Cleaning Out the Scrap Drawer

I have shown some of the green scrap blocks I have been making in the May Donations blocks post. I am sure you have seen the other blocks and quilts in different colors I have made in other posts.

I decided to show you my process of making these blocks as well as the color improv donation quilts as well.

My scraps start out in a pile on my cutting table. I have talked a little about the processing of scraps that I do. After I cut the pieces I need for future projects, I cut strips and then leave whatever is left and large enough as is. The goal is to not have too many scraps, but the scrap drawers do fill up.

Rainbow Cart Double - 16 x 10.8 x 26.5 inches
Rainbow Cart Double – 16 x 10.8 x 26.5 inches

I store my scraps in a cart with rainbow drawers**. This is very handy, because it makes sorting scraps and finding scraps easy. Also, it looks nice. It is on the small side as my workroom is not very large. The drawers can fill up quickly and my process is to work on a drawer that is getting to be too full. I know it is too full when I start to have trouble opening it.

Green is the most recent drawer I have been trying to clear out. I was surprised to find how many green scraps I had. I can really think what I have made with so much green. I made some green donation quilts early on when I had the idea of Color Strip blocks and quilts. Maybe I only made one quilt when I first started? I don’t remember.

Anyway, I have a lot of green scraps and I am getting down to the odd shapes. I have made about 50 green strip and chunk blocks, but the strips don’t last forever. Eventually, I need to make some improv tops with the weird shapes, like I am still working on with the grey and black improv tops.  I am at that point, probably with the green. I am still eeking out a block or two, but they are becoming more chunky and less strippy.

Green scrap drawer - June 2024
Green scrap drawer – June 2024

My drawer looks like this. I position the drawer I am working with by my sewing machine so I can grab some pinned pieces as leaders and enders while I work on other projects.

In the photo, I have added some arrows to help you navigate. The blue arrow in the upper right shows pieces that I have sewn, but are not yet pinned to any other pieces. They have already been trimmed and are ready to be pinned to something else.

In the bottom right pile, those are larger pieces that I have pinned together or pieces that probably not going to be used in a green donation quilt, like two triangles that will make a half square triangle and be added to the HST quilt I have in the back of my mind.

The purple arrow, bottom left, also shows pieces that have been pinned together. These are pieces that are generally smaller. They can also be the first two pieces I am sewing together. They will be added to something later. The small pieces get lost easily, so I like to keep them were I can see them.

The area with no arrow on the top left is a pile of pieces that are not yet attached to anything. I can use these to sew to something else.

It seems to take forever to clean out one of these drawers. I haven’t even made a new green quilt yet, though I am still sewing. Soon!

I find that sewing small pieces into larger chunks makes them easier to use. My scraps are really small. What I consider to be yardage, others consider to be scraps. You have to decide what constitutes scraps for you and work out a system that works. These drawers work great for me. I probably couldn’t tolerate more scraps than I have and scraps make great leaders and enders.










**N. B. : Obviously, you should shop at local quilt shops and small businesses. However, if you are too busy or can’t find what you need there, I use Amazon affiliate links and may be paid for your purchase of an item when you click on an item’s link in my post. There is no additional cost to you for clicking or purchasing items I recommend. I appreciate your clicks and purchases as it helps support this blog.

Author: JayeL

Quiltmaker who enjoys writing and frozen chocolate covered bananas.

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