Sort your Scraps

We’re pretty confident that every quilter, dressmaker and textile artist has a stash of fabric. Some more out of control than others! A painter can mix a multitude of colours from a few basic hues, but as quilters we need those colours as fabrics. Our frugal nature means it’s hard to throw even the smallest scrap of lovely fabric away. So what to do?


Sort your fabrics in a way that is useful to you. For us, this system works pretty well, most of the time:

Sort out the largest pieces, larger than fat quarters and fold them. If you have quite a few, then you could arrange by colour or fabric type.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFat quarters are the staple of many quilters’ stashes. Fold them neatly and organise them by colour, theme or pattern. Neatly folded fat quarters can look lovely stacked on shelves, in baskets or in drawers. Be aware though, that light can quickly fade some fabrics and so while they might look fab out on display, keep them out of direct light to avoid faded strips on the edge of the fold.


Do you really mean business? Right get out the rotary cutter. Odd shaped scraps can be made more purposeful by cutting them down to set sizes.


Inch and a half strips.

So useful in piecing, perfect for Log Cabin, Railfence and many other strip piecing blocks. We also use inch and a half strips (straight of grain) to bind our quilts. We rotary cut off-cuts of fabric into strips and stash them in boxes, ready at a moment’s notice for the next project.


Common sized squares.

Think about the quilts you make. Are there common sizes of square that you often use? Maybe 6″ squares, or 3″ or 2? Linda frequently uses pieced backgrounds from squares of scraps in her quilts, like in To The Brim which you can see a detail of above. It’s a great way to make a painterly background and bust that stash.

Tiny bits? Yes, we know, you can do confetti appliqué, but if you’ve got bits that are too small for any English paper piecing, or bonded appliqué project that you’re likely to do, throw them away! Life is too short!

We’ll be back soon with more tips to get you ready to be creative in 2017.

Bye for now,