Playing With Scraps

I am terrible at organizing my fabric stash. I am even worse at scrap management. I wish everything was organized by color, but for now it’s just shelved where it fits.


I recently sorted some of my scraps by color and cut them into strips. But so many strips are a little too small to make log cabin blocks or string blocks.

Maybe those small pieces should end up in my snippets bin. But then what?

I also realized I don’t have many light value prints in my stash.

So I find playing with scraps frustrating.

I have even considered chopping up some of my stash just so I have a better scrap pile!

I do have a separate bin where I keep my Sis Boom fabric scraps, which inspires me so much more than my other piles!

And yes, I have another couple bins where I keep my Anna Maria Horner fabric scraps but I have another post planned for that.

Besides a Ticker Tape Quilt, I have been looking for ideas on using small scraps, and guess where I ended up? at this amazing post by Amanda Jean, of course! I’m thinking maybe I should start out with some mug rugs that I could use for gifts. And then some scrappy notecards like these and this one. What do you make with your scraps, especially smaller pieces?

I think I might make some storage cubes to sort my scraps better. How do you organize your scraps, especially smaller pieces?

14 comments

  • my hubs is going to make me some shelves for my fabric stash. all of mine are stuffed in drawers right now and it’s terrible to go through and find what i want. such a mess!

  • Well, I haven’t made much with scraps yet. If a piece of fabric is too small to fold a couple of times to go on the shelf, it goes in a clear container with like colors. I don’t sort out the tiny ones.
    That wasn’t much help, was it? 😛

  • I am NOT so good with scraps. I have ONE big bin where they all reside. Actually that isn’t true. Scraps for a project in progress stay with the project (which means WIP’s have their own scraps the entire duration of their life…keeping me from using their scrappy goodness in other things). I keep telling myself I need to do something with them but I don’t know what to do. I have so many other large scale things I want to do that I forget about my scraps. Hmm, not what you were going for, was it?

  • Ugh. Scraps are such a pain! I hate throwing them out, but keeping them means so much extra storage. And the funny thing is that when I go through my scraps for a project, I feel like I can never find enough of the sizes or colors I need. Yet at the same time I feel I have too many scraps!

    I have them sorted by color in ziploc bags and then thrown in a bin. The bags came in when I discovered my scrap bin infested with silverfish (which eat fabric!). The whole thing was cleared out and then the fabric put in bags. Not ideal, but no bugs!

    I try not to keep anything less than 3/4″ wide, because I figure with 1/4″ seam allowances only 1/4″ is left to show, and that’s a minimum. I know there are ways to use smaller pieces, but I have to draw the line somewhere otherwise it gets out of control. And I never keep selvages. And batting scraps have to be at least 4″ wide and long. That’s enough for a coaster, so worth keeping (I think!).

    I was talking to a customer at the shop a while back and said, “Oh, you might even have enough scraps of something at home for that project.” And she said, “Oh, I don’t have any scraps. I can’t stand keeping things, so at the end of every project I get rid of anything that’s left over.” !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂

  • you could always send them to me, that would take care of it 😉 wink.
    seriously, i have NO idea how to manage scraps either.
    they are everywhere. i hve bins i just keep them in.
    maybe just arranging lights, darks, or by color? who knows.
    i like the grab n go method of making a quilt anyways~change it up. make it fun. no pattern, just go! easy peasy

  • Yup I’ve read Amanda Jean’s post about her scraps and I like the idea of saving scraps too! But I am not up to the out put that she has! lol so my scraps are a lot less hahaha. The itty bitty pieces I have started saving in a cardboard container to be used as pet bedding. You know how your dog’s pillow get smelly and you wash the casing but the filling still is not pleasant :0) I’m saving these to be used there. Can’t take credit for the idea though, a mentor of my daughter’s made the suggestion to her. The strips that are more that three inches or so have been rolled up like the jellyrolls and stuck into a basket :0) my daughter again lol. Which is nice but doesn’t stay that way when you start looking for something. So I gotta say I’m interested in reading others responses.

  • Awww Man! Your scrap piles are bigger than my stash piles haha :0)

    I have a jiffy bag with my scraps in and I love them. I use them to make little pieced bindings, little ticker tape borders, I like using them on paper craft projects and in art journals for backgrounds, and just think of all the raw edge appliqué you could do! All of the cute shapes you can get out of a tiny piece of scrap.

    Organising them! Well, I don’t have that problem but the few I do have I don’t organise at all, I sometimes leave it to chance – like a lucky dip and stick my hand in to see what comes out, or I have fun going through them to see forgotten pieces and remembering which project they were from.

  • Hello Terri!
    This is very interesting post! How nice to read what everyone does with the scraps…but to throw them away…iiiiiikkk! I save so tiny scraps that you couldn’t believe…but just that tine piece of that colour may be needed for something.
    I love all your fabrics, tiny and big scraps…I could show my boxes but they are boring…I use also those ‘open office boxes’ where we can keep papers A4 and keep them one over the other one. And choosing trasparent I can see what there is.
    My latest work with really really tiny scraps was ‘Nero’s Garden’ quilt. If someone doesn’t have anymore space for scraps, they are always welcome to fly to Crete!
    Sunny wishes!

  • oh i’m even worse than you. all my scraps go into one bin. i don’t sort by colours or collections, it’s not like i have that much scraps anyway… what i did try once wa sorting by shape (i know, i’m crazy) but what i mean is if it was cut in a completely crazy way it would go to one pile and if it was more square/rectangular than it would go into another pile, but both inside the same bin and divided by a piece of card. as you can imagine… it didn’t last… hehehe

  • I have read so many good hints on scrap management. I have probably tried most of them at one point or another. I just can’t stay focused…I might try sorting by color again.

  • I enjoyed reading the previous comments…in fact, this is my second time here just so I could read more ideas. I’m great with bigger scraps, but like most everyone else, it’s the smallest ones that give me the most trouble. I finally started a 2 1/2″ square box, although they’re not separed by color. It’s really been helpful to have those squares all together…

  • Loving the book. All of the quilts are so fresh and beautiful. Thanks for the giveaway.

  • You’ve got some great scraps! sure make your projects super cute!

  • Pingback: Making Fabric « Terri’s Notebook

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