Sew Grammo Blog

Using Up Fabric Scraps

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There seems to be a theme in a few of my blog posts.  Stashbusting is at the top of the list.  If you quilt, or sew, chances are you have a lot of fabric scraps left over.  The more you try to use them up, the more they multiply. It's a never ending war. Like my friend says if you cut one piece of fabric, you do end up with two.  I know it's probably not good for the quilt industry if I put a limit on buying new fabric.  Don't worry, I will always be tempted by some of the new lines that are appearing on a regular basis.  Supporting my local quilt shop has been my downfall on several occasions--in a good way, of course!

String piecing is probably the oldest way to use strips of fabric.  Start with a square of batiste fabric (or I’ve heard you can use paper that you tear away later).  Lay two pieces of fabric onto the foundation (right sides together) and sew a quarter inch seam along one side.  Then, flip over and press the seam.  Layer another piece of fabric (right side down) onto the last piece and repeat the steps.  Continue until the entire foundation is covered.  Trim up the block and you’re ready to go.

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Or, you could make a fun wall hanging.

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I love to use the leftovers from the front of the quilt to make interesting quilt backs.

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Pillows are a good way to try out a quilt pattern on a smaller scale before you commit to a bigger project.  And if you use some scraps along the way, that’s a bonus.

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Need a fun way for kids to carry their sleepover gear?  How about appliqueing an animal on a tote?

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And of course there’s the costume party where you need that perfect 70’s outfit.  Scraps to the rescue!

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Quilts are not the only thing to diminish your stash.  Try making tote bags, or even craft bags.

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Although I haven’t tried this yet, crumb quilting is another technique that should pare down your fabric stash.  You take the tiniest scraps and keep piecing them together until you have a block; or even a whole quilt.  There are several tutorials on YouTube or Pinterest to get you started.  I’ve definitely found a few I’d like to try.

There will always be scraps.  But, there are definitely a lot of fun ways to do battle with them.