Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Implementing the Scrap Saver System

 Well I've pulled out and dusted off the die cutter and decided to jump on board the scrap saver system.  What's the point of having all those scraps if you don't use them.  And what's the point of having a die cutter if you don't use it.  So lets do this!  Woohoo!  I'm super excited to get this journey started.  I'll be using the Bonnie Hunter scrap system.   As we all know she is the Scrap Queen.  So we might as well follower her lead.

My scraps are sorted by colors and age.  I know what your thinking, AGE?  Yes, I have a larger older and less loved bunch of scraps.  These go back to my early years of quilting when my pallet of choice was much darker.   Then I have my smaller "new" scrap stash of bright fabrics.  

To start off this scrap cutting journey I need to deal with the old fabrics first.  With this being a new to me way of dealing with scraps the chances of errors are pretty good.  Errors on old ugly fabric don't hurt as bad as errors on pretty new loved fabrics.  

Now which color do I start with first?  Hmmm.... Let's start with the green scrap bins.  It's getting close to St' Patrick's day so why not make this festive little activity. 

Years of saving scraps can't be sorted and cut in one day or one week.  Keeping my expectations real, I decided to pull out what I think will be 2 or 3 hours worth of work.  That seems like a reasonable plan.  If it works out well I could make this a weekly activity.  So here's what I pulled from the first bin.  Finding a few 2.5" strips felt like I won the jackpot.  No cutting required, YAH!  I'm off to a good start.  Now to start pressing the pile of fabrics to be cut. 

In my research about using die cutters I read you will get better results if you starch the fabrics.  I also read that this really expensive new product is the best.  I'll let you know what I think about this new to me product on Friday with a new Nifty Notions review.

As I dug through the second bin of green I found this bag of low volume whites hiding in the bottom.  This was a happy surprise. I might be able to combine the two green bins to make one since the low volume white needs to find it's way to the neutral bin.

Then I found tons of string fabric.  Should I toss it in the scraps for dog bins or save them for making rugs?  UGG, this is getting hard.  I'm a fabric hoarder.  The hoarder in me says deal with at another time.  So for now they will stay right here.

I didn't make a very big dent in my green stash bins.  Sigh...this scrap saver system could take months to complete.

After starching and ironing things moved along much quicker.  The Sizzix can cut through 10 layers of fabric at a time.  ZIP! ZIP! ZIP! Lickety split!

Here's the results of my first scrap saver system cutting session.  Several 2.5" strips, some strings for string blocks and a pile of scraps for the dog bed stuffing stash.  It took a little longer than planned, about 4 hours.  Hopefully this will get easier and faster. 

The problem.  Cutting fabric = Sewing fabrics.  It's only natural.  I cut fabric, I make a quilt, it's instinct.  The wheels start turning for a quick log cabin quilt or maybe a scrappy trip around the world.  Or I could whip out a really quick rail fence quilt!  Oh dear lord what have I done?  Do I start another project or do I continue with the scrap saver plan?

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Missy’s Miracle Stitches said...

I had to laugh when I read your post. I’m in exactly the same situation. Fabrics from 40 years of sewing...scraps out the wazoo...good intentions...and WAY TOO MANY IDEAS spawned when I try to figure out what to do with them. I never seem to make a dent although I surely try! Good luck!

Rebecca said...

You wrote: Sigh...this scrap saver system could take months to complete.

I got news for you Lady its going to take years and it will never be complete....

Betty C said...

In my case, I just can't cut up fabrics until I know exactly what I'm using them for. So afraid if I cut it up I will need it cut to a different size for a specific project. That's my "system". To each his/her own I guess.

Rebecca Grace said...

Oh dear -- there's a SYSTEM?! I'm in trouble! ;-). Starching before die cutting is a good idea when you're planning to sew the pieces right away, but I have been taught/warned not to starch fabrics prior to storing them, because starch supposedly attracts insects like silverfish bugs. But I don't know whether the ingredients in Terial Magic attract bugs the same as traditional laundry starch or corn starch would. Good luck with your big organizing project. I hope it inspires you to create something beautiful from your treasure trove of scraps!

Vroomans' Quilts said...

I adjusted Bonnie's system to meet what works for me. I don't use strip sizes like she does, so prefer to keep things in large sizes. Once they are down to under a FQ, I will cut down into squares (stored by size) which is something I work from a lot. I hate to cut something down that I may need more as original size. AND it's not about storage - it's about using it up for me.

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