Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Work in Progress

OMG - Spring Cleaning

I gave myself Friday and Saturday to finish the Purple Project and to clear off the dining room table. In case you missed it, in my previous post I told how well that went ...

So on Sunday I set about the Spring Cleaning OMG project. Since there's no clear surface in the sewing room, I brought a 70-gallon Rubbermaid tote up to the dining room with a plan to sort through and organize the scraps it contained. At this point I'm thinking it will take about 2 days.

Bin o' Scraps - 1
I started pulling by color ...

RSC16 April Color - Orange
I thought there'd be more!!
... which only added more volume to what had previously been compressed into an amorphic blob.

After a whole day of pull-press-cut-pull-press-cut -- you get the idea -- where the ironing board was in the kitchen and the cutting mat in the dining room (FitBit almost exploded that day!)  I revised my plan and methods.

First, I gave up trying to organize by color. Then I decided to limit my organization to strips (1-1/2", 2", and 2-1/2" only),

Bins of strips
...squares (any size up to 6" as long as it's square), triangles (any size half-square),

...strings (less than 1-1/2"),

Pile of Strings
... and large chunks (by color).

Larger Chunks
I also moved the cutting mat to the kitchen where the counter height was more conducive to cutting.
Two days into the process, I still had about 35 gallons of scraps! 

After 2 Days
I needed to streamline things a little further. Not only did I move the ironing board right next to the cutting mat, I decided to press the remaining scraps all at once, then do the trimming and sorting with the bins right in front of me on the counter. That went much smoother, but after 4 days I am still left with a pile of pieces/parts, trying to decide if I can create a block or two out of the remnants from previous projects.

Project Remnants
All-in-all this has been a trip down memory lane. I came across a single scrap left from the first quilt I ever completed, a quilt for AA who was born in August 2001.
Square from AA's first quilt
And a large number of triangles cut from another early quilt, a Stack-'n'-Whack which my husband snoozes under daily.
Triangle from Callaliope
The color is a much richer gold than I captured in the photo -- kinda wild and crazy.

Alex's Quilt - Callaliope

Notice the line where I removed stitches along the top right edge? Well, I was a beginning quilter, trying to use up things I already had on hand, like thread. This thread was a deep purple, probably 100% polyester, on one of those large spools you could get at the checkout counter at Hancock Fabrics.
After 15 years ...
 I knew there was a problem when a purple line developed down the front of my machine where the thread rubbed.  Oh, well, there's a lot of purple in that quilt and it doesn't show, thank goodness.



  1. Well done on the scrap sorting! It is such a tedious job, but I know how satisfying it is to do. It will be so much fun now to USE all of that! I love thinking about describing your amount of scraps in "gallons"!

  2. I'm enjoying the 'gallons', too! What a lot of tedium in between those jaunts down memory lane, though...

  3. Sounds like you're making great progress taming the scraps! I hope they inspire you to create something with them. I'm not much of a scrap quilter. I don't keep anything smaller than 2-1/2" strips; I stuff the smaller bits into a baggie and take it to the free table at guild each month. Someone always takes it, so it's a win for me and for them.

  4. I am impressed, Libby! I don't enjoy dealing with scraps and have a black garbage bag full of them! I wonder how many gallons that would be?? Maybe one day I'll sort and cut and organize. Now you can have fun thinking of projects to use all of your newfound pieces of fabric!

  5. Going through a huge scrap bin is like an archaeological dig, isn't it? Happy treasure-hunting!

  6. You made lots of progress! You'll be so glad you spent all the time getting those scraps tamed.

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