Monday, May 14, 2012

Taming of the Strash!

So many have asked HOW I start to deal with two trash bags full of random scraps in different sizes of hunks and chunks and strips and pieces ---that I thought I’d show you what I’ve done so far.

((The original post, A Gift of Strash, is found HERE.))

I was SUPPOSED to be packing for my flight to Illinois tomorrow, but you know? I couldn’t make myself just put the strash back into the black bags for fear that some well meaning family member would just dump it come trash day! Heaven forbid!

So…I ignored my to-do list and sat on the floor and sorted. I sorted anything that was poly-blend or stuff that wasn’t good for my quilt making OUT.

And then I sorted into piles…some by color family, and some by genre, and some --- just solids.

Wanna see how much better it looks?

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There was more BLUE than anything. I just put any blue that I wanted to save into the blue pile. At this point I’m not worried about whether it will become strips, or be folded and tucked into the FQ drawers – It’s just…BLUE.

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This is my red pile. See that red with the swirly dots? There is quite a bit of that and I love that print, so it will probably be folded and tucked away in my FQ drawers….there are several big hunks of this.

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There was a very small pile of purple ---

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But quite a lot of pink! Some of these pinks may be light enough to use as “neutral lights” but for now, they are pink so they go in this pile.

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Yellows and golds and browns….

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Lovely greens --- do you recognize any of these?

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Just a few printed blacks, and a handful of oranges ---

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HUGE stack of florals and fruits! Just when I think I cleared them all out in Florabunda ----Hello, Again! I tend to keep busy florals together because they usually don’t tend to read as one color ---do you think there will be more floral quilts in my future? What can we do to use these up?

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A fun pile of novelties to add to my novelties box --- these are great for I-spy type kid quilts. I used several of these in my Story-Time Stars quilt ---now I’ll have more variety for the next baby quilt I need to do. ((I’m wondering who is going to announce that they are expecting at the Family Reunion on 4th of July – that’s usually where this kind of news is let loose!))

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HUGE stack of woven plaids and stripes – These are awesome! Must find something to do with these ----There were a couple of Christmas pieces too – those are in the top right of the photo. In with the Christmas fabrics they will go.

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A small handful of 30’s ---these will go right into my 30’s bin. I do keep 30’s fabrics together rather than separate by color with these.

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Sweet neutrals & lights – I can ALWAYS use these – they are one thing that is always leaving my stash – and I love lots of variety.

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Solid muslins in several different shades. These are always a welcome addition too –I love how they look when mixed with plaids and stripes and old fashioned looking fabrics – timeless!

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There was quite a lot of solid black in all different sizes of pieces too ---I last cleared out my “odd black” stash when I did Rectangle Wrangle, and now I’ll have some more solid blacks to work through! There were some other solids in a variety of colors as well….makes me want to do some Amish kind of piecing ---can I just add more time to my calendar, please? I want to sew!

Where do I go from here with these piles? It will have to wait. I’ll go through and see what can be stripped up into uniform sizes and added to my strip drawers. What can be folded and filed away with FQs –and what will just wind up in the string bins. All I know is I am happy to adopt these pieces and will have a load of fun using them!

That's probably all you'll hear from me this evening -- I've gotta get a suitcase packed and finish loading up the quilts into the big duffels ---heading to the airport at 7:30am!

Have a great evening, everyone!


  1. I also adopt strash. Free table at the guild and friends donate to me. I often get plenty that will work together for a medium size quilt. I actually make a lot of donation quilts and I like to make my baby quilts big enough for them to still use at three or four years old.
    Sorting strash is so much fun.

  2. I also adopt strash. Free table at the guild and friends donate to me. I often get plenty that will work together for a medium size quilt. I actually make a lot of donation quilts and I like to make my baby quilts big enough for them to still use at three or four years old.
    Sorting strash is so much fun.

  3. É isso aí,ficamos ou não encantadas quando classificamos?Boa Noite,Boa Viagem e Breve Retorno.Posso ouvir daqui os murmúrios deles chorando de saudade de você.Beijo grande e sucesso!!!!!!!!!

