Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Scrap Chat : :

Yesterday, on a whim, I decided to offer up some of my fabric scraps to those ordering felt during my sale. A win, win for sure! But once I had the day's orders all laid out and I began sorting through my scraps, I became completely overwhelmed!

What's too small? What's too big? Should I press them? They're kind of wrinkled from being shoved in my drawer! Should I square them up so they look nice and neat?

My goodness, I was seriously stressing out over this?! In the end, I ended up with these answers --
I will send a variety of sizes, I will square them up a little, and I will definitely press them!

Felt, Scraps, & Twine

Back when I was avoiding packing for the BIG move into our new home, I started making these Simple Color Totes, with my Simply Color Layer Cake. I love, love the idea of organizing my scraps by color! I accomplished four before I had run out of my procrastination time, and I still plan to finish out that rainbow eventually!

Simply Color Totes

Finished Four

The majority of my scraps presently dwell in the large bottom drawer of my most favorite dresser, stuffed to the brim! Which is why I'm happy, thrilled actually, to offer some up!

Scrap fabric & felt storage

So, when I saw that my friend Alia had ordered, creator of this beautiful, felt needle book of mine, I decided to send her a nice variety!

Alia's needle book gift

A little improv scattering of scraps for another order!

Scrappy Scraps

And, when Mara asked so sweetly for orange and purple scraps, if I could please, I was happy to share!

Scraps by Color

One day I will eventually get around to beginning that second scraps quilt!

Srappy Improv Quilt

But with each new sewing day, comes more and MORE scraps than I could ever imagine using all on my own!

So today, I'm asking all of you -- What do you keep? What do you consider useful scraps? Do you keep your selvages, as well? And, how do you store your own scraps?

I'll continue sending out my scraps with all the Wool Blend Felt orders I receive during my sale, and I may even use your super helpful answers to offer up some fabric scrap bundles in my Etsy shop at some point, as well!

As always, thanks so much taking the time to stop by!   , Maureen

82 comments:

  1. I keep big pieces in a container. Cut others to 2 1/2" strips, put the strings and salvages in a bag to be later used as in a dog bed. Everything else gets put in a ziplock to be given to a scrap quilter who uses tinybpieces. She even wants my dog bed scraps! LOL

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    1. It's so true! Even the tiniest pieces can be useful, which is why it's so hard to know what to let go of! I'm glad you have someone to share with!

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  2. I just love looking at all of the colours. It relaxes me & soothes the eye, even if I get nothing done ;)

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  3. What a great idea! It's always fun to get some scraps- you never know what you'll get! My scrap in is overflowing. I sometimes think about whether to offer them in my shop or not, too, but I haven't gotten there yet.

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  4. I have a problem with scraps. I probably don't have THAT much compared to others but I do have a lot. I keep them in a 5 drawer tower (from wal mart). They are organized by color so it's easy to find exactly what I'm looking for. And I do not keep everything. If it's smaller than 1" (strip/square), I throw it away. Sometimes, I do "clean" my scraps - I get everything out and go through them and throw some away... I always feel bad but I know I'm not going to use them so what's the point of keeping them !
    I do keep my selvedges (in a big mason jar) but I don't know what to do with them yet.

    It's a good idea to include them in your orders :) I'm sure you will make a lot of people happy :) AND it will give you some room to make more scraps :p

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  5. I have VERY limited space. I don't keep selvages and I am trying to set aside smaller, irregular shaped, but still usable scraps to send to the art teacher at school

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  6. I think I may be an anomaly, but I save absolutely everything. Even tiny bits can find homes as little leaves or flower petals. When the bits are really too small to be useful for anything, I still save them to use as stuffing for the dolls I make!

    I generally try to keep them separated by fabric type, and then sort by colour.

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    1. I agree! I think it's my love of applique that makes me keep a lot of pieces that I wouldn't use for patchwork! Good for you for being so organized!!

