1. Give your scraps to a kid. And then let them do what they want with it. I have a bag of fabric scraps that I don't want for my own use--my kids know they can use what's in there as long as they don't fight over it. The other day my 10-year-old son asked me if he could make something from a small rectangle of denim fabric. At first I hesitated, then thought of asking him what he was going to do, and then I just told him, "yes." I haven't been the best at letting my kids be in charge of their own creative projects, but I'm working on it.
I hang on to batting scraps too, the ones left over from trimming the edges of a quilt after it's quilted. A few weeks ago my 12-year-old neighbor had me help her make a pillow out of an old sweatshirt with the sleeves cut off. We were able to almost fill it up with my batting scraps--I'm glad I didn't throw them away!
2. Weave potholders. We have a potholder loom from Jennifer at Craftsanity and she included instructions for weaving with strips of woven fabric. My son and I have made a few of these and they definitely use up larger scraps quickly. These potholders are also good for using up fabrics that you don't love any more as the print usually gets obscured when you weave the fabric strips.
3. Join an online bee. I've been participating in two online quilting bees this year--each month, one member sends fabric to the other group members, who then sew up quilt blocks to the specifications of the sender, and then mail them back. Obviously, you don't have to use scraps, but you can if you want! For one of my groups, I requested these scrappy square blocks (made partly from my scraps and partly from regular stash fabric):
For my other bee I divided all my strip scraps up and sent them to my friends to make string blocks. (I thought I took a picture of the stacks of strips before I mailed them, but I can't find it so I guess I didn't.) I can't wait to see what the blocks will look like!
If you want to know more about online quilting bees, including how to join one or start one, you can get lots of great information at QuiltingBeeBlocks.com.
4. Make a charity quilt. A couple years ago I was working on getting rid of some fabrics I was tired of and I made this quilt top:
I cut my fabrics 6.5" wide in one direction and 6.5" or smaller going the other way, depending on the size of the fabric. It was a quick little quilt top that ended up being quilted and donated by my church friends.
5. Make a scrap ball. It's a ball, made from fabric, and stuffed with your tiny, un-sewable scraps! I first read about this idea from the Future Craft Collective last summer on craftzine.com and I made a couple of these balls with my boys. It is a great way to have zero waste from your projects!
6. Make a ticker tape quilt. This is an adorable, quilt-as-you-go type quilt created by Amanda Jean from crazy mom quilts. It's a perfect project for tiny scraps. I still haven't made a proper ticker tape quilt but I hope to soon! Maybe a potholder or doll quilt to start.
That's it for me--I hope you'll try something new with your scraps in the next few weeks! I'd love to read your creative ideas for fabric scraps in the comments.
Thanks so much, Madame Samm, for inviting me to contribute to Stash Manicure! I can't wait to do it again!