let's talk scraps. (and stash.)

11 February 2013

let's talk scraps.
so, let's talk scraps. (and stash.)

what makes a scrap piece of fabric?
i've given this some thought, but i don't think that all scraps are treated equally.
and correct me if i'm wrong, but i think that we all have different views on our fabric stashes.

what makes a scrap a scrap?
one might argue that a scrap is based on the actual size of the piece of fabric.
example: 2" squares or 2 1/2" strips.

another might argue that a scrap is any piece of fabric leftover from piecing your quilt.
example: 6" x 8" rectangle, 1/4 yard cut, or even an unused fat quarter.

and then, there are those that might argue that if it's at least an 1/8 of a yard, it's considered stash, not scraps.

so, what do y'all think?
what's YOUR definition of scrap?
and at what size do your scraps get added to your stash?
inquiring minds want to know.

xo, rachel

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45 comments:

Mary@QuiltGenius said...

I consider scraps to be anything less than a fat quarter simply because I can still fold fat quarters neatly and uniformly for the stash shelves.

As for what scraps get to stay? That depends on the fabric. If it is my most favorite fabric, even the smallest piece gets to stay... "just in case". If I don't particularly care for the fabric, I'll toss larger pieces without a second thought.

Richard Healey said...

I would say less the 2 1/2 inches but for me I cut every thing over 2 1/2 inches into square's for my 2 1/2 inc square quilts.

Richard and Tanya Quilts
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stefanie said...

Well, as a general rule, I don't save anything smaller than 5" square (unless it is a fabric by bonnie & camille - in that case I save to 2.5" squares). I know... someone call The Quilt Police!

I think of scraps as anything smaller than say a fat eighth. I have a stash of yardage, a stash of pre-cuts and a stash of smaller cuts, which range from a fat eighth to just over a yard. I store my yardage (yard and a half or more) on mini-bolts.

Lisa Lee said...

I'm just getting into quilting and for me just about any piece over an inch is considered a scrap and I save it! I see so many scrappy quilts and projects using a wide variety of fabrics and can't wait until I have enough random bits collected that I can start making them too.

Now the difference between scraps and stash I don't know? To me the collective whole is my stash. :-)

Jen said...

Anything under a fat quarter goes into my stash bin. Anything under 2" gets tossed.

Karen said...

I'm relatively new to quilting and each fabric purchase has been budgeted and saved up for, so every tiny piece of fabric, say 1.5", is kept, just in case! Especially since seeing those beautiful bottled rainbow quilts last year! And I agree with Lisa Lee, whether it's a fat quarter or half yard or tiny scrap, it's all stash to me :o)

Jodi said...

I can't throw anything away less than 1 1/2" wide or square. Crazy! Fabric is just too expensive to waste!

Dee Dee said...

My scraps are anything less than a fat 8th, as I can still fold them and put them with my fat quarters. Anything smaller gets cut into squares, bricks and strips and strings. Anything smaller than 2 inches square gets tossed.

Tiffany said...

A scrap is anything smaller than a fat eighth. If it's long and skinny or the shape is too funky to fold neatly, it also goes in the scrap pile. I scrap everything bigger than 1 1/2 inches. Even those tiny pieces have been useful for applique.

Barbara McD said...

To be honest, I'm not sure I have a working definition of a "scrap" - I know what I throw away, and I still feel guilty throwing away a piece I think someone might need for an applique. I'm about to build a sewing room and will get to have an organized room (thank goodness), so I'll be going through my "scraps" to see what I should save!

anotheryarn said...

A scrap is "a small piece or amount of something, esp. one that is left over after the greater part has been used" (my laptop dictionary, others have slight wording variation). In my sewing space the estimation that something smaller than a fat eight is about right for what gets tossed in the scrap bin. I'm trying to get better about tossing those 1.5" and smaller pieces but I still instinctively hold onto them. Stash is purchased fabric that I have not used yet (fat eight size and up). Stash is also partial cuts that remain after a project if they are larger than a fat eight or fat quarter (that sort of depends on how much I love a fabric).

I have a personal pet peeve of quilts being called scrappy simply because they use a large number of fabrics - if you pull 25+ different fabrics from your stash that is not scrappy (scrappy: coming from scraps), it is stashy.

Debbie said...

I think I'm with Dee Dee ... If a fat 8th or larger I can still fold with my color-coordinated fabric stacks. Unless it's something I really don't like, then it may go in the scrap basket, which is a jumbled mess. I don't purposely save by size, but if I love a fabric, I'll keep just about any size scrap.

Heather said...

I consider scraps to be anything left over from piecing a top tha t is smaller than a fat quarter.

Andréa said...