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  7. I hoard my scrap pieces too! It's hard to let them go if the fabric is one that I love, and don't we love all the fabric we purchase! lol At the moment I have all of my scrap pieces 1 1/2" squared and larger in a plastic drawer tote under my desk. I plan on making a scrappy quilt one day. I do keep the selvage (in a mason jar) in case I need to remember what fabric is almost gone. The mason jar reminds me of a birds nest. All those stringy scrappy pieces that have the hope of being turned into something new! I like buying scrap packs because you never know what surprise fabric is about to be part of your collection! I haven't really worked with felt but I'm thinking about buying some because you use gorgeous fabrics in all of your projects!

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    1. Thanks Heather! I'll be sure to announce here when I do get around to offering up scrap packs! It's so true, keeping all these scraps comes from that place of great love that we have for our fabrics! Plus, they remind me of what I've made, which is why I get so happy each time I use my Scrappy Quilt! :)

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  8. I have been gradually trying to organize my scraps by cutting them into useful size squares - I cut them into 1 1/2 inch sizes up to 5 inch sizes and get boxes from hobby lobby that are used for storing photos (sold by scrap booking area) I think. The boxes are about 7 x 11 inches and maybe 4 inches tall? They come in all color and designs - on the outside of the box I write down what size blocks are in it. I do not organize by color. I also have 2 boxes of strings - I do not keep salvages - I was going to but decided they weren't be for me. I also have a medium size wicker laundry basket full of scraps that are not cut. This year alone I made 2 baby patchwork quilts and two string pillows and have not made a dent in the scraps - will I ever use them all up - doubtful but I have noticed that I use them more when they are cut into useful pieces it is so easy to grab a box of 5 inch squares and make a scrap quilt or 4 inch squares ect.

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  9. My scraps are all stuffed into a big, ole Christmas gift bag...it's kind of silly, really - I should find a better place for them. I keep thinking of at least getting one bin to keep them in but then I change my mind and think I need to sort them by color. All that decision-making is enough to drive me batty, so those pesky scraps stay stuffed in my snowman bag. I keep most everything until it's absolutely too teeny, but sometimes I get into a purging mood and I chuck them quick and forget about them. I'm really not much of a collector, but there is something about fabric that is just so pretty that I want to keep it all!

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  10. I tend to keep everything except the smallest of scraps and the selvages too. I usually go through them and sort them out to size and color but not until my scrap bag under my cutting table is over flowing. I just can't seem to part with any of them. A little secret of mine ~ I've even bought scraps from my local fabric store (tee hee).

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    1. I definitely don't think I would buy anymore! :) But each one does remind me of something special I've made. I've found plenty much too precious to part with, and have even dug through my drawer to make sure I can find at least one more little piece, before I can let certain fabric scraps go!! :)

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  11. I keep all of my scraps even the pieces I saw called 'crumbs' elsewhere! I think I probably make more scrap projects than ones using larger cuts of fabric. The scraps are 'sort of' organised by size and the larger ones are 'a bit' organised by colour. [I'm blushing madly here!]

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    1. Good for you! I guess my biggest issue with keeping everything is keeping my space from looking messy! I do use scraps all the time, so I find them very useful... eventually. They just make me feel a little chaotic when they're not organized properly, which they're usually not!

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  12. I used to save every single little scrap, didn't matter the size. I would cut out squares 2", 2 1/2", etc. up to 5" and put each size in it's own box for future scappy quilt use. Guess what??? Those scraps are still in those boxes. I don't save really small scraps any longer, and larger scraps that are left over from finished projects, I've started collecting, boxing, and shipping to a church for relief/mission quilts - they can always use the material and it cuts down on my storage needs.

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  13. I'm so sorry to hear that you got stressed, I love the assortment you made for me, thank you, although I totally thought you meant scrap felt from like when you make little flowers and stuff. And from what I see I don't call those scraps, lol, I keep everything, even when I am trimming up and you get those little strings of fabric. Some pieces to end up getting cut and destroyed by the kids because they want to "sew".

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    1. My kids love scraps, too! Once they're all sewing, I'm sure I'll have no problem using them all! Did you see that piece of bright yellow felt that I found for you? :)

      I wasn't truly stressed, I just was worried that my idea of scraps wouldn't be useful and appreciated. I do keep everything and assume not everyone is like that, so I would hate to send out a bunch of scrap pieces that were disappointing!

