Well, I'm not dead yet.
I am now approaching my second week of RECLAIMING MY STUDIO and I'm still alive.
This past week, I focused on 2 things in my studio because my time to work in there is quite limited AND I want to use a bit of that time for sewing, too:
1. Cutting up scraps into usable squares and rectangles
2. Putting my homeless quilt stuff into baskets and bins for right now
Cutting Up My Scrap Fabrics
I had this really big zip top plastic bag of 1930's odd-sized pieces and scraps smaller than a fat quarter. I had cleaned these out of my 1930's drawers last year but never got back to them. So now is the time.
So I jumped right in!
Word of advice -- when cutting a lot of scraps into squares and strips, start with a fresh rotary cutter blade. A new rotary cutter blade will make cutting easier and more comfortable and ultimately faster.
I just started pulling wads of fabric out of the bag. I pressed and layered larger pieces to be made into 5" squares and then the smaller stuff I pressed and layered to cut 2 1/2" squares. I kept at it diligently and finally, when I thought I couldn't take all those cute happy 1930's reproduction fabrics anymore, I miraculously emptied that bag of 1930's repros. WHEW!
As quilters, for some strange and unknown reason, we are afraid to throw away even the teeniest scraps of fabric -- OMG, what if there's a fabric shortage in the world???
I've actually moved a bit beyond this after 20+ years of quilting. (Did I actually admit to that in writing?) In my perfect studio (cue the dreamy music), ALL my scraps have been rendered into 5" squares, 2 1/2" squares, and 2 1/2" WOF strips and are organized in pretty labeled bins. You've seen these studios on Pinterest, right?
I don't think I need to go to the extent of organizing my cut up scraps by color or theme, though, because when I want to use them, I'll just delve right in and ransack those pretty bins to find the pieces that I want.
Believe it or not, but piles, bags, and bins of tangled scrap fabrics actually take up more space than neatly cut squares and strips (another reason to get my scraps under control).
There are many books out there to help you get the most out of your scraps, a few of my favorite are:
Of course, there are also lots of great blog posts with great tips and suggestions. It doesn't hurt to do a little research/reading because if you're like me you need to know 2 things -- I'm not alone and somebody out there might know the secret to permanently getting my scraps under control and might even be willing to share.
Basket and Bins and Crates, Oh My!
I spent some time sorting through my piles of stuff and plopping things that had no specific home into baskets and bins to be dealt with later -- when I build my dream sewing/cutting table with 1001+ cubbies (yes, I found myself sliding into an alternate reality here), I'll hopefully have places to put all this orphaned stuff.
WOW! Abracadabra! Can you believe it?? Already, my space looks cleaner without jumbled piles of who-knows-what all over my horizontal surfaces. I was even able to put some things away!
I found lots of precuts hiding in dark corners of baskets and bins, so I am in the process of rescuing them and putting them either in my precut drawer (charm packs and mini charms) OR my crate with fat quarter bundles, Jelly Rolls, Layer Cakes, and some other precut odds and ends -- hexagons, triangles, etc. I really had no idea that I had so many precut bundles....
Yes, I admit it -- I am a precut hoarder [head hanging in shame....].
While putting things in temporary housing, I poked around my existing baskets and bins. So, of course I found lots more fun things and again, even rehoused some of them already. GO ME! (You have to be your own cheerleader, you know.)
I also found more scraps that need to be cut into strips and squares. Go figure, back to my cutting mat -- which is much easier to find now, by the way.
Stay tuned for my next Cleaning Adventure.
If you missed my first post about cleaning my studio, click HERE