I also agree with Lisa Lee and Karen. I love and I use all the tiny leftovers from my projects. I tosse only the ones smaller than 1" or 1 1/2".
And I have to confess that I love when my friends give their scraps to me.
So, ladies, do not throw anything away. Send your scraps to me! = )

craftytammie said...

i keep it all. once in a while it gets to be overwhelming and i purge, but i love my fabric and always think "i'll use that!" it's a bit ridiculous, really.

Catherine said...

The scrappier the better in my opinion, so I keep anything larger than 1" sq. I do sort them separately though.....if it is bigger than a fat quarter, I cut it to a fat quarter, and the left over scrap.....for the scraps themselves, I cut them into the following.....5" strips, 2 1/2" strips, and everything else, and then put them in boxes....so that when I need them they are all ready to go!

Jenny said...

I consider a scrap to be anything leftover from a project. I toss scraps that are smaller than 2". Anything bigger gets added to my always growing stash.

Crystal said...

If it is smaller than a fat quarter then I cut it up into 2 1/2" squares and put it into my scrap bin ready to be made into squares for a scrap quilt. Anything larger gets saved into my stash - I must say I do not really have a stash as pretty much everything I buy is for a specific project and so everything by the end of cutting is usually smaller than a fat quarter and so gets cut up into those 2 1/2" squares but every once in a while there is something a little bigger left over and I do save it. Anything smaller than 2 1/2" gets placed in a bag and I then use it as "stuffing" for animal blankets so then I feel better about that it is being used for something and not collecting in the garbage. I know a lot of people would gasp at that but it is what works for me!

Lisnaweary Quilts said...

I was wondering this myself, as I tend to keep everything - I have a scrap bin for small pieces and then the larger pieces go to colour coordinated piles. Now what constitutes a small piece or a large piece is my own definition!

Susan said...

I am just starting out with quilting, so most of my pieces of fabric are smaller than a fat quarter or are fat quarters and these are called my stash and are carefully ironed and lovingly placed in my drawer for pieces of fabric.

1 1/2 and 2 1/2 inch strips that are left over are kept in a rather full shoe box and small what I call scraps are in a tin, waiting do make a wacky web quilt :) Even the smallest piece is saved for this.

So in answer to your question, I consider stash being anything larger than 12 inch square, the rest would be considered scraps.

Susan said...

...actually, I have smaller bits than 12 inches in my stash, told ya I was just starting :D

Tabatha said...

Ug, I hate scraps, they stress me out. They're like rabbits, they multiply when you're not looking! Just last month I gave away a garbage bag of scraps. I feel guilty not using them, hence the stress.I can't keep anything smaller than 2" by 3", an odd size I know but... 2" x 2" makes me nuts. OCD? ~ Tabatha at BendingPins.com ~

charlotte said...

I have a new appreciation for all scraps since the advent of Sunday Morning Quilts. Anything 1/8 yard or more is stash. Anything smaller is scrap. I sort by color and 2 1/2 inch strips get there own bin.

Katie @SwimBikeQuilt said...

Anything smaller than a fq is scrap. Sorted by color. If its smaller than 4x4 or oddly shaped, I put it in a bag and take it to my guild or give it away for the price of shipping. I keep strings wider than 2 and longer than, say 8.

katie z. said...

Usually less than a fat quarter gets chopped into specific sizes of scraps. Bigger than that is stash.

Sandra said...

I do a lot of similar things to what have already been written. When I've done a top, those pieces left over are cut to half yard or fat quarter or fat eighth. anything less than that gets cut into the next largest square or if it's a skinny piece, I make jelly roll strips. I hate to throw out, I save up all my tiny tiny scraps and use them as stuffing to make cat pillows (send them to the local sanctuary), the cats love them (no paper piecing bits or fusible bits though, but batting, flannel/cotton is great) so nothing goes to waste. Fabric I once thought I loved but don't like "so much", get cut up to use for charity quilt tops for victoriasquits in Canada.

Mary D said...

When I consider scrapes for piecing anything less than 2" is not too useful for me BUT for my appliqué there is a whole different view of scrapes as small as a dime I have use for.
MaryD. www.stitchesonmyneedle.blogspot.com.

Mary Marcotte said...

I have a scrap basket into which I toss anything too small to fold and put back on the shelf. The stash is everything on the shelf: new, old, cheap, free, expensive, nothing matters except that the stash is happy and healthy.

Toni Selman said...

A scrap is at least 2 inches square...but only if I know I'll use it again. Anything other than that I'll share, stuff into a doggie bed, or throw on the hillside for the birds to use in their nests!

lisagillies said...

