One of my New Year resolutions is to have my studio more organised and what better place to start than with all the scraps I have lying around from my projects last year.

Before I could start cutting them into suitable sizes I had to find them all.  They were under piles of fabric, stuffed in draws, on the tops, on the floor!  This sounds like there were loads, but that is not the case – well compared to other people’s I have seen.

I got them all together in one pile at least which made me feel the tiniest bit more organised, but then I had to decide what sizes I wanted  – and how to store them.

Searching on the internet I found many ideas on sizes, methods of cutting, and the actual storage, but none that I could implement or fitted in exactly with what I was thinking.

I had bought a multicoloured storage unit from Hobbycraft before Christmas with the intention of using some of it as storage for the scraps.

You can find it here – http://www.hobbycraft.co.uk/really-useful-11-drawer-rainbow-tower-and-craft-organiser-bundle/612327-1000-   I didn’t buy it as a bundle, just the tower, and it was on special offer for £33.15.

My least favorite colour is pink whilst my favorites are blue, green and purple so I swapped the order of the colours so the pink and reds are now at the bottom out of full view with the blues at the top.  I could have bought the tower in white but I like the colourful version.

I didn’t want to use just one draw for one size, as I don’t (yet anyway) have enough to even 1/4 fill a draw of one size only pieces.  If I was mixing sizes I also wanted whatever I did to make it easy to spot which was which if they all got jumbled up.

These are the strips I decided to put in each of 4 of the draws :-

A – 1in, 2in, 3in
B – 1.25in, 2.25in, 3.25in
C – 1.5in, 2.5in, 3.5in
D – 1.75in, 2.75in, 3.75in

Each of the 4 draws I am using (mid-blue to yellow) will eventually be labelled on the front with the 3 sizes it contains so I know what’s in them.  For now I’ve just put a label inside so I know what’s in there!

I’ve already reduced the 1in scraps and have used up the 2.75in ones – of which more in another post soon!

There are 3 other categories, 2 of which fit in the orange-yellow draw.  Squares, anything from 1in upwards, and any triangular pieces.

The last category is for larger pieces that are less than 1/4 metre (yard) or odd shapes that could be useful without cutting them into smaller pieces right now.  These are currently kept in one of what I call my project boxes.  They are in fact sold as cake storage containers and can be found at Asda stores in the UK (probably Wal-Mart, who own Asda, in the US) for £2 each and are approximately 11 ins square by 4 ins deep.

I find them ideal for taking a project from my studio (converted end of garage) to the house to work on or away in the motorhome.  They fit in a reasonable size shopping bag so are really portable.

These larger pieces I also plan to store in a storage unit draw but I need to do a bit more sorting and organising first before I get to that stage.  You may have spotted I have another colourful unit from Hobbycraft in the 2 photos above.  This one is shorter, but with deeper and wider draws, so one of those may be a good candidate to use.  At the moment most of my threads, especially the machine embroidery ones are stored in there.

I planned to spend at least 1 hour a day after the New Year doing all the cutting of whatever bits of fabric needed it and I actually stuck to it.  As you can see in the photos there are lots of different sized pieces of the light green with little pink and orange flowers.  This is because they come from the cut out weird shaped pieces of a dog soft toy that I never finished. I started it in 1973 whilst I was producing them for people to give as Christmas presents for their young children.  Some of the pieces even have rust marks from the pins that were holding the pattern pieces onto the fabric – or rather material which is what we called it back then!