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    2. Oh my gosh, I totally thought the "scraps" meant felt scraps too. If Id have known it was fabric Id have been all over placing an order just to get some of your lovely scraps:)

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  14. My scraps are in a cube bin in my crafting area. I keep pieces big enough to work with and pitch those smaller than an inch and a half. I've been saving scrap yarn to put out for the bird's this spring to make colorful nest and when I was trimming hst's the other day I had a pile of 1/4" pieces trimmed when my hubby came in picked up the little pile, looked at it and said put those with the yarn for the bird's. I did and I can't wait to put out in a few wks and watch the bird's gather them to make some lovely nest from my tiny scraps.

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    1. What a wonderful and beautiful thing to do! I may have to try this out!! Thanks Debbie!

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  15. I used to keep them in ziplocks by color. It was getting tedious though. So now (I keep changing how I store them) theya re in a bin under my sewing table for easy access. I used to keep everything but I have narrowed it down to : anything under 2x2 gets put in the crumbs bag to become ottoman stuffing (a future project) and I go through my scraps every so often and pull out anything I do not think I might ever really use. I have done a giveaway where there were 8 winners and each winner received a zip full of scrapps, one for each color of the rainbow+.

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  16. Maureen I keep all my scraps no matter how small. I am still very new to quilting. So I don't have that many at all. I would love to be able to one day make one of those scrap quilts like you posted in the picture above. If you ever want to toss some out feel free to send as many as you like my direction. I will give them all a good home and put them to good use. I have even started saveing those selveges. I would love to be abel to make one of those selvege quilty projects have been seeing online. I stor e my scraps in teh clear plastic salad bins i buy salad in from either Sams or Costco Wholesale clubs. They are great sizes and even have lids.. I try and sort mine by color .

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  17. I am new to quilting, and have hardly any scraps or stash. I don't really want to buy felt, but would love to buy some scraps, so yes - definitely start selling them :-)

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  18. I put my scraps in a bag. Some days I throw away the really small ones.
    I've fallen in love with that scraps quilt!!!!

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    1. Thank you Dawn! That scraps quilt makes me so happy that I kept everything, and the idea of making another motivates me to keep, keeping everything! Even with sharing, I could probably make 4 more quilt just as big!

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  19. I toss anything over 2" or so into a big scrap basket. They are stuffed in there, and I pretty much make a big pile on the floor when I'm working with them! I rarely save selvages, tho I do have a bag of some...

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  20. I ran into a deal this weekend at the Dollar General, they had the clear shoe boxes w/lids for .75 each. I bought 10, went home and grabbed all scraps that were everywhere and went to sorting by color. After that I took all of my charm squares from several different swaps and sorted by color. Scraps and charm squares in boxes and all neatly arranged on shelf in my sewing room. I can't tell you how happy this makes me, now when I need a color I can just go pull a box and all my options are right there. I also save selvages, one day, one day, I want to make something with them!

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  21. I throw away the scraps that are stringy and my cats might eat and get stuck in their throats. I do not keep selvedges, I think they are ugly and a waste of my time when there are so many beautiful fabrics I'd rather b using. I'm too impatient to make string quilts that have to be sewn on paper first. I just save scraps that can be used in regular scrap quilts. Although I did make a cute scrappy pin cushion and then stuffed it with leftover stringy scraps. I love the feel of it!

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  22. I like your antique dresser! I keep my fabric in an antique washstand that belonged to my great-grandmother. There's just something about putting the treasure of fabric inside another treasure!

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    1. Thank you! You just explained it perfectly!! :)

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  23. Ohh, I love those your colorful bags. I might have to use that idea to sass up a wall in my sewing area.

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  24. I keep anything bigger than 2.5" square. I've yet to make a scrap quilt, but I intend to one day. Sunday Morning Quilts is a really good book of scrap quilt ideas, and it made me realize that I'd previously thrown away useful pieces. I also need to come up with some kind of organization system for my scraps, but right now, I don't have a dedicated sewing room so my storage space is pretty limited. I do not keep selvedges. Just not my thing. I'd never make anything out of them.

