Do you ever wonder what to do with leftover pieces of fabric from a quilt? I know some quilters are very big into scrap quilting and will save every little smidgen of fabric for use in some future project. I did this for a while and found that I had piles of little pieces that I couldn't figure out anything to do with. Now I'm talking little...as in strips less than 3/4" wide, or pieces less than 1" square.
I've definitely learned that keeping those tiny pieces just don't work for me. I do keep a small jar of those pieces and use them strictly for cleaning lint off my machine or wiping up drops of oil from oiling my machine. That's about the most I get out of them.
What I have found that works for me is to actually "plan" for a scrap quilt. When I have an idea in my head of what I want something to be or a quilt pattern that I want to make, I jot down the size pieces that I would need to make that quilt. Then as I finish up an existing quilt, I cut up the leftover fabric into pieces to fit the scrap quilt pattern.
The first "planned" scrap quilt is actually very basic. Its just leftover 2.5" squares and I just sew them into groups of 16. Once I have enough blocks amassed, I will make them into a quilt top. Since I always have leftover binding and I cut my binding at 2.5" strips, I just trim all that leftover down into squares. All the squares are kept in one plastic bin and I semi-randomly pull out pieces (I usually make sure that no single 16-patch block has two of the same fabric).
I use these 2.5" squares to be my "leaders and enders" such that I never have to waste stitches on a scrap piece of fabric. So far, I've amassed 70 of these blocks and I need to get to 99 blocks for the center of a over-sized Queen quilt.
One of the things I really like about this is that I have squares from EVERY quilt that I've made so far. While I look at my blocks that I've made so far, I can pick out the fabrics and know exactly which quilt that fabric came from and who has the quilt now. It is sort of like a trip down memory lane.
I think I'll post some more about handling scraps in the future as it seems like its a never-ending "problem" for quilters. ;-)
~Sarah at upstateNYCreations