Organize Those Scraps!

by Kathryn Patterson

There comes a time in every quilter’s life that they need to tackle “the scrap box” or in my case the boxes. I have been collecting scraps for 30 years. I started to organize my scraps a few weeks ago and believe me it was not pretty. I had scraps all over. I am embarrassed to say that I have NEVER organized my scraps. Done with a quilt…scraps are thrown into “the box”.

After all these years why start now? Well, my mother-in-law passed away in January; she was 98 years old. She lived on a farm all her life and was a very hard-working woman. Years ago, she gave me a quilt that her mother and grandmother made, I believe in 1918. That quilt is one that I have always wanted to copy using scraps. Thus my inspiration to organize my scraps.

I want to first say that I am not an expert on scrap quilts. I just make what I like.

I really had fun (when I first started); I must say organizing 3 boxes of scraps did take a while. I did not organize by color. I organize by size. Here is something I should pass on…don’t keep any really small scraps unless you like to make miniature quilts.

It was a great trip down memory lane; remember I had been “collecting scraps” for 30 years. I had fabrics from my very first quilt! On the bright side I still use that quilt today.

My scraps also told me what phase of my quilting life I was in…blue, red, green, or reproduction. I even found troll fabric (from when it was popular the first time); my daughter loved trolls.

I was told many years ago that if you use an ugly fabric in a scrap quilt no one will notice…hopefully they were right. I had a few fabrics that I said, “What was I thinking when I bought this fabric?”

How many quilts can I make??? I just hope that I live long enough to find out or my kids are going to say, “WHAT WAS MOM THINKING?!?”

So, my advice to you is start organizing those scraps. Put on your favorite music…not HGTV (it is too distracting)…and start organizing.

To get you inspired, we are going to have a contest on our Facebook page called “Show the World Your Scraps”. There will be two categories:

1. The neatest scraps (we all want to be like you)

2. The messiest scraps (in reality most quilters are like this)

Post a before or after photo by midnight, March 31. On April 1 (no fooling!), we will select the winners by random drawings...I can’t be judgmental. Each winner will receive a copy of the Roaring Through the 20’s book.

See you on Facebook!


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