Scrap Organizing System or SOS, My Way

Hello Everyone

Can you believe it is the middle of April already?  Where has the time gone and oh, so quickly!  What has everyone been up to the past few weeks?

Me, I finally finished organizing all of my scraps, 10 bins full.  I wound up with 13 bins full.  You’re probably wondering about my  math here.  Simple, I had to buy 3 more bins to completely organize everything.  I started off with the goal of organizing by scrap sizes bricks and squares, charms and strips.  I combined both Bonnie Hunter’s scrap system and another quilter’s system and was prepared to start cutting down to size and having everything stack up just perfectly.  That worked for about the first third of the first bin.  Remember, I had 10 bins to go through and those were all sorted by colors, themes, etc.  After that first third, I found out it was way too big a task at this time, so I simplified and went by approximate size, length, etc.  I have a lot of scraps and I find that I use a lot of different sizes than what they suggested, which was bricks and squares, strips and that was not going to work for me.

This is what I started off doing, but modified down to this:


Noodles:  12” or longer                 Bricks:   2 x 3.5

2.5 x 4.5

3.5 x 6.5

Other Sizes

Strips:       1.5                           Fat Quarters

2                               Long Strips

2.5                            Bits and Pieces

3                                Not Sorted

3.5                            Binding











I then made 4 x 6 index cards and wrote down all the sizes and used that to keep track as I went through the scraps and so that I wouldn’t get confused or mixed up.  Worked quite well for me.

Since I have so much fabric, I figured it would go faster if I put all my bins into one container and then sort by handfuls.  I started off with a large landry bag full of scraps, and a laundry sorter, you know the kind that have 3 separate bags to sort with.  I kept the middle one empty and as I sorted through, I would put the remaining fabric in there.  I started with 3 similar sizes and worked my way through it that way.  I did the large pieces, yardage, FQ first, and worked my way down to the smaller pieces.  It went fairly quickly and now everything is sorted nice and neat.  I now have my laundry bag in the closet and all my batting is stored inside that and the laundry sorter is out in the garage.

I found out that I use more than just what the books say I needed and that I like to experiment with different sizes and shapes and am not afraid to cut down pieces of fabric as I go along.  Their system just wasn’t going to work for me and way too time consuming for me.  I spent probably more than a week or so sorting fabric pieces either while watching TV or while working.  Actually, I dedicated most of my sewing time to this too as I really wanted to get this taken care.  I felt driven to do it before I started on any more projects.  It really is a freeing sensation to have it taken care of and I can just pull a bin out and see what I have at a glance!  Now to keep it that way!  LOL!!

That’s where the extra 3 bins came in.  Two of the bins actually went under my closet shelf and are being used for other purposes, but they are organized.  That left 11 bins, two of them stuffed with FQ or about that size.  Yes, 2 bins just of FQ.  Believe me, I have plenty to last me a couple of lifetimes.  One bin is dedicated to larger pieces and irregularly cut pieces that are too large for a FQ and too small for the shelf dedicated to yardage.  I try not to put cut pieces  in with the yardage.  Some of these were from swaps, or had been used for other purposes, like clothing or aprons, etc., but still have plenty of fabric that is usable. Actually, I’m trying to use from that bin to make the Fool’s Square block for the April Fool’s Day Mystery Quilt!

I already had a bin full of bits and pieces, you know the smaller than 1.5 inch squares or strips.  I use those when making my round bargellos as they use a lot of odd little pieces or postage stamp quilts.  That is now fairly full.  I also have a bin for triangles that no matter how much I use it, still seems to overflow!  I work on the theory that I will make a mistake somewhere along the way, and would prefer to have more than not enough cut, just in case!  Besides, you can always incorporate them into another scrappy quilt later on.

I then used a bin each for Charms 5 inch, 10 inch squares (for fabric that I want to show off), and 6 inch or larger squares.  The remainder of the bins are for squares 4 inch or smaller, bricks, noodles longer than 12″, large strips 12″ inch or smaller, and long large strips that I would use with sashing or borders.

While I was sorting through my closet, I found a bag stuffed with fabric that I had bought in the last few months and other bits and pieces and those were put away.

Now to get my table made and I can store it all under the cutting table.

Thanks for dropping by.  Chat soon.


About cozyquilts

Hello and welcome to my website. My name is Donna. My hubby is retired and I am still working from home. I have twin daughters and am blessed with 4 grandchildren. We are owned by 4 cats that love to supervise and are very nosy. I have been quilting since 1996. In addition to making quilts for my family and friends, I also make charity quilts for Marjoree Mason Center and Valley Children's Hospital. Marjoree Mason Center is a local organization here that helps and supports battered and abused women and children get out of abusive relationships. Every Christmas I make several baby quilts for the women, along with a small stuffed animal. Valley Children's Hospital is a new venture for me that just started this year. Every month or so I drop off a couple of quilts along with a small toy, for the children. I use a lot of bright, fun fabrics to help cheer them up. I do special order quilts but please be advised in advance as I work full-time in addition to quilting, I only do a few during the year. Also, it may take up to 6 months to a year to completely finish a quilt as my sewing time is limited. I only do applique or patchwork and will incorporate machine embroidery into my patterns, when requested. Thank you for visiting and I hope to see you and friends again soon.
This entry was posted in How Do I?. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s