Why I Love Scraps! by Deanne Eisenman

I love scraps because …. I always have a lot of them! I don’t think many quilters are actually without scraps. When I cut out a project, I usually end up with the side of my cutting table looking like this:

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 Quite a mess! I can put these to good use. Here is what I do when I am left with a piece of fabric that is smaller than 1/8 of a yard. I cut strips! Either 2 1/2″ or 1 1/2″ strips. I store them in bags, usually separated by light and dark colors and tans. Here’s one of my bags:


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 And with strips, there are endless possibilities! You can make my favorite block, the Log Cabin …


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… Or you can use the strips to add a scrappy pieced border to a quilt!

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Another great use for leftovers is to use them for a scrappy binding!

If it does not work to cut a leftover piece of fabric into strips, I separate those pieces by color and put them into bins to use in appliqué projects. Instead of having to cut into a larger piece of fabric for a small flower, I just dig into my appliqué bin of the appropriate color!

Here’s some of those bins:

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Another way I put scraps to use is to use them to make test blocks. I make these when I am trying out color ideas for a block. Instead of cutting into “fresh” fabric, I dig through my scraps for colors I want to audition and make the block. I can even make two or three different variations. Once I have chosen the color combo I want, I can purchase the fabric and make the quilt with no worries.

When you are done with the test blocks, you can add a few scrappy borders to it and have an instant mini quilt! They make great gifts! 

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So do you want to try a scrap quilt and are not sure how to get started? Try a “planned” scrap quilt. Take a quilt pattern for a quilt made with one block make each block separately using different colors (but still coordinating). Another way to get scrappier is to do it while buying fabric. If a pattern calls for 1 yard of blue, consider buying 4 fat quarters in different blues or other colors in that color family. Do the same for the other colors in the pattern. You’ve instantly made it scrappier!

The key to enjoying scrap quilting is to let go and have fun! Buy smaller cuts of fabric in many colors from your local quilt shop instead of larger cuts of just one color. Once you build up a stash, it’s fun to go “shopping”  there and experiment.

Happy Quilting!

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2 Responses to Why I Love Scraps! by Deanne Eisenman

  1. Your suggestions for scraps are great, I pretty much sew with scraps and find myself totally bamboozled if I have anything bigger than a fat quarter hahahahaah

  2. Cindy Beaudean says:

    I save my small,thinner scraps for rugs and baskets when I can’t fit them into a quilt…

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