Quilts for Sale

Monday, May 11, 2009

Scrap Central

So I got out all the scraps that belongs to church to organize them for the ladies. I keep them sorted pretty much like I have my own sorted, except I don't cut or keep triangles for our comfort quilts. Actually we can use any strip width and I just adjust all the pieces in the quilt accordingly. To keep cutting at a minimum, I use widths in 1/2" or full inch increments 2 1/2" through 6 1/2". I have a collection of patterns that I can use with all these widths. After the ladies cut the scraps into strips, I assemble kits. The quilter is responsible for the rest of the cutting. Occasionally I do some fussy cutting. Anything under 2 1/2" can be used for string piecing. This picture shows one variation of our simple scrap comfort quilts.

We inherited quite a bit of fabric this year. Our scraps alone fill two 18 gallon tubs. And they are all kept flat and stacked! It would have been nice if we were given yardage for backs. We usually end up piecing them.
What did I have to do to organize them? Well, first I had to gather them. I had to sort through 4 other tubs of fabric. Generally as I acquire it I toss it into a tub. If we are given sleazy thin fabric I only use it for backs, if at all. The stuff just frays too much to be cut into small pieces. I also collect orphan blocks for samplers. Sometimes I sort the scraps by character. I usually call it by "generation", because it is not uncommon for us to get some older stuff. But I will separate the stuff by style for more pleasing quits. Good light background fabric is a rarity so I keep that separate and choose for quilts carefully. Under 1/2 yard is usually considered a scrap, unless it coordinates really well with a difficult fabric.
I sort, organize and kit our fabric about every 8 months. Then I am at it for a week straight. At one time I belonged to a guild that had a committee that made charity quilts. I don't know that they ever organized their scraps. They just collected fabric and had a pile of patterns. It was up to each quilter to choose pattern and fabric. That seemed to take more time. I organize most of the quilts. The ladies love it, particularly when it's mostly cut out. Occasionally I also bag up coordinating fabric with no pattern. Some of the fabric is difficult to find complementary fabrics for so when I find them, I bag them. This way the gals that want to be creative and choose their own design can do so. I do keep most of the fabric at my house.
I will call a few of the gals to be sure we have enough equipment at the meeting. Some of the gals will be finishing up the raffle quilt. There are always 2 or 3 basting quilts. Maybe 4 or 5 will cut.
If anyone is looking for suggestions on how to organize their scraps or ladies I'd say start with gathering fabric and patterns. For patterns we generally use designs with just squares and rectangles. If triangles are needed we usually use the folded corner technique. There are lots of common designs that can use the standard 2 1/2", 4 1/2" & 6 1/2" strips. It might be best to start there. Then sort the fabric, lights and darks. Mediums will depend on the design. AS for getting the gals to volunteer to get involved making comfort quilts, well, good luck. It isn't for everyone. I do it because I love every aspect of it : the fabric, cutting, kitting etc. Can you tell?
Here is another one using 2 1/2" strips and 4 1/2" squares.
That's it for now. Sew long.


goodworks1 said...

Thanks for the extra info on organizing group quilting! I've printed it off and will be considering how it might be used with our local group.

szkornelia said...

They are really nice. I wish here there would be more resources for quilters (meaning available fabric and nice threads). Stash building is a bit difficult here,,one can rarely find fabrics with coordinated colors and patterns... But maybe as more and more girls are interested in quilting, we will have easier time in the future. :)

Miri said...

You sound like a great group...nice quilts and easy for charity quilts!