Organising Fabric Scraps

How do you deal with leftover scraps from a done project?

While sometimes I may have the idea for a coordinating project like this pillow here for my quilt,  most of the times I feel like I have lost the feel to work with the same bundle of fabrics. So, those fabrics now have to go in separate directions.

Either they get further cut into smaller pieces or they get used in another smaller project as is.

In this post, I’ll share with you the process how I organize my fabric scraps starting from the moment they left the first finished project.

Organising fabric scraps

Step 1: Trim, Trim, Trim.

Before I throw(well decently place) them in pile, I made sure that the piece has all straight edges.

I throw away all funny tangles that just simply make bigger messes and rarely would useful.

It may feel like I shouldn’t do that – you know that feeling when you say to yourself ,

“hm, you might need this extra bit attached, if you cut it out, then you probably will regret it. You may just need that extra 2 inch ”

In reality, that rarely happens. What happens is a mess of tangle and weird shape scraps that I hate to start using.

So I do this now. Everytime. Ruthlessly. and it makes the whole system works so much better.

Always trim away you scrap fabric to have straight edges - make it simpler for next project

Now, I still do keep those tiny pieces of scraps except the strings. You know, I may need to use for small scrappy projects or for that maybe “someday” ticker tape quilt.

At least that is what I say to myself. Whether it’ll be a reality or not, I am happy to let it be this way, for the moment.

I would keep all of them in one box for the moment until that first box is filled up as I usually do this while cleaning up after that project. Sorting is itself another project on its own.

 

Step 2: Sorting level 1

Once my first box is filled up. Usually after a couple of projects and fabric pulling,

I would take the box and re-sort them into more division.

 

First the larger ones. I make a decision whether to chop them up into the common sizes or to leave it as is.

If I chop them, that means they are likely to be in a scrappy project, so they no longer can be the star.

If I don’t chop them, it is either because I love the fabric too much and they deserve better. Maybe they can be fussy cut or used as one piece in a small project like pouches and all.

Usually, larger pieces that I do chop, they get chopped as 2.5″ strips.

And since I am in love with my stripology ruler, this is a fun part for me.

I talked about my love for the ruler back here in this post.

cutting scraps into strips of fabric

All 2.5″ strips go in one designated box, while any smaller than 2.5″ strips goes into another box. Boxes of various strips.

Sorting scraps and strips of fabrics

Sorting scraps and strips of fabrics

Sorting scraps and strips of fabrics: Best organising tips ever!

Step 3: Sorting level 2

Now I move onto all squares and rectangles.

Sometimes I take time to cut certain size of squares like 2.5″, 3.5″ and 5″ squares and I sort them that way,

But lately I have enough of those in stock that I decide to keep them in range of sizes instead.

Besides, I love using these in paper piecing or improv piecing.

I love love love these scrapbooking boxes.

They stack up really well and use efficient space.

O yes, another thing I like separate are the selvedges. In case I want to make more selvedge projects like this one.

Well, I guess that is about it on how I organize my scraps before they get to be used in another scrappy project.

Keeping it this way has worked well for me in terms of reusing my fabric scraps and knowing excatly where to find them.

How about you? Do you have a way of sorting your fabric scraps?

Let me know in the comment, I love hearing your side of stories too.

Pin this for future reference:

PS: don’t miss out on CRAFTSY Black Friday sale where you can get all of their classes for less than $18 and supplies for over 60% off. I am thinking of getting Suzy’s Mini Mojo’s Class. Just for a fun project to kick start next year. 

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3 Comments

  1. sherry Creech

    I actually sort my scraps very similar to the way you do. I think they are like rabbits…they multiply when left alone. However, I am freaky about saving anything useful. Anythibg that I would throw away goes to the dog bed lady so not one string goes into a landfill.

  2. Cheri

    I used to sort and cut my scraps the way that you show. But that system got to be too time consuming, almost like cutting fabric to make a quilt, then having no quilt results! So I went to the two bin system. One bin for warm colors and one bin for cool colors. I just threw them in, sort f flat and folded. And that has evolved into 3 large baskets where the fabric is divided into color groups (think Rainbow) and separated by small partitions. I keep the baskets out in the open in my sewing studio so I can pull from the baskets anytime. Works for me.

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