As a quilt teacher one of my more popular classes is all about Scraps. It is a fun class to teach because people really do embrace their scraps in new ways. They’d been ready to give up and are suddenly rejuvenated.
I’ve actually taught Little Scraps, Big Options many times this year. When I prep for the class I’ve been digging in to an IKEA bag of random strips and pieces for a heavy handful. This comes with me for demo purposes and the leftovers thrown back in the bag. After my last trip I decided that I needed to walk the walk and tackle the sorting of that bag.
To be fair, I have scrap bins for fabric and they are used as I cut fabric all the time. I dig in to them regularly too. Little bits go in a special basket, triangles in another. But this huge IKEA bag keeps getting filled in the night. Like the opposite of the Shoemaker’s Elves, adding fabric instead of making with it.
So I poured a glass of wine one night last week and dove in to the big blue bag. In less than an hour I had piles of colours making my sewing table pretty. Yes, less than an hour. Sorting scraps is one of those overwhelming tasks that when we finally tackle it we wonder why we procrastinated. It ends up being not so bad, and in the case of scrap fabric, inspiring.
That was certainly the case for me. I immediately set to sewing some of those strips together. Okay, I might have been inspired by my Values Plus students. I taught that class a few times on this last trip too. And boom! In 4 days my orange and purple scraps are nearly gone in a stack of fun blocks.
Working on these blocks is a great scrap buster. As I go I am sorting out any trimmings in two piles. One is for my mini log cabins and the other for a different scrap project I’ve got in my head. It is putting so much order in to my scraps and that feels so, so good.
Scraps are a lot to deal with. Not to mention, working with them gets messy too. It can drive the organized person crazy. That’s why some folks like to cut everything to the same size and store them in neat piles. I get that. For the rest of us, sorting and using them in a planned manner gives us that same order. And 3 different scrap projects.