Monday, May 19, 2014

Fabric Scrap Organization

I Love Scrappy Quilts.

Let me repeat, I LOVE Scrappy Quilts.

Yet, I actually don't make a lot of them; which is sad considering how much I adore them. When I ventured back into quilting years ago, the process of saving scraps was a mystery to me. I knew that quilters must save them; but how and where they kept these fabric treasures seemed to be a secret.

Out of sight, out of mind.

A plastic tub was my solution and soon enough I had one filled with scraps of every size, shape and color.  The up-side is that I was finally saving scraps, the down-side is that I would forget that I had them and end up cutting into my stash anyway.

While strolling through Pinterest many moons ago, I saw lovely glass jars filled with scraps, sorted by color of course. While buying new jars was not in my budget, buying pickles [Yum!] from the grocer was in my budget and some months later, my Sister and I had devoured about eight whole jars.

These jars have been filled many times over and the scraps used for lots of small projects like zipper pouches, scrappy pillows, etc.

How Small Is Too Small?

I went through my scraps recently and found that there were quite a lot of scraps that I had never used, most due to their tiny size. They always languished at the bottom of the jar; so I decided once and for all to just throw them out, because let's be honest...they were taking up real estate.

During my sorting, I also realized that the smallest thing I should likely hold onto was a string about 3" wide or a rectangular/square-ish scrap about 2" x 4", anything smaller I would completely gloss over.  I also decided that anything in my fabric stash that was about half the size of a Fat Eighth needed to be moved into my scrap bin.  This way they wouldn't get lost among the larger cuts in my stash.

Oh, and don't even get me started on selvages, I just started collecting those a few years ago and still cringe when I think of all of them that I hastily threw out before then.

So, tell you save you scraps?  How small is too small for you?  How do you keep them organized?



  1. Right now I've got zip lock baggies but I love your jars! I don't go through pickles but I've been saving coffee cans so I might start using these. Too bad they aren't see through! Thanks for the idea.

  2. Your scrap jars make for a lovely visual! I keep my scraps in labeled shoebox sized plastic containers. I typically keep anything larger than a 2x3 piece. Those scraps have come in handy many times. Sorting them by color is especially helpful.

  3. Since I use lots of squares for leader/ender projects, the smallest pieces I save are 2"x2" squares. I also cut 2.5" squares as well as strips 1.5", 2", and 2.5" mainly. I try to keep everything laying flat in plastic bins by size as I hate to have to iron when I need to use something from the containers.

  4. My scraps are all in fabric drawers of different colors. The drawers go into a shelf/cabinet thing I made out of mdf and the top of that serves at my cutting surface. I don't keep tiny scraps either. The smallest have to be at least 2x2 or 1.5x4 strips. I do not collect selvedges, though. Perhaps I shall just give them to you. :-)


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