Overwhelming scraps!

Today was my first day of dedicated “Use It Up Sewing” and I’m just not sure where I stand on my resolution. I took a look around my studio and decided to start with the baskets of random scraps overflowing at my feet.

Jan scraps 1

It looked more approachable than the semi-sorted baskets under my cutting table.

Jan scraps 2

Yep–after some minor sorting, started with this–

Jan scraps 3

I’m a big believer in random selection for this type of thing, so I grabbed fabric pieces and started sewing them together. After ONE WHOLE HOUR, this is all I had.

Jan scraps 4

Not liking it at all. Didn’t speak to me at all and I didn’t see how continuing in this manner would make it any better. In the past, I guess my ‘random sewing’ has been using scraps that I’ve selected to go together first! So, I took a moment to consider how I should proceed.

Some of the scraps that jumped out of that basket were leftover binding strips. Ah-ha! There are yards of leftover binding strips in my baskets. Mostly dark colors. I always thought I’d use them for binding a small project, but that rarely happens. Usually not the right color or not enough…you know how that goes. So I grabbed them all out and ironed them.

Jan scraps 6

Yards and yards, with a couple long strips of fabric and a pile of squares that will maybe all go together into a project. As I was ironing them, project ideas kept running through my mind. First, I was just going to start sewing strips together and make squares. Boooooring! Then log cabin type blocks. A tiny bit less boring. Strips framing a focus fabric. Maybe. I don’t know what, yet, but apparently I am project/goal oriented.

I looked for binding strips in my light color basket, figuring I’d want the contrast. This is all I found…

Jan scraps 7

Evidently, I really don’t like light colored binding!

I had to walk away from the scraps for a while, ’cause it was time to think about using fabric up making bed quilts. This is my view…

Jan scraps 8

Fabrics that I’m not using like I did a few years ago. I started to feel like it was hopeless, but then I realized that this is an ongoing project and today is only the first day! Step by step and it will be conquered!

But there sure is a lot of stuff to use…

14 thoughts on “Overwhelming scraps!

  1. I don’t know if it will make you feel any better, but I think a lot of folks are in the same boat! There are plenty of destash, shop my stash, UFO, etc groups going on around blogland right now! You are not alone 🙂


  2. I’m just about to finish a top with fabrics I’m not using much anymore. I still love the traditional colors and prints, but have been moving toward brighter colors, ethnic patterns, overall a less traditional vibe. When I realized what a pile I had pulled aside of the traditionals, I felt a little discouraged. But I really like this top and know I’ll be happy to give the quilt to a grandson this year. I think the key is to not be too ambitious. You don’t have to use up all that scrap stash. Just do like you normally would: either choose some fabrics that work well together and design a project around them, or choose a project and pick fabrics to go into it. If it is a bed quilt, it will use 8-10 yards. THAT IS NOT VERY MUCH!!! 😀 But hey, it’s progress!!


    • You’re right–each bed quilt can use up quite a bit, but I sure do have a LOT! But I’ll stick with it. It’s not like I’m suddenly going to give up quilting! I guess I was thinking it all had to be my original designs, but there are some great patterns out there that I can be very happy using. No brain strain that way!!

      On Sun, Jan 11, 2015 at 9:21 AM, Quirks Ltd. wrote:



  3. If you are still leaning toward bad quilts with these blocks, I like them. I never liked a total scrappy look so when I start to combine elements I like to choose a “unifyer”. Either a shape, block type or color family that will help pull everything together. When I look at these I see a definite yellow thread running through them. Maybe if you added larger areas of white while connecting them it would take on a modern quilt feel? I can’t believe I just wrote that. It took this long for md to even think white belongs in a quilt. HA!


    • Oh…add white? I’m *still* not convinced there should be white in quilts! I’m quite likely to add a dark color and I think I can make a go of it if I pre-select my fabrics rather than totally random. I have quite a bit of that darker blue–found it while looking for non-scrap fabric!–and I also have a lot of yellow hand dyed fabric. The color scheme could be the start of a real answer to this project.

      On Sun, Jan 11, 2015 at 8:08 AM, Quirks Ltd. wrote:



    • That’s good if you have solids, but I don’t. And the fabric is already generally sorted by color. This should be easy and maybe it will be by the second or third or fourth week. Every new plan needs practice and adjustment but I WILL get there!

      On Sun, Jan 11, 2015 at 8:06 AM, Quirks Ltd. wrote:



    • That’s right…it’s only my first day at it. I need to follow through with what I have started and not get distracted or sidetracked because I really don’t like it. I gotta stick with it!

      On Sun, Jan 11, 2015 at 8:02 AM, Quirks Ltd. wrote:



  4. Seriously? That’s some stash of fabric. My pal Doreen Speckmann exclaimed after seeing my stash…..”Mary, I don’t know how you can make anything this puny amount of fabric!” Too funny……


    • I am so ready to be done with big piles of fabric. I want to be more thoughtful and concise in what I say with my art. I’d rather be in a position of getting a small bit of fabric when needed than overwhelmed with all the stuff I have already!

      On Sun, Jan 11, 2015 at 7:58 AM, Quirks Ltd. wrote:



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