Monday, January 25, 2021

Using small fabric scraps

Fabric scraps of even the smallest size (1" x 1") can be sewn together to become the starting point  of beautiful patchwork.

Recently, I have been adding to the collection of my low volume fabric scrap stash, thanks to using fabrics that read as white, to the quilt blocks I have been sewing. I love when those scraps accumulate!  Sewing scraps together is something that I have been enjoying for years and when I say I like to use up even the tiniest bits, I am not exaggerating.

One practice I use, to get the most out of utilizing my materials, is to keep a small container with those small scraps in it, next to my machine when I am sewing.  This way, when I am about to start sewing  a seam, I can slip a pair of fabric scraps under my presser foot to stitch together (this is called a "leader").  It saves me having to trim long thread tails on a project, it allows me to chain piece when I am sewing quilt blocks and since I also use a pair of scraps at the finish of a seam on any larger project as well, (this pair is known as an "ender"), it doesn't take long before I have pieced many small scraps together.

Over time, the smallest scraps that I sew up, get added to, piece by piece. Growing larger, they're unique patchwork blocks and full of the memories of  previous projects.

What do I use these little patchwork blocks for? One of my favourite applications, is to tuck them into quilt blocks, in place of using a single cut of fabric.  I used this idea extensively in this quilt, and loved the results so much that I am building up a collection of pieced scraps, to do this again.

The blocks shown above and below, are just two examples of incorporating my small, scrappy patchwork pieces, into a quilt block design.  Both have the scrappy patchwork pieces replacing sections of the block that use a single cut of fabric.

Scrappy patchwork pieces replace the single cut of fabric for the center of this quilt block.

Another example of how to use those small patchwork scrappy pieces, is to simply sew them together with each other.  Currently, I am working on a pillow cover design that uses low volume patchwork scrap pieces as a background for some machine applique.

One more idea for ways to use this method of using up small scraps is to turn the patchwork into oven mitts  (like these or these).

Hopefully, my simple ideas have inspired you to start thinking about the fun projects you could make, just by saving and then sewing. with those small scraps of fabric.  Happy sewing, my friends!


  1. I wish I could play with your beautiful neutral scraps! I have been stingy with my neutrals because I don't have enough and I'm afraid of using them up. As a result, I don't have too many neutral scraps. Yours look wonderful!

  2. Love the idea of using the patchwork pieces in place of a single cut! My friend and I use patched pieces to make zipper pouches or changing pads for our new “grandma” friends.
    Using scraps is really my favorite kind of sewing.

    1. Thanks, Therese!
      Can't go wrong using scraps - they are so versatile and give such wonderful results. I love your ideas for turning them into pretty projects!
      Yes, I am with you on scrappy sewing being my favourite kind of sewing, too. Glad to know I'm not alone!

  3. You have beautiful fabrics and know how to use them!
    Kathleen -- kakingsbury at verizon dot net

  4. Wonderful ideas. This is my last week of teaching and I'm collecting ideas for sewing projects (including quilts) and am inspired by your low volume fabrics. In going through my own fabric stash I can find no low volume prints - how can that be? So I think a little fabric shopping is in my near future. Something to anticipate! Your scraps make beautiful things.

  5. One of my favourite ways to quilt. Sometimes I just add a block of bits into a quilt as a feature, sometimes I make the whole quilt out of bits, sometimes I choose a big block quilt to show off using my bits. Of course I am known for using bits, so am blessed that others share their pieces that are "too small"!

    1. Woohoo! That's awesome. There's so many wonderful ways to use scraps, isn't there?

      Yay! I love when that happens - I have been blessed to receive such treasures from others, too.

      Happy scrappy sewing!

  6. It's so pretty. I love the soft colors.


Go ahead...say something! Got a question for me? Ask it! I can't wait to hear from you... so start writing... and thanks in advance for letting me know you're sharing in my online adventures. Hugs and happiness to you!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...