Archive for the ‘Fusible Scraps’ Category

Zip It. Zip It Good!

April 4, 2011

Bags of Scrap Fusible Pieces

Going With The Flow To be honest, I hate hunting for things. I have found that during my creative process, the sooner I can get my hands on the things that I’m looking for—the better. When I’m in the creative zone I can work nonstop for hours on end. I don’t need to eat or drink, and I usually don’t stop until I can no longer see straight. I mean that literally. When I can no longer see clearly, I think it’s time to stop.

Land Of The Lost I have also learned that if I have to stop what I’m doing and start searching for something—that I know I have—the creative flow is brought to a complete stop. Once the search begins, all my creative energy becomes focused on the search. The search becomes the day’s challenge and not the project. For me, this is a total waste of time, money and effort.

Methods or Madness Since I know this about myself, I try to organize everything based on the way I work. This applies to fabric, tools, thread, scraps, you name it. My most successful organizing methods follow the paths of least resistance. When I am trying to get organized, I ask myself, what is the least amount of effort I need to exert to keep these things together in a useful way? Once I have that answer, that’s what I do.

Pile of Fusible Scrap Pieces

The beautiful pile of scraps ready to go for my project. This pile is about 1-ft. wide and almost 4-ft. long.

The Dump Method This is one of my favorite ways to organize. It is the perfect method to use when I am only wanting to control items in a general way. I use this method a lot, especially at the beginning of a project. For this project, I took a plastic shoebox and dumped all my pieces into it. This was a perfect solution—until I actually came up with an idea and tried to find something specific.

You see, by the time I had finished cutting up all the pieces, I started to develop a clearer vision of what I could make with them. With this vision in mind, I started pulling out a few pieces to see if my idea would work.

Peace Or Piles This process was a lot of fun in the beginning, but it didn’t take me long to realize that I was spending way too much time searching, and not enough time creating. I found that each time I needed a certain piece, I had to dump the whole box out on the table before I could find it. This method of working was becoming too frustrating, and far too time consuming. I realized that I needed a slightly more organized approach for handling my scraps if I was going to make any real progress on this quilt.

Zip-Loc bags full of fusible scrap pieces.

Fusible scraps are separated by shape for easy access and storage.

The Zip-Loc Method When the dump method doesn’t work, the next step in my organizing protocol is the Zip-loc method. I love this method for SO many reasons, but the main reasons are because they are cheap, I can see my pieces clearly and they come in every size imaginable. Oh, and did I mention . . . they are cheap?

Resealable Love I love them so much, I actually asked for Zip-loc bags—in every size—for Christmas. I got them, and it was the best Christmas EVER! I know. I know. It’s very sad, and kinda pathetic, but you can also see that it takes very little to make me happy.

Resistance is Futile Since I’m all about least resistance, I organized my pieces by shape only. I could have gone all crazy by dividing them further, by shape, by color, by size, but that would be silly and really not worth the effort. All I needed was for them to be loosely divided by shape. These divisions gave me the framework I needed for the next step in the process.

Swatches of background fabric

A sampling of background fabric.

I Have a Diverse Background Now that I had a plan for this quilt, I needed to find a background. Since most of my fusible leftovers are light and bright, I decided to go dark to really make everything pop.

I briefly considered using only one piece of fabric for the background, but quickly discarded that idea. I’m a scrap quilter after all—the more fabric the merrier. Besides, I could use up more scraps if I went with this diverse approach.

Once the background fabrics were chosen, it was time to start designing my quilt. I had so much fun working on it. The first decision I had to make was . . . 

You know I have to stop here. I know it makes you sad, but I really have to. I’m not doing this for me. I’m doing it for you. Get some rest. I’ll be back soon.