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Thread: Fabric Waste

  1. #1
    Super Member Edie's Avatar
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    I just got to thinking here while I was cutting out fabric for a new quilt - a sampler. When you cut your squares and get it down to 1/8" here and 1/4" there and 1/2" someplace else, after all is said and done, how much fabric does one waste when making a quilt. Suppose you are making a quilt, say 96x124, how much of that is actual waste - I bought four yards of one fabric, four yards of another fabric and three yards of a third fabric. How much of that am I allowed to waste - throw out - less than 1 inch, some pieces being 26/28" long. This is one of the things in quilting I absolutely do not like to think about. But I just got to thinking - Am I going to have enough material? I am making a sampler with three colors only. Every block design has only the three colors. This is not counting the sashing, or border or backing - I always pick that out after all the blocks are made (on this one, there will be 48 - 12" blocks.

    My brain doesn't want to work this morning - It is probably turkey stuffed yet.

    Thanks for any info you can give me. I would hate to think I was wasting money here at $9.00 a yard Clara Barton Birthplace Museum - Windham fabric. Edie

  2. #2
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    how much you "waste" depends on how much of the cut-off portions you save. With all the renewed interest in strip quilts and crumb quilts, the conservative quilter will waste almost nothing in the long run, tho you may not use it all in one project. Art quilters can even use the thread pieces that come off...those less than a quarter of an inch, or the gnarly threads that occur when and if you prewash. Even selvedges are used today in projects. Also, do you cut individual pieces, or do you stip quilt? Strip quilting can often save fabric.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Me personally, I don't save anything less than a 2 inch square piece with the idea to reuse it in a quilt someday but I do toss all those bits and pieces into a bag and use them for dog/cat pillow stuffing or pincushion stuffing. I try not to waste when ever possible.

    When I make pet pillows, I use a heavy duty canvas type fabric for the removable outer layer so it can be washed when needed....not the stuffed part of the pillow...I don't think it would ever get dry!!!!

    jodi in leavenworth

  4. #4
    Super Member grann of 6's Avatar
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    I try not to even think about it anymore. I lived all my life with the "waste not want not" attitude first from my parents, and then my husband. I got so tired of all the stash of junk they had created that if I want to throw something out that I know I won't ever use, then I throw it out. Although I must say that the other day I did make some potholders from scraps. And I find I am saving triangles that I would normally throw away. As far as selvages and 1" strips, out they go. I have enough bins to sort through now.

  5. #5
    Super Member janRN's Avatar
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    Grann, I'm with you. I also lived my whole life "save that, don't throw that away, etc." Result: my basement could have been shown on Hoarders> Since DH lost his job we've been down-sizing--I've taken at least 4 SUV loads to the Humane Society Thrift Shop.
    As for fabric, I save my salvedges for another quilter but anything I have to ask "is this too small?" out it goes. Life is too short to worry about (literally) the small stuff.

  6. #6
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    I save the smaller pieces and when I have some time to just do fun stuff, I make string quilt blocks to use in charity quilts. I'm developing a workshop at a local quilt store called The Frugel Quilter. This is a workshop in string quilting. One of the local long arm quilters saves me all the narrow pieces she trims off quilts for this project.

  7. #7
    Super Member ptquilts's Avatar
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    Between me making mini string quilts and DH making his tiny-piece (5/8" square pieces) quilts, there is not much wasted around here.

  8. #8
    Super Member justflyingin's Avatar
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    I only save it if it is 1.5" or wider. Maybe someday I'll try making a rag rug, or something using the clothesline and scraps, but I'll continue to produce those. In the meantime, there is therapy in cleaning up a mess and throwing it away. I'm constantly creating more messes, and in order to create a measure of order, I need to throw away the tiny stuff.

    If someone does think of some real use for the small pieces of batting, please let me know as I have a couple of bags of it (by small, I mean, smaller than what I would use for a rag quilt--so smaller than about 6" square.) I'm not interested in making pin cushions. Most people I know don't sew and I have a magnetic pin cushion that I like so I don't need any.

  9. #9
    Super Member Deb watkins's Avatar
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    I also save strips of 1.5 or more, as I use these for log cabins. The triangle pieces from flying geese (depending on which method I use at the time) I save and make pinwheels for doll quilts. Born from Depression era parents, the waste not was a way of life, so I also save my little scraps for pillows. Just making two matching pillows for quilts uses up the scraps rather quickly. I also make the cover that can be washed.

  10. #10
    Super Member judy_68's Avatar
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    There are probably alot of people on here that would be happy to pay for postage for your scraps.
    Judy

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