ROYGBIV and a couple more

…. I don’t think the rainbow normally features teal, pink, black, white, beige, grey or brown.

The scrap tangle is conquered! We are down to manageable proportions, and the boxes, baskets and buckets are all sorted. I had to add a box for brown (a colour that does not generally please me much) because I had an unaccountably large number of brown scraps. Who knew? I shall have to find a way to use these not so lovely fragments. The beiges and greys, cream, black and white in another box, and then finally, the rampant individualists, who refuse to be categorised and are too multicoloured to go anywhere else.

After the browns, that last box is going to the most challenging to use up, the special needs scraps which won’t fit just anywhere, being too quirky, too bright, too complex. There aren’t too many scraps that defied sorting, luckily. I shall try and regard them as the leaven in my scrappy dough, the ping of colour that lifts what might otherwise be just… OK.

A rainbow scrappy quilt is now on the horizon. A scrappy block a month isn’t a big ask, and I’ll just let it grow till I think it’s time to stop or I start repeating myself – or indeed, I run out of scraps in that colour. Grab a box, sew some pieces together, trim to size, job done. And then we’ll see how many scraps are left! It’ll have the virtue of dealing with the very smallest bits (because obviously I’ll make a point of using those), leaving me with the more versatile larger pieces which almost attain the status of ‘fabric’ rather than ‘scrap’. I’m not abandoning the Anemone scrappy quilt, but it’s a different kind of project, and doesn’t eat up these smaller scraps.

Not looking forward one little bit to the pressing and trimming bit that comes next, no sir… On the upside, the Bird finger is on the mend 🙂

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35 thoughts on “ROYGBIV and a couple more

  1. lucyannluna says:

    That’s going to be one big project. Looking forward to seeing what you will do next.

  2. Great work! This will make any new project so much easier!!! I too have been sorting and busting some scraps. Someone on Instagram showed how she was using a piece of fabric from everything she worked on that day and sewed the scraps together for a scrappy quilt.
    I was saving every little bit of fabric I could possible need in the future…. But the same pieces are still in their box five years later. No good! So, I am sewing up as much scraps as I can find that kind of match colorwise. In the near future, not five years from now, I hope to be able to easily sew up these squares for a quick quilt or two. And have some more space to buy all these lovely new fabrics I keep seeing.

    • katechiconi says:

      I have forced myself to throw out the really stupidly tiny pieces. Yes, I could make a ‘confetti’ quilt with them, but actually, I don’t want or have time to. I like the idea of making a series of scrappy blocks in the colours I’ve sorted out, but as for keeping the scraps for sentimental reasons, no. And now that I have the system started, it will be much easier to keep it going.

  3. claire93 says:

    you’ve made good use of your time. Nothing like a little organisation occasionally.

  4. manicmumdays says:

    Sorting scraps is SO satisfying! I have bundles sorted into colours and another tub with 2.5″ squares, 5″ squares and strips/strings of varying sizes to play with 🙂

    • katechiconi says:

      Most of my scraps are either very small or rather irregular and don’t really lend themselves to tidy shapes. I’ll be making fairly wonky blocks with what I have, and with the really skinny strings I’ve saved, I’ll be wrapping cotton rope and stitching it into a mat or bowl… some time!

  5. Great work so far. However, I wouldn’t (*I* wouldn’t, but you might…) press and trim anything until the point of using it. Until then, I wouldn’t necessarily know how to trim them (what size, for instance), and anything not used immediately would potential get mussed again and need to be pressed again. But that’s just me.

    If you’re making big scrappy blocks, those browns and odd multi-colors will hide just fine in them. OR donate the browns to someone who wants to use a lot of browns.

    • katechiconi says:

      I love your rationale! There are some pieces, the older ones, which are very scrunched and wrinkled; those it might be helpful to press just so I can see how big they really are.
      I’m determined to use the browns, and I think if I mix them with gold and orange and rust I’ll be happier to live with them. I’ll call them amber or chocolate or teak rather than mundane brown – much better!
      The multicoloured pieces I can choose to chop into sections where one colour predominates, or use them as leaven when the dough is a little stodgy!