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  25. Wow! So funny that you started stressing over the scraps. I can totally see that happening to many of us...I used to save just large
    scraps, but now I'm saving everything at least for a little while. Right now, my scraps are just in a couple of plastic drawers. I plan to sort them by color shortly as I'm sure I would use them more.

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    1. Well, stressed only because I was worried about delivering on my scrap promise, not wanting to disappoint!! :) This conversation has been super helpful, especially to read that I'm not alone in my scrap-hoarding ways!

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  26. I must confess to chucking my scraps haphazardly into a cardboard box. The things I make generally require bigger pieces of fabric, so my scraps tend to go unused. But now I am thinking I need to get into more scrappy sewing, after I go out and find some clear containers so I can organize according to colour! And I also vow to start saving my selvedges and stringy scraps....I will save them for stuffing!!!
    Thanks for the great ideas, and I also store all my bigger pieces of fabric in my favourite dresser! :)

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    1. Honestly, seeing my scraps really did help me use them more often! I do love my dresser, but when I only had enough to fill my vintage glass Mason jars, I was always digging through them for what I needed, before I ever thought of cutting into anything large enough to be folded. I wonder if simply moving them from the box to a clear container will make a difference for you? I hope so!!

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  27. Well before I saw your Rainbow Ticker Tape quilt a few weeks ago, I only saved larger scraps, at least 3 inches square or greater. Then I saw your quilt, read the original post, saw some other "ticker tape" quilts and almost cried at the thought of the trash cans full of beautiful scraps that I had thrown away - thinking I was doing well because I wasn't giving into my desire to keep something I could never use.
    So now I am saving much smaller scraps, not salvage and not tiny little strips when I shore something up.
    All of my scraps are in color or collection coordinated ziplock in a large canvas basket in my craft nook.

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    1. Before planning for my Rainbow Quilt I barely kept anything! I was right there with you, completely sick at the thought of all I had tossed away! Well, now I'm giving them away, I have so many!! It truly is raw edge applique that changed the way I look at usable scrap fabrics. Even the teeny tiniest piece can become something beautiful, it's amazing and a little dangerous all at the same time!

      Thanks Jessica!

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  28. I have a target laundry basket that I keep for scraps. Any size. Why is it that everyone else's scraps look better than ours?

    I look at other peoples scraps and drool. Mine? I'm kinda "meh" about them.

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    1. That is very true!! A blind fabric swap type thing would be a really fun and interesting thing to try sometime. I bet it would be surprising to find what we'd like that we normally don't buy out on our own!!

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  29. I have an accountant's brain which sometimes works okay in quilting (I get the math right usually!) but sometimes not. It doesn't work so well with scraps. First, I made a potholder/mug rug or two out of leftovers (great hostess gifts or just because gifts) and then I generally cut leftovers (smaller than fat eighths) into 5" squares and then 3" squares. Anything else is given to a lady who loves scraps. I appreciate quilts (and everything else) made from scraps and bits and pieces but it is just too time consuming (I have a day job) for me to keep up with them.

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  30. I love scrappy projects -- they have so much personality to them! My scraps have been piling up more than they used to, so I'm becoming a little more picky about the size I hang on to. I used to keep every little tiny piece, but now I'm closing my eyes and dropping the tiny ones in the trash can. It hurts a bit, but I had to choose who was going to be in charge of the sewing room -- me or the scraps. :)

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  31. I'll save something if it has at least one dimension bigger than an inch. One thing I've learned over the past year in the blogging community is that there are so many ways to make items completely from scraps! Right now I have a bunch organized in apothecary jars by color, but I've got plenty of bigger pieces that just filled those up so they moved to this great tin canister I got at Ikea. It's always nice to get a few varied pieces though... I love what you showed! Thank you!

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  32. Save everything that can hold a seam...never know when you might need it.

