Friday, November 21, 2008

Ideas? Guidelines? Encouragement?

Last night I had a bit of a meltdown. The house is a mess, I feel like I'm being drowned in STUFF, and the slippers I bought my mom for Christmas are too small. Today, while soaking in the tub before work, I realized it doesn't have to be this way. It's just up to me to do something about it. Of course then I had to go to work, and by the time I got home, my ardor had died somewhat! Ha!

No, really, once I was done with work, I took a few minutes to eat something and read some email, and then I buckled down and accomplished some things. I have all my summer clothes packed up now--yay! I found 24 things to send to the thrift shop--yay! I went through my patterns and got rid of things I'll never make--yay! But now I'm confronting this:

Scraps. I hate to just throw them away, but the pile keeps growing, and this cannot go on. Are you a scrap saver? Do they have to be a minimum size? Is there some trick to keeping them organized? Do you have any amazing ideas for using up a whole bunch of them at once? Help me!
Back to work now.


Columbia Lily said...

I like to hang on to mine, but I do have a suggestion. A lot of times there are places like running start programs or drug rehab places or nursing homes that can use fabric scraps for things they do with residents. You might ask around about that, I have seen a few postings on freecycle about it.

Mary said...

I sort my scraps by size--yes, this involves measuring. Big pieces (one yard plus) are labeled with yardage amount and put in a box. Pieces between half and just under a yard are stored in a clear plastic bin, folded to be about 5 in x 8 in and filed in the box upright so you can flip through them. I file them by color. Pieces under half yard that are more or less rectangular are stored the same way. Little scraps are in their own bin. Sometimes I cut the under half yard pieces in strips and put them in a bin for binding or strip piecing. I label all the bins and stack them under my sewing table.

Bethany said...

I just read an amazing book called Confessions of an Organized Homemaker, by Deniece Schofield. She suggests making your own bolts. You know, wrapping the fabric around cardboard and labeling the end of the cardboard with useful information. Then you stand them all upright in a box and you can flip through them like a rolodex. You could do mini-bolts for smaller fabric scraps.

The author is also very inspirational about letting go of things that we probably won't use. Just in case any of your scraps fit into that category. I like the idea of donating to a rehab or nursing home.

2WeeMonsters said...

I love Confessions of An Organized Homemaker! When I'm feeling overwhelmed, I get it out and get some motivation ;)

I like to take my medium sized scraps (between 1/2 & 1 yard-ish) and make bias tape with it. I find I use it more readily if it's already made into tape and I can find it more easily if I've got it stored in a long strip rolled up, ready to go.

Darling Petunia said...

Oh. My. Gosh. You guys are so ambitious with your scraps! Eeek!

Mine are really scrappy, though. Like oddly shaped bits. I'm officially a pack rat, huh?

Bethany, I just looked for that book you mentioned on the library website. I'm ashamed to say I was not allowed to place a hold due to fines. --hanging my head--

Janey said...

I'm definitely a scrap saver and if you ever feel you might get into patchwork and Applique then its essential!! Also I often find in the bigger pieces I have enough for facings, even if the facing isn't all the same!! Or linings for bags.
I have some bought some really cheap chest of drawers the plastic kind, where each drawer slides out fairly easily so that you can ut it on your workbench and search through. I have tried to put sort by fabric (eg felt, flannel, christmas prints)or colour but that goes a little haywire sometimes, but then you find something unexpected and that brightens my search!!

Christy Michelle said...

I am keeping mine for some rag quilts.

Anonymous said...

Not a scrap saver but a paper saver so in a way I feel your pain. When I lost my "internet" the other day I managed to clean out a closet and my drawers. Then I cleaned up the bedroom and it looks so spacious with all that stuff put away.

Good luck! You can do it!My goal is to tackle something every day now through the first of the year.

LLangevoort said...

You might find a group that quilts to send your scraps to periodically. I'm sure they'd appreciate it.

Shelley said...

What about making strips and covering hangers? Like this

I find I can use even the oddest shapes, cutting around the edges to keep the pieces as continuous as possible and not have to sew as many together. Covering hangers is easiest with stretchy material, but once you get the hang of it, woven fabric is fine.