The other day someone asked me how I sorted all the scraps I use for my fabric collages. I laughed ruefully and said, "I sort them by color in drawers."
Why the rueful laugh? Because, in reality my scraps are in a big pile on my studio floor.
And why is that, you ask? Here's the main reason: Laziness!
When I sew at my machine, I snip and automatically let whatever is in my way fall to the floor. I didn't realize how hard it was to break myself of this habit until I was on the set of "Quilting Arts TV" last year and found myself doing it on camera . . . embarrassing, but true!
I do clean up the small threads and scraps (saving some of them for my collaged nests and other scrappy projects), but I often wait until I am done with the current project to do so.
When I'm not in the throes of a project, I store my scraps for collaging (usually small, less than 6" square) by color in clear shoe totes and wooden clementine boxes. I can easily rearrange them on shelves or in the cabinet drawers in my studio.
My most precious scraps are arranged by type of fabric and stored with the yardage pieces. Antique kimono bits sit right next to larger pieces so I can easily find them. Felted wool, no matter the size, is all together as well, as is my collection of plaid. (Yes, I have a plaid collection. Don't you?)
These methods work well for me (except on a TV studio set), but I'm always curious to see how other fiber artists store their quilting fabric and collage bits. I was especially excited to open up the Spring 2012 issue of Studios magazine and see a fresh crop of creative spaces, including that of Jane LaFazio and Annabelle Ozanne.
It was interesting to see that Jane works in a similar drawer-and-worktable kind of arrangement as I do. Annabelle's studio is dreamy, and beautifully tidy like mine is–in my dreams.
Because my studio floor is so often covered in fabric and thread snippets, I don't pay that much attention to it. But the next time I sweep up I'm going to give it some careful consideration. The Spring 2012 issue of Studios offers many ideas on how to create decorative and functional floors, many on a DIY budget.
P.S How do you sort and store your fabric pieces, especially scraps and snippets? Share your success, or failures, in the space below.