Tub of scraps.

Are you drowning in scraps too??

My 2020 goal was to use as many of my scraps as possible. I made the “executive” decision that any fabric a quarter yard or smaller went from the shelves into the scrap bin back in March when I did a total cleaning of the sewing room.

Fabric scraps.

I took every single piece of fabric off the shelves, went through every drawer, looked in every project box….scary stuff. Some of those things I hadn’t seen in years. So after the dust cleared I decided that even though I already had a list of 12 UFOs I wanted to finish this year – I was going to use as many of the scraps on hand for those projects as possible.

More scraps.

I love all my fabric and that includes the scraps. When I decided that any fabric a quarter yard or smaller went into the scrap bin suddenly there were four bins instead of the previous two. Ugh.

I needed some inspiration on how to deal with the scraps. Pintrest, Facebook, and other quilt blogs were fun to look at. However, I discovered that other quilters have oodles of scraps too and are trying to find ways to use them.

Quarter yard pieces of fabric.

I do not have a scrap organization system:

The scraps are simply thrown in the bins.

I actually like this system for now because I am just taking out handfuls, ironing them, and cutting them into 2.5″ strips, 3″ squares or tumbler shapes. I went to the local dollar store and purchased see through plastic containers with lids for these standard sizes and shapes that I use in my quilt making.

3" squares.

The continuing challenge:

My personal challenge is to use as many of my scraps up in 2021 as possible. I have been cutting strips, squares, and tumblers as time allowed during 2020 and have several see-through plastic bins of each now.

The thought as I cut up the scraps into standard shapes and sizes that the scraps would be less. Oh so wrong. I think they multiply while in those bins. I started the year with two bins of scraps, and am currently at four.

Challenge yourself:

Are you drowning in scraps too?? For 2021 find quilt designs that will utilize your scraps. Making scrap quilts is fun, and gives a feeling of not being wasteful. If you are tired of your scraps, trade with another quilter to give you some new fabric to work with. Have fun.

Ideas for using scraps:


Lady busy sewing clip art


  1. Thanks for some new ideas to me for using up scraps. I have always had the budget to go out and buy fabric for each quilt I make. The scraps just go into bags and get shoved in the back of the closet. I just retired and am looking for ways to cut my spending. Using those scraps is going to be my quilting goal for 2022.

  2. I allow myself one box of scraps. Anything that does not fit in it I give to another quilter. I am trying to downsize my possessions into a smaller amount. For years moving with the military made me keep purging, now that I am retired stuff just seems to show up.

    1. My hubby and I were just having this conversation today about all the stuff that just seems to “show up” and stay. We were trying to downsize and organize the attic. What a mess! Anyway we made good headway. Nothing quilt related but needed done before winter sets in.

      As for the scraps, I gave a box away the other day – there is only so much space. And I find clutter very distracting.

  3. You have been looking in my sewing room, right?! What a mess. Anyway I was looking for some ideas of what to do with these scraps and ran across your post. Love you ideas and attitude about using the scraps. Many thanks for sharing!

    Your quilt blog is a new one to me, but I will be going back to it to see what other ideas you have. Subscribed.

    1. I am so glad you stopped by to read this post and subscribed. Hopefully you will find other helpful ideas for your quilt journey here as well.

      Have a great weekend, and happy quilting.

  4. I am so drowning in scraps and this blog is so full of ideas of what to do with those scraps. Thanks a lot. I like to make doll quilts. The ideas here can be easily adjusted for that small size.

  5. Wow, I thought by now with all the quilts you made in 2020 those scraps would be long gone. Are you saying that you are still dealing with them??!!

    Honey, you need some sewing elves to sew while you are at work and sleeping 🙂

    1. I keep hoping some sewing elves will come to my home to live but so far haven’t seen any 🙂

      Yep the scraps level seems to remain the same even after all the quilts I made in 2020. I love scraps but I am getting a little tired of them demanding my attention. I’ve even traded some with other quilters.

      Happy quilting buddy and keep me posted on how that latest star quilt you are doing turns out.

    2. Hello. I met Bonnie Hunter in 2012 who is the “Queen of Scrappy quilts”. She got me motivated after I attended one of her free trunk shows. She explained “ her” scrap user system and a lightbulb went off in my head and I have not looked back since. If you don’t know her check her out @ She is amazing, inspirational to the hilt. She offers so much to the quilting world. Start out looking at her scrap users system. I have learned so much from it. I don’t look at fabric the same way now. She does a Mon thru Sat blog. At the top of her page she has numerous items to look at from free patterns to items to purchase. I like “ Quilt cam” when she is able to be live ( I tune her in into my sewing room), I tune in while sewing. Her books all list her Scrap users system. I love Leader/ Ender Challenges too. In July she has this if you want to participate . In Nov she offers a free “Mystery Quilt” If you want to. She has listed archives to free patterns so you can get past patterns. This site is very very resourceful.
      I also like video tutorials from Missouri Star Quilts( MSQ).

      1. I really like Bonnie Hunter’s blog and quilts. You are right, she has so many ideas.

        I am doing her Grassy Creek Mystery quilt right now – spent a couple hours working on the part 6 pieces.

      2. Denise,

        You are so correct, Bonnie Hunter is amazing and has so much to share with quilters. I try to keep up with her quilt adventures via her blog. Have a couple of her books, no tools yet. Every time I go back to look at her blog I find some idea for a project. She is talented and creative.


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