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Thread: What to do with Totes and Totes of Home Dec Scraps?

  1. #1
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    What to do with Totes and Totes of Home Dec Scraps?

    I have a question dealing with Home Dec Fabric. I have 12 totes of scraps from jobs from the last 25 years of my drapery and upholstery business. My husband is going to divorce me unless I get rid of them, but honestly I can't bring myself to toss them out. In the past I have sewn large pieces together to make a slipcover for my daughter's couch, pillows, made doggie quilts from 8x8 squares and sold purses at craft shows. Any other ideas?..........I had thoughts of making rug or piecing it into large enough sections to use in Upholstery. I have a old wingback that is screaming to be redone.
    Another question is do you preshrink the fabric before use? I've always told my clients to dry clean. If they have to wash them do it by hand and hang dry. Most important avoid heat at all cost.

  2. #2
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    i made durable utility aprons for my DD and SIL
    Nancy in western NY
    before you speak T.H.I.N.K.
    T – is it True? H – is it Helpful? I – is it Inspiring? N – is it Necessary? K – is it Kind?

    Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance.

  3. #3
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    I'd look at it like this: what's more important, my husband or my pile of scraps?

    I'd weed it down to 1 or 2 bins and donate the rest. Life is too short.

  4. #4
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    I'm with Peckish. Love your husband and lighten the load at the same time. Rate the pieces you think are a 9 or 10. Give the rest to a thrift store whose cause you can get behind.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Sleepy Hollow's Avatar
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    I'm currently sewing dog quilts with heavy fabrics to donate to the shelter where I got my last dog. If you have a little time, maybe do up some of those real quick, and donate them.

    If you just need to get rid of the raw fabric, try donating them, posting it on some kind of classifieds, etc, rather than just trashing the fabric.
    If your dreams don't scare you, they aren't big enough!

  6. #6
    Power Poster Annaquilts's Avatar
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    Give them away or make purses or aprons.
    Anna Quilts

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    Super Member wesing's Avatar
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  8. #8
    Super Member mermaid's Avatar
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    I love finding deco fabrics at garage sales! I make walker and wheelchair bags to donate to local nursing home. I make and give away lots of shopping bags--we have an Aldi store and you have to bring your own bags. I make little cosmetic purses and fabric boxes and give to friends. So many options for you.

  9. #9
    Super Member helou's Avatar
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    all cool ideas mermaid and I had never seen this video wesing! thank you for asking PMahowald. I might just keep in mind. I don't have as much heavy fabric as you seem to have, but I want to use it anyway!

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    Great Ideas, keep them coming. A few years back I tried starting a business with a couple of friends. In the process one of them came over and organized the fabric into groups that went together. Everything is in plastic bags, Heather, being a art teacher put things together that I would never have thought of, but look fantastic. I agree that I should go through the totes. Luckily I have a few years until we move. I promised hubby that I would not bring the stash with me. Needless to say he does not realize that the type of stash is changing from Home Dec to Quilting fabric.......silly man.

  11. #11
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    If it was me, I would plan some favorite items to make. Placemats, walker bags, grocery bags, etc etc. I’d pick out the fabrics I like and start cutting out these projects. Donate the rest. I’d set a “schedule” and sew so many per week until it was conquered. Just my 2 cents worth because you posed the question.

  12. #12
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    Same here - keep your favorites for specific projects, then find an art department or other crafty donation sight in your town.

  13. #13
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    You don't have time to make all those dreams while hubby is fuming. Clear out at least half. Show him you are a good sport and love him more than your scrap bin and see if that satisfys him. If not, dump them all and repurchase for one project at a time. Life is too short, and love is too important.

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    Make dog beds and fill them with scraps from the totes.

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    When I started working at JoAnns---I spent almost all of my $ on fabric! I, too, have totes & totes. Why I bought home dec rems I'll never know! Hubby constantly complains, too! So I found an organization that does birthday parties for homeless kids & kids in shelters & homes. They posted a need for cosmetic bags for the girls---drawstring backpacks for the boys.....and I also make pillowcases for a home that houses about 100 kids that are in between foster care etc. They said the kids are thrilled with the pillowcases because there is NO color in the dorms at all. Hubby is now happy----and it's all for a good cause----so it's a win-win.

  16. #16
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    A lot of great ideas......thank you. In the end I think I may be keeping the totes and my husband. I found an outlet that is close to my heart. When researching causes I came across Alzheimer or Figit Quilts for hospitals or nursing homes. I have plenty of odds and ends sitting around that would be perfect for them. Now I feel much better having a worthy cause for my treasures.

  17. #17
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    I use such fabric for walker bags for the nursing homes

  18. #18
    Super Member quiltingshorttimer's Avatar
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    enlist your DH to help! I've used my decor samples for piecework floor pillows, totes and have plans to piece and cover a top for a foot stool---I'm using an old desk drawer with the hardware removed, 1x1 legs and foam.

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    I make tote bags out of upholstery or drapery fabric. I always wash it first, that way if it gets dirty I know it won't shrink.

  20. #20
    Senior Member quiltybarb's Avatar
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    I saw a wingback chair in an upholstery shop recently that look like a quilt design. It was gorgeous.....

  21. #21
    Super Member WMUTeach's Avatar
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    If you want to use them, I would suggest some simple bags for homeless folks to carry their stuff. But I agree with Peckish, donate them and love your husband for giving you freedom from 12 bins of unused materials.

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    If you donate them to Goodwill, (or a place like it) you can take the value off your taxes, and you are helping some soul find good fabric at a good price that they can finally afford. Blessings.

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    Mark them for free on craigslist...my scrap went in a heartbeat

  24. #24
    Super Member Rose_P's Avatar
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    I don't think I can add anything to the many suggestions, but I will weigh in to say that I'd wash it if it's going into something that will be best to be able to wash regularly, such as a placemat or a dog bed. (Make "designer" dog beds and sell - $$!) I upholstered a headboard one time and had to buy excess fabric to match the design. Although the manufacturer recommended dry cleaning, I washed a swatch to test it, because I wanted to make placemats. It came out great and only shrank a bit as all of our quilting cottons do. It's a good idea to do that swatch, however. Start with a piece that you cut with a square ruler and use a permanent marker on it to draw an arrow with the grain line. What way you can measure before and after to see how much shrinkage there will be. You'll also be able to see if there's significant bleeding or fading. So much of this type of fabric is beautiful and would be very expensive to buy, so you could sell some of it on Craigslist, Etsy, eBay or Nextdoor and perhaps take the DH out to dinner.

    Surely your DH is going to be pleased with your efforts, and if not, maybe you can comment on something he does that works as reciprocity. If mine asks what something costs, I translate it in terms like "less than a round of golf." Also, point out that if you stay busy with this stash it will keep you out of the fabric shop for a long time!
    Last edited by Rose_P; 02-27-2018 at 02:34 PM.
    True self-care is not salt baths and chocolate cake, it is making the choice to build a life you don’t need to regularly escape from. ~Brianna Wiest

  25. #25
    Super Member cashs_mom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peckish View Post
    I'd look at it like this: what's more important, my husband or my pile of scraps?

    I'd weed it down to 1 or 2 bins and donate the rest. Life is too short.
    I agree totally.
    Patrice S

    Bernina Artista 180, Singer 301a, Featherweight Centennial, Rocketeer, Juki 2200 QVP Mini, White 1964 Featherweight

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