|This is also a “Stash Buster”
Do you have an unorganized container of scraps and keep stuffing more and
more into it, until it is overflowing and they are very hard to try and use?
Try making them into some of the quilts in this series. We will cover many different
types of quilts, including log cabin blocks, but all of them are easy, can be completed
quickly for personal or charity quilts, and use
How to have a “Stripping Party” at your guild meeting:
- Start cutting your scraps into 2” wide strips. They can be any length.
Iron each scrap, and then cut strips 2” wide making sure you are cutting close
to the crosswise and lengthwise straight of grain. The smallest piece should not
measure any smaller than 2” x 2” square.
- Another way to cut 2” wide strips is to cut them as you are cutting out another
quilt project. If you have any piece of fabric smaller than ¼ yard, cut it up into 2” wide
strips, or cut a 2” wide strip from each of the fabrics.
- From your stash of fabrics, cut 2” wide strips from all of your small pieces
(anything less than ¼ yard) Those small pieces just get lost in your collection
of fabrics, hidden under larger pieces, so why not just cut them up and organize
them in a container for use when you make the quilts from this series.
- As I am cutting up fabric for a particular quilt project, I never put a small piece
back on my shelves, thinking I will cut it up later. Cut it into 2” strips right away
and place them somewhere together on a shelf.
- You might be saying that you do not have the variety of fabrics to be able to have
many different 2” strips. Have a 2” Strip Exchange within your guild. Everyone brings 2”
strips to a meeting and exchanges with everyone else. You will go home with many different varieties.
- Announce at a previous meeting and publish in your newsletter that there will be a 2” strip exchange, and when the due date is to bring in your strips.
- Decide and announce strip length (width of fabric, about 44” is good)
- It is easiest to trade in groups: 8 or 10 is a good number-each a different fabric
- Place each group in a Zip Lock® bag. (Remember, 8 or 10 different fabrics in each bag) with your name on the bag.
- Everyone hands in their groups of strips at the meeting, and a record is kept of how many bags each person brought.
- A committee divides up the bags. Write each participant’s name and number of bags
brought on a large sheet of paper and place on a table. Then the bags are divided between all of the
participants, with each participant going home with as many bags as they brought. Make sure no one goes
home with one of their own bags.
Soon your collection of 2” strips will grow and you will need something to keep them in,
other than stacking them on a shelf. I use a short but long plastic container with a lid, similar
to under the bed storage containers. In fact, your strips could be stored under a bed in this container.
I like plastic better than heavy cardboard because it stands up to frequent use.
You could store them in a drawer or basket. If you want to be even more organized, you could
get one of those plastic self standing drawer units that you can see through. Place them by light,
medium, or dark into the drawers, or by color (reds, yellows, blues, etc).
- The plastic container I use is easy to place on a table near my sewing machine, so I can pick up the strips as I sew them into quilt blocks. But…….I will warn you……..as you sew these strips into quilt blocks, the amount just seems to grow and grow. I never can get the remaining strips to go back into the container very well, and to think I just made a large number of blocks for a quilt!
- One time I decided to have a Log Cabin Block Marathon, all by myself. My husband was going to be out of town for an extended period of time, so I set up a card table, my Singer Featherweight, cutting mat, ruler and cutter, iron and ironing board and my 2” strips all around my comfortable chair in the living room in front of the TV. I sewed for two weeks like that and made blocks for five quilts. I sewed, ironed and trimmed all of my blocks, just watching movies and current and past TV shows. It was fun, but after all of that and the many, many blocks that I sewed, I still have 2” strips! Can you believe that? And, of course, I still cut the last little bit of fabrics into 2” strips when cutting out a new project, and add them to my container(s). I am addicted to these 2” strips!
- Have a group workshop, all-nighter, or weekend retreat with your guild members with everyone bringing 2” strips. Place them all on a table or floor in the center of the room. Everyone works out of that large pile of strips. It would be interesting to see how many quilts come out of that stripping marathon!
Have fun with this idea and you will end up with a lot of wonderful quilts. Send us pictures of you or your group making the quilts, and also your finished quilts. We will post them on theQuilterCommunity.com to inspire other quilters.