Trying to organize some

I decided to go ahead an order a 16 cubby unit – I’ll start out using 8 of the cubbies for scraps sorted by color and put a few things on the other shelves … maybe some of my grab and go projects I kitted up.

So today I moved around some of the bins to make room for it which lead to me grabbing two of the bright “string” bins. Our challenge block for July is strings. Only when I opened one of the bins I found all kinds of chunks stuck in there too. Some I remember putting in there when I was making our HeartStrings Rainbow blocks but others I think I just filled the empty space in the bins when I was packing for the move.

I kept pulling things out of the first bin without any idea how to make use of it all.

I’m not one to “precut” my scraps into different sizes because I never know what I’ll want to make from them so I went and looked at quilt inspiration file on my iPad looking for help … there were a couple bright scrappy quilts I can see myself making so I pulled out those chunks and set them aside to put together in one bin. It will be easy to grab that bin and start cutting.

I grabbed handfuls of bright strings and put them in another bin ready to sew … and grabbed a bunch of the narrower backing trimmings and put those in a bin to cut down into strings. Typically the widest string I use is about 2.5 inches. I’ll get those trimmed down and tossed in the larger bin with the strings and They’ll be ready to use too.

Of course, there’s still a bunch of scraps and strings in the two bigger bins that need to be sorted but at least I’ve made a start. I cut foundations and am almost ready to piece some blocks.

Part of the problem with my scraps is that I’ve moved so many times … I’ll get things fairly organized and then I have to toss everything into bins to move and the new house always requires a different storage/organizational system.

Some of you said that you give away your scraps but I’ve made lots of quilts over the years from my scraps, leftovers, and strings and I want to keep AND use them! I’ve been quilting now for 22 years so you know I’ve got a lot of them too.


  1. Hi Mary! I love seeing you tackle this. It’s the whole “where do I start” question that often stalls us. Ooh, those bright chunks are gorgeous! Keep on keeping on – you’ll get there! {{Hugs}} ~smile~ Roseanne

  2. The 2nd photo looks like the beginning of a rainbow quilt 🙂 Good luck with your sorting – hope you get your new shelves soon 🙂

  3. Nearly all the quilts I make are QOV so I’ve limited my color palette to red, white (cream/tan) and blue. Although it is sometimes tiresome to work with the same colors, I use nearly every scrap of fabric this way. I do precut scraps and find patterns that use them. So far, this system has worked for me.

  4. always a tug of war whether to sew with stash off the shelves or scraps…love to do both!

  5. That is a good start on the organizing. I only cut things down when the scrap is down to a pretty smalll chunk – like 1/4 of a fat quarter. Then I often cut specific size squares or bricks. And the strings go int the color sorted bins. But those bins have begun to overflow again lately because I’ve done a lot of sewing. It’s an endless circle, but like you I like to use those scraps for more quilts.

  6. Ooh! Have fun sorting out those various scraps. Your new system seems like a great choice for the types of scraps you have and how you like to sort/organize them. I’m sure seeing various fabric combinations will spark some new ideas for projects, too. Enjoy!!!

  7. I love scraps too Mary. I just can’t let myself throw them away. I also pick scraps out of the wastebasket at retreats (lots of good fabric in them) and I have a friend that collects scraps for me also. They are so fun to use!

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