Tip Tuesday – Fabric Scraps and your Scrap Quilt Patterns

We’ve all done it – purchased fabric before we know what we’re quilting. It’s pretty and we just have to have it! Eventually, we find the perfect quilt pattern for that perfect fabric, but once the quilt is finished, we’re left with extra pieces of fabric (since we bought our fabric without knowing how much we needed for our future fantasy quilt).

Kayes Scrap Squares Quilt
Kayes Scrap Squares Quilt

Quilt patterns that lend themselves to using up some of our stash are always welcome. They’re a great resource in the quilting world. If you’d like to keep a few steps ahead, these tips will tell you how to wrangle those pesky fabrics that end up in your stash, prepare them for use in future quilt patterns, and store them for whatever purpose they might just serve later.


Tip #1: CATCH YOUR SCRAPS…

While you’re sewing, keep a Ziploc bag handy to catch small pieces of fabric. Turn the bag inside-out to keep it from closing and tape it to your sewing machine or table for easy access. Instant organization while cutting down on the mess!

Tip #2: PLAN YOUR QUILTS…

Cutting leftover fabrics into usable pieces for quilts is a great way to prepare for success: a) make color copies of the quilts you plan to make, b) write the sizes of the pieces you need to cut on sticky notes and c) slip the quilt patterns into plastic sleeves. Keep a plastic storage container labeled with the name of your quilt near your cutting table and slip fabric pieces in as you acquire them.

All Together Now Quilt
All Together Now Quilt
Tip #3: STORAGE IS KEY…

Use a clear container for storing small fabric pieces such as an empty plastic pretzel bin or a large mason jar. Being able to see your stash makes it easy to find what you’re looking for when it comes time to add to your quilt project or to paper-piece.

Tip #4: SCRAPPY BINDING…

Scrappy quilt patterns are great for cutting down on wasted fabric, even binding has a place in this process. Save your leftover lengths of binding and join them to make their own binding montage. Even the smallest bit of fabric works for this technique. It also doubles as a time-saver and the binding looks great!

Kid Potential Quilt
Kid Potential Quilt
Tip #5: HOLIDAY GIFT IDEA…

Use leftover fabric pieces from projects to make 6″ quilt blocks that you can join into a pillow to fill with potpourri, cinnamon sticks or lavender for quick sachets. They make great gifts or gift enclosures. GREAT IDEA: gift these for the holidays!

Log Cabin Leaves Pillows

Tip #6: PREPARE TO REPAIR…

Put a completed quilt’s scraps and photo into a plastic sleeve protector or large Ziploc bag. If the quilt needs repairing at some point, you can reference the fabrics used and refer to the photo of the quilt in its original state. This will make the repair process so much easier!

Tip #7: STUFFING…

Use tiny pieces of fabric to stuff toys or pillows. No leftover fabric need be wasted! Even the tiniest stash has a purpose.


Whew! There’s so much that can be done with fabric scraps and scrap quilt patterns. I love the idea of making a small quilt project like a sewing machine cover, eyeglass case or sachet when you’re done with a quilt. What a great way to save money, save on waste and create more projects related to a special quilt that used the same fabrics. Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting Scrap QuiltsScrap Quilts magazine, and Easy Quilts Scrap Quilts have a ton of ideas on what to do with those leftover fabric pieces.

Scrappy Stars Quilt
Scrappy Stars Quilt

What do you do with your fabric scraps? Share your stories (and photos, if you have them) in the comments!

Carrie Sisk, Online Editor, Fons & Porter
Happy Quilting!

Carrie Sisk, Fons & Porter Online Editor

 

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Carrie Sisk

About Carrie Sisk

Carrie's first sewing machine was a gift from her dad—a better gift was never given. A crafter, trained pianist and experienced paintballer, when the opportunity arises, she's hiking in Yosemite or Rocky Mountain National Park.

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