Hi everyone! Before we get into our topic for the week, I wanted to do a wrap-up of the show I just attended. I was a vendor at the Omaha Quilter’s Guild quilt show. It was really fun partaking in this show and the quilt guild members were fun to work with! Here’s how my booth looked:
Did I see you at the show? Also, this guild has some really cool quilt racks for displaying the quilts. They are very tall and made of wood. Large quilts can be hung without hitting the floor!
Now on to the topic of the week. The reason I picked it this week is because the question I was asked most often at the show was “how do you mix all those colors to make great scrap quilts?” This week I’ll talk about building the stash and next week I’ll cover pulling fabrics for a project.
The first key to successful scrap quilts is to have a stash of a lot of smaller pieces of fabric to choose from when making these quilts. How I achieve that is by cutting down larger pieces of fabric into assorted smaller pieces so I have that color and print in about every size of fabric. There have been fabric pieces I have had in my stash for a while but did not use until I cut it up into smaller yardage!
So here is what I do: I take a yard of fabric and cut it in half to make 2 half-yard pieces.
I fold up one of the 1/2 yards for storage and then take the other 1/2 yard and cut it in half on the fold to make 2 fat quarters that measure 18″ x approximately 22″.
I fold up one of those fat quarters up for storage, then take the other fat quarter and cut it into 2 fat eighths that measure 9 x 22″.
Now, I fold my fat eights in a unique way. I found if I just flat folded them like the 1/2 yard and fat quarters that they didn’t stand up well in my storage bin. So, I roll them!
This is how I store the rolled fat eighths:
Much more convenient! Now as for the 1/2 yards and fat quarters, I store them in labeled tubs. Here’s a photo of one of my fat quarter/1/4 yard tubs:
I also include pieces of fabric that are less than a 1/2 yard like 1/3 yard cuts.
Finally, if I am cutting out a project and I have a piece of fabric left that is smaller than 1/8 yard or a fat eighth, I cut that into strips. I use 2 1/2″ and 1 1/2″ strips the most so that is what I cut. Here is how I store those:
Easy to see and ready for that scrap quilt! Next week I will cover how I pull fabrics together for a scrap quilt. You’d be surprised that colors you think will not look good together actually do once they are pieced together in a quilt.
Share with me your fabric storage ideas and be entered in a drawing for a free pattern for my newest scrap quilt: Follow the Stars.
Drawing will be on July 8th so you have plenty of time to enter!
Your booth looked great! Wish I could have made it up to Omaha for the show. Thank you for your great tips on cutting your larger pieces down into usable sizes for scrap quilting. As far as fabric storage goes – I am really disorganized! I try to keep my fat quarters and smaller in labeled tubs, larger cuts are just piled. Someday! (Retirement can’t come soon enough! Thanks again! HUGS… and stitches
Bonnie Trott says
Sadly I wasn’t at the quilt show in Omaha but I love the pictures of your booth and how it was arranged was great. I like the idea they had for displaying quilts so they don’t hit the floor, very wise. No way am i as organized as you with scraps or left over pieces but I do cut into 2inch strips anything I have left over from a project. Personally I can’t handle anything smaller (arthritis in the hands won’t allow it) . That being said if I have bigger pieces left from a project , I always square it up and sometimes cut into 5 or 6 inch squares. One day I may label my boxes but as I don’t do many sizes it’s pretty easy to tell which is which. Love all your ideas the rolling pieces is so smart. Thanks for your wonderful ideas. Happy quilting.
I discovered Bonnie Hunters scrap system many years ago. But I really like your idea on the 1/2 yard cuts, especially the fat 8ths. Sometimes a length of fabric is too much for the quilt I am making. Wished I could have made it to Omaha this weekend but my adult children with their kids were here. Love your style. I have become a fan!!!!!!!
Robin McGuire says
I buy mostly fat quarters and keep them in a wire basket system, sorted by color. Then smaller pieces go into plastic tubs, again sorted by color. I try to cut for 2 or 3 projects at a time, while I have the fabrics out!
Karen in Ohio says
I like your method of cutting the new fabric into sizes that are easy to store and see when selecting for projects. I am going to try these. I also use the clear plastic bins to store yardage fabrics. They are color sorted by the color wheel. For small squares and half square triangles, etc. I use vintage Ball Jars to sort by type and size.
Thanks for your wonderful tips and ideas.
Renee Stonebrook says
I need to organize my left over strips as right now I have them in a big bag! I love the idea you gave us on cutting up material. Will definitely use that one for some of my stash. I make a lot of mini quilts with my left over scraps. The more different fabrics you use the prettier they become! Thank you for all your great tips!
Peggy McGinn says
I was at your booth and enjoyed visiting with you. I like your ideas on organizing fabric for scrap quilts. I have been going through a large tote that has been collecting odds and ends for the past few years. I’ve been separating the strips and have them set aside to organize. The smaller pieces I’ve been cutting into sizes for half square triangles and flying geese for a scrap quilt I plan on making. I am enjoying blog!
I have started putting left over cuts from my fabrics into small baskets for the different sizes ready for scrap quilts. I would love to make`Follow the stars` quilt with them.
Debra Miller says
I love the idea for cutting down a yard length of fabric into smaller more readily usable pieces. I tend to buy at least a yard or more of fabrics I like. The problem then is when I just need a small piece of fabric-I don’t want to cut up the yardage! I fold my yardage around a 6″ x 24″ ruler, slide the ruler out and then fold in half. I do buy fat quarters that I really like or when doing blocks for other guild members and I store them in plastic bins divided by color. These bins fit into an old six foot tall CD stand. My bigger scraps are just stored in baskets by colors. I don’t cut into shapes or strips because I do a lot of applique and English Paper Piecing projects.
I have begun using Bonnie Hunter’s scrap saving system because I have boxes of different size strips, squares, and bricks but all colors are in the same box. It’s a start!!
Kathy W. says
First off, I love the photos of your booth at the quilt show. Wish I could have been there to shop and enjoy all your quilt samples! As for storing fabric, I have large bins for any fabric that is 2 yards or more, with blues in 1 bin, yellows in another, etc. One yard pieces go on my shelves, and 1/2 yd or under are sorted by color in smaller plastic bins next to my cutting table. Since I’ve been quilting for 45 years, you can imagine how much fabric I’ve accumulated! Periodically, I take plastic bags into my weekly quilt meetings to let the members take what they need (that way it’s a win-win situation for all of us!) I also cut smaller little remnants into 1 1/2” squares so I constantly have squares to sew together when the mood hits, and that way I always have a charm quilt in the works. Can’t wait to hear how you pull fabrics together. It’s always interesting to hear different ideas and fun to learn new ways of doing things. As you can tell, I love your blog!