Monday, March 07, 2011

Scrap Busting

It is amazing how scraps build up when you are a quilter.  Some, rare quilters, are able to throw them away. I am not that type of quilter. Some quilters have bags of scraps hidden away for the "someday" when they will use them to make a scrap quilt. 
Of course they keep buying fabric and collecting yet more scraps. I have been that type of quilter lately.  Early in my quilting I used scraps. People gave me scraps.  Now I have bags of scraps. 


Don't get me wrong, scraps are good.Keep your scraps, but don't SAVE them, bust them!  When I realized that I had to cut extra pieces for the quilt along blocks that I made too short, I made a decision.  I decided to cut some scraps while I had my AccuQuilt GO! set up and the value die was working anyway. 


So, I ironed a couple of scraps and cut some 2.5" squares while I was cutting the half square triangles.  Then, while sewing the pieces for the quilt along block, I used the square to sew on, sew off.  I normally have been using little scraps as "Thread Rats" to keep the points from clogging up when I start a triangle.  


I finished the extra parts of the quilt along block. The iron was still set up, ready to go. The bag of scraps was right beside it.  I decided to iron the entire bag of scraps then cut them up. 


I was surprised at some of the sizes of the "scrap" pieces as I was ironing.  I got my GO! cutter and some dies and put them out. I set up a scrap busting shop.


I started cutting. I cut 2.5" squares and half square triangles.  I cut more half square triangles in 3.5", 4.5" and 6.5".   I cut some quarter square triangles that will make a 4" finished block.  I even cut a few 4.5" squares. 


Here are the finished stacks:

I sat watching a movie and sorted them by lights and darks. There are a LOT of pieces there.  I still have more bags of scraps that need busting.  I will sew the half and quarter square triangles into square blocks.  I will sew the squares into four patches or nine patches.  Eventually I will have a truly scrappy quilt made as "extras" that were sewed in between pieces of other projects.  I won't have to cut the thread, or use a thread rat when I need to take pieces to be ironed, I will just sew a couple of these together and leave it under the presser foot while I go iron.  Then when each one comes out it goes into a stack for that scrappy quilt.  
As an added bonus, those scrap bags will start to diminish. 

How fun is that?




18 comments:

Barb said...

Lots of fun....

luv2quilt2 said...

Way to go! Isn't it neat to get something from 'just scraps'? I have a huge pile of pieces I've made just this way. Also a basket quickly filling with half square triangles. I have a picture in my mind for both of these quilts, but at this point I don't need to do anything with them.

Kwilt Noob said...

That is good fun! I'm so impressed. It seems to me this is reason alone to have a Go Cutter!
What is a "thread rat?" It drives me crazy when the feed dogs "eat" my triangle points. Will a thread rat solve this problem?

Pat said...

YAY!!! Isn't it fun to just be able to piece together random blocks. I made a few today from some of the scraps I'd cut on the weekend (as well as some that had been cut awhile back). Now I have 6 fun, nice, unique 12" blocks toward that scrappy quilt I'm making.

Cathy said...

Great idea! :)

Millie said...

Gene, good idea. The scraps can pile up so fast, I agree with you. But you have a good plan!

Regina said...

Wow! Good job organizing. I always have good intentions with my scraps but so far they just sit.

JJ said...

Great idea. You are so organized.

Royce said...

Oh dear you are just too organized. I'm not even sure where my scraps are. Humm let me think...

Stray Stitches said...

Good for you! Most of my scraps are in bins, some on my sewing table, some on my cutting, table, and some on that other storage place - the extra bed - lol. Guess I need to get to organizing. Again!

Tonya said...

I save all mine in hopes that they'll be 5x5" to make yo yo's.........;)

Katrina said...

I love using my Go! to bust my scraps - I've posted several blog posts about using the Go! to cut up scraps since it is just so fast and easy to turn yuck to yey! Well done!

Barbara said...

I love cutting too, but don't have the Go. However, either way it gets done busts the scrap stash. Once that's done, moving on to the next step of using them is also very important.

Carolyn said...

I have been doing the same!! Now I use my scraps instead of just putting them in a bag. http://www.thriftyideastoday.com/

sewmeow said...

I'm starting to do the same thing....scrap bins are overflowing.

Cheryl said...

Hi, Gene
I want to thank you for the video on scrap busting. I use my go alot, however I have experienced that some of my squares are not accuratly cut. any suggestions!!!!

Gene Black said...

Cheryl, if you don't cut the fabric on the straight of the grain, the squares will not come out accurately. If you are having problems with inaccurate cuts using the GO! cutter, contact AccuQuilt's outstanding customer service at 888.258.7913 8 am to 5 pm CST Monday - Friday or info@accuquilt.com

Rachel Quebedeaux said...

Gene, I know this is an OOOOLD post, but could you tell me what you use to mark your dies. I had a duh moment when I saw that you marked the edges of your designs with lines.

Thanks