Organizing your Fabric Scraps!

Organizing Your Scraps

Don’t you hate how every time you finish a project or cut even just cut into a fat quarter you are then left with all these odd shaped pieces of fabric that you just can’t bear to throw away! You are piling them up somewhere….I know you are! Haha, mostly because I had that same stack:) Now you know good and well you are most likely not making a project with them, but they are so beautiful(…and costly) and there is bound to be some project somewhere that we can somehow use these scraps in…..maybe:)

What you need is some focused organization and then you might just find that project!

I have got a fabulous Sassy Tip for you today that will get you on the road to organizing your fabric scraps and actually using some of these little left over yummies and feel like you have a plan!

Organizing Your Scraps

What you are going to do at the end of each project is go ahead and cut up your scraps into some pre-determined sizes. This will really organize what you are doing with your scraps and make them feel ready to go when you come up with that fabulous scrappy project!

Decide what pre cut sizes you want to store your scraps in for Squares and for Strips. For my strips, I have picked 1.5″, 2″, 2.5″ and 3″. You can go as crazy as you like, but I suggest just a few and stick to what you pick. I don’t recommend going any smaller that 1.5″…these are going to finish at 1″, that’s pretty tiny!

Organizing Scraps

For my squares I do 5″, 4″, 3″ 2.5″ and 2″. You can just do 5″ and 2.5″ if you want…just decide what you think you can keep up with!

I try to vary the different sizes for each scrap I am cutting up. For instance, if I have a 10″ square left over I would cut two 5″ squares, one 2.5″ strip and four 2.5″ squares. This keeps my scraps a good mix so I have a little of each fabric in all of my bins.

Organizing Scraps

I used these simple little bins from the dollar store. They are not too bulky and I can stack them up to save space. I keep them near my cutting table so they are easy to drop my scraps in there. When they get full I will just empty the bin and store them away until I have enough to make a quilt. I like that these bins keep the pieces pretty flat….that means I won’t have to iron again when I’m ready to piece these together.

Organizing Scraps

Now in order for this to work you have to actually do it:) and you need to be willing to toss what doesn’t fit into your specific size bins!!!! We are just saving useable pieces here and trying to make room for some more fabric! So take a deep breath and give it a try and you will see it feels good. Kind of freeing actually, and exciting because it is going to make you an awesome scrap quilt one day.

Keep it Sassy

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Comments

  1. I started this a few weeks ago, lots to do yet!

  2. Sorting scraps is going to be one of my summer projects. Thanks for the tips. x

  3. Margaret says:

    a geat tip, I do put them into plastic containers but they are still in odd shapes. Have just mad a quilt using 2.5″ sqs, 7 blocks with 49 square in each one That is a very good tip to cut a variety of sizes in each fabric will bear in mind when I chop

  4. I really am working toward this. I would love to be organized quilter 😉

  5. Great idea Paula!
    Esther

  6. I started doing this when I was doing some spring cleaning it sure makes life easier. I also bought some dollar store bins like yours. I am working on a 4 patch scrappy quilt and it was nice to just look in my storage bins and find what i needed without having to cut into a FQ.

  7. I do this too Paula. With my longer strips I don’t worry about a specific width but my squares are all cut at 6″, 5″, 4″, 3.5″, & 2.5″. Anything smaller is thrown into another container of tinies. I keep mine in scrap booking boxes because they can be closed and stack flat. It is so nice to have scraps ready and waiting for small scrappy projects.

  8. Love those storage bins Paula! I”m in the midst of organising my scraps…I had squares, but until recently, for some reason, I never thought about strips, haha! I have to say, strips are just the best – and I’m now making a fab string quilt, yay!!!

  9. Thanks for the tips. Need to go to the dollar store I think.

  10. Jennifer says:

    Wonderful! I am going to work on this today!

  11. What I found worked for me was that when I had width of fabric left over, I cut into 2 1/2″ and 1 1/2″ strips – the same size as jelly rolls and honey buns! … So now I have several jelly rolls and a honey bun that I have made from my left overs.

    I’m trying the same thing with the pieces – 10″ squares – to make a layer cake, and 5″ squares to make a charm pack. There are so many patterns now that use layer cakes and charm squares and jelly rolls. I haven’t cut 2 1/2″ squares yet. I use the smaller pieces for my hand work – english paper pieced hexagons.

    But I find having a system really cuts down on the size of the scrap bin, and it gives you fabric in a usable form so you are ready to sew, sew, sew ….

  12. Jennifer says:

    I so need to work on this! Mine are just piled in a huge basket and you’re right I probably won’t use them if I don’t get them organized. Thanks for the tips

  13. What an excellent-o tip! I will definitely start doing this 🙂

  14. great post, I spent this week folding fabric on to comic book cards and anything that wasn’t straight yardage went into a bin so that I can cut it into strips/squares.

  15. What a great idea! My scraps are so unorganized lol they’re just stuffed in a plastic drawer.

  16. Grand idea!!!! I really like the idea of sticking to a few standard sizes!!
    Brilliant!

  17. Love this! That’s how scrapbooker’s keep their paper. Great idea

  18. I really, really need to do this.

  19. I’ve just organized all of my fabric and sorted my scraps by color but might consider doing this as well. Thanks for the tip!

  20. You’re so organized! I don’t know if we can still be blog friends. I have piles; lots of scrap piles. They keep me company in my sewing room. I would be lost without them! Not really, I will someday turn them into a manageable mess. For now it’s organized chaos! ha ha!

    • sassyquilter says:

      Notice I didn’t show a wide pic of where I stack them:) Haha! There is plenty of other mess to be seen…piles and piles of it, but I know what is in what pile….maybe.

  21. Great ideas! There are a few books by Joan Ford called Cut The Scraps, which use 5, 3.5 and 2 inch squares. I’ve begun cutting into those sizes but really need to cut strips too.

  22. Fun, Fun, Fun!
    I would add 2 7/8 inch squares because that is the size needed to make the 2 1/2 inch half squares… 🙂

  23. I put my scraps in photo boxes. My cats would pull all the scraps out of your bins. Great idea though! I have a basket I put the scraps I need to put into the boxes. I cut the leftovers, putting them in the basket as I cut, and then put into the boxes. This way I don’t stop the cutting process and get things done.

  24. babai laura says:

    i have had trouble for years with organizing my stash, i am a very disorganized person in general. I took your advice, and started taking all my small pieces and cutting them into squares, putting them in boxes with labels and organizing my strips. I spent a few days, cutting and cutting, and it is great. now i have little boxes, medium boxes, and tons of squares from 2.5 inch to 5/5 inch. starting a new baby quilt with 4.5 squares, all organized in minutes. and i have my boxes of little scraps to make wonky stars, Am in quilt heaven Thanks,

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  1. […] necessitated rather a lot of it!  The Sassy Quilter recently had an interesting article on how to store scraps if you’re looking for a more organised way than mine. I’ll be bearing Paula’s […]

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