Let me just say this right out front, “I don’t like cleaning”. I do like to look at the results and do it because after it’s done my life is easier. Nancy’s post from yesterday inspired me to get back to some sort of order in my sewing room too.

My biggest issue is scrap fabric. Apparently, I can’t throw it out because I know I will need it at some point. I have been right upon occasion, but mostly I’ve never needed these scraps. Yet, I still can’t get rid of them.

I did find a compromise that I used to do with every project. I started again yesterday with the plan that was successful for me, when I followed it every time. When I cut the fabrics for a project, I will cut up all the yardage, even small scraps, into certain standard sizes. Obviously, the project needs to be cut as instructed, but now I cut the leftovers into sizes that I will use for other projects and quilts.

I like to sew scrappy quilts using strips. I have labeled ziplock baggies with 1″ to 5″ in 1/4″ increments. Then I cut the largest possible strip (or portion of a strip). That strips goes into the appropriate baggie. The balance of the fabric is cut down into strips, maximizing the fabric that I have left. I also cut up any portions of strips into these widths.

When I need a fast quilt for a gift, I can grab a bag or two and start sorting. I sort based on the style of the fabric and then the color. I usually don’t want a child’s pink unicorn fabric in with a primative country fabric. I sometimes sort by pastels or by specific colors or just by whatever I have the most of. I can usually put together a quilt with what I have already cut from my baggies. I love the Log Cabin quilt block, and it is easy to use up all these scraps.

If you’ve ever talked sewing with me at all, you have probably heard about how I love to make gift potholders. I use 8 pre-cut 1 1/2″ strips to make strip sets. Then I can cut 4 or 5 potholder tops from that 8 1/2″ strip set. I can then find a binding strip from the 2″ bag of strips for each potholder! Click here for the free downloadable pattern.

Bonus: Batting Wrangling! – I cut my scrap batting into 9″ squares to use in these potholders.

If only I had stayed committed to cutting my scraps! Today, I am committing to cutting these strips from any new project’s leftover fabrics and one old scrap from my bin. Before you know it, I will have wrangled my scrap fabric issue with very little extra effort. I did it before, I can do it again!

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