Two years ago, I took all my less- than-a-yard solids and solid substitutes (predominately one color pieces but have patterning) and cut them into strips. I kept the full width (45 inches) strips separate from the ones cut from fat quarters which were only 22 inches wide. My goal was to cut 6 of these 2 1/2 inches wide as I could then use then for borders or binding. Usually there was some left so next I cut 2 inch strips and then cut miscellaneous sizes if there was any left after that. I ended up with probably 50 to 100 lbs of strips sorted by color into 2 1/2 gallon bags and set into a deep box so they could stand up and not get wrinkled. I have actually used up most of the purple strips in the 2 1/2 in length and the greens are getting more sparse! I gave away a baggie of brown strips as down south I don't tend to use a lot of dark colors anymore. This has made binding quilts more of a breeze as I don't have to cut the fabric. At the time, I didn't feel this would be a good thing to do with my lively patterned fabric.
This week I decided to take a crack at that patterned fabric and so far I have filled two trash cans with strips and pieces that are less than an inch wide or just the selvedge! I decided to cut the fabric into 10 in squares (like layer cakes) and 5 in squares. If there is any left, I just cut 2 1/2 strips or smaller. There are bunches of fabric that I had used partially, some where I cut motifs out of a piece so it had lots and lots of holes. Many of these were really nice fabrics of which I only had a quarter, half or eighth of a yard. I cut the really nice ones into 10 in squares but only if I could get at least two 10 in squares (I use these in Delectable Mtns or just by themselves). If there is fabric left, I cut them into 5 inch squares. If the piece is wide enough left, I will cut smaller squares (4 1/2 inches, 4 inches, 3 1/2 inches). If smaller than that, I just cut a 2 1/2 in strip and any left just gets stuffed into a miscellaneous bag if 1 in wide or larger.
My reasoning for the sizes was (1) seems to be the popular sizes that are being sold online and in quilt shops and (2) I use a lot of the 2 1/2 in size which both 5 and 10 are easily divided by. I am very very predominately a scrap quilter when doing traditional quilting and have been my whole quilting career. My exceptions are of course my stack and whack and art quilts. My very first quilts (applique which was my introduction to quilting) were scrap quilts, even before I had ever heard the term -- my first quilt teacher called me that when she saw my fabric selection for the sampler she was teaching!
I have emptied two plastic boxes of miscellaneous fabric leftovers! I will have a head start on many charity quilts! I am very very thankful to have one of those wonderful rulers with the slits in them so I can make very accurate cuts and go through several layers at a time!
I should also note that I have a ton of black and white fabric -- I used to buy it with the intention of overdyeing it so have substantial yardage. I make a lot of baby quilts using this fabric now so I cut the small pieces of black and white fabric into 3 1/2 by 6 1/2 inch pieces. I use this in the quilts I have pictured quite a few times in my blog! I have so much, I may decide to cut some into the 10 in squares at some later point. I have been using quite a bit of it for backing lately as they are substantial pieces.