Scrap Heap Challenge

To return to more familiar, less sad topics, one of my goals for 2017 is to do more with my fabric scraps, which has already begun.  However, to keep up the good work, I realised that I needed a better system than a large bin full of bits of everything I’ve made since I started quilting.  What I had was this:


…but absolutely full to over-flowing with bits of fabric.  The only way I could fit everything in was to stuff everything in as hard as I could, and to find anything I had to upend the entire thing onto the floor and paw through it in the hope that I’d find the specific bit I was looking for.  Obviously, not really a great solution.  Enter these:


During my shopping excursions last Saturday, I made sure to go to Cheapie Charlie’s and pick up a dozen plastic baskets in two sizes to sort my scrap fabrics into in colour groupings.  However, it wasn’t until yesterday that I got a chance to prise them from the world’s stickiest labels and actually put stuff in them.  Despite fears at one point that I’d underestimated the required number/size of baskets, it worked out really well:


As I guessed they might, blues, greens and white/cream/neutrals vastly outnumber all the other colours, so I suppose I’ll be doing a blue scrap quilt next.  🙂  Other colour groups I chose were red, orange, yellow, brown, pink, purple, grey and black, plus one basket for very mixed prints that refused to fall obediently into any specific colour group.  I also threw away a fair bit of volume in terms of really ratty old wadding that was still attached to the trimmed edges of previous quilts and the really super-tiny scraps or ultra-skinny strings that I honestly couldn’t see myself doing anything with.  I’m sure some fabrics ended up appearing in more than one colour grouping, but that’s ok.  I’ll either re-sort if necessary or they’ll add a nice bit of variation.

To continue the organisational theme, I’ve started to sort my embroidery threads into the shiny new plastic storage boxes I bought for them.  I say “started” because it’s quite a slow process (great for when ignoring watching TV!), but it really needs doing and it’s super-satisfying to see a tangled soup of flosses become nice, tidy, usable rows of bobbins.


Years ago I bought a whole load of embroidery flosses in plastic bags.  They weren’t in skeins, they weren’t labeled, heck, I don’t even think they were really sorted.  Maybe they were left over from kits?  Anyway.  At the time, I sorted them as best I could, knotted them into approximate skeins and kept them in a ratty cardboard box, as you see here, along with other skeins I bought subsequently, plus tangles of WIP friendship bands (remember those?  I was a lil obsessed with making them when I was a teen).  They weren’t really useful like that though because as soon as I went looking for anything, the whole lot ended up in even more of a bird’s nest, so like any normal person would, I put the lid on and ignored the whole lot for umpty years.  Now, though, I find myself actually wanting to use them and to know what I’ve got, so I bought three large embroidery thread boxes, which handily came with card bobbins, and slowly, slowly, progress is being made:


The perle cottons (bottom left) and the Kreinik metallic spools (bottom right) may well find a different home, but I’ve already en-bobbin’ed all the metallic and rayon flosses I bought for using on quilts, plus a good amount of the mystery flosses (the pic of the cardboard box above is after my efforts last night – it was much fuller before I started!).  I’ve also got about 10 intact (or nearly intact) skeins (from a variety of makers) that were in the same box, which I may put on labelled bobbins if I feel especially enthusiastic about it, plus I have all these DMC flosses that I picked up a while ago for almost nothing at Craft, the local thrift-type shop:


Who can resist cheap brand-name craft supplies?  Not me, clearly!  I was doubting my ability to fill three thread boxes, but actually I’m starting to think I may manage it after all!

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