  4. Anonymous8:04 PM EDT

    Lots of nice stuff to work with...and to think, there wasn't one fabric there which I recognize in my own stash.
    Have a safe journey to IL and OH. Take care, my friend.
    Faye in Maine

  5. I love the term "strash".

  6. You make that sorting look so easy. ;)

  7. What fun! I recently went to a yard sale and acquired some amounts of smaller yardage pieces (full width) and a box of scraps ~ strash ~ (new term for me, I love it!) all for a very low price. I'm one who 'has' to wash any and all fabric so I spent a full day doing several loads, using those net laundry bags for all the smallish pieces under FQ size....then I pressed them all and they're ready for cutting up. Anything full-width & over 1 yd, gets folded in half and half again along the length and then gets 'wound' around a 6" ruler and shelved standing on end (the ruler is removed). Other larger pieces (less than a yard, more than 6") are folded and placed in their respective size-range bins, all else is cut according to your methods. Have a safe trip.

  8. You have obviously turned one person's Strash into your own Streasure!

    See you tomorrow evening!

  9. Anonymous9:13 PM EDT

    Look at all the new fabric treasures you have. your going to have a lot of fun with these. enjoy your trip. your strash will be waiting for you when you get back..

  10. I was wondering if you were going to take time to sort the strash. If I were you I would leave those piles all over the floor down there. I doubt if the boys will bother. What fun to look forward to. Have a good trip.

  11. Cindy, The Purple Quilter10:00 PM EDT

    Bonnie, I can totally relate! I was given two trash bags full of strash a year or so ago! I had tons of fun sorting it and am still using parts of it. Enjoy! :)

  12. Anonymous10:22 PM EDT

    Very neat. Thanks for sharing.
    Safe Trip.

  13. Linda aka wildyard@yahoo.com10:42 PM EDT

    Oh what fun I had sorting your strash with you! I so love doing that when I get hold of some of my own. I can just get lost in the process and have such a wonderful relaxing time thinking and planning as I sort.
    The one thing I can't make myself do is precut strips and squares. I just know that as soon as I do, I will be needing just the sizes I didn't cut something into. LOL. I guess I need my flexibility!!

  14. @ Nann - "Streasure"... I love it!!

    About a year ago I saw an add on Craigslist than an elderly woman had decided to part with her stash since she could no see well enough to quilt. She had some beautiful work hanging in her home, she was a master when she was quilting.

    She sold about half of her stash and the rest she split between myself and two other quilters. I was shocked when she took me to her basement and pointed to two 35 gallon garbage bags full of fabric and said, "those are for you"... Then when I moved them she found another bag that she had forgotten about, so she grabbed it and gave it to me too!

    I have made a few charity quilts with the fabrics from those bags and will be using some of the blues and scarlet when I do a Jared Takes a Wife this month. And then some of the Oranges and Teals will be used when I do a My Blue Heaven class with you next month.

    Can't Wait!

  15. Gosh, when do you ever have time to sew anyway? I never saw anybody travel as much as you do. How do you get so many bookings every single week? It is nice to meet so many people all over the USA and make such great quilts, see such great sights and have so much fun!

  16. Thanks for this! when I was moving into my studio - I just put all my odd scraps into one large plastic (lidded) box, but I think sorting like this will make using easier. Looking forward to the next step. Happy and safe travels!

  17. Anonymous7:05 AM EDT

    The term "strash" is so appropriate. I loved looking at the piles. In fact I have wasted TIME looking and looking. What is it about a scrap? You travel a lot. Stay safe.

  18. Oh goodie! I have most of my strash sorted just like you! Can't wait for the next installment of "Taming the Strash" LOL!

  19. Holy cow! I recognized one of the fabrics! The light blue rose print almost on top of the blue pile! I got that in a Keepsake Quilting spring cleaning FQ pack (100 FQs) for my anniversary!

  20. Would love to just run my fingers through your 'strash'!

    I've been re-visiting 'Story Time Stars' from Jan. 10. Is that blue painter's tape on your machine marking the 1/4" line?

  21. IF YOU DIDN'T WANT IT.............what would you recommend doing with your strash?

    I will most likely have a large garbage bag full of odds and ends that I keep keeping, thinking some day I will use them, but I know I never will get even close to using it all..........soooooooo ideas of what to do with it would be welcomed! I won't take it to the thrift store because the pieces are not big enough.


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