Oh my gosh, so I’ve been diligently working at cleaning, sorting, purging, dusting, and organizing my creative spaces. Which is not an easy task when you have many creative habits that all have their own separate supplies to go with them.
After my art markets this summer, my studios (2 small bedrooms repurposed into my art and sewing spaces) were a huge mess. You know how it goes when you’re creating, you just pull things out, use them, make a mess, add more to the mess and make more stuff, and it goes on and on. No time to tidy, must make make make all the things! It was bad. Just saying. I don’t think I have actually cleaned them out properly since we moved here, um, a while ago shall we say.
The last thing in my sewing room to tackle was my scrap drawer. It was one of those things you look at, sigh, and close, just walk away, just walk away, to maybe look at again another day. My friend Cathy has a pretty amazing and cool way of dealing with scraps, all organized by colour and size into separate bins. Her hubby built her a wall of shelves that the bins fit into and it looks so nice and organized, and makes it easy for her to find what she needs quickly. She keeps a basket on her work table for scraps that are created while she’s working, and once that basket is filled, she files them away into their respective colour bins. She also cuts a lot of them down into 4″ squares to make baby and kid quilts and files those by colour into a special 4″ squares box. It’s pretty impressive, I have to say. I told her when I was at her house sewing recently, that I would never let her look at my scrap drawer because it was terrible and embarrassing and omg, a total mess.
So! In the spirit of cleaning up and being organized, finally, I decided to dive in to the scrap drawer and tackle that beyotch. I bought some bins, on sale for $1.49/each, score!
I sorted and purged a lot. Why do I keep tiny unusable shreds of fabric? I don’t know.
Just as a sidenote, Did you know, that you can donate fabric scraps (and also clean but worn out or tattered clothing, houseware stuff like tablecloths, curtains, fabric, etc.) to some local thrifts and charities, which are then sold by weight to textile recyclers, and they get cash for it? I contacted the Recycle BC people about it and they said you can drop scrap materials and fabric items in clear bags, and mark the bag clearly with “Scrap” and they will gladly take them to recycle. In my area, the Canucks Place bins will accept them. So don’t put it in the landfill! Donate it and the charity gets the cash for it, win-win! If you’re not sure where to donate it, try contacting your local recycling council or even ask at a charity or thrift shop if they can take them or know a place that can- so much better than putting them into the regular garbage.
So now they are all organized, mostly, and in bins. No more overstuffed, messy, nasty scrap drawer (it’s now stuffed with other stuff, but we won’t talk about that lol). But now they need to be used! The bag on top of the bin in this pic has more that wouldn’t fit in it’s respective colour bin, too many scraps!
So I came up with an idea to challenge myself to make a quilt using only scraps.
And the #scrapsonly challenge was born!
If you would like to play along, pull out your scraps and make something with them, using only your scraps. (Or, plus one extra non-scrap fabric if you need it). If you have any kind of scrap stash like mine, you can probably make about 10 quilts from just your scraps!
Challenge yourself to use what you have and make a gorgeous scrappy, happy something– a quilt, a table runner, a wall hanging, a pillow, something that you will enjoy making and using. The prize will be that you get a lovely handmade quilt or project that cost you next to nothing as you used only your leftover scrap fabrics!
Want to play? I’ve got a hashtag going on Instagram, #scrapsonly so you can go ahead and tag your creation, your process, your pile of scraps, and share what you’re doing with your scrap stash and see what other people are doing too! There is no official start or end date, just do what you want, as you want, and enjoy the process!
Can’t wait to see what you make! I think I have a plan, or a few plans, for mine, stay tuned! Get scrappin’!