Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Stash to Strips!

A new 14" ruler! It's great for cutting scraps.

It started with the innocent desire to donate some fabric to the guild's annual sale, and quickly escalated into a massive Stash Reduction Project!
I had a basket of yardage that had been in the closet for a year. Giving it away would be the perfect anti-Pack Rat move, if I could only not look at the contents. But you know I did!

Now, the best way to overcome that Pack Rat urge is to donate items, because you are not throwing them away. They are just going to someone else who will love them. At least, that's what I tell myself, and works briefly.

So when I saw some fabrics in the basket that I liked, I cut them into 2.5" strips to make a pre-cut package for the sale.
That's where I went wrong. I decided, since I was giving away the yardage, the orange cut strips would make another nice Halloween style Quirky Bits (since DeLuna had bought the first one I made last year). So then I needed to cut some more while I was at it! There are plastic drawers of fat quarters and similar scraps that I had not looked at in quite awhile, so I figured the orange drawer was ripe for stripping!

You might be surprized how much fabric can fit in a 11" x 13" drawer...or maybe not!
Before I knew it, I was stuck in an obsession that had to be taken all the way...through the oranges, the browns, the purples and the greens...through the reds and all the way to the big Blue box!
And then, there was a box just labelled "Fat Quarters" (no colors), meaning I had started stuffing them into that box because all the sorted containers were full!

And even more can fit in a bigger box!

Oh, the big Blue box? Yeah, that one was under-bed storage size.
Or, as so many of us will understand, more than large enough to hold a cat.
Nothing collects cats like an open box of fabric! Shayla says, "It's mine now!"
But she's wrong.
All these pieces had to be ironed and folded back on-grain. Then cut and tossed on a stack: 2.5" or 2" or 1.5". Being innumerate, I randomly chose those widths. Then I attempted to be ruthless...
and did OK. I only have one large box left now with pieces I just couldn't bear to cut up!

The 2.5" strip pile.
It took 10 days. but finally I stopped. I had to swear to Cherry-Cherry I would not even peek in another box.
Yes, there are other boxes. And there is all the "real stash" on the shelves. That doesn't include the batiks, either. I am one fabric addict for sure!

At least I have learned that organization (some amount...) increases the probability of using these things, so the strips had to go into boxes. I chose to make them Light and Dark, letting the poor Mediums fall where they may. Just one width to a box. 
A piece of foam core makes a nice divider between Lights & Darks.
I even ended up with a couple of empty boxes!
And decided on my first project to use the strips: A Pink & Brown Log Cabin from 2" strips. Anything I thought I would use for that went into its own container. It's so nice to sit down and just start sewing, now that the cutting is done.
Ready for some mental health sewing!
I confess...the original scrap strips just went into the boxes with all the others.
But I did generate a GIANT scrap bag** for the guild sale, plus the basket of yardage. I'm putting those in my van today, because the sooner they are gone, the better the chances they will stay gone!

**10 pounds of scraps, covering a 30 year collection...not all my scraps, just the ones I could let go of!
It fills one of those pop-up laundry bags.
Yes, C.C., I am one sick puppy for fabric!
And, no...I am not cutting everything into strips. The yardage is safe.


Anonymous said...

You can come and cut mine now........


Sunnie said...

Actually, this would have been a fun activity if I'd asked a friend to come help! We could take turns pressing, folding and whacking!

Patty said...

Thank you for your honesty. My sewing is so bad I have to work to get in the door. Your cuttting gives me encouragement and 1 day later the room is looking better and the give-away pile is bigger!

Sunnie said...

Patty, I know how things can get out of control and overwhelming! Yes, giving away is a good feeling and the best way to let go of stuff. Even better, it creates the room you need for creating!