Tips for Saving Fabric Scraps

Do you hate to throw fabric scraps away? At nearly $12 per yard, most of us think twice about just pitching our cut offs. But then, what do you do with them?

As if we don’t have enough to clean up and store, there is the issue of fabric scraps. Do you keep them? If so, how do you store them? Are they sorted by size, color, type? What can you make with them?

What to Keep

I tend to keep anything I think I may be able to use in a future project. Much of what I embroider is applique so even small pieces of fabric and batting will work.

For fabrics, I clip off points of pieces that will not be usable and keep the rest. I do the same with batting, fusible fleece, and felt. Typically, I do not keep scraps of organza.


Crazy Shamrock by Molly Mine

Even bits of lace can be used in heirloom and crazy quilting embroidery projects.

Amazing Flower Quilt 06 by One by One Embroidery

Stabilizer scraps are kept as well. They can be used as a bandage for patching stabilizer holes and adding extra support to sections of stitching, when necessary. Even the smallest of pieces can be useful, especially water-soluble adhesive stabilizer (which can be quite costly).

How to Sort Scraps

I keep my fabric scraps in small, labeled boxes. Most are sorted by the type of fabric. I keep felt, batting, stabilizer, fleece, GlitterFlex vinyl, and quilting cottons in separate boxes.

How do you sort and store your scraps and how do you determine which scraps to save?


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6 thoughts on “Tips for Saving Fabric Scraps”

  1. I store very small scraps in a stronger bag with handles and use it near my serger and sewing machine for testing stitches/adjusting tension.
    Larger scraps I fold and put in decorative boxes with the fold facing up so I can see what colors and patterns I have.

  2. I use 3 bins. One for larger pieces of fabric, that can actually be made into quilt blocks, although usually with other fabrics. I put leftover strips in that one too. The second one is pieces I could use for applique, and the last is used for fluff scraps. I use this for filling 3d projects that need it, such as rag dolls or other padded things.

  3. I store my larger scraps and strips of fabric in laundry baskets sorted by color. For the smaller scraps, such as the triangles you cut off when making a snowball block, I store these in a tub right next to my sewing machine. I recently discovered “crumb quilting” and love love love it! Now there is virtually no wasted fabric. Yay!

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