Tuesday, November 9, 2010

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, SCRAP uses!

Hi everyone! I'm Vicki from Sew Inspired and I'm excited to be posting on Stash Manicure today! I like to save all my fabric scraps that are big enough to hold a seam allowance and I have a few ideas for using them up. Here goes:

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.
woven potholder

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):

blocks received so far
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:
pink and purple 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!


  1. I use the smallest scraps for making post cards and cards. I love tiny - especially tiny flying geese, which use a lot of those itty triangles. When a little too overwhelmed - they get sewn up in an old pillowcase and donated to the animal shelter for a pet bed.

  2. I love all those scrappy ideas and projects.

  3. I love scraps too. I keep even the tiniest scraps. You just never know when you will need it. I may have to try some of the ideas you have shared. Love you post. Hugs Ariane

  4. Great ideas! Going to go check out that ticker tape quilt idea!!!

  5. What fabulous ideas. Thank you for sharing. I'm a primary school teacher and bring my scraps to school for the kids for either free form crafting before school, as part of a structured art, language art or maths activity. They've been sorting them according to patterns they can find in the shapes, size, print etc this week as part of maths....and having a ball.

  6. Ohh, Wouldn't those balls look good on a Christmas Tree!

    Great Ideas!

  7. love your photos, and those balls I can see myself making those. great ideas sew glad you posted before I threw out some scraps that I had no idea what to with. Wonderful tips.

  8. Good Morning Vicki...there are six more reasons why I like you....I will never throw out any stash ever ever again... What a great post and your suggestions I have never heard of..sticker tape, fabric balls...wow...I will certainly have to examine my scraps more closely...what about threads??? lol you know scrap ones...and I am not serious, or am I lol

  9. Yeah...more justification for me saving EVERY, LITTLE, TINY SCRAP (like I really needed more!). I love the balls and the Ticker Tape quilt!

    In stitches,
    Teresa :o)

  10. Hola such goods idea never knew bout fabric circles. I like coming here to get me new ways of sewing .

  11. Yay, Vicki!! Great post. That scrap ball idea is the best. ~kaholly

  12. For the scraps that are too tiny or shredded for any of the above my guild collects to stuff pillows for the puppies at the pound...

  13. I love the scrappy blocks~I have a good idea now for my scraps! love scrappy best.

  14. I love making scrap balls, they look great in wire baskets and i can change the colors for the seasons.


  15. My scraps are overtaking my stash... great ideas!

  16. Great post! It's wonderful that you are sharing the scrappy love with kids!

  17. Great scrappy ideas! I love playing with scraps.

  18. Great ideas! We just had a group tearing up of old sheets for crocheting into rugs; I may do a similar thing for my daughter to enjoy weaving placemats or rugs on her yard-sale loom. Thanks for sharing!

  19. Great post, Vicki! Hi my name is Andie and I'm a string block addict. (That's the first step right?) How can you not love a block that uses your scraps and looks amazing?

  20. Thanks everyone for your kind comments!

  21. Hi Vicki, I love your use of scraps. Those balls remind me of tamari balls the Japanese style and design, LOVE THOSE!!!

    Your ticker tape quilt is something that is so perfect for a new little one...
    Thanks so much for sharing!!

  22. Hey thanks for the shout out to QuiltingBeeBlocks! :] Such a great surprise to find us linked up here -- LOVE your blog!!

  23. Hi Vicki! Nice ideas. I just let my 5 year old play in scraps this past weekend. A mini art quilt was whipped up in about 2 hours (including grid quilting on the machine!!). Mama's SO proud! =)

    Happy Quilting,

  24. GREAT idea! I bet you could also use your dryer lint to stuff the ball...it's great for pincushions, too!



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