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Thread: What is the smallest size fabric scrap worth keeping?

  1. #1
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Even if it's just to donate to someone else?

    I am grappling with this now that I have the use of an Accuquilt Go! The scraps might be just one inch wide tapering six inches down to nothing. Should I keep scraps that small? I know that some people might use them to stuff pincushions, or use them for fusing snippet landscapes, but that's definitely not me. I'm a larger scrap sort of person; about 3 inches in every direction is probably my smallest useable size.

    What I am wondering is if I should be saving the smaller scraps for someone else who might be able to use them. Is this worthwhile? If so, how do I find these people. If not, should I be throwing the scraps in the garbage or into recycling for Goodwill (I assume to be made into paper)?

    I read years ago that we should not put fabric scraps out for birds nests because fabric doesn't dry out fast enough after a rain, endangering baby birds in the nest. So, that option is out for me.

  2. #2
    Power Poster Lacelady's Avatar
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    I'm making a postage stamp quilt, where the squares measure 2cm finished. (because I couldn't get any 1 inch graph paper at the time I started iit) I use one and a quarter inch squares of fabric, so sit and trim my scraps to that size, then I still find it difficult to throw away what is left!

  3. #3
    Power Poster RedGarnet222's Avatar
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    The small paper piecing person could use many of the smallest scraps. Some of those pieces are great for that.

  4. #4
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    blueribbontoes is collecting scraps in all colors for an extensive hexagon quilt. Her size is 3/4" to 1"

    When I have scraps, I kind of decide by intuition and by how much fabric I have left when all is cut. The less fabric I have left, and the more I like the color, the smaller the scraps.

    I have a "scrap bin" - a tall Rubbermaid tub, that all my small odd cuts go in. As I read about people needing a certain color, I rummage through the stash to see if I can share.

  5. #5
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I keep a basket for the bigger scraps. When full, I use the Go cutter to make 2 in. hexagons or triangles or squares. The strips of scraps I do end up with after that I toss. I don't feel guilty tossing my scraps.

  6. #6
    Super Member Quilting Aggi's Avatar
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    I work with tiny pieces all the time. I love to do scrappy quilts. My latest project has been making a crumb quilt. I'm figuring next year I'll be making alot more scrap quilts as money will be a tiny bit tighter as I will be on maternity leave next Spring. lol I have two big, and two small rubber maid containers filled with scrap fabrics for future projects.

  7. #7
    Super Member Moonpi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prism99
    I read years ago that we should not put fabric scraps out for birds nests because fabric doesn't dry out fast enough after a rain, endangering baby birds in the nest. So, that option is out for me.
    Cotton is made of the same cellulose as grasses that birds would use - that makes no sense to me at all. As to size, it depends on what you are using it for. Kids' arts and crafts classes would love scraps too small to sew

  8. #8
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    I cut strips from my odd shaped remnants. I have a couple large totes of 1 1/2" strips and three of 2" strips. I like to go through them and make quilts just from that stash. Last year I made a series of baby quilts, wall quilts and tablerunners - I made 9 things from 1 1/2" strips before I got tired of it.

    The strips might only be 4 or 5" long, but since they are in the appropriate tote, I use them all.

  9. #9
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    I save all mine. I'm just sure I will need that one scrap for something in my next quilt.

  10. #10
    Super Member retrogirl02's Avatar
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    I save just about everything and pass on the smallest scraps to people who will use them. I prefer 2 inch and larger pieces....but I've not yet started applique LOL.

    Someone can always use them. I donate what I can't use to a local non-profit agency.

  11. #11
    CRH
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quilting Aggi
    I work with tiny pieces all the time. I love to do scrappy quilts. My latest project has been making a crumb quilt. I'm figuring next year I'll be making alot more scrap quilts as money will be a tiny bit tighter as I will be on maternity leave next Spring. lol I have two big, and two small rubber maid containers filled with scrap fabrics for future projects.
    Congratulations!!! :-) :-) :-) :-) :-)

  12. #12
    Power Poster oksewglad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prism99
    Even if it's just to donate to someone else?

    I am grappling with this now that I have the use of an Accuquilt Go! The scraps might be just one inch wide tapering six inches down to nothing. Should I keep scraps that small? I know that some people might use them to stuff pincushions, or use them for fusing snippet landscapes, but that's definitely not me. I'm a larger scrap sort of person; about 3 inches in every direction is probably my smallest useable size.

    What I am wondering is if I should be saving the smaller scraps for someone else who might be able to use them. Is this worthwhile? If so, how do I find these people. If not, should I be throwing the scraps in the garbage or into recycling for Goodwill (I assume to be made into paper)?

