a divider in the bin so I can put other small scraps, fat quarters of the same color in there in the back. All my other size strips are sorted by size (not color) in another bin, but I too find that annoying! I have started moving them into baggies to the color bin as I go by size too. I don't have near as many of the odd size ones (they all fit in one big baggie mixed colors) but it is a pain to find the right size bag and dump out to find all the right colors in it, etc. You hit the nail on the head!

Bonnie said...

Just a thought.... Your bright green date line is very hard to read. I was trying to figure out he date on your blog and had to enlarge it big time to figure out when you'd posted it.

Brave gal to take on the big color switch/organizational change!

Quiltdivajulie said...

I tried using the Scrap Saver system - but didn't really like mindlessly pre-cutting fabrics with no real purpose. I just did a whole post on how I store my scraps during the Real Studio Tour - you can find it here: http://quiltdivajulie.blogspot.com/2013/12/real-studio-tour-part-2.html (best to copy and paste the long link into your browser window).

Char said...

I sort by color no matter the size.

Kate said...

No system for scraps in my sewing room, but making the Rainbow Scrappy Sampler has made me at least start sorting the process of putting some type of system together.

Sarah said...

You look as if you had great fun!! I store my fabric by colour and then I have a big basket where every tiny (and i mean tiny) piece goes! I can't bear to throw any bit of fabric away!!!

Elly D said...

It's a battle but a fun one getting and then keeping those scraps in order. Those plastic drawers are good I keep my FQ as in those and since I joined your RSC a few years ago I've been gathering those scraps and trying to organise them by colour. I've been putting them into a variety of size plastic boxes by colour. This year I'm hoping to make some pretty boxes with some of the scraps but we'll see how that goes. I don't like to cut bigger scraps until I go to use them then I'll finish with left over by cutting it into either a 5 inch or smaller and putting those squares into a plastic bag to keep with the rest. I have heaps of those 1.5 inch sampler squares you used to get from mail order quilt shops. I can't bare to throw out but I'm getting stern with myself and trying to throw out the ones I don't like or which I can tell are of poor quality. Sorry didn't mean to write a book, lol.