What To Do With Fabric Scraps?

What To Do With Fabric Scraps?

Dear Geraldine,

For many years, I've enjoyed creating quilts for friends and family members. However, the leftover fabrics scraps from all my projects have long since escaped their allotted space and are beginning to take over my sewing room. They're also a disorganized mess! What can I do to restore some semblance of order and tame the chaos? Preferably in a way that allows me to put them to good use later.


The Scrappy Quilter


Dear 'Scrappy',

I completely understand your plight! After you've reached the finish line with your projects, all you want to do is enjoy your latest creation and possibly take a breather before starting a new one.

But the urge to save extra fabric, regardless of its size, for later use is equally strong! After all, those supplies cost a pretty penny and simply tossing them out would be incredibly foolish!!!

The end result is that sometimes our quilting areas can look as if they were attacked by scatterbrained fairies. 

But there are some ways to combat this problem. 

First: get organized! Iron all your fabric scraps so that they lay flat.  Fold them up neatly. Then sort them into two stacks: large and small. 

Large scrap pieces can be stored in a variety of way: placed onto hangers, wound around bolts, or stacked onto shelves by color. However, you may want to measure them and label them with their sizes before putting them away in order to expedite future projects.

It's fairly common to sort small scraps by color, but they can also be organized by their dimensions. For instance: having a box with just 2.5 x 2.5 squares or long strips. This comes in handy if there's a particular size that you use more frequently than the others.

If you are feeling especially productive when you're getting things organized, you might even want to cut any randomly shaped scraps up into your favorite shapes and sizes. Of course, you can happily skip this step if you've already been purchasing precut fabric.

Of course, the best way to store your scraps once they've been organized is in clearly labeled, transparent packages. Resealable plastic bags, clear containers, or specific fabric organizers are all good options. You get bonus points for using boxes that easily fit under beds or in cabinets. 

Of course, the best way to avoid clutter is to go through your quilting supplies on a regular basis and either donate or sell anything that you don't plan on using yourself.

As always, if any of my readers have any more suggestions for Scrappy, please don't hesitate to mention them in comment section below.

XOXO Geraldine

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I’ve been using my scraps to make throw size quilts and baby bibs. Pinterest has some good ideas.

Dana L Smith

You can also share your leftovers with beginner quilters (like myself) who don’t have much fabric and no scraps. I’m always so very thankful when I can come across someone who has scraps to share. I love to make scrappy projects that are easy to do while I’m learning.

Laurie Mullin-Brown

How do I find project patterns? I can’t find
“My Library “. Thank you.

Linda McGee Davis

I make a lot of small FPP blocks – like 6"x 6" and smaller; I like to challenge myself to see how small and detailed a block I can make. So I save any pieces that are bigger than 1" square. I never can decide whether to sort them by size or by color, so I usually just pike them all into a bin and sort through them on an as-needed basis.
What can I say? I’m a magpie, and I love playing with the colors. 🌈

Andrea Johnson

I use my scraps to make small tissue holders for your sun vizier you just make the pouch the size of small packages of tissues then add elastic to the ends so it will fit over your visor. They make cute last minute gifts for anyone.

Dee Leezer

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