These are my quilty scraps.
Also known as -
my little bits of happiness:)
They are cut from all of my quilty project leftovers.
I use them all the time and make lots of fun projects from them.
These are the shelves in
my studio where I keep my fabric.
I keep my fabric in baskets by color.
You can see the smaller baskets on top...
inside those are my little quilty scraps!
When I buy fabric...
I usually buy fat quarters and sometimes 1/2 yard cuts.
It all goes into the larger baskets
when I bring it home from the quilt shop.
I buy larger cuts of fabric for sashings, borders,
binding and backing
as I need them per project.
When I am cutting for a project and I happen to have used most of a fat quarter...
instead of returning it to it's color basket...
I cut it into smaller strips or even just a square or two...
if that's all that is left.
I do not throw it out unless it's smaller than 1 1/2".
No...this is not a garbage can:)
It's where I put all of the leftovers that are
too small to go back in the large baskets.
When it's about halfway full,
I go through it,
cut up the pieces that I haven't cut into strips and squares yet,
and put them all into my scrap baskets according to strip or square size.
It's a good system for me that has worked
so well throughout my quilting years:)
The three sizes that I use the most and keep in these small baskets are
1 1/2" strips and squares...
2 1/2" strips and squares...
And 3 1/2" strips and squares.
(I also keep 5", 7" and 10" squares in one of the larger baskets on my shelves)
These are my go to baskets when I am making any scrappy project.
I go to these first so that I don't have
to cut one or two little squares out of my larger pieces.
I hate that!!
Using and buying fabric in this way
gives me a great variety in color and prints.
it makes my mom and my grandma's proud!
Use it up
wear it out
make it do
or do without...:)
I just love having precut squares and strips at
my finger tips at any given time...
all cut and ready to sew
in all of my happy colors.
just having a stack of 3 1/2" squares like these
means the possibilities are endless!
Having them gives me the same feeling that
I had as a little girl
with a new box of crayons:)
So let me tell you about one of the ways that I use my little bits of happiness.
I make scrappy blocks of course!
Lots of scrappy blocks.
I make them into what I like to call
just yesterday I posted
for my Bitty Scrap Around Block.
I cut it out of my 1 1/2" and 2 1/2" scraps.
I had several of these blocks made already
because I have been using them as my current
bonus quilt project.
I've blogged several times about how I use starters and stoppers when I sew...
to see one of those posts if you don't know what I'm talking about!
Now back to the Bitty Scrap Around blocks.
As I said...
I always have a scrappy
starters and stoppers project going and I'm now making several of my
Bitty Scrap Around blocks.
Above are the pieces that I cut for the
blocks from my 2 1/2" basket....
2 1/2" squares for the centers
1 1/2" x 2 1/2" strips for the sides.
I cut the additional pieces for the blocks
from my 1 1/2" basket...
4 1/2" strips and
6 1/2" strips.
I don't really count how many pieces that I cut...
I just cut up a bunch in the sizes needed for the block.
When I'm running low...
I simply grab my baskets and quickly cut more to
continue with the same blocks.
After one particular project is complete...
I decide on a new one and start cutting again!!!
I keep this vintage muffin tin next to my sewing machine
when I am chain piecing
so that the pieces are handy to just pick up and
use as my current bonus quilt project.
You can see that by using starters and stoppers
each time I'm sewing...
I quickly have a pile of
scrappy happy blocks to make into
a bonus quilt...
or even a pillow!
When one size of my
"little bits of happiness"
basket is getting a little full...
I plan a project that will use up several
of that strip or square size
and cut pieces for my
next bonus quilt.
That's why I chose to
make these small blocks and call them
"Bitty Scrap Around's"...
(they finish at 6")
because my 1 1/2" basket was getting pretty full!
This is a quilt that I call my
"Scrap Around" quilt.
It's really big
(it's folded for the photo)
and our favorite go to quilt for snuggling when watching a movie.
I made it several years ago.
I used my 5" square scraps...
my 2 1/2" and 1 1/2" strips to make it.
I love to put a really fun and
colorful backing on my scrappy quilts:)
Now you can see why I heart my
baskets filled with little bits of happiness...
and why I save them!
I LOVE making something beautiful out of leftovers...
I LOVE saving time and thread by
using starters and stoppers.
I hope I've inspired you to do the same!
Save your Scraps.
The secret to "using" them
instead of just "saving" them
is to cut them into usable sizes and keep them organized.
