Sunday, March 22, 2015

Use It or Lose It!

As I stretch myself to begin the process of using the things in my home that I love and tossing the things I don't I have a new approach to my craft supplies. You have probably figured out by now that I am a person who does not like to have any waste or scraps from project. I tell myself there has to be some use for those left over pieces.  This thought process has served to uproot my deepest creative ideas and bring them to the surface. I am beginning to learn in this journey that some things you really just need to use or lose.

All of my friends in quilt group know that I will take the scraps from their projects so they will bag them up and bring them to me.  I really do love this, but in the past I would bring the bag home and stuff it in my cabinets to deal with at a later time.  Well, now I am forcing myself to bring them home, sort them and decide right then in what projects they will be used.  It is a slow and steady process but I am beginning to see that it has great benefits down the road.

Here is an example of a recent scrap bag gift from my friends and my new process.  In the bag was a selection of selvage strips, some small pieces cut off the end of quilt blocks, several drop out circles of fabric and larger pieces from a baby gift, and the scraps of a twister quilt.  So my process begins.

1.  Take all the selvage strips and place them in the jars above my work station sorted by color.  I really do use these all the time to tie up gift baskets, ties for gift tags etc.

2.  Pull out the larger pieces of fabric and place them in my fabric stash drawers so I know what fabrics I have to use for future quilts and projects.

My smaller pieces of fabric.
For more info check out this post Fabric Storage.
3.  I took the small cut off ends and sorted them by color.  Since they were from a quilt project they already coordinated beautifully.  I cut the larger pieces down so they were roughly 1" x 4" strips.  I then sewed them together using a zig zag stitch down the center to form a garland.
Small leftovers from a quilt project. 
I will post more on how the garland was made later.
4.  The drop out circles were used to create as many Yo Yo's as I could get out of each circle.
Large circles left from a baby gift project.

I cut down the larger circles to create a selection of yo yo's.
5.  One batch of the twister quilt scraps were an odd shape cut on the bias.  I did not think these would work well cut into smaller squares so I used them to make a nice grouping of Yo Yo's.  I have a box I keep all my pre-made Yo Yo's in so when I am working on a project I can just pull one out and I don't have to stop and make one.
6.  The remaining scraps from the twister quilt were used to embellish a dish towel to be sold in my Etsy shop. I had just enough to create a great looking towel.
The blue and white fabric are the twister scraps.

The green yo yo's are from the odd shaped scraps.
There, all of the scraps were either used immediately on an existing project or prepared for use in a future project.  A bonus of this process is that I do not have a small bag of random scraps "stuffed" in my cabinets.  There was only a small amount of "trash" from the bag and it was easy to toss them. 
My plan is to keep this process going every time I bring home a gifted bag of scraps.  I do still have several "stuffed" in the cabinet I am beginning to work on now.  It is refreshing to use the things I have to create new projects and clear out some space in my cabinets.  Who knows what I will create using the next bag of scraps but I am excited to get started.

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