Sunday, 3 January 2010

Stash Management

Comments on yesterday's post about the leaders/enders quilt got me thinking of posting a few pictures of how I organize my leftover fabric strips. Whenever I am finished a quilt, I cut the small leftover fabric into 2 1/2" or 2" (or smaller) strips and put them in the appropriate drawer. I used Bonnie Hunter's suggestions for sizes that work well in scrappy quilts. I look at yard sales for these drawer units and use them for all kinds of things. My cutting table is actually two kitchen tables which we also picked up at yard sales a few weeks apart for $5.00 and $2.00 :-). DH, Jake, made square 'risers' and drilled holes in it exactly the size of the table legs to make the cutting surface at a comfortable height. I now have a 60" square table for cutting and pinning. I have these drawer units under the table all around and store tools, thread and supplies on one side and projects that I have on the go in other drawers. Here is the side that stores the 'homemade' jelly rolls :-).

The first bank of drawers has 2" squares, 2 1/2" squares, 2" strips, 2 1/2" strips and 3 1/2" strips:

The second bank of drawers has strings, 1" strips, 1 1/2" strips (I'm working on a scrappy log cabin with these) and leftover binding pieces:

It takes a little work to get this set up and get into the habit of putting things into these drawers, but after awhile it gets to be second nature. And, the best part is that when I need something, it's right there.

10 comments:

Brenda said...

I use Bonnie's system too. Yesterday I made a baby quilt of 3.5 inch squares, and only cut a few squares to fill in missing colours. it works great, and I'm not overwhelmed by scrap bins that way. I've made several quilts with my precuts -- a Chinese coin and a Scot's plaid and a bunch of two inch square quilts.

Susan In Texas said...

That's a great system. How large do the remnants have to be before you cut them up? For instance, is a leftover fat quarter too big to cut up? I'm thinking of doing something similar, so I'm very curious. 8-)

Thanks,
Susan
http://www.susanintexas.blogspot.com
gentle_poster@charter.net

Mary-Kay said...

I love your scrap system. As I was clearing off my cutting table last night, I was amazed at how much scrap fabric I have. I'd better get busy and start something from it. My 2 friends are coming over to sew tomorrow and I think it should be a project from the scraps. String quilt anyone?

wendy langille said...

I loved your set up. I have a little different set up, I used bookshelves to hold up half of an old ping pong table. Further down you talked about a coverless magazine, I go to a photocopier here (North Bay On) and she binds it and puts plastic covers it for $3.oo. You have me thinking I need to redesign my sewing area as I have no system for scraps. I am going to look at Bonnie's blog. I love your work. I will be reading you regularly now. Keep up the good work.

Lynda said...

I like those bins on wheels. I'll have to check out the Salvation Army store and see if anyone has parted with some......or wait until there's a good sale on them somewhere....I have a wonderful homebuilt tqble in the basement to cut on and those bins would fit under there nicely too. Now, if I can just get the men to move some stuff around downstairs to make me a little more room.........

Jacqui's Quilts said...

Susan:

I keep FQ's on a separate shelf altogether unless it's a FQ that I've had for a long time and get to the point where I don't think I'll ever use it. If the FQ has a novelty print, I cut it into 6 1/2 and 4 1/2" squares for my I spy bin. The strips usually get cut from fabrics that are leftover from a quilt that have less than 1/4 yard left on them. I cut a 3 1/2" strip if I can (that's the ones that get used for the triangle squares for the leaders/enders quilt) and then 2 1/2" or 2" whatever mood I'm in :-).

Jacqui's Quilts said...

Lynda: I've actually taken the wheels off the bottom of those bins because otherwise they won't fit under my table and I don't like them rolling around when I open the drawers :-). They're easy enough to move without the wheels too when I need to get to the stuff behind them :-). I got most of my bins at yard sales, but also a few on sale. Canadian Tire has a 1/2 price sale on right now, but the 5 drawer one is too tall :-(. January is usually the time these bins go on sale.

Judy said...

I love your system and now I will have to get myself some of those bins. I have mine in stacking bins and they are too small and not as easy to use as drawers are. I have blocks like that for my kitchen table and raise it up to do marathon cutting. Wish I had room in my sewing room for a big table like yours.
I'm sure glad I found your blog. ;-)
You have lots of great things here.

sylvia hinson said...

I have an old singer sewing machine that needs a new rope belt...not sure if you do repairs or how much u change to so...but am very interested in getting it working again....any thoughts for me....


THANKS,

Sylvia

Jacqui's Quilts said...

Hi there Sylvia: I can't reply to your comment via email as you have a 'no reply' setting...hoping you will see this here. We do not sell belts, but you should be able to get them from any sewing machine repair shop. Just ask around and they can even order it if they don't have them. Hope this helps. Jacqui