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  33. I started keeping "it all"..but later came to my senses...now... I keep anything bigger than 2,1/2 in. I look at the scrap and try for the biggest size I can get...I can always cut smaller if needed. So I keep/cut 2,1/2" squares AND strips and 3,1/2 and 5. Anything bigger goes to my Fat quarter collection! I figure if I keep them in strips...it'd be easier to sew several together and then cut to make the 2" sqs instead of sewing all those tiny 2,1/2 sqs together...but can if I want to. So I try first for strips in those sizes, and then squares. I also keep some of the smaller pieces for "thread heads"..to start the threads so the first stitching on the fabric is proper.

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  34. I have small, locking plastic bins I use for the baby scraps. You know, 2" pieces I just couldn't let go of. Long strips I MAY use for a string block someday. Then I have color coordinated bins, like yours, for the larger scraps. These scraps actually range all the way up to fq size, so I go through those a lot. The rest of my fabric is stored on comic book boards as mini-bolts on my bookshelf and the really large pieces are folded and stacked nicely on the shelf as well. I LOVE getting other people's scraps, so this was a great idea. I like being able to use small pieces of fabric that aren't in my collection. And in some cases, I've fallen in love with prints I never thought to purchase until I had seen it in person. I don't think I realized you were having a sale! I am going to see if I can scrap together some cash and buy a few felt pieces. I love working with felt!

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    1. I love working with felt so much, too, and my felt scraps are seriously out of control, but chatting about felts craps is another post altogether!

      It sounds like you have a great system, Danny! I think once I finish my rainbow of totes I should be ok, beside all my shelving!

      It's funny, most of the fabric scraps I'm sending out are from the projects I've made most recently. I wonder if those who ordered, who also follow regularly, will connect the scrap to the project. That will make me really happy!! :)

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  35. I save pretty much all my scraps. I have them organized by color in upcycled small wooden crates. What I don't sew with, I use for stuffing. I hate to throw away fabric that I love!

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    1. Stuffing...great idea especially if there's nothing else you can do with them!

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  36. Loving your blog. I do keep a ton of scraps. I have them color coated in shoe size plastic containers. Labeled and stored in my closet. It works for me. It's not organized inside the boxes. :) I have them in groups of cool colors, warm, darks, etc. I'm working on a scrappy quilt for my daughter using left overs. It's fun!

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    1. Thank you SO much Gretchen!! Scrappy projects are so fun, which is why I love them so much, too!! It sounds like you have a pretty good system for yourself, good for you!!

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  37. I don't get to order as much fabric as I would like (thought I'm very lucky to get to order as much as I do, given that it's just a hobby and I don't produce any items for sale), so I keep ANYTHING that I might can use. I keep anything over 2.5 square, so I can do a scrap vomit quilt someday, and I keep skinnier pieces if they're a bit longer and I might get to use them in a string quilt, which I haven't tried yet.

    I don't think I neeeeed any felt, but I feel so tempted to buy some to get a bit of your scraps! Is that lunacy or what?

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    1. Oh, I have a set of ten plastic containers from the Container Store where I shove things. They generally wait in a bowl until I have time to sort them by color. But I'm not very productive, so I don't generate a lot of scraps. If I sewed as much as you, that might not work!

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  38. For my birthday last year I got a new scrappy storage system and I love it!! http://happyquiltingmelissa.blogspot.com/2012/08/happy-birthday-to-me.html And I started saving selvages awhile ago and my first project I used them in was a bee block. It was so much fun. Can't wait to do another one. http://happyquiltingmelissa.blogspot.com/2013/01/stitching-with-selvages.html

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    1. I love the look of your selvage project!! I've used some of my AMH selvages on pin cushion and that's it! Your scrap storage system is wonderful, too! We use to have something similar when the boys were really little to organize our craft supplies, but over the years it didn't hold up. However, I may have to re-invest in something like this for just my scraps!

      Thanks Melissa!!

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    2. I love it!!! What a great idea!
      http://diaryofanovicequilter.blogspot.com

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    3. OMG! I just looked at your blog Mellissa, it is beautiful!!!

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  39. Oh I'm a terrible scrap hoarder! I do draw the line at anything smaller than about 1" though...

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  40. You should sell bags of scraps in your shop. Even if it was an inexpensive price, you have AWESOME scraps and there are many crafters out there who would want them. You might as well make a little from them, Id say.

