Cyndy at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework asked me if I would do a guest post for her linky party, Oh Scrap! I was delighted to do so! She specifically asked how I use my die cutter as an aid to managing my scraps. So this is how I handle scrap management.
First, find a container for scraps you want to keep together. Add to this until it is ready to over flow. Really. I don’t want to get all this out to cut a handful of pieces. Most quilters are already at this point.
This pan is filled with mostly scraps from my collection of Denyse Schmidt fabrics. I love her designs and have found that all her lines work so well together. I have a lot more scraps than this, but these are scraps I want to use together. I have a large basket for Civil War Repro fabrics and another bin for solids.
After my pan, basket, or bin is sufficiently full, I start sorting into like sizes and shapes. If you have a die cutter, you will likely have lots of similar shapes left over. This is very handy!
Toss bits that are tinier than you will actually use. Someone might uses bits this size, but I won’t. So out they go.
Next, decide what dies you have that you would like to use and will fit with the scraps that you have. For example, I had a pile of these hexies in this scrap bin. I could have cut them into something else, but I really want to make another hexie quilt at some point.
So I got out the hexie die. I also decided that I would like to cut tumblers, 2 inch finished squares, and 2 inch finished HSTs. So I pulled all of these out.
I started with the biggest scraps cutting as many hexies as I could. Then I started in on the tumblers because that was the next largest shape I planned to use. I layered my fabric scraps cutting up to 10 tumblers at a time (check with your die cutter manufacturer to know how many layers you can safely cut with your machine). When I could cut no more, I moved onto to squares and then the HSTs. I ended up with scraps that were still too big for me to throw away so I cut 1 1/2 inch finished HSTs as well.
When I was all done, these were the scraps that I ended up tossing out.
And here are my neat little piles of scraps all ready to go. Isn’t that ever so much better?
I also had some small strips leftover that didn’t fit any of the dies I had pulled out. I could have placed them on one of my strip dies to cut uniform strips. But I had another idea in mind.
I started randomly sewing these strips together like this.
As I create more scraps, I will add to these piles. Or I could make a mini or bag with what I have cut so far.
The big tips here are to choose shapes that you know you will use. I can think of MANY patterns using these squares and HSTs that I would make.
Start with the biggest die you have chosen and work down to the smaller dies.
Don’t save something you won’t use anyway. There is nothing virtuous about saving scraps that you won’t use!
I hope this helps! Now head on over to Cyndy’s and link up your scrappy project!
Linking up with Podunk Pretties for Podunk Pickin’s!