Saving scraps: when is it enough?

For someone who complains of not having enough time to sew, I sure seem to be able to accumulate scraps! Truth be told, I think that’s because I save everything. And I mean EVERYTHING. Quilting quality fabrics are hard to come by here, so I am always trying to find ways to economize.

At some point, however, all these scraps start taking over too much space, and it’s time to deal with them. Normally I through small scraps left over from rotary cutting projects into these small baskets at the top of my fabric shelves. Organized by color, I found this was a great way to set aside small scraps for paper piecing projects. But for some strange reason, after an initial mad love affair with paper piecing I suddenly developed an aversion to it. So there sat the baskets, filling up to the brim.

I then started making fabric collage (tutorials here and here). And this I have not gotten tired of. So over the weekend I decided to start using up some of those bits and put together this little piece. I think I’ll add some cording and perhaps some metallic thread to add some pizazz, I’m quite happy with it and think it will make a good base for a purse.

As if accumulating scraps of fabric were not enough, I have two little bowls sitting next to my sewing machine to catch threads and little snippets of fabric. Lately they’ve been filling up with little pieces of yarn from knitting projects. Now call me crazy, but I thought it would be fun to try and create some collage with all of this.

Faced with the question of how to hold it together, I turned once more to organza. And then free motion quilted it. Don’t know what I’m going to do with these two pieces, but I’m liking them!


Then, of course, there all those leftover little strips. Too narrow for blocks, but they can be sewn down like this and can then be used as the base for another project, like a pencil case.

After sewing this little piece I remembered I had a basket full of selvages, most of which have been collected from students who have discarded them in class. I had promised they would live to regret that, as even the smallest scrap can be reused.

So after a couple hours of sewing I now have these pieces. They will certainly be put to good use… and will be turned into several of my favorite cases.


All that work, and I still have scraps left over! It might very well take another couple of afternoons to deal with them all!

This entry was posted in Scrap busting. |Comments closed


  1. Posted October 27, 2011 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    i cut my scraps into usable pieces. 5 in square, 4 inch square, etc all the way down to 1.5 inch square. If it isn’t at least that big, then it goes into a special can, to be used later as stuffing for a pillow or animal bed.

  2. Posted October 29, 2011 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    I love your ideas Angie especially the one with the organza over all the little tiny scraps,I think I will use that idea one day ,I normaly just brush the tiny remnants that are to small to sew ,but from now on I will certainly save them and make something awsome and interesting with that method,I also save every bit of fabric because the same thing goes over here with fabric so I try to make the best of every little peice and I am forever making scrappy quilts ,enjoy your day. theodora

  3. Posted November 29, 2011 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Marvelous pieces from what people throw away. Thank you for the ideas of what to do with some of my mounting scrap heaps.