Anything that is big enough goes in my 2.5in box. The really little bits I used to keep in a scrap bag that hung off my table for thread bits to go in too but the twins thought it was a rubbish bag & started putting tissues in there so I've had to "scrap" that idea!

KatieQ said...

Anything smaller than 2 inches is trash to me. Having said that, I do have some even smaller bits in my scrap jar from fabrics I love that could be used for paper piecing. I can't seem to throw away anything from Fig Tree or Bonnie Camille no matter how small it is.
For me, shape as well as yardage determines what goes in my scrap collection. I usually put thing that are larger than a fat eighth with my regular stash, but long thin pieces left from borders or sashing stay with my scraps.

grapes and hearts said...

I've never come to terms with that question! I sometimes treasure tiny cut offs from favourite fabrics and throw away much bigger pieces of fuglies. So my definition is preferrence. If I like the fabric very much even smaller left overs go back to my stash. Some fabrics were bought for projects made for others, with colours THEY prefer - those leftovers go to the scrap bin, even the bigger parts.
That's my two cents ;o)

MellieWo said...

I agree almost completely with KatieQ. Smaller than 2 inches or non-square- definitly a scrap. Long pieces from binding or sash go in a seperate place. I keep almost everything, though.

DonnaP said...

Anything that is useable below 1/8 is a scrap to me and goes into the scrap bin. In this case, size really doesn't matter.

Katie said...

In my book anything smaller than 1.5 x 2" goes in the bin! When I have enough in varying sizes I make a scrap quilt for Project Linus!

Katie said...

In my book anything smaller than 1.5 x 2" goes in the bin! When I have enough in varying sizes I make a scrap quilt for Project Linus!

Dawn said...

Interesting comments! I toss tiny pieces since I don't appliqué. I scrap strips for string quilts as well as pieces of fabric I have fallen out of love with! I love the term "stashy" since my scrappy are planned from my stash.

Domestic Moose said...

Ha! I just spent the weekend going through my sewing room and "organizing" my stash. The scraps were the hardest to deal with. I found 3 quilts that I want to make out of scraps and cut everything to fit those three quilts or into 2.5" strips. Although a couple bigger pieces were cut into 10" squares because it seemed to be a crime to cut them smaller. Anything that didn't work for those quilts ended up in a strings basket to be used if I ever make a string quilt or wonky log cabin. I don't really keep anything smaller than 1-2" and I've still got an insane amount of scraps.

Domestic Moose said...

Also, like others, I consider my scraps a part of my stash.

Scrap,Quilt, Preach said...

For me to keep a scrap, I have to be able to make at least a 2.5 inch square out of it. Unless its balis, then i keep smaller pieces as they work well for art quilts

Stephanie said...

Anything less than a fat quarter is scrap to me. Though most of my scrap bins are strips and long rectangle pieces (excess I cut off after long-arm quilting) and leftover jelly roll strips, etc.

I have a huge amount of scraps, seriously, huge.

Corri said...

If it's foldable, it goes on the shelf. If it's something small cut into a basic building block already, it goes in a bin. If it's smaller than that or oddly shaped, it goes into my little plastic trash bin that IS NOT trash. Even my two year old knows that. I'm often surprised at the things that can be made out of them when I'm feeling creative, and I feel like that is where quilts came from, not wasting a thing, so I keep them.

But as for scraps vs stash, I consider every piece of fabric I own as part of my stash. I consider anything that is left over from a project as a scrap. In my mind it just means that scraps are free for random, unplanned projects without having to think about it.

Linda-B said...

If it is a fat quarter or more, it gets folded and added to my stash. For everything smaller, I use a method from the book, Scrap Attack, and cut squares (2", 3 1/2", and 5") which are all stored by size in boxes. The cutting and categorizing are a bit time consuming, but the payoff is having a ready supply of pre-cut squares for a scrappy quilt. And I almost hate to admit it, but I keep all strips more than 3/4" wide because I enjoy making foundation-pieced string quilts. Some of my most successful quilts came from fabric that maybe should have been tossed out.

Bennett and Graves said...

I'm with the smaller than a fat
8th is a scrap point of view. But I save almost everything. 2 in square is my smallest, but 1 inch strips can stay for sure. My grandmother quilted only from scrap fabric of all sizes and sometimes I imagine what she would think if she had been able to buy like we do now.

margaret said...

my scraps are anything left over from making something else. having said that, i use anything down to 1 1/2" squares to make scrap quilts. so far my largest 1 1/2" scrap quilt used 900 squares. i just made a Project Linus quilt with 576 2" squares. I gladly accept scraps from others to make into charity quilts. I just bought a box of fabric sight unseen for $20 for Project Linus quilts. Have a great day!! love your blog.
Margaret

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