I have been reading up on scrap storage because I feel like I need to be better about using mine, and also because I love people’s work with scraps and want to incorporate that joyfulness and dynamism more into my ow. If anything, I am more of a minimalist right now, which is funny considering that my house and life are decidedly *not*. Perhaps that’s because with everythigne else wild and crazy and out of control, my art decidedly is? Interesting.
Anyway. I love how many different ways there are for everyone to deal with their stash of scraps, or even whether people are “scrappers”–the type of quilter who is like Bonnie Hunter and using every bit–or non-scrappers, or people in between.
It makes me think back to when I was an archaeologist, specializing in ceramics (I can tell you lots about pottery from tiny sherds!). On a typical dig, the pottery is what you find the most of and tends to be the most useful for dating things since it’s a) what you have and b) pretty consistent. A pot may be broken into smaller and smaller pieces over, but the fabric of the pot itself can tell you alot about what it was used for, whether cookware or fineware, and where it came from, local or not. If you found a “diagnostic”, like a rim, handle, or foot, then you were pretty much able to really tell what was going on.
In general, people who study ceramics tend to be “lumpers” or “splitters”: lumpers tend to categorize the ceramic finds into bigger piles of related pieces, while splitters tend to come up with smaller and smaller discrete piles of pottery sherds. I think this tends to cross over into other areas of life as well. All scraps together? By size? By shape? By color? Tossed out if they’re smaller than a certain size? I’m still finding my way for what works for me, where I will use my scraps and enjoy the heck out of them. I have a hard time throwing stuff away, annd fall into the “splitter” category. The downfall of that is that the organizational system can become so cumbersome that it’s a pain in the butt to keep track of and keep up with. And because of *that*, I am less likely to go to my scraps. Know thyself, right? If I want to use my scraps more, maybe I should sort them less rigidly.
This post was inspired by my question about how people deal with their scraps on the Modern Quilting page on Facebook (a closed group, but ask to join if you want!), my reading about Bonnie Hunter’s Scrap User’s System, and most recently, by Sherri Lynn Wood’s beautiful little video about sorting pretty fabrics. In that video, if I had to parse it, it looked like things were sorted by size and shape first, then resorted into color categories after. I love the whole thing.