    I read years ago that we should not put fabric scraps out for birds nests because fabric doesn't dry out fast enough after a rain, endangering baby birds in the nest. So, that option is out for me.
    Do you belong to a guild? Someone there may be into doll quilts and miniatures. (My guild friends now save them for me). Check with your LQS--they may know of someone or a charity quilt group who uses those smaller pieces.
    I too have a hard time throwing away fabric. At $9 a yard, an inch of fabric from selvage to selvage is worth 25 cents :shock:

  13. #13
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    I save practically every piece of scrap. I have instructions for making fabric beads out of the tiniest pieces and save all the threads for making thread bowls and such. Not that I've made any yet, but if I run out of quilts to do, I'll do those.LOL

  14. #14
    Super Member Olivia's Grammy's Avatar
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    I cut my scaps into either 2" strips or 6 1/2" blocks. The rest I give to a sweet friend of mine that is 84 years young. She makes what she calls ugly quilts for the homeless. She has been doing this for 11 years and has made over 3575. Her motto is "If GOD gives you a mission and a talent, JUST DO IT"

  15. #15
    Super Member thimblebug6000's Avatar
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    Also our SPCA takes pillows; hang an old pillow case near your machine & any 100% cotton fabric tidbits can go into the pillow. When it's full fold down the top & stitch it closed, this is the size that fits into the cat cages, maybe your area might want different sizes. Do NOT put batting or threads in the cases. Just another way to recycle those little tidbits that are so hard to throw away.

  16. #16
    Super Member Quilt4u's Avatar
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    I keep All my scraps. No mater the size. If it dose not go into a Quilt It will be in a birds nest or a squaril"s Wich makes it easy to see if it is bright colors..

  17. #17

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    I asked my mom this and she said no scrap is too small. But I just try to keep what I will use and if someone else wants scraps I ask them what is the smallest that they want to receive

  18. #18
    Senior Member judithb's Avatar
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    What is a crumb quilt?

  19. #19
    Senior Member judithb's Avatar
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    What a great idea! I will check with the local vet and see if he can use them. I give them towels for the pets cages, drying, etc.

    I have a great charm quilt pattern from McCalls that uses many 1 /12" X 8" strips. I keep the scraps that work in that. It is really hard to toss material of smaller size, but I do. Well, not really, but I try to weed out the scraps as I quilt. Now I have a legitimate use for them, making beds for kitties!



  20. #20

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    I read an article abt a lady who keeps everything including thread. She uses the scraps to make her picture(I think that's what they're called) quilts. Some of the photos of her work was fantastic! Instead of using paint, she used all of her scrap materials and threads. I don't think I would ever be able to do something like that.

  21. #21
    Senior Member judithb's Avatar
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    I love the thread and piece painting, but have on talent for it. I spent hours in Houston at my first show, Was just blown away by this technique.

  22. #22
    Super Member Olivia's Grammy's Avatar
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    I have a friend that saves her dryer lint to add to wall hangings. I'm sorry, but I have to draw the line on some things. Where does one keep all the things?

  23. #23
    Senior Member judithb's Avatar
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    One of the most interesting recycling ideas! Would love to see on of her creations.
    I hang dryer lint out for the birds to make nests in the Spring.

  24. #24
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    size is relative...lots of people use little bitty scraps, for applique, for mini quilts, for paper piecing...1/2" strips for wrapping clothesline for rugs or baskets...
    that being said, scraps can certainly get "out of control!"
    if you do not mind them 'stacking-up' dont' throw them away...i keep a flat-rate postal box under my cutting table, anything i cut and do not think i will have use for later i simply toss in the box, when it is full i send it away. there are plenty of people right here on this board who would love your scraps :D also, local school art departments...the kids in a near headstart I volunteer at LOVES getting a bag of itty bitty scraps (after all, they are itty bitty them selves) the beginning of December i take in an empty box for each child in the class and a couple glue sticks...the kids glue bitty scraps of fabric all over their box, sometimes making a picture sometimes just lots of color, they call these their 'treasure boxes' sometimes they put a gift in their box and give it away, sometimes they just cant bear to part with their box and keep it for years...i know one little guy who was 3 1/2 when he made his first treasure box, he's 14 now and still has it :mrgreen:

  25. #25
    Super Member Olivia's Grammy's Avatar
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    What a great idea for children. One of my friends is a first grade teacher. I'm going to share you idea with her. And yes, I can supply her with scraps.

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