Fabric Scraps Obsession, Studio

Oh Scrap!

Recently a couple of my blogging buddies, Mary at Zippy Quilts and Claire at knitNkwilt posted about starting projects from their fabric scrap piles and “fabric scrap wrangling” (organizing a crafter’s crazy scrap pile).

As fabric scraps are my secret (well..not so secret) obsession, I want to join the conversation!

Last time I posted about my fabric scrap organization, I shared this photo of my fabric scraps organized in windowed boxes by color:

Fabric scraps organized by color

Well this organization failed. Why? Because I was not using the scraps, I was just enjoying them as “decoration” in my studio!

I knew I needed to do something and rethought how I was create with scraps I realized it was too cumbersome to pull down individual boxes by color to access scraps (my studio is small and I could only pull down 1-2 boxes at a time without serious crowding!). So I did something crazy: I pulled all the scraps out of the boxes and put them into a bag:


Yes it is a giant bag! It measures 22″ in height and approximately 22″ in diameter…and it is packed (but not too tightly…just fairly tightly, ha!). I’ve named it “Giant-Bag-O-Scraps” and I love it!

In addition to moving the fabric scraps out of their boxes by color, I also thinned out my collection of “Challenge Bags” (see post Basket of Challenges) and moved many of the scraps from these bags into theย Giant-Bag-O-Scraps. I narrowed by huge “Challenge Bag” collection down to this:


Note the random “tailor ham” in this area, hoping someday to be used to make a fabric cap…

I did keep one type of fabric scraps separate from the others – batik scraps. They have their own organization into three baskets under my cutting table: 1) light and medium-light colors; 2) medium-dark to dark colors; and 3) thin strips:

Note the red arrow – this is Mike the miniature schnauzer’s ball storage in my studio

The reason for this separation is I want to make some landscape quilts using batik strips. I recently bought a book on Landscape quilts that I will discuss in a future post (once I start an actual landscape quilt project).

During this entire “scrap wrangling” project I did pull out a lot of scraps to donate to our local Humane Society Thrift Store. The thrift store has a crafting section and packages of fabric scraps sell very quickly there (other weird people like me who are also obsessed I guess..). Check out my post from October 2016 – A “Humane” Way to Eliminate Fabric Scrapsย to see how I packed up a huge donation of fabric scraps during my purging in 2016. The packages of scraps shown in that post sold within a week at the thrift shop!

Although I am not seeking out any additional fabric scraps, currently I am embracing my fabric scrap obsession. I remind myself that my quilting studio area is “my playroom” and it is okay to go in there and just play with my scraps!


Happy MLK Day! When the political landscape feels challenging to me as a person of color and as a woman, I remember his words and I am re-inspired:



22 thoughts on “Oh Scrap!”

  1. I am amused by my sorting into color bunches (well just the crumbs) and you reversing that! I can see your logic, for sure. I celebrated the day by joining the rally before the march for unity and freedom on Martin Luther King Jr Day, a children’s march. The children have been making signs for the last couple of Saturdays plus there was a table set up for them to make some yet today. Lots of people gathered for the 1.5 mile walk. (I start with the walks but I’m very slow; when they pass me by, I turn around and go home.)

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    1. What a wonderful way to celebrate the day! That is wonderful kids get involved.

      Oh yes I thought sorting scraps by color was everything and most brilliant but it did not work for me (except as a cool display, ha!). I guess my mind works better when I search through many colors together…


  2. Scraps… I have one drawer of them, as I’ve surely said before. Occasionally I sort them by color and stack them in the drawer that way, but then when I need scraps and go through them, they end up messed up. It’s like shuffling a deck of cards, really! But I don’t mind going through all of them now and then.

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    1. One drawer!?? I see you do not have my level of scrap-pathology – ha! I do think by color is a great idea but it did not work for me – I guess I need a random batch to look through ๐Ÿ™‚


      1. Yeah, I keep all my “yardage” by color, but the scraps don’t stay that way. (Yardage: pieces about 4″ x 10″ or bigger. Really I don’t have a rule for it. Scraps are little. Yardage is anything that is bigger than little. Or scraps are things I don’t want to put back with yardage. Or … you get the drift!)

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  3. Nice to see that the scraps have been centralized into one big bag of treasures! I can think of nothing better to start off the New Year than a little bit of work-room reorganizing! (there is a fabric shop near me that has a bin of ‘free scraps’, and I can spend an hour digging through it!). A belated happy MLK Day to you – thanks for sharing the inspiration. ๐Ÿ™‚

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    1. Oh that is a weakness of mine: when a quilt/fabric shop has one of those scrap bins – especially those that challenge me to fill a ziplock bag for a set price – I love a challenge and have mastered rolling up scraps really tight and packing them in! Free scraps sound even better…well more dangerous. Some places have scraps that are basically fat quarters and I feel like I am getting free fabric when I buy their bag it yourself scrap bags! Thanks for your comments, and oops I got to rambling about scraps again…

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  4. Haha! Good thinking to roll up the scraps to get the most out of the bag! I understand and share your scrap-love, and I love a good sale-challenge, too. Looking forward to seeing where the scraps might turn up in your projects this year! ๐Ÿ™‚

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