Hello and happy Friday! I hope your week has gone well and that your weekend is off to a terrific start. I ended up doing some cleaning and sorting in the sewing room that really wasn’t on my schedule. Chelsi and I decided to get some new photos taken and in the end decided to do the photo shoot in my sewing room. So…we took a lot of things out for the pictures so we could rearrange as needed. While I was putting the room back together I took the opportunity to sort and trim some scraps. Thus…today’s post topic: quilt projects from scraps!
How to Create Quilt Projects from Scraps
Most of us have plenty of scraps (although as a new quilter it took me several years to collect enough scraps so that I could make larger projects with them). We just often need to put a little extra effort into making sure we can use them in projects we love. Today’s Post has tips for helping to be able to use those scraps we take the time to save. (Be sure to refer to last Friday’s post which also has ideas on this topic).
1. Decide on a Scrap Storage System.
First, you’ll need to have a system in place for storing your scraps so they can be accessed and used. I used to keep a box of scrap fabrics on a high shelf in my sewing room fabrics. And I never wanted to take the time to pull that box down. So those fabrics were unused for several years until I pulled them down and sorted them into bins by category and color. Here are some ideas for a scrap storage system:
- Keep the majority of your scraps sorted by size. Pre-cuts make projects fast and easy because a lot of the cutting is already done for you. Cut up scraps into pre-cut pieces to make it easier to use them. You can have a 5″ square bin, a 2.5″ square bin, a 2.5″ strip bin…and more.
- Some scraps are best sorted by category. I store patriotic scraps, Christmas scraps, and other holiday scraps this way. When I want to make a small holiday project, I can just pull a bin out for that holiday and get to work.
2. Have a System in Place for Sorting Scraps into Storage.
I have a large bucket where I put any scraps I don’t have time to deal with when I’m sewing. Then, when that bucket is full (it’s about 12″ high), I know it’s time to deal with those scraps. Some of them I end up deciding to donate, but others are cut up into useable pieces for future projects.
3. Store Usable Batting Scraps and Donate the Rest.
Batting scraps can take over your sewing room if you’re not careful. I keep large pieces with their measurements attached so they are easy to use for future projects (scroll down to the bottom of this post to see my system for this). I also keep pieces that will work for mini quilts. If you like to make jelly roll rugs (see mine here), you might even want to cut 2.5″ strips of batting and store them for future projects. But make sure and donate the pieces you know you won’t use in the future, because batting takes up a lot of space.
4. Try to Keep and Up-to-Date Inventory of your Scraps.
I know this one is hard, but even some notes in a loose-leaf notebook, or a list on your phone can really help. Just make note of the types of scraps you have on hand…and perhaps even the types that you need more of. This will help you from over-buying certain types of fabrics, and it can help you as you’re cutting left-over fabrics into usable pieces. You’ll know, for instance, that you especially need 2.5″ strips so you can make a scrappy trip around the world.
5. Look for Scrap Project Ideas and Keep a “Bucket List” for Future Projects.
I’m constantly finding fun scrap project ideas…thinking what a great project something would make for my scrap bin…and then promptly forgetting about it because I didn’t write it down. So now I keep a section in my notebook specifically for scrap quilt ideas. It’s really been helping, and now I have a definite scrappy project to do list!
I hope some of these ideas are helpful. I plan on doing a series of posts this summer with more specific ideas for quilt projects from scraps by pre-cut category. So if you start getting those scraps organized now, I’ll have lots of ideas soon for your scrappy bucket lists!
Happy quilting, and thanks so much for stopping by!