Scrap Mitigation

I previously stated that one of my quilty goals this year was scrap busting.  Having now assessed the state of my scrap bin, I think that may be an unrealistic name for what I might accomplish.  These are just the little bits.  I also have plastic  shoe boxes of larger scraps sorted by color.


A word to the wise:  never, ever take the lid completely off the scrap bin!  All I wanted were the greens, as that is the Rainbow Scrap Challenge's color this month, but everything else made a break for the floor when the lid came off.

While everything was on the floor I figured I might as well sort it. I bagged each color in two-gallon ziplock bags to keep them sorted and put all except the bag of green scraps back in the bin.  I happily went to work making 16-patch blocks to deplete the pile of green.


I made more after I took this picture.  The count stands at 35 now. I tried very hard to just sew strips together without too much planning.  The color placement is very random and it's making me a little bit nervous about the final product.  Maybe those olive green bits should have been left out, but they are not coming out now!

As these were coming together, I felt very industrious. Just watch me use up those scraps! That feeling lasted until I looked at the supply of green scraps at the end of the day and found that I had hardly made a dent.  This led me to a few decisions:

1.  I won't be busting my scraps this year.  The best I can hope for is scrap mitigation, making the scrap problem a little less daunting.  It is by no means going away! I may have added a few new green scraps already...

2. I do not have the patience to make crumb blocks out of little itty-bitty scraps.  Just slapping strips together to strip piece these 16-patches taxed my patience.

3.  I give myself permission to toss some scraps.  I may toss them into a pillowcase to make a pet bed for the local shelter, but not every scrap needs to be saved.  That mostly applies to small bits (see #2 above), but also to slightly larger bits in fabrics that I just don't like.  I'm not sure how they snuck into the scraps.  Presumably, they came from a project, but I just can't imagine why I would have put them in a project in the first place.  I guess my tastes must have changed.

4. I really don't work well without a plan.  Halfway through making these blocks I just couldn't stand it anymore.  I had to sit down with EQ8 and figure out what I was going to do with them before I kept going!


I might tweak this a little, but I have a direction.  I also have white on white scraps, enough of one grey from trimming backings, and small bits of red/orange/yellow.  I can make this whole top without buying and cutting yardage and thereby adding to the scraps.  I might possibly manage an all-scraps pieced back too.  This might just be a net reduction in total scraps.  Fingers crossed!



Oh dear, those 3 dark greens in a row in the block above are going to bother me now.  How did I not notice before?

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Comments

  1. Oh, no!!! It's a Scrap Attack!! LOL!! I haven't opened my giant scrap bin in a long time for fear of just such an occurrence.
    Love, love, LOVE the design that you've come up with!!! I can't WAIT to see this quilt grow into reality. Try not to let those 3 dark green scraps bother you. It's a scrap quilt. Random ROCKS!

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  2. I love your plan for the shadow behind the design - that looks like a fun way to dress up a scrappy block!

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  3. You could just add more of those green you do not like and use them up.

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  4. Awesome design you came up with. Looking forward to see this one grow. Enjoy! ;^)

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  5. That quilt looks great! And leave the darker greens. They add interest and depth. I, too, am going to try to tame the scraps a little this year (soon I'll share about my turquoise adventure that almost made all the blues fit in their place), and have given myself permission also to toss some scraps. It hurts a little, but if I am ever going to get ahead of this, I'm going to have to make some concessions. Baby steps, right?!

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  6. Oh, wow! So much scrap!

    What you've done so far looks great.

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  7. I don't think I could do what you started out doing either, but I do think you came up with a great plan. I love that shadowed effect! Will be watching to see how it all works out. (Thanks for the idea of not saving all those scraps!) ---Love

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  8. Don't you dare touch those three dark greens in a row!! (I can watch other people do random, but I struggle to do it myself.) LOL
    Absolutely stunning design you have created for your green blocks. I love shadowed blocks, and this really makes the most of the effect. It is all floating above a cloud. :)

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  9. I see the scrap fairy visits you too.

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  10. This was a delightful read. I burst out laughing at several spots. Apparently I can relate.
    Your scraps are much more coordinated than mine. My projects widely vary in color/hue, so some just shouldn't be mixed. I'm making flannel scrap blocks now--and there are three quite distinct. categories: little girl, man, woman... although the man ones can go in the woman one easily enough. lol

    I keep thinking if I'm using up my scraps--my stash isn't getting used... but I retired as of July 2020, so I'll have more time to work on it all.

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  11. From the world of planning, growth control was a bad word, even growth management was considered (by some) to be too intrusive. Eventually "Smart Growth" was chosen to represent policies that prevent sprawl and have better well-planned communities. And although scrap-busting has a certain powerful approach, it may be best to think about scrap management, which includes discarding some and using some as filling. Those three greens would bother me too but I kinda like the olives. Love the plan for the 16-patch blocks. But then I am a planner :-)

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  12. Just close you eyes and go with it, LOL. Easier said than done right! I am loving your EQ design.

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  13. Scraptastic!! Love it when a plan comes together. Ignore those three darks for now. Before long they will meld into the mix and you won't notice them (I know ... as iffffffff!!! :) ) Great idea with the bits of colour pops in the cornerstones. Your tonals are going to make those shadows really work well ... and including them with the cornerstones really makes for a winner. Look forward to seeing it finished up. Stay Warm!!!! (guessing you are having similar to we in the north?)

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  14. I love the plan for your scrappy green blocks--so fun! I needed to clean up my cutting table yesterday morning and made the mistake of sorting a bin of scraps--ended up being and all day mission.

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  15. I think mitigation is the best any of us can hope for! This is a neat design. I hope you see a tiny dent in your greens, at least :)

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  16. I'd leave it... well I probably wouldn't if it bugged me enough! I just love where you're going with this. I've actually made a decision as to what block I'm using, but haven't had a chance to MAKE even one. As for dents in scraps, ain't never happenin' in my house, no matter WHAT I do.

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  17. Take a big deep breath and step back form the green blocks. Once the quilt is altogether the olive and dark blocks will look just fine. I like to work to a plan and should but sometimes I head off in my own direction and then take a long time to find a way back. That's a terrific design you have created. I have to agree with you about categorising the scraps. I don't keep crumbs or fabrics I don't like anymore - no matter what size they are. There's a reason I haven't used that poopy brown colour or that pus green-yellow. Gone. I've been cutting as many 2.5in, 3in, 5in squares and 2.5 in strips as I can when pulling scraps or fat quarters out of the stash to make a quilt that I've had my eye on for some time.

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  18. That might be why the scrap bins are just adding to rather than sorted and organized in my house.... Your piles are lovely though! I like the random scrappy of the greens and your plan for a quilt is lovely. Yes, perfectly ok to toss things or pop into a doggie bed or gift to someone who loves working with scraps in your area. Find what you love and go with it =)

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  19. Your scrap decisions are right on! New quilters need to start dealing with scraps early - I waited many years too long. ~Jeanne

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  20. Your scraps look so pretty all spread out! I like your design idea, it will be great! I keep scraps because I like to do fusible applique so I keep tiny pieces I can cut a leaf or flower out of. My scraps live in plastic bags, sorted by color, stored in the case that came with my sewing machine. I need to go through and organize them a bit better!

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