Friday, June 10, 2011

Scraps, Scraps & More Scraps!!!

From the moment we begin to quilt and cut into our first pieces of fabric, we create scraps.  From then on we make a decision to keep or pitch every scrap made.  That's a lot of decisions and a lot of scraps!  I grew up with the addage "waste not, want not" and I know that most of you did as well.  That, combined with a pure love of fabrics lead me to this:

Having all of these scraps isn't necessarily a bad thing.  I adore scrap quilts and have made more scrap quilts than select fabric quilts (for lack of a better term).  What became unbearable about this method of storage was when I needed to dive in and look for something, usually in a hurry, I made a big mess throwing the fabrics on the floor, and had to search for what I was looking for, which took more time that I wanted it to.  When we began the renovations to the house, moving and shifting things around in a big way, I decided it was time to do something about my scraps problem. 

Naturally, there are oodles of ways to sort and store your scraps.  Some quilters cut them into multiple sized strips and squares making them ready for projects calling for those sizes, but I don't do that because I feel I'm spending time on a possible project that may never happen.  I look for scraps according to color, so my solution was to organize by color. 

These stackable drawers provided the perfect solution for the space I had to work with.  They were inexpensive and roomy enough. 

Over many months, I sorted though every scrap.  They came out of the rumpled storage tubs and were pressed to save room in the drawers and would be ready to use when I needed them. 

So far, it's working well!  As I create new scraps, I only have to open the color drawer and file them away for future use.  It has taken a lot of time to go through all of those bins, but I feel a great sense of accomplishment having purged and organized.  Organization usually does that for me!  I'm weird, I know! 

Oh, but I'm not alone!  Check out this post from

In my next post, I'll talk about my love for scrap quilts and how I tackle making them.  I'd love to know how you handle your scraps?  What size scrap is too small to save? 

Hope you can make time to sew today!  Me too!


  1. Though time consuming, I bet it was fun to go through all of your scraps - they probably all have good memories that go along with them! Hmmm...what size scrap is too small to keep? Anything less than 1/2"!

  2. I try not to keep too many scraps because they just go into a void never to be seen again. I like the colour organization idea. I might actually use my scraps. Anything smaller than 1" is tossed.

  3. I used to save scraps in color coded bins, but after 20 years of never using more than one or two of fabric tastes changed...I donated them to a woman who makes dog beds for a local animal shelter. What a load of scraps off of my mind!

  4. Here in Australia where fabric is so much more expensive, very little fabric is wasted.
    As a Nearly Insaner where lots of little bits are used, I have to confess to saving anything over a 2 inch square. I do love scrap and I get really sad when I have used the last of a particular fabric and find myself wanting to replace it.
    Sure wish I was as organised as you Pam. Must confess I am surrounded in fabric like a big hug. It is sort of organised :-)

  5. I sort some scraps by size, but that is just for little cut off triangles and leftover squares....the really little stuff. The rest is sorted by color. I have a hard time throwing away anything over 1".

  6. I have a scrap basket that the scraps go into then I cut it up according to what I am working on at the time...
    I have bins of strips in the sizes I use most of the time.
    works for me.
    anything less then an 1 1/2" gets tossed.
    sometimes I package up my scrap basket and send it to a friend.
    always fun to see what they make with it.