Friday, September 5, 2008

Cutting Fabric Again

I am on my 3rd rail fence variation now, and as I discovered a box of scrap falling out of the garage (through the broken door which won't go up or down which needs repair immediately) which needed to be rescued, I ended up with more "stuff" to cut up. Scraps from someone's dressmaking project gave me enough pieces for the center of a set of rail fence blocks, so this will lead to a whole new variation.

I thought I would share my cutting table area storage and sorting system for scraps which allows me to quickly put away the random squares that are cut from leftovers from shape cutting.

I have sewn with a 3-step zig-zag stitch a few zip-top freezer bags. The top edge of the first is sewn to the area right below the zip seal on the second bag, the third bag is sewn the same way. This way the tops are staggered, and the labels on the top of each bag are easily seen. I only do a few in each segment so the row of bags does not get too long. The freezer bags are more heavy duty and last much longer. and the tops can be closed if needed. The rows of bags are placed in a plastic shoe box with a sturdy snap-on lid which keeps everything from spilling all over if it gets turned over.

As I am cutting fabric into shapes I cut the remainder of the scraps into usable squares so that it is all cut up. I put the cut squares into my marked bags in the shoe box, sorting the dark from light of my smaller squares because they are harder to pick up and value sort later. When the bag/s get too full for the lid on the box to fit tightly, I remove the cut squares to larger shoe boxxes that hold only one size square, or to a pull-out drawer which also contains only one size square. Then my bags are ready to be refilled again, and only the shoebox with the plastic bags needs to be in the area where I do my cutting.

The other box shows the 2 x 5-inch rectangles I have been cutting for the rail fence quilts that I have been stitching. The scrapbook paper storage boxes have good snap-on attatched lids and stack well, so have een invaluable in helping me store cut shapes for specific designs. The blue print pieces I cut for the next rail fence variation are shown in the front of the box.

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