Thursday, January 6, 2011

2011 Resolution #3 - Use it Up!

I think I've mentioned it before, but I'll go ahead and tell this mini-story again. At one of my first quilt guild meetings, I got to hear Bonnie Hunter talk about how she organizes her scraps. At that point, I had just started quilting, so I didn't really have much of a stash to speak of, nor did I really have to deal with many leftovers from backings, borders, and bindings that I trimmed away. Ever since the time I used my first page protector and notebook divider in the 3rd grade, however, I've been slightly obsessed with organization. So I took good notes at that meeting, went home and perused her site over the next few days, and started organizing my measly stash of scraps into cuts of fabric that I tend to use on a widespread basis.

Fast forward to the beginning of 2011. All of my scrap bins are now overflowing.

state of my scrap bins

Pictured from the other side, still pretty much full.

state of my scraps, from another angle

Here are my scrap bin categories:
  • Charm (5") squares - a stack for light and another stack for dark
  • Dark 2.5" strips
  • Light 2.5" strips
  • 1.5" strips, with dark on one side and the light strips on another. It might be time to separate those out into 2 bins.
  • Flying geese units - stacks of 2.5"x4.5" logs (separated into light and dark) and 2.5" squares (also separated into light and dark) - Again, it might be time to separate those units into 2 bins.
Over the past year or so, I've made a few efforts to use up some of my scraps. First there was Scrap Quilt I - a strip-pieced double hourglass quilt I made from the bin of dark 2.5" strips. (Note to self: come up with a catchier title for this quilt before you do your "finished" blog post about it.)


Next, I pulled out a few dozen dark charm squares for KarrieLyne's charm pack quilt along.

blocks for KarrieLyne's quilt along

Then I pulled out 100 light colored charm squares, cut them in half, and left them to percolate on my fabric shelf.

project kinda started

After all that, my bins are still overflowing.

So this year, I'd like to get all the previously described quilts to the next phase in the process, along with 2 additional scrap quilt tops, using scraps from my bins.

Here are some ideas I'm tossing around...

From the 1.5" scrap bin:

From the 2.5" scrap bins:

From the charm square bin:
As always, I'm open to other options, and my plans are probably going to change approximately 347 times before I actually finish the tops.


  1. Wow Megan, you are organized. I'm impressed that you actually have even separated your scraps in already cut pieces. My stash is separated by more than a fat quarter, less than a fat quarter, or left over pieces. LOL. Good luck with your list. You can do it!

  2. had to smile when i read your post...i'm a bit like you...i could go crazy over organizing (one of my favorite things to do in summer was to prepare everything for the new school year :) )
    love your list of suitable patterns (most of them are on my to do list...*sigh*)
    hugs, julia

  3. Megan, would you like to come to my house for a while? I've got lots of scraps you can organize..... ;-)

  4. I have only just this year realized how many scraps I have, but mine aren't neatly cut or organized. I just have three big boxes of bits. For a while I was separating them into "enough to make a small pouch" and "not enough to make a small pouch and/or long and skinny" but now I don't even do that, I just toss the pieces in. I think I'm going to try to do more with them this year, instead of just dragging out bits to let the kids play with.