From Scraps to Quilts….

I get questions about my sewing room and managing fabric so I thought I would address that today and show you what I do.

First off…I love scrappy quilts.  They are my ALL TIME FAVORITE.  I prefer scrappy Civil War fabric best, but scrappy anything is at the top of my list.  The more variety of prints the better.  Often time when reading quilt magazines, they will call a quilt scrappy….I will laugh.  I’ve seen quilts that have four different prints of fabric and it’s called scrappy….not to me.

A couple years ago I discovered Quiltville website, Bonnie Hunter and then Bonnie’s blog.  It was great….I felt like someone finally came up with something that is do-able as far as storing fabric goes.  At first I was apprehensive about cutting fabric up into strips…what if I needed this 6″ x 6″ square in some project and I had cut it down into 2″ strips?  This piece of fabric was certainly big enough to make a center of quilt block….So I started slow at first.  If I was cutting out a quilt and there was only 2.5″ left of fabric or less, I started cutting it up in either 1.25″, 1.5″, 2″, or 2.5″ strips.  I never dreamed of cutting anything that was bigger than that.


It was a SLOW process….Then one day I was going to make a small project that needed 2.5″ pieces.  I grabbed the bucket and started cutting.  I didn’t have to pull fabric.  I didn’t have to put all the fabric away….I didn’t have to look at the fabric for a couple weeks days because I was to lazy to put it away.  I just grabbed the bucket, cut, and put the bucket back.   I was hooked.  What a time saver!!

Now anything much smaller that than a fat quarter gets cut up into strips and put in scrap buckets.  I have expanded to keep a bucket of string strips and a 3.5″ bucket too.  I find that I use 2.5″ and 2″ the most so I cut the mostly those sizes.  I have NEVER regretted cutting up a piece of fabric into strips….never…never…never.

I keep my fat quarters and cuts up to one yard in drawers like this.


I have a drawer of neutrals that I try to keep full….I have 3/4 a drawer of blues…red and greens and blacks share a drawer and everything else purples, gold, yellow and rust share another drawer.  When I gave fabric to my daughter that emptied another drawer….I think I’ll rearrange all of it once I’m back from my Country Threads shopping spree next week…

I cut the majority of this wall hanging from my scrap buckets….


I was short a few blue squares….I can’t imagine pulling fabric for a project like this and having to put it all back after only cutting a few squares.  Making a scrap system was one of the best things I did to make sewing more efficient.  My daughter Kelli is sold on it now too.  All it took was for us to cut out matching quilts one day and for her to see how fast and efficient if was for me.

If you are new to this and would like more information check out Bonnie’s post about scrap saving.

11 thoughts on “From Scraps to Quilts….”

  1. I am sold on Bonnies scrap sorting method too, I feel organized and ready for my next project/s!!I have all her books which I love all the projects and like you have bought many shirts for re purposing.

  2. Isn’t having those shoeboxes full of strips/squares the best?!!!! I expanded mine to include 3-1/2″ through 6-1/2″ strips because that way, if I don’t have enough of the smaller sizes strips, I can “pull down” from the larger ones and resort the leftovers! If I have a quilt that calls for 4-1/2″ or 6-1/2″ squares, for example, I still have the convenience of my shoeboxes! Saves me SO much time!! There have been so many quilts that I’ve made 100% of the top from my shoeboxes alone! Good times!!!

  3. Bonnie is a keeper!!! I have my strips all organized, my fabrics all organized.. I even have a Bonnie binder with her patterns I’ve printed off. Keep on scrappin!

  4. I used to keep my scraps by color and even though I love scraps, I hardly ever used them — I’d end up cutting more fabric. Once I read about Bonnie’s scrap saver method, I started cutting up the scraps I’d sorted by color into strips from 2″ to 6″ (your’re right about it being a slow process). I use them all the time — I found that if I’m working on a project and need fabric, I go to the size, then look for the color, not the other way around. Now I cut all leftovers into strips for my scrap baskets — any large scrap is cut into 6″ first and what ever is left is cut to go in a smaller basket. I don’t follow Bonnie’s method to the letter, but her ideas really helped me to come up with what works for me. It’s great!

  5. I’m still too afraid to cut down my scraps! I might NEED a 3″ strip…or 4.5″…or 2.5″… or a 10″ square! I have started saving my strings. And I’m super jealous you’re going to a Bonnie class!

  6. What has held me back from cutting up fabric with this, or any, method, is fear of fraying! Do you have a problem with that?
    This was a fun post to read!

  7. Denise from NY

    Great minds think alike!! I store my scraps the same way and have made several quilts this summer season from just pulling from my scrap bins. Cannot quilt any other way, I must be organized, ie. organized scrappiness. My favorites are scraps quilts too. Love your scrap quilt displayed.

  8. I love your blue nine patch/flying geese quilt. Is it your own design or a published pattern? I love scrap quilts, too, and was inspired by your organized bins.

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