Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Carla's scrap sorting system

Today I will share with you how Carla stays so organized with her scraps.  We both get donations of lots of scraps and mine tend to pile up while she is able to stay on top of hers and get them used up all the time.  I asked her to share with me and now I'm going to share with you.  Since I am the area coordinator for Binky Patrol, I purchased an Accuquilt Studio fabric cutter and I don't know how either of us could get along without it.  It plows through the scraps so quickly and we use it when we have quilt days with the high school kids.  We assign each kid to a different die and they each get a basket of scraps and in a few hours those scraps are cut into useable pieces of fabric.  But, before the cutting can happen, the sorting must begin.
The first thing to do is gather some laundry baskets.  I went to the 99 cent store and got a dozen baskets.  I got one for each size die we have, plus three extras, one for bindings, one for the original fabric to be sorted (the scraps) and one for strings-long strips of fabric too good to put in dog beds as stuffing, but too skinny to cut with the die cutter.
 Here are the many baskets and the bag of fabric that needs sorting.
 Here's one of the baskets with the label.  The scraps that are 4-5 inches wide at their narrowest side go in there.  There are three dies that can use these scraps.  The smallest tumbler die, the chisel and the triangle that goes with the chisel.  At the end of the sort, this basket had the most scraps.
 I dumped the paper bag of scraps into the sort basket and started my sort.
 I sat with the mat on my lap and just started pulling scraps out of the sort basket one at a time.  I would lay on them on the mat and measure the skinniest part of the fabric.  I would toss them into the basket they belonged in and go to the next piece of fabric.  If they had a weird piece sticking off, I would cut off the odd piece and then measure that too.  The tiniest scraps went back into the bag to be used as dog bed stuffing.  Nothing goes into the trash around here.  I have three dogs and they have lots of pillows.  I also have a friend whose girl scout troop makes dog beds for the local SPCA.
Here are some of the baskets after about 15 minutes of sorting.  I made it through about 3/4 of the bag after about 30 minutes.  That's only one bag of scraps.  I think I have about 20 boxes of scraps.  I think I need to get the teenagers over to my house for a scrap sorting day.  Then we will need to cut the scraps.  Or, maybe I will have my TA sort scraps this year when I don't have any papers to grade.  I will have to ask the students when they want to be my TA if they know how to measure and if they mind working with fabric.  Some years I get good TA's and some years not so good ones.  I'd love to find a student who wants to sew :)

1 comment:

KaHolly said...

I could use a system! My scraps are in bags, boxes, baskets, on the floor, in a pile on a shelf....sometimes sorted by color, sometimes not. Thanks for the tip!