Friday, January 29, 2010

Cutting Scraps

So its a snowday here in fabulous Kansas. The kids are watching a movie and I thought I'd take a moment to tell you about cutting scraps. Sure, its obvious and easy- but there's a few things I want to mention.

I have lots of scraps, of all sizes. Most of the scraps are sorted in ziploc bags by color. In special cases, I have the scraps sorted by "line" if I'm working with a designer line.

When cutting scraps I like to use the ruler, the size I'm looking to cut. This is a 2 1/2" ruler. If you needed charms or other sizes/shapes I'm certain there's a ruler on the market to suit your needs.

Position the ruler on the scrap, making sure the grain of the fabric runs parallel to the ruler edges and cut around the shape.

Ah, but I must tell you how incredibly thrifty I am... Though I do like the selvage edge based projects, I haven't made one yet and I'll tell you why-

I use my selvage edges in the hidden seam allowances of my cut shapes. When you position your ruler over the fabric, make sure the selvage or non-printed part is within the 1/4" standard quilter's seam allowance area. Are you skeptical? Don't worry...

It turns out fine, and to prove it, I'm going to whip up a little 4-patch block to show you.

When sewing with these selvage-d pieces, I like to sew with them on top, facing me, so I can be sure the needle stays in the printed area of fabric at all times. (*that is the whole trick.*)

Here, on the back you can see the selvage, completely hidden and tidy within the seam allowances.

My scraps are cut into 2 1/2" squares. I think this size is great for most pieced blocks, yet still friendly enough for most of the sizes of my scraps. Cleaning up the scraps is a great way to get more use out of them. So, on a snowday or maybe watching the TV, you can really get through quite a few of those scraps and keep them organized in the shoe box size storage bins. Someday, I'll get through them all, and have my storage bins sorted by color... but until that day...

Go forth and make those scraps usable! ~jen~


Owens Family Adventures said...

Woah! Are you organized or what!!!

Kari said...

Maybe I could do this during the blizzard! I think we're going to have a series of snow days and this might be just the trick. I think I might try to do a bit bigger piece though...