Holy Scrap! What To Do With All Those Fabric Scraps!

Baby blanket using 'Hello Sunshine' fabric from Moda

There is nothing as tempting and seductive as a fresh, new fabric bundle.

It swirls, dips and waltzes into your world and before you can change the needle in your sewing machine it has set up residence in your sewing room – complete with a mailing address, landline phone, name plate, etc.

However, once the sewing or quilting project is complete the fabric that was once so alluring and beguiling seems out of place.  The fabric that remains no longer has an immediate purpose and the space it resides needs to be vacated for the next fabric tenet.

It hangs around making threats, “You’ll be sorry if you get rid of me”.  And then the promises, “I’ll be perfect for your next project”. Same song, different verse.

I will admit however, that the conundrum I find myself is partly (if not totally) my own fault. I buy fabric the same way I buy food. I’d rather have too much than not enough. Leftover food is rarely a problem in my house however, left over fabric is another story.

Unlike food, fabric scraps and remnants do not have an expiration date and can stored and tucked away, almost indefinitely, just about anywhere.

As I find myself at a crossroad of finishing this: (How do I not have an image of the finished quilt!!!)

Baby quilt for boy using 'Hello Sushine' fabric line from Moda

And this:

Baby quilt for girl using 'Hello Sunshine' fabric line from Moda

And wondering what to do next until the fabric for my next baby quilt arrives:

On The Go fabric line by Stacy lest Hsu

While the ever growing pile of fabric scraps in my sewing room closet keeps calling my name…

Answering the Call

Holy scrap, indeed!

With the multitudes of fabric scraps and remnants I have on hand, there has to be a quick and easy way to use up this fabric!

As I mentioned on my home page, My Quilting Space is more than quilts but I have to admit, this “more than quilts” direction took me quite a bit out of my comfort zone.

The inspiration came from two sources: The quilt pattern used in the quilts shown above and “Margie”, who you will meet below.

Using fabric scraps from previous quilting projects, let me introduce you to three of my scrap-busting friends:


Golden stuffed bear with blue bandana


Pink and white stuffed rabbit

And Peter:

Brown stuffed floppy eared rabbit with hooded jacket and coveralls

Lessons Learned.

These cute little guys are great teachers!

Aside from helping me use up my fabric stash, I learned so much. The high learning points are below:

1. My primary sewing machine (Janome 9450) is not the best for sewing together such small pieces of fabric into a dimensional object. The reason is one I previously listed as a “con” when I wrote a review on this machine a few months ago. It all has to do with the design of the needle/ thread channel/guide/lever and light housing – it’s just so bulky. And yes, I was aware of this when I bought the machine but having the retractable light was the trade off I was willing to make.

2. As much as I wanted use the same scraps of fabric from the accompanying quilts, the soon discovered the quilting cotton was just too stiff making it even ore difficult to work with in tight spaces. Softer fabrics – I used cotton flannel – work much better giving a softer, more rounded appearance to the small arms, legs and ears.

3. I discovered a superior product to the typical poly fill I have always used – Fairfield Fiber Poly Ultra Plush and the best price whether you buy as an individual package or in bulk is here.

Poly Fill Ultra Plush Poly Fill

4. Avoid setting a deadline and don’t be in a hurry. This is a slow process at first but with practice (I to what that is!) sewing these little critters gets quicker and easier.

5. On the subject of quicker and easier, making these little critters turned out to be the straw that needed to break and convince me to just go ahead…bite the bullet…and purchase a Cricut Maker.

I’ve been eyeing this Cricut Maker3 for some time now.

Cricut Maker3

Stay tuned…after I’ve made this purchase and spent some time with it, I’ll be posting a full review!

On A Bunny Roll

The stuffed bear and bunnies above are from old paper patterns I found in an old “paper” file folder I had in a storage box from probably 20 years ago. I wish I had more information about the author – especially the instructions. They could have turned out better but the time spent was not in vain.

These cute scrap-busting projects led me back to my computer and while scrolling through My Documents for long-forgotten downloaded files, I ran across a “To-Do” list that included a link to “Margie”.

“Margie” was discovered during one of my many rabbit-hole-scrolling sessions back in 2019. This is when I stumbled upon Heidi Staples and her blog “Fabric Mutt”.

Introducing Margie:

'Margie' - Gray wool stuffed rabbit with floral overalls and green coat.

One look and I knew one day I would have to make my own “Margie”. I downloaded the files and didn’t give her another thought until about a month ago.

Three years ago I was way too intimidated to do anything else with these patterns than file them away.

Today however, I have a different perspective. Time has allowed the restlessness of quilting to settle in and in its place, the motivation to give these newer patterns (at Willowyn’s Etsy store) a try.

In the near future I’ll be doing a comparison between cutting the pattern pieces by hand vs using the Cricut Maker. Stay tuned for the results!

Never Too Many Bags

As much as I love quilting and sewing, I love bags even more. If I’m ever to be known for anything either in this life or the next, I’ll be to as a bag lady.

Here’s my philosophy: You can never be too rich, too thin, have too much fabric or too many bags”.

The best I can do is an approximate recitation of my excitement when I saw this tutorial by elizabethcanstitch on YouTube.

White fluffy happy puppy running across green grass

This is the first time in a l-o-n-g time I’ve watched a video that compelled me to IMMEDIATELY drag out my fabric scraps and start stitching!

Using a fabric panel that I pieced together from scraps from a quilt I started last year. The fabric is from Lori Holt’s Prim fabric line by Riley Blake fabrics. The panel I pieced together was small – I had no idea what I would ever do with it but you to fabric likes to talk, with it’s “promises” and such!

When I located this panel it was such a Eureka moment! It was the perfect size for this project bag. In no time at all I was cutting, stitching, trimming…

Within a couple of hours I had this:

Fabric project bag with zipper

Zipper front project bag using scraps from Lor Holt's Prim Fabric line by Riley Blake fabrics

These project bags were originally designed to store crosstitch projects but they have SO many possibilities.

Mine is somewhat thicker (I used the batting I had on hand vs purchasing additional interfacing) and the size – approx 11″ x 13″, I felt this would be a good solution to store my many small, irregular shaped rulers:

Various sized quilting rulers

Quilt rulers inside a fabric zippered project bag

So, if you are a bag lady (like me) and have a fair amount of scraps that are calling your name ( again, like me) give these scrap-busting projects a try.

Let me to how your projects turned out in the comments below!

Leave a Comment

Follow by Email