Saturday, 11 January 2014

Scraps 101: Organization & Storage with Sarah from Sarah Quilts

Hi! I'm Sarah from Sarah Quilts and I am so pleased to be a guest at mila+cuatro today as part of Scraps 101.

It takes time to acquire an interesting and diverse collection of scraps. You can cheat a little and buy scrap bags, but nothing beats an assortment of small cherished pieces of all your favorite fabrics from years of quilting.

I'm not quite there yet but I am to the point now that I need a system for organization. So when Sarah asked me to do a guest post for her series I knew right away that I wanted to talk about organization and storage, if only to give me an excuse to address mine!

First I needed some baskets. I thought 8 was probably the maximum number of shelves I wanted to devote to scrap storage and also the maximum number of baskets I would be willing to make.

I used the Noodle-head divided basket pattern but I made a few changes. I left off some of the details that I knew wouldn't be useful for this purpose (primarily the divider and the pocket) and I made it 4 inches taller. When I did my first test basket it looked like there might not be enough structure for the basket to stand so tall, but once it was all sewn together it stands just fine. They do hang open pretty wide (possibly because I left out the dividers) but that doesn't bother me.

I pondered for quite a while how I wanted to sort them. I wasn't sure I wanted to sort them by color because I don't often go looking for scraps just based on color. In the end I decided to try sorting by color for now and see how it goes. I'm starting with these 8 categories:
  • Low volume
  • Blue-aqua
  • Green
  • Yellow-orange
  • Red-pink-purple
  • Gray-black
  • Strings
  • Multi-color scraps
I pinned a scrap to the outside of each basket to identify the contents. I have seen some quilters actually construct the baskets themselves from the color of the scraps they contain, which is a pretty cool idea. I decided not to go that route because I wanted to base the colors of my baskets on the decor of my sewing room. It also gives me the flexibility to decide to change the categories if they aren't working for me.

I used a cool Kokka print I had in my stash. I only had a half yard so I used other prints for the backs. I can always turn them around if I tire of them.

If you're interested in seeing the rest of my sewing room, I've posted a full rundown on my blog today. Spoiler alert: fabric shelf!

Linking up with Crazy Mom!


  1. So well done! I love seeing how other folks store their scraps. This is much more beautiful than my ziplock bags :) Thanks so much for sharing.

  2. Your sewing room looks amazing! I've got some scrap bins in my future too, though I'm hoping to turn my scraps into improv blocks before they pile up. I'd love to save up enough Melody Miller fabrics to do them like yours, but I doubt that will happen soon enough.

  3. I haven't broken my scraps down by color yet either because that's not how I look for them. right now, they still fit into one basket. but it's getting full so something will have to give sooner or later! I love the flexibility of your system.

  4. I don't have enough scraps yet to have to get into multiple baskets, but I'm getting close, so I'm going to need to start to dream up a plan.

  5. Awesome system. Mine are in ziplocs...but they are really piling up and sliding off the shelves,lol.

  6. Functional AND pretty! The complete package :)

  7. One day, when I have my own sewing room, not just a corner in my bedroom, I will have a pretty storage system like that!

  8. they're totally awesome!!! great fabric choices too. they look beautiful. :)

  9. This is a great idea, and if I had more room in my tiny sewing space Id be making those bags all the time!

  10. Boy do I wish I had a shelf unit like that! I love the colors...reminds me of the General Store at Knotts Berry Farm when I was a kid...all those beautiful colors of candy in clear glass jars lining the walls!


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