I need a detective. There is a mystery in my sewing room. It is a strange phenomenon that confuses me. Where do all of these scraps come from? Do they multiply within their tubs? I make several scrap quilts per year to use them all up, yet I end up with more. How does this happen?
Oh, so you understand? But you have the same problem? Don’t we all! What is happening here and how can we stop the madness?
I keep my fabric stash in small clear plastic tubs. I try not to have an enormous stash because that system doesn’t work for me (I’ve tried!). I do better with about 15 small tubs. I would prefer to have five (but that is just me). The problem is that I keep having to buy more tubs. I sew daily and always have a project going. With each project, I use something from my stash. Sometimes, I use a lot of things from my stash, especially the tubs labeled scraps. The strange thing about those scrap containers is that they are always full. Like, I can’t-even-get-the-lid-on-kinda-full.
As they fill up, I make scrap quilts. Last year I made 6 scrap quilts in two months as Christmas gifts. Did I even make a dent in my scrap tubs? Nope. What. The. Heck. And I don’t even keep the tiny scraps. I know some of you are gasping in surprise at my wastefulness, but I just don’t have room for it all. And I don’t have the desire to make a project with those tiny pieces. So in my sewing room, all that gets pitched. If it can’t be cut into a 2 ½” square, I don’t keep it.
My best guess is that there are elves who come into my sewing room at night and add to my scrap boxes. The truth is that I am just creating scraps at a faster rate than I am using them (even though I don’t want to admit that! The elves story is much cooler.) So, how do I stop the insanity? Here’s what I am doing to help the situation:
1. Throwing more scraps away or donating to someone who loves working with scraps. If I don’t think I’ll use a certain fabric again, why keep it? I am allowing myself to throw some things away. It’s okay. I’ve already gotten the good out of the fabric. I never signed a contract stating that I would use 100% of said fabric when I purchased it. Let. It. Go.
2. Pre-cutting those pesky scraps. I’ve started cutting odd leftover pieces into 2 ½” squares, 5” squares, 10” squares, and 2 ½” strips. It’s like making my own jelly rolls and layer cakes. It’s working out beautifully. I am more organized and it takes up less space. I’ll eventually have a small clear tub for each category instead of just a haphazard pile of scraps in a tub.
3. Plan more scrap projects. If you don’t like having a huge scrap bin like me, the only logical solution is to use them up. I am obviously not using mine fast enough. I am going to step up my game and throw more scrap projects into my game plan. There are approximately one jillion projects out there that work well with scraps. Game on.
My goal is to have my
elf scrap problem under control a year from now. I’ll keep you posted on how it turns out.
‘Til next time,