Using Your Scraps
Scraps. If you sew, you definitely have a box or many of these unusable pieces. The excessive waste of textiles in our country keeps me from ever throwing these pieces away, but the overflowing pile is certainly not my friend. In the name of sustainability, I am trying to more intentional with this pieces.
Scraps are a bit like dinner leftovers. In some ways it is nice to have a little bit of fabric or food leftover. However, the leftovers pieces sit stagnantly for much too long, and never seem to be used quite as often as I hope. Friday’s dinner is still in a tupperware on Wednesday and August’s scraps are now buried under six more months of scraps. (Sigh)
To break this terrible cycle, I’m taking the lead from my kitchen scraps to my fabric scraps. The key for me with leftovers is that they must be reinvented in a new and fresh way to garner excitement.
For example, when we make a roast and baked potatoes for dinner, we never eat it the same way the next day. The leftover meat is most likely smothered in hot sauce and wrapped up in a taco while the baked potatoes are thrown in a messy skillet of eggs, garlic and cheese for breakfast. Something new. I had to start applying this same idea to fabric, and that is how the Scrappy Lines Quilt pattern was born. The messy, overflowing bucket of beautiful color had to be put into something clean, simple and modern. The bright white background in my scrappy lines quilt helped pull together many pieces of chaos into something much more appealing to the eye.
The pattern for the scrappy lines quilt does require new fabric for the background which is essential to clean up the chaos. However, I did put a serious dent in my scrap pile by pulling out wonky piece after wonky piece to cut into a small strip. An added bonus of making this quilt was reminiscing on the original project the fabrics came from and being able to make new color palettes without much thought or intention.
Shop the Scrappy Lines Quilt pattern HERE.
Here a few other projects from scraps
This quilt started as just a box of scraps being cut into 1 inch strips. I was a couple hours into pressing, cutting and piecing before I discovered it should be a mountain. Much like the scrappy lines pattern, I had to add some plain fabric to clean up the look. This is one of the very first quilts I made which allowed me to follow no rules (I knew none) and just enjoy piecing.
Everybody loves a pouch. Their capabilities are endless, often holding makeup, art supplies, craft utensils, money, or medicine. Since pouches are such a small quilted piece, they allow for scraps to be used and also some fun exploration of improv quilting.
Kid Snuggle Pillows:
These are my children’s favorite item that come off the sewing machine. I keep all of my leftover batting I cut away from the edge of a quilt in a box. Every few months, my kids want to sew with me. We simple cut two small rectangles, sew up three sides and stuff it with leftover batting before we close the last side. My kids take them to bed to snuggle with each night and feel mighty accomplished having made something they love.
Maybe you are motivated to make your own Scrappy Lines quilt or venture into something new, but I would love to hear how you use your scraps and cut down on waste. Sewing can be so wasteful even when our intentions are to create less waste in the world. Let me know below some of your best ideas for your own scraps.