Fabric Scraps Obsession, Missouri Star Quilt Retreat, Quilt Retreats, Quilt Shop Tours, tierneytravels

MSQC Quilt Retreat Part IV: Greatest Fabric Scrap Sale of All Time

This post continues my series of posts on my trip to Quilt Town, USA to attend a Missouri Star Quilt Company (also known as “MSQC”) quilt retreat with my long time quilting friends. The previous three previous posts in the series are:

MSQC Quilt Retreat Part I: What I Worked On

MSQC Quilt Retreat Part II: Quilt Town, USA 

MSQC Retreat Part III: Inside the Shops

First of all, do not judge. I have a fetish for fabric scraps – ha! Okay that sounds a wee bit weird, but I would rather make things from fabric scraps than cut into yardage. I only buy fabric by the yard when I absolutely have to or the fabric is so amazing I cannot leave it in the shop (and it looks at me with puppy eyes saying “Tierney take me home…”).

So when I heard that while I was at the MSQC week long retreat there was a “Scrap Bag Sale” at the Penny’s Quilt Shop I shivered with excitement.

This not my first rodeo as they say, I’ve been to lots of fabric scrap sales where you fill a bag for a specific price, with as much fabric scraps as you can fit in (and yeah, I am ALWAYS up to the challenge to see how much I can fit in the bag they provide without it breaking).

But, I’ve NEVER been to a “scrap bag” sale where 1 yard, 2 yard, and even 3 yard pieces are considered scraps!!! Yes there were a couple pieces here and there that you might call “scraps” – like quarter and half yard pieces, but most of what was in their bins were larger pieces that I definitely would not classify as “scraps”.

What I heard from another quilter during the feeding frenzy (photo below) was that Missouri Star will pull pieces off the bolt that are 3 yards or less and put them away for the scrap sale.

Oh my.

What you are about to see was what could be considered a “super spreader event” as no one was wearing masks, but luckily the pandemic is tapering down in my part of the world.


And yes I was right in the middle of it. I stepped out to take photos.

Actually everyone was so patient, thoughtful and kind. It was the nicest frenzy you could imagine. Quilters would yell out what they were looking for and we would pull for them and toss to them what they were looking for. I got so much Kaffe Fassett fabric this way from the bins.

Also people would take a break from being in the bins and make way for other quilters waiting in queue. Actually you had to take a break for a while as it was sort of exhausting sifting through all those yard pieces of fabric and a bit claustrophobic.

You also needed a break to stuff your bag!

Besides finding AMAZING top quality quilting fabric (of like every fabric line you could imagine) one of the most fun parts of the whole experience was laughing with everyone there as you tried to stuff your bag as full as possible.

Here were the early stages of packing bags with “scraps”:

Notice how no fabric is reaching over the top of the bags.

Here is my pile of bags starting to grow (I did stop at 4 but later got one more) as I left them among the pile of coats (it was getting warm from all those people foraging through all those bins of fabric):

Then we heard that the shop did not really care how full you got the bag as long as all fabric was “touching” the inside of the bag. So things got creative…

Here are a series of photos on my quilting friends and I engaging in “creative scrap bag stuffing“:

We were laughing so hard! It got to be a real game of “what else can we fit in there?

Here are a couple of my long time quilting friends and I resting after our scrap foraging. We were exhausted but happy! (Note, not all our group attended the scrap sale, some were back at the Retreat Center being productive working on their projects!)

And here I am with another expression of “pure joy” like in the previous post (and note it was not just because of the amazing deals but that I was hanging out with friends, lol):

When we returned to the Retreat Center, Jessica, one of the Retreat Coordinators, challenged us to see how much yardage we had inside one of our bags.

One person had 27 yards of fabric inside ONE of their scraps bag. Yes that was 27 yards of fabric for $10.95! Most people had between 20 and 26 yards of fabric packed into ONE scrap bag.

One of the attendees actually ironed and folded her finds (show off, ha!):

I did not. I took all my scraps from the sale to the Main Shop for packaging up to send home to me! As I mentioned in the first post in this series (I think), MSQC will ship whatever you bought or worked on for FREE to you if you are attending a retreat so you don’t have to figure out how to get it home. (Yes they are encouraging attendees to shop to their heart’s content).

So, a couple days after I returned home from the retreat I received two boxes in the mail:

And here are the “scraps” I got from the sale:

I won’t tell you the total amount of fabric, because I did not even count the yardage.

I just ironed the fabric and incorporated it into my stash…while giggling…

36 thoughts on “MSQC Quilt Retreat Part IV: Greatest Fabric Scrap Sale of All Time”

  1. Oh my… slightly jealous over here because the not on sale price of a meter of quilting cotton is 20 euros. 20 yards of fabric would cost me well over 300 euros!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. pur joy to fill the bags and then find out you can overfill them – right on – and sew on!
    I alos appreciate seeing the action photos because we could read about it just fine – but seeing everyone in action is sweetness – and love your joy smile

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Well I can relate because I used to go to an Amazon close out store and you fill a bag for 15$ (they are shut down now but it was fun for a little while) and I got pretty good at stuffing the bag! And got goodies for me and neighbors etc
        And so with the scraps here / the excitement comes because it is your craft and am I right that a certain group of fabrics can stir ideas and even direct a project?
        So this is not really consumerism in the retailer way / this is an artist’s delight –

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes – it “was” fun but they have been closed for a while now – and the guy might not buy the pallets anymore.
        You might want to check in your area (or check around at the places you visit) because sprinkled all across the US these folks buy amazon pallets and then sell the wares.

        There is a larger store across town called “Blue Streaks Liquidation”but I was grossed out with all the crap in the bins and all the stuff you have to sort. They have different prices on different days – and most of them do that – like $8.00 an item on fri and sat – then $5 Monday, $3 on Tues and $1 on Thursdays and then on Thursdays end of day – they have fill a bag – or blue streaks has 50 cent an item
        – I heard they have had days with larger bags for 20, but I don’t go all that often
        – anyhow, they have everything from clothes (yoga stuff and evening gowns – really) to electronics, massagers, couch covers, kayak covers, toys, shoes, cables, usb stuff, headphones – basically anything that amazon sells.
        anyhow, I wonder if the place shut down because of the gas rices and maybe there was an increase in truckers and the delivery of the pallets that made it not worth it – not sure.

        anyhow, I can relate with the fun it can be to stuff a bag! and I was a quilter the fill a bag would have been a BLAST

        Liked by 1 person

      3. yes- I bet lots os sellers get some wares this way. And the folks I have met along the way (because as you know it can be a social thing) well they are quite varied. For example, these two guys that I have seen a couple of times are HVAC workers and they stop by with their trucks – not sure what they are looking for but I saw them walk out (empty handed) on the fill a bag day because it was not their thing – they prefer to first couple of days

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  3. I’m thinking quilter’s paradise 🙂 That’s a lovely thing to ship those bags to attendees directly, very practical and nice gesture from them.


  4. Holy craziness – looks like you were up to the challenge. I’m amazed all that stuff sticking out of the bag counts as being part of your haul! HA! FunFunFun – but now that you’re back…WorkWorkWork, too?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. So much fun, and so jealous! Although I don’t “need” more fabric, I so love to get it. I have a thrift store nearby, and they have “fill a bag” for five dollars. I always go for the extra large mens shirts, and they make the best quilts, and lots of fabric in each one. I loved your joyous shopping. Also love your blog.


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