Sunday, December 7, 2014

My Scrap Mountain

Scrap tidying

Yesterday afternoon I was set to sew. I had a list and everything, but my space was a mess. For once, tidying up won out over sewing.

I have been thinking hard about how to organize my scraps, especially since Nicky and I started Scraptastic Tuesday. I'm talking here about my messy bits, not the smaller pieces that I have kept folded on my shelves. Sorting those bits by colour won and using my old scrap bins which were already partly sorted seemed fine. So I opened the bins and dumped the storage bags and sorted and sorted. Making that mess that happens as you tidy up. I have to admit that more than once I thought about just tossing them all into the trash.

By the way, I have also started cutting some strips that will work for Blended Scraps blocks from scraps as I go, but since I really don't like cutting, the storing of particular sized scraps is going to be a going forward project only for me.

Scraps in bins

These bins are full. For prints I have: green, blue, red/pink/purple, yellow/orange, white/grey/black/brown. For solids I have: colours, light neutrals, dark neutrals. So all 8 of those bins are full - a couple quite stuffed. I also have a liberty fabrics scrap bin too but it is not one of these nice stacking bins.

After - scraps are in those bins

There is my all done photo. Of course when I pulled everything out from under the table for a vacuum, I found that bag - now on top of the bins - of more scraps I had forgotten about, but I did not have the heart to open them all again. Maybe today.

I am going to keep an eye on whether tucking the bins in the corner like that is a good or bad thing. They are handy to the cutting table to put new scraps away. But will I pull them out or leave them be? I have realized that part of my scrap storage problem is that I don't like to take the time to tidy up so keeping the bins handy for tidying seems like a good idea for today.

Beautiful parcel for me

So the tidying up started with this photo. That beautiful Japanese Knot Bag (the outside fabric is a Cath Kidson canvas) had arrived at my house full of all these beautiful goodies from Claire (she is on Instagram as @westcoastcinnamongirl). Claire was able to use my ticket to the Fat Quarterly Retreat and she sent these goodies to me in return. You might have barely noticed, but tucked under the card is a little pack of Karen Lewis's hand screened fabric scraps.

The starting point

Once I finished stuffing the scrap mountain into bins, I sat down with that little scrap pack and decided to just sew them up. I have a bad habit of saving fabric for something "special". Well that seems to mean that I have a shelf of unused special fabric and it is time to change that too, these are just more scraps, right.

Scrappy improv piecing from my neutral scrap bin

I decided I could have a new project as a reward for the tidying - which took a few hours. I channeled all my teachers and friends and their books, who share about improv block making (including Cheryl Arkison, Jacquie Gehring, Marianne Haak, Victoria Findlay Wolfe and others).

I got the bin of neutral prints and the bin of light neutral solids. Well the solids were mostly so the prints were higher up in easy reach. I sewed and cut and pressed, squaring the block off when it seemed to be the right size. I have long wanted to make a black and white and grey quilt, and now it seems I am.

Scrappy improv piecing from my neutral scrap bin

Before I knew it I had a few blocks. I kept the prints I had used once out on my table if there were left overs. I figured that repeating some prints would give the project some uniformity. I tried not to overthink any of the fabric choices and I very roughly followed a log cabin layout.

Some scrappy improv piecing

There are my blocks at bed time. I tried to use both small and larger pieces. I'm not sure how they will go together yet or whether I will add some pop of colour to them.


Scraptastic Tuesday

I wanted to remind you that this coming Tuesday is when the Scraptastic Tuesday December monthly link up opens here and over with Nicky at Mrs. Sew and Sow for one week. You can link once with a blog post, flickr photo or instagram photo from this last month of a scrappy project in progress or finished or ideas of how to deal with one's scrap mountain. You could also share how Scraptastic Tuesday is helping - or not helping - you use up those scraps. We have excellent prizes lined up from generous sponsors,which will be randomly distributed.


I am reminding you about the Scraptastic Tuesday link now, as you might be distracted tomorrow by the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day (week). Do come back here for that too, I have a great giveaway all planned.

Best,

Leanne


29 comments:

  1. Mmmmmm, yum, I love those block. They are totally cool.
    Beth

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  2. your scraps seem to be close relatives to mine - they want to stay out and be seen rather than being put away, at least that's my story and I'm sticking to it :) Seriously, great job on bringing some order to your scraps, and I love how your new blocks are looking!

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  3. Rosemary B here:
    That mountain will return. we need it for inspiration, and handy accessability.
    I love fabric and YOU
    Happy Christmas

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  4. All very true and real and inspiring! Love those black and white blocks!

