I usally sort by size then when I am ready to make something then I will pull by color or tones.
I am going through several garbage bags and plastic containers of scraps that I have just kind of pushed off my cutting table as it got too full and then put them out of sight into the store room. Now I am trying to clean out the store room and have to deal with this mess. I have gone through one bag and have taken those pieces that were too little to anything with and am using them to make animal bets for the local shelter. The rest I am making into trash blocks and then will make charity quilts out of them. Last year though I went through some stacks of fat quarters and fat eights and cut them into strips and have only sorted them by size. I did start to cut some into squares and then though better of it. I can always cut the strips into squares when needed but not the reverse.I am guessing that down the road I will store by strips and maybe by light and dark.
Great topic - I always like to hear how others deal with this. Here is how I sort my scraps:
- light and dark (contains mediums) into seperate large bins
- civil war - small bin, colors mixed ( I want to keep them seperate to make mini quilts for decorating)
- kids brights - small bin
- flannel - all colors - small bin
With strips of any size and color, I taped about 9 large bull clips onto a clothes hanger. I clip the strips so they can hang straight and not get tangled up. Every once and a while I organize the strips into light and dark and size - then re-clamp and hang in groups. I use these for log cabin blocks. I also used this system when I was making a bargello quilt, kept it organized and neat. I have a closet in my sewing room so I can hang the hanger up.
For me - no scrap is too small. I'm making 3.5 inch finished log cabins and even a one inch square is used.
Love to hear how others deal with all their scrap fabric. I have been using some of mine for samples of some of the quilting ideas I have seen on the internet. Was interested in the idea of hanging various pieces together on your wall to view them for a distance. Also love the idea of hanging them on a hanger.
I used to be a total planner, too. Until I ventured into scrap quilts. Now, the more fabrics, the better as far as I'm concerned. Yes, it was hard to get away from planning every move, but it is worth it. About the closest I get to "planning" most times is to try to make sure I don't have the same fabric touching itself in an adjacent piece. And that doesn't always work out either, but in the end, the result is totally acceptable and I'm probably the only one that notices the two pieces touching.
Have fun. Start slowly to "unplan" if you must by using a grocery bag with all your pieces and randomly draw one out. Whatever it is, that's the one you sew next.
Log cabin blocks are fun and easy to do with scraps. You just sort them lights and mediums/darks and "pick and sew" from your grocery bags. Try it on a small piece. I think you'll like the results.
There's always a pile waiting for me, but I cut mine into specific size squares per www.scrap-therapy.com. Before I started doing this I was using other size squares. I've just come across a pattern that I think could work great with the "other" size squares. It's one that can be scrappy looking so I'm piecing them together into strips which will eventually be sewn to one another to create my own piece of "fabric from scraps"
I have lots of scraps and am gradually cutting them into squares like Bonnie Hunter does. I love it when I spy a scrappy quilt I want to make and everything is precut for me. Makes it go so much quicker then if I have to start cutting. This way I can get right to it.
Just finished the top called Winding Roads out of Quiltmaker Sept/Oct.2009. I love it. Would love to make a second one as I might use this one as a wedding gift for our neice.
A friend keeps giving me scraps and I have made a scrappy liberated log cabin as the backing for my crumb quilt. Just have to add the borders today and get it to the quilter. I have enough blocks to make another top like this backing that I have made. Would be a nice kids quilt. Out of the same box of scraps I have made another quilt top also. She don't like to use smaller pieces so gives them all to me. I love the variety from what I usually buy.
Kept our 2 grandsons last night. The best part of life! They are 3 and 5. Only thing is they think 6 am is a great time to get up. Grandma like it a bit later. But the sun is up and it is a bright shiny day so no worries.