When Life Gives You Scraps…

I believe in a previous post, I talked about how proud I was of myself for organizing my scrap pile. In fact, let me recap in case you don’t want to go and read that entire previous post. This is how my scrap pile started out:

Scrap Pile Before

 And after a lot of sorting and working it out, this is what I ended up with:

Scrap Pile, DONE
But as it turns out, that worked for a little while and once again, my scrap basket looks like this:

Scrap Pile Before

Yesterday, I received a nice comment from Randi and went to read her blog to catch up on things with her life. She said she was working on leaders and enders, which was an idea she got from Bonnie Hunter. Well, my curiosity was peaked and I can’t ever resist clicking on a link from a blog so I went to see what Bonnie had to say. I must say, I spent about an hour to two reading all the interesting ideas that Bonnie has and reading about how to get my scraps organized and ready to use to make, well, anything from quilts for gifts to quilts to give to charities to whatever I needed! Bonnie writes with such enthusiasm that I wanted to implement her system right away! So, long story short, that’s what I spent most of today doing! I am thinking of these few days between Christmas and the new year as my chance to get my sewing room in order, AGAIN, and get ready for a FABULOUS year of quilting and sewing!  (See my newly added page about my UFO and WIP Challenge to myself.) So, using Bonnie Hunter’s Scrap User System, I created several bins for my scraps, just like she suggests. A bin for crumbs which are pieces smaller than 1.5″ wide, and strips 1.5″, 2″, 2.5″,  and 3.5″ wide by 12″ long or longer. Here is a picture of my set up as I prepared to cut these strips.


 As you can see, I didn’t have enough drawers to have a separate box for each category, but I solved that, I just created dividers out of cardboard and tape! I felt like I was being very resourceful because instead of rushing out and searching all over town for the perfect storage containers, I just used what I had and it worked! Here is a picture of the divider on the inside of the drawer:


I only had three drawers in a rolling cart but I divided each to make six! Then I searched around my sewing room and found these cute plastic containers that would be perfect for those 5″ charms that I love to cut.


You can see that I also use my nifty label maker to label each of my drawers and plastic containers. That way I can easily see where everything is! I also have one ready for those leaders and enders that she suggests using as well. I haven’t finished cutting the strips yet, but I was so excited about this process that I just wanted to share as soon as possible! I tried to explain this new system to my husband but he just smiled and looked at me sort of funny. Sort of like, “how can anyone get excited about bits of fabric?”  Oh, and another thing I did, I created a drawer for strips that are 3″ and 5″or more.  Bonnie’s commentary says that she couldn’t really find a good use for 3″ strips but I found that as I was cutting, I had a big problem cutting my perfectly good 3″ fabrics into smaller sizes, so I ended up making a box for those. Then I had some that were 5″ or a little more than that, but still a strip. So, I adapted this system for myself and created those categories.  It made sense. Originally I planned to use an entire drawer for these small pieces called Bricks (rectangles) that are only 2×3.5″ or 2.5×4.5″. When I saw how small those pieces were and that it looked like I was going to need space for the 3″ and 5″ strips, I decided to use the smaller bins and it worked perfectly!  I hope this makes sense!  If not, go and read Bonnie’s tutorial, then it should all fall into place.  It really was inspiring to see how many quilts Bonnie created from just her scraps! As she points out, when we buy the fabric we are paying anywhere from $7-$10 per yard and that includes those scraps! Why not get the most bang for our buck and use as much of the scraps as possible!?  And, if you make a scrap quilt, it can go to provide warmth and comfort to someone who really needs it.  You know what they say, “when life gives you scraps, make a quilt!”  In other news, I got a very awesome Rowenta iron yesterday. It’s the pink one that when you purchase it, 100% of the profits go to breast cancer research. I just LOVE it! My other iron was about 10 years old and having a lot of trouble creating the steam I need for pressing. Now I am just pressing stuff for the fun of it! Never thought I would get so excited about something as domestic as an iron. Oh well.  Until next time.

Happy Scrapping,


P.S. If you decide to try this, please let me know, and let Bonnie know as well. I am sure she would be happy to know that her ideas are useful.


December 29, 2007. Tags: , , . Organizing, Quilting.


  1. thedomesticdiva replied:

    Looks like your have some great organizing going on there! I never seem to know what to do with the fabric scraps…I usually put them in a large box and sent them to fellow fabricholics to use in their applique work.

    I have a huge Sewing Room Organization Challenge over on my blog…ideas for organizing fabric, notions, etc. Stop by!

    happy organizing!

    With friendship,

  2. AllenQuilts replied:

    Great job on the scrap organizing, Anna. Bonnie’s site is wonderful, isn’t it?!

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