Each time we cut into fabric there's a left over portion that's folded up and packed away into our stash to be 'used' in a later project. That elusive project often never eventuates. A stash of fabric is a vital component of a quilt makers kit but it's when this stash becomes unmanageable that the burden of excessive piles of fabric weighs heavily on our minds.
How can we resolve this? Scrappy quilts are often the answer! Sandra Boyle of Everyday Quilts crates the most beautiful designs that work perfectly as scrap busters. Hopscotch, Stargazy, Carousel and Vintage Stars are all wonderful examples of scrap friendly quilts. These gorgeous designs will have you creating fabulous heirloom quilts from your well loved stash.
Over the past year or so I have looked at various strategies that actually go beyond the 'scrap buster' method to a solid strategy that avoids the build up of fabric in the first place! Last year I sat down and planned several quilt designs that were constructed using single cuts. What is a single cut quilt? It's a design where the primary shape used in the quilt block are consistent in initial size, for example; a log cabin block. Once I had these quilt designs planned I then set up some sorting containers, all marked with the fabric cuts that they would eventually contain. These little containers have sat on my work table and every time I cut fabric for a new project I simply cut up whatever is left over into these set sizes and file them away. The plan is that I will eventually have enough fabric, all pre-cut, that I will simply make up into the intended quilt top.
A couple of weeks ago I started to work my way through one of these little containers of strips. I've wanted to make a Herringbone Quilt for a very long time. This quilt uses just one single cut in the entire quilt so it works perfectly using my Remnant Buster strategy. As my little container was full and it was the first day of my holidays, it was the perfect time to start! I'd been collecting strips 2.5" wide & 6.5" long for this project. I found a little video tutorial that showed me how to construct the project. The creator works in centimetres but if you follow the construction principles and you'll be fine.
I absolutely love how it's turning out. As the construction is a little different to normal, it's been fun to learn. I am wizzing through the construction of this one. Machine piecing certainly speeds up construction. I don't want to spend months working on a project like this that was intended to use up my left over fabric pieces!
This strategy is certainly not a new one but it's new to me and I am loving it! It certainly has changed the way I have managed my fabric this past year! I will add some more Remnant Busting quilt ideas over the coming months that will hopefully help you moving forward with your stash.