During my time away from my studio, I learned a few things that I wanted to try.
I found this Youtube video, Scrap Projects by Robin. She uses an adding machine tape roll to make a strip of scraps. Using the strip of paper makes it easier to sew on strips of any size. The strips can be used in borders, an X-quilt, and other projects. Robin also has videos on how she uses her strips. I particularly like the video she has on making an X-quilt with these strips.
I had a bag of odd-shaped strips that somehow survived the time I purged my stash bins about a month ago. I had the bag ready to throw out, since I thought that nothing could be done with these small pieces.
I decided to give Robin’s tape roll technique a try. Instead of keeping the roll intact as she suggests, I cut off a yard of the roll. My scraps were not as organized as Robin had hers. Robin had a bin of pieces ready to sew on. Because of my messy bin, I kept having to start and stop. I also did not want to spend too much time on this today. Cutting off a yard of the roll made it easier for me.
I am happy with the results. I don’t think I am going to go back and try to sew the small pieces in this junk bag. My plan is to start setting pieces aside in a more organized manner as I cut fabric for new projects. I can add a few strips each time I work on another project. It might be nice to have a strip on hand ready to use for scrappy projects.

This is what the strip looked like before I trimmed the edges.
Trimmed Strip (1yd)     Close-up of Trimmed Strip

Now, here is my question.
When does one stop saving pieces of fabric?
After trimming off the edges of the strip, I was left with more smaller pieces.

Robin has some suggestions for using the remaining pieces. I have also seen other videos on how to use every bit of scrap.
There has to be a stopping point, right?
Should these all be donated or thrown away?
Or should they be kept to make another project?
I tend to get tired of using the same fabric more than a few times.
I know this is an individual choice, but I would love to hear opinions.

11 thoughts on “Scraps

  1. Well being a “scrapoholic” I am a bad person to give advice on what to do with scraps and where the cut off point is between wisely keeping for future projects and utter insanity 😉
    But I have tried to make myself throw out anything smaller than a 2.5 x 2.5 inch square and to donate any larger scraps of fabric that I do not care to use again. Our local thrift stores LOVE bags of fabric scraps and they sell very well. See this post I wrote a while back where I went through all my scraps and bagged them into coordinated scrap bags for my local humane society shelter thrift store – they sold out right away:

    1. I just bought scraps from a thrift store in Georgetown, Tx. Caring Place profits go directly to those in need. They do a beautiful job of displaying scraps. I like your idea of nothing smaller than 2.5 x 2.5. I’m at the “utter insane” level on the spectrum of saving fabric scraps. Thanks for your response.

      1. My sister in law shared with me a story of the time she took a paper piecing class and there were like “Paper Piecing Cultists” in the class – they dug through everyone’s class trash bins to take home the tiniest of scraps. That would be the true utter insanity 😉

  2. I almost always save my scraps. If I get tired of them I set them aside for a later project. Heidi Parkes, Rayna Gilman, and Susan Carlson have wonderful suggestions for using the tiniest of scraps. Happy sewing!

  3. I remember my grandmother wishing fabric scraps were like dough scraps that can be rolled together to make a larger piece.

  4. I’m with Tierney. I tend to throw out the smallest bits, but I’m a little conflicted even there. I’ve gotten comfortable with sewing small scraps into bigger scraps, when I’m making scrappy patchwork for a border or something. So far I mostly use bits of the same fabric when I do that, but in truth there’s usually not a good reason not to combine similars if I just need a patch of a particular color. Thanks for the post. It’s good to review why we do these things sometimes, isn’t it? 🙂

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