  6. kathyreeves says:

    Kate, what a great project done! So those brown scraps…never liked them myself either, but then I did quilt that called for a bit of brown in the corner blocks and for the binding. I thought yuck, but did it, and was amazed at how perfect it was! It gave me a new appreciation for them. If you have too many you could make up some paper pieced cowboy boot blocks. 🙂

    • katechiconi says:

      I’ll integrate the browns with the yellows and oranges, I think, which will add depth to what might otherwise be a rather pale scrappy block. I’ll use them up, never fear. I guess one day I might find myself buying more for something, but I don’t think it will be soon!

  7. dayphoto says:

    I’m so glad the birds finger is mending! Whew!

  8. magpiesue says:

    Seems to me you’ve found a great way to spin straw into gold as it were, using your recovery time to sort scraps. I’m so sorry you got hurt again! You’ve made excellent progress with your scraps though. I used to save the smallest bits, anything over .75″ in any direction. More recently I’ve taken to tossing anything under about an inch. I’ve done my bit sewing those tee-tiny scraps into blocks. Now I cut patches when I can, salt them away for future use (as you well know), and recklessly throw away bits I used to stress over. 🙂 Be warned though, scraps seem to multiply even when you think you’ve been using a goodly amount!

    • katechiconi says:

      I know it! I got ruthless with anything too small. At first I agonised over it, but by the end I was tossing them with glee. I filled a medium size garbage bag… I think the solution is to make a scrappy block or two every time I think a colour is starting overflow its box.

  9. […] about Kate’s efforts at scrap management, I got inspired to have a look at my own, much smaller scrap collection. Being somewhat in need of […]

  10. anne54 says:

    This is one of the things I love about quilters…..how the tradition of using all the pieces of fabric continues. Nothing goes to waste when you are a quilter….and the rest of us have a lot to learn from you. xx

    • katechiconi says:

      It’s true, quilters were the first recyclers! We’d even love to save the ‘crumbs’ if we could, but you have to draw the line somewhere. I love the idea of a ‘made fabric’; something completely different comes into the world, no matter what you bought and cut up in the first place 🙂

  11. rutigt says:

    You did it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Good work! I also have a special bag for those fabrics that don´t suit in. My bag is almost overfilled 🙂

  12. tialys says:

    I somehow missed this post. Now I’ve started with the freehand embroidery I have a use for the tiny scraps although I won’t be saving them deliberately as I have enough to be going on with. I agree with Melanie, apart from the box I have with the few scraps I did actually cut into sizes and stored in plastic bags according to size and shape – I must have had a mad moment – I don’t usually press and trim those in my ‘big scrap box’ because I’m always dragging them out to examine them, measure them and audition them and then shoving them back in so they would only need faffing with again when I come to use them. Glad to hear the finger’s on the mend – probably completely better by now.

    • katechiconi says:

      I got to use the new system yesterday when I made the crochet hook roll, and I must say, it was fun to simply pull out three boxes and know that what I needed was in there, easy to find. Like you and Melanie, I’m not going to waste time trimming out and pressing; time enough for that when I find something I want to use. The finger’s well on the way to being fully mended, but the numb patch and the black nail are still bothering me a bit. This too will pass 🙂

  13. Lynda says:

    Kate, what you’re describing sounds like a Crazy Quilt but with a color theme for each block… will there be embroidery involved in the finish? 😉

  14. Kate, a friend who quilts gave me her small scraps in green, grey and brown for the squirrels. I shredded them even further and will put them out for nesting season. The squirrels like to tear up my garden swing cover when my back is turned. Putting out scraps of fabric proved fruitful. The scraps disappear and the swing cover remains unharmed. So…brown scraps, problem solved.

    • katechiconi says:

      That’s a great solution! We don’t have any squirrel-equivalents here, but I do put wads of matted threads from my thread-catcher out for the birds to use in their nest materials. Like you, I find it disappears quite quickly, and I love the idea of turquoise, emerald, scarlet and purple threads featuring somewhere in some tiny nest 🙂

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