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  41. I love scraps!!! I never throw anything away. They are so helpful when you just need to make a small project (mug rugs) or for applique. I love even more scrap bags from other people. It is like Christmas!! You get to imagine what they made and then use your imagination to make something totally new. Love them!!!

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  42. I am SO glad that you posed this question, Maureen! I've been sewing for about a year now and am at the point where my scrap collection is starting to burst at the seams. It hurts my heart to toss away any little scrap but I am all too aware of my tendency to be a hoarder of all things pretty. As of now, I have a beach bag hanging on the back of my sewing chair that has three starbucks bags in it - one with cotton fabric scraps, one with interfacing scraps and one with misc fabric (canvas, minky, terry, felt)... I know it's getting to be an issue because my chair topples over all the time now from the weight - yikes! So very grateful for all these lovely suggestions!!!

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  43. I have a bunch of clear plastic shoebox containers that I sort my scraps into, by colour. I also keep strings in a separate container and make string blocks when it gets full. My selvages are saved too for all the cute selvage projects that I keep seeing. I only toss the really small bits that are too small to piece or use in applique.

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  44. I save my scraps in a clear bin for now. I save itty bitty pieces up to about a fat quarter size. One of these days I'll get them organized by color!!

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  45. I save pretty much everything over an inch by inch. I end up with many triangles for some reason. I know I could cut them down to more usable squares but that would "waste" so much fabric. Even tinier triangles :) I keep a look out for scrap projects but I still have what I feel like is a lot, even though it's pretty much not That much.

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  46. I save almost everything. I trim up what I can into squares of usable sizes or strips to make a scrappy jelly roll or to save for scrappy binding. I then sort them by color into those rubbermaid plastic drawers. Anything smaller than 1" square, the smallest scrap I save, goes into a bag for my husband to add to our compost bin. Since I really only use cotton and linen (and I'm a washer, so no chemicals), he throws them in the worm bin for bedding, so no waste! I save scraps of batting too to use for small projects or to piece together for a larger project when I need something that's an odd size. Going back now to read everyone else's ideas as I save all these scraps, but even though I make scrappy projects, I never seem to use enough...

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  47. I have separate gallon-size ziploc bags organized by color groups in a box: reds/oranges, yellows/greens, blues/purples, neutrals, batting scraps, selvages. Bigger pieces are folded and put in a drawer. I got my jar idea from alittlebitbiased - check the Dec 20 2011 blog post!

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  50. I LOVE SCRAPS! Seriously. One of my favorite things it to sort through and imagine what I'd create :)Right now the majority of my scraps are in a big bin. I have my precious scraps in a smaller bin, pressed and bagged by color. I'm a little OCD about my favorite fabrics :)

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  51. Great post!
    That is a method to try.
    I know how it will work out for me in my master, though.
    Lots of work to do there!

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  52. Oh my goodness Maureen---eveything you do is adorable...even your scraps!
    -liZ

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  53. What a super idea to make different color bags for your scraps. You're so clever! Your bags are awesome! Some scraps I cut up into different sizes, 2", 5" etc. I have been saving my selvages for maybe two years. I'm not sure what I'm going to do but I'll know when I see the pattern, hehe.

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  54. That is such an excellent question? A woman that I quilt with also paper pieces and she says to keep every little piece. I always felt terrible throwing away my selvages though :(

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  55. Maureen, I love those bags can you post a tutorial on how to make them?

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  56. My felt order arrived today along with some beautiful scraps. Thank you so much. At the moment I'm making lots of pillows and embelishing them with fabric flowers made from scraps so these new additions to the ever diminishing scrap pile are very welcome.

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  57. You are sweet to press and square up your scraps. When I destash scraps, I typically do not press them. I keep anything larger than 1" square. Truly! And yes, I have a lot. I try to sort roughly by size, and used to sort by color, but found I couldn't keep up with it.

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  58. I keep everything, and I am thinking about doing a salvage swap too! or a flicker group of making something with salvage and trading.. I loved the xmas stuff I saw during the holidays made with salvages..

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