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  5. You brought a smile to my face seeing your first photo, it looks sooooo familiar to mine lol. I must admit I have now got mine under control and they are behaving so far. I absolutely love the blocks you've put together with the Karen Lewis prints, I''ve not seen those before but the blocks are beautiful! I especially love how you have put the 'paper' print at an angle it's so effective.
    I have been gathering black/white and grey fabrics to make a quilt, my next to eldest grandson loves these colours and a quilt would finish off his bedroom.

    Thanks for sharing and I look forward to seeing the finished quilt.

    Peg x

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  6. Wow do have scraps . . . wonderful, beautiful scraps. Love the neutral blocks so far. I'm hoping to dive into some of my older fabrics that aren't really modern and see if I can use them in a new fresh way next year.

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  7. I love your blocks - they are so calming and just beautiful as is. I am not sure a pop of colour would add or distract from them. They are your blocks, it is your decision but I like what you have done so far - your room clean up included!!! Inspiring indeed!!!

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  8. It is somehow reassuring to know that it is not just me that doesn't like to take the time to sort scraps. I love your black/gray/white blocks!

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  9. I am relating. Such a great start on your mountain and a satisfying solution. Maintaining is the icing on that particular cake. Good luck. The reward project is wonderful!

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  10. Crikey! And I thought I had a lot of scraps! At least you are turning them into lovelies! Jxo

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  11. Wow you have a lot of scraps. Great job on sorting them.

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  12. whew. What work sorting those scraps but hopefully it helps you deal with it all. I really like the new blocks you've made!

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  13. It feels wonderful to get those scraps corralled into a nice neat section, doesn't it? Mine tend stack up until I can't stand it anymore and I'm forced to straighten them up. I'm getting better about it though as I've become more proficient at using them for all sorts of projects. Love your improv log cabins in those gray/black neutrals! YUM!!!!

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  14. Such lovely scrap bins. They look gorgeous as do your blocks

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  15. love your improv blocks...they look stunning!

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  16. I am lovin these blocks! and good on you for hunkering down and getting all of your scraps tidied up and available for use. XX!

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  17. My scraps could use a little, well actually a lot of help. Your improv blocks look fabulous.....nice to know I'm being channeled.

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  18. what a wonderful tidy up you had, you have so many scraps I am envious!

    The blocks you are making look fabulous amazing how stunning black/white etc can be it is going to make a great quilt

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  19. I so need to do this with my scraps! And am procrastinating tidying my sewing room by reading blogs! I love how you rewarded yourself by making those beautiful blocks - there's nothing like just playingwith fabric!

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  20. If I end up living closer I would relish cutting your scraps into manageable pieces for you. I LOVE cutting and would happily organise for several days too, organising my sewing room helps my creativity so it's very rarely more messy than a couple of pens and some FQs to fold. Which is strange as I was an incredibly messy, hoarders-style child.

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  21. Wow, your before shot makes me feel much better lol I put my scraps into a wee mountain in the corner of my cutting table, and then when it teeters over into my cutting area I sort them out between their relevant scrap bags. Saying that, my bags would all fit in one of those boxes, perhaps I need to try harder...

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  22. Those blocks are fabulous. Can't wait to see what you come up with!

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  23. A few months back I went through a destashing/throwing things away binge. I got rid of alllll of my scraps to a friend who is just starting in sewing. I kind of regret that now, but seeing as how I'm still amassing scraps, maybe it was a good idea. Love the impromptu piecing!

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  24. Love those scrappy blocks. I don't have a lot of scraps since I tend to try and use all the leftovers in piecing the backing of my quilts but posts like this make me wonder if I shouldn't start keeping those scraps...maybe someday when my living room isn't my craft room!

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  25. Love your blocks,,,do you have the pattern for that knot bag?

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  26. First of all, let me just say that if you EVER find yourself seriously considering throwing all those scraps away, you should sell them to ME! ;) I'm a relatively new quilter, so I need to build a good stash! hehehehe Second, I just love your improv blocks! I can't wait until I can get comfortable enough with quilting to just let loose and do my own thing. Thanks for always being so willing to share your process with us!

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  27. I would suggest you find a way for your scrap bins not to be stacked on top of each other. You're never going to want to be lifting them off each other for access. You need easy access to really be productive and consistent in filing away your scraps. Perhaps you should also consider giving away half of each bucket so you have smaller buckets that are more manageable. Looks like you could make entire quilts out of what is in each one! haha ;-)

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  28. wow what a job! And i love the blocks you made with the fabrics....and you did save them for something special ;-)

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