I Have a Scrap Problem

My scraps are out of control and feel overwhelming.  A few nights ago I sat down with my big black trash bag full of scraps and started sorting through what I had.  There are a number of baby quilts I have coming up and I wanted to start with scraps and build my fabric choices from there.

scrap stash

What ended up happening turned into a two hour process and left me exhausted.  Well, maybe the boxing class that night didn’t help with the exhaustion.  Either way I have come to the conclusion, I just have too many scraps.

As I sorted here’s what I found for some upcoming projects:

  • Enough Kona White and other scraps to make a gender neutral baby quilt.  Can’t reveal too many details just yet.
  • A cloth grocery bag stuffed full of solids.  Possibly a string quilt in the works?
  • Lots of pale pinks for some baby girl quilts.
  • Almost a full jelly roll of Hello Luscious that had been cut up and stashed away.  Another baby girl quilt option for me.

There is some stuff that I’m just not sure about or what I want to do with.  Maybe the next time I want to sit and sort, I can pull those out.  If I haven’t used them by then, they are outta here.

In an effort to be transparent, this trash bag is in addition to me already cut stuff in tubs.  Plus, the bag I have set aside for strips and selvage for another scrappy wreath.  Oh and my recent Scrappy Ohio Stars caused me to start another bag of scraps.

How many of these can I really make?
How many of these can I really make?

Let’s look at this differently.  Does a chef keep every scrap of food?  Sounds funny to say, but the comparison is there.  A chef is creating a dish from ingredients in the pantry, fridge, or freezer (like a stash).  In preparing the dish, there are small scraps from peels, cutting, and trimming.  When the dish is finished, it’s plated and served.  If the person doesn’t eat all the dish they can take it to go.  It has a shelf life though of a few days.  This happens over hours and days instead of days or months that a quilter can experience.  Maybe I need an expiration date on scraps?  Keep a separate bag for each month’s scraps.  Go through after 30 days and if I don’t use, discard?  Sounds harsh and makes me nervous just thinking about a finite deadline for my fabric.

I have a problem and this has to stop.  Watching Nurse Jackie on Netflix has helped me realize I have a scrap addiction.  It’s hard to part with fabric that is so much a part of your life.  Keeping those small scraps for an upcoming project is starting to sound insane.  How many small projects have a I really made in the last year?  Not many.  The struggle is that I love to recycle as much as I can.  Many quilters/sewists struggle with this affliction.  There has to be a better way.

What do you consider too small of a scrap?  What do you do with small scraps?  When do you decide to just walk away?  Comment below and let’s talk about this real struggle.

Other blog posts on Scrap Management

Crazy Mom Quilts is the queen of scrap quilts.

Some serious storage containers used over at A Simple Life Quilts.

Combining vintage containers and scraps is how Film in the Fridge manages hers.