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.