Wednesday, November 16, 2011


I'm cleaning up my sewing room today, and thinking about scraps.  It's amazing how that word means different things to different quilters.  I once took a class with a gal who was throwing out strips 4 and 5 inches wide by WOF.  I was shocked, and quickly grabbed them.  To me a throwaway is something pretty tiny!

This is what my trash looks like generally.  These are small waste baskets and the throwaways are very itty-bitty.

Anything too small to bother refolding goes into my scrap basket which lives right next to my sewing machine. These pieces are maybe 1" by 2" at the smallest -- anything I might make a crumb block with, or use to try out a stitch, etc.  -- anything that might be just perfect for an applique piece.  You never know.

I also keep my selvages.  I usually cut them 1.5".  Here's my basket of those.

And then there's my shoe box full of left over strips -- you know, those narrow strips left over from squaring up fabrics.  I use them as ribbons on gifts.  Or to tie FQs together for a gift.  They come in very handy.

I'm just curious, what to you consider too big to throw out -- too precious, because, after all, you paid the same price per square inch for the scraps as you did for the big fabric cuts?

I know applique enthusiasts save tinier pieces than most gals.  You just never know when what will be the perfect piece!

Maybe I should start a TV show on fabric scrap hoarders!  I bet I could find lots of sewing rooms to film my episodes!  In fact I know quite a few already, LOL!

Click on over to Esther's blog to see what gals all over the world are working on.


Rhonda at Cobblestone Quilting said...

I save all but the tiniest of pieces. I usually do not save selvages, but lately I have seen some lovely things made with them. I have actually had kind of a brainstorm about selvages and small scraps.... Have you seen the clear glass ornaments that folks stuff with confetti, etc? Don't you think a fellow quilter would love an ornament filled with fabric scraps? I know I would. I have never thought about tying packages with strips, but that is a wonderful idea. I usually don't keep my scraps around very long. When I get enough for a potholder I go ahead and piece them together and then quilt anywhere from a 6" to 12" potholder. They make great gifts and also just to protect the table or countertop from a warm dish. I love seeing all your ideas!

wackywoman said...

My scraps or sort of like my leftovers in my fridge. They get saved for so long and then end up in the trash if not used by some point. Except for selvages. Those I do use. I love using them for all sorts of things. Lately, for healing heart blocks.

Rosa Robichaud said...


Stop right there!!!

Bonnie Hunter's starting up a new Mystery Quilt and I'm joining in!

First time EVER for me to do a MQ!!!


Come and play with me, Pat!!!! *grin*

*with the devilish twinkle in her eye*

MooseStash Quilting said...

Whatever you decide, you might want to throw it out before you see a post I am about to do, with with dog ear scraps. Now that is crazy I know, but like you, at the price of fabrics, why not?? :-)

Elaine said...

Oh yes, I know. I save the smallest of scraps because I know I'm going to use them someday on an applique. My daughters are seamstresses and throw away large scraps. I go through their garbage and take out what I like. Oh well.

Cyn ;-) said...

What a fun post! I love visiting your blog, Pat.
I save everything! lol. I have so many scraps and tiny bits that as you drive down my street, my house is easily identifiable... it's the one with the 'bulging' sides!
I love to make crumb blocks although i haven't made any lately. My poor hungry waste baskets only see thread snippets and slivers of fabric. I will even save those now, thanks to you, to tie packages! Grand idea. Thank you.
Happy Turkey Day!

Esther said...

Oh no I think I need to lie down.

My sewing room seems to always be in a state of disorder, I am forever trying to tidy it up.

Which brings me to fabrics. Like you I have a pile beneath my machine of pieces I cant do away with. My family think I'm hoarding but its beautiful fabric and it might come in useful...for something. I will have to make a huge quilt of tiny postage stamp sized blocks to justify the growing pile.

I also love my selvedges, I keep all of them for colour matching ideas, I think they are a great tool.

Wendy said...

Hi Pat!
Must admit my scraps are getting smaller now I am doing some appliqué - but still not convinced about selvedges - I suppose I could use them to tie the roses back ;-)

Michelle said...

Most days, I won't throw away anything that's possibly big enough to use (about an inch wide)

Four or five inches by WOF? How could anyone throw THAT away?