Quilting and Stuff by Knitnoid

Scrap Basket Progress

I love Bonnie Hunter‘s patterns. So scrappy, anything goes. I found her site several years ago. Her Scrap User’s System, along with leader/enders has enabled me to make more quilt tops (I’m still working on the getting them quilted).

About 2 years ago, when I was running out of space in my fabric boxes, I pulled fabric scrap smaller than a fat eighth out and tossed them into a scrap box. I’ve been pre-cutting strips, bricks and blocks from that pile ever since.

Last summer was down to half a basket of scraps — primarily pinks, purples and blues.

Since then, when I finish a quilt top, the binding prepared and fabric set aside for a pillowcase if I’m going to make one, I follow my pre-cutting plan and put all the fabric up. I promise I really do – but if you look at my scrap basket now, no one would believe me.

A friend started cleaning her sewing room last fall. Part of her solution was to pass her scraps to me. I love it — her choices in fabric are not necessarily things I would buy (nor the other way around) but it adds sparkle to my scrap quilts. It also filled my scrap basket. This is what it looked like on January 13th:

I’ve set a personal goal to have the basket empty by July 18th. That’s the day we reveal the progress on our goals at the quilt guild meeting. I suspect, I’ll have to spend one or two weeks between now and then doing nothing but pressing and cutting to get the basket empty, but in the meantime, I’m going to do a 15 minute pressing session each week.

However, I can tell you it takes more than 15 minutes to cut up the 15 minutes of pressing. Today I have two pictures. The first is what I got pressed in 15 minutes and the second is the end results.

Here’s the tour: top left are pairs of 5 1/2″ squares I’ll use to make jumbo yo-yos for key rings. moving to the right are 3 1/2″, 2 1/2″, 2″, 1 1/2″ strips and then strings. The letters and the fussy cut bird will end up in my panel box. Below the strips are 2 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ and 2″ x 3 1/2″ bricks and 2 1/2″ and 2″ blocks. The first pile next to the bricks and blocks are bits and pieces which don’t pre-cut nicely. They’ll end up in my crumb bucket either used in a Bonnie Hunter class in May, or sent to a quilter who does crumb quilting. Frankly, they are too small for me. That final pile is the stuff I’m going to toss out. It’s too small to even qualify as crumbs.

I know there are quilters, and I was one of them, who didn’t want to pre-cut their fabric because they might need it for something, but I wasn’t using my scraps. As a general rule I don’t applique or paper piece, so this works for me. And yes, I do make quilts using my pre-cuts. Currently I’m working on Oklahoma Backroads using the fabric from my pre-cut boxes.

Check back with me in July to see if I’m able to empty my basket.

2 Thoughts on “Scrap Basket Progress

  1. Congratulations on great progress! I’m one of those quilters who can’t cut up scraps. After all, I might need a different size than I cut. But, I have spent time this past week sorting through my scraps, discarding those bits which I know I’ll never use (they became stuffing), and organizing by colour so I can tell what’s in there.

  2. Yes, I am like you. I started to pull all those 9″ or small pieces out of my stash, and cutting them up. Bricks, noodles, nickles, strings–or GARBAGE! It so nice, the other night I made my 4 patches and picked out enough bricks to make a bricks and stepping stones top. And there are still oodles of bricks left. And the noodle box, well, I do have plans for it! I am finding it hard to go to a planned quilt when I’m having so much fun playing in the scraps. I keep a box to throw those odd bits in, and every once in a while I pull it out and press and cut. I took a whole basket of strings to a sew in, and they were used with great gusto. Another way to reduce stash! LOL

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