Friday, June 6, 2014

The Great Sort: How I Deal(t) with Scraps

During my blogging hiatus, I was still sewing.  Usually in spurts.  While renos continued, I could only set up my space for a bit at a time, and if I got to leave it up for days!! in a row, then it was pedal to the hardwood...

In February, I had vast amounts of space to myself to fill with nothing but a makeshift studio, conveniently located near the refrigerator and coffee maker.  Also, with extra plug-ins so I could stream the Olympics on my laptop while the fabric was flying.  And flying it was!  I took the rare opportunity to spread out over two floors and organize my stash, supplies and most importantly, my scraps.  This was an "in-progress" photo of the front room as seen from the dining room/kitchen "workshop" I'd established.

Indeed. Whatever you are thinking about this photo, I agree with you.

The process took awhile.  Several evenings.  But the benefits!  I had a "eureka moment" of scrap storage idea that is incredibly useful to me (steal it if you want to) considering my lack of space and cold, cash dollahs!  Yes, necessity invented this mother of a scrap system.
Yes, the blues are out of control, as are the greys....

Hanging folders from IKEA.  Plastic filing boxes. Twelve different sections.  I can see all my small scraps and still pick from many different colours at once. I can also remove an entire colour, lay it open on the table, and the fold it back up and "refile" it. Plus, pretty.  (Ok, I'm not really thrilled about the plastic part but the need to keep things portable, stackable, and dust-free trumps my qualms. I also make sure to allow my fabric plenty of time to breathe on a regular basis. )

My large scraps were pressed and folded and sorted by colour ( I use a 12- colour category system: purples, pinks, reds, oranges, yellows, greens, blues, blacks, greys, whites, creams, browns, which is preferable to the old system of "stuff 'em willy-nilly into whatever container is closest").  Then I stacked them in a box with my baskets of various-sized squares.  Strings and selvedges also sorted by colour, in their own box. And then my stash, on comic boards, solids separated from prints. Battings, interfacings, etc in another.  To be fair, I do have a smaller stash than most - less than 150 yards on hand - with most of that earmarked for specific projects. I'm trying to get better at mindful purchasing, because let's face it, I simply don't have the money or the space, and fabric's only as valuable as it is useful.

Nope, this isn't all of it....

And now that everything is contained and organized, my space (which sometimes needs to be completely dismantled - hence the lack of shelves, no using wall space, and collapsible desk) looks like this.
Batting and interfacing box is actually kept in a different room...

And it works.
Scraps in action! Tiny tiny tiny....
Pouch for a swap
So does the scrap system.  And that makes me very happy.
Pouch for a gift.
Yay for tiny!