Once you've done that...
you will be surprised at how many
scrappy happy projects you can make!
Let me know what you think about the
latest "from my quilty studio" tutorial.
Do you believe in saving scraps?
My next tutorial will be all about using my vintage irons!
Have a quilty kind of day!
This is a brilliant plan - no wonder you are so productive, I'd love if I could incorporate this into my system! thanks for sharing
Thank you for this information! I usually just throw all my scraps in one basket, then really don't end up using them. I'm going to try your method.
Love this idea, Lori!! And I love your scrappy blocks! Thanks for sharing!:)
thanks for all of your interesting ideas for scraps, will definitely be trying a few.
Thanks for sharing! It makes me seriously reconsider my scraps. I think reorganizing them may be my next rainy day project.
Thanks, Lori! You have literally taught me how to quilt. I can't express how much I appreciate your detailed tutorials and your joyful nature. You are quite an inspiration. I've become passionate about quilting and I thank you.
I love using scraps for quilts! Trouble is, no matter how much you use, it never seems to go down in size. I'm always cutting more scraps to make up the difference.
I have a GREAT idea! Let's TRADE sewing rooms!
What a great post Lori and I also have my scraps sorted in various sizes and it is so handy. It is fun to see your baskets and I can't wait for the info on your vintage irons!
I love scrappy quilts. I am known as the "Scrap Queen" in my small quilting group. Thanks for sharing your great ideas for organizing your scraps. I would love to have a sewing room like yours.
I love your baskets idea! I pinned it so that when I move and get my new sewing room I can implement the ideas!
Great tips! But I must confess that I kept my scraps. Then I donated them to a new quilter. I knew that I would never make anything with them. I tend to over keep if you know what I mean.
Thank you Lori!
I'm old but new to quilting and you have been a huge inspiration to me. I've sewn my whole life but recently caught the quilting "bug".
I always wondered how to store these pieces so I would be able to use them later. I'm redoing/organizing my sewing studio so this is perfect timing. You are an amazing woman! :)
What an awesome system...and it really works! When my sewing space magically appears someday, I'm going to try this storage method. For now, I'm going to start trimming the scraps into strips and squares, as you described. Great ideas!
Lori, thanks so much for all the info. I am going to try your plan. All of my scraps are currently in one large bin - a huge mess!Love your blog so much.
Love the idea. You have inspired me to organize my scraps by sizes. I even want to try to make a quilt one day.
you have inspired me to organize my scraps by size. I love all the beautiful pictures, I enjoy your blog, is very inspirational.Thanks
I'm a scrap saver too. I cut my scraps into 2 1/2 inch squares since I use them for paper piecing hexies.
Would you please come to my house and organize my sewing room? Please!
Lori, thank you for the scraptastic organizing tips! I look forward to your vintage iron post. I just found one and have been a little nervous about using it.
I just can't throw away scraps if they are a usable size, but they end up getting stashed all over the place. This is a great solution and would make it so much easier to use them.
Thanks so much for the tutorial!
I love every little bitty scrap, I don't have that many so I don't organize by size yet, I just put them in a big glass jar, I have 2 jars on my table right now.
Thank You Lori for this tutorial. I started a little 'Baggie' system, but this is definitely much better! My mom once made two big scrappy quilts that we always use when going to the beach. Each patch brings back memories of the cloths etc. we sewed in the basement of our home (some on her old, vintage sewing machine, that I still have). Those quilts are a comfort in more ways than one.
Lori, this is wonderful!! Thank you so much. I never thought to cut my scraps down to a particular size before storing them. I could definitely do this with my smaller pieces. I have soooo many scraps from all of the bags that I made and they are all thrown in a giant plastic tote right now :( I so wish you could help me organize my sewing space. You always have the greatest ideas!!!
Love it! I am a huge vintage girl myself.
Some if my scraps are kept in big old mason jars, I love the blue ones. But, your idea is genius.
Thanks again for the inspiration!
So inspiring, thanks!!
Hi Lori I LOVE scraps, I find it hard to throw any scraps away - I tend to save anything bigger than a 1" square. My quilty friends think I'm a bit mad, but I love having my scraps at my fingertips, and sometimes use them as leaders and lenders too.
I've been looking for a "system" of saving scraps for a while now and this makes sense. Thank you. I just love how neat and organized you are.
HI LORI ! I LOVE ALL YOUR POST. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR BE SO OPPEN. SOY ARGENTINA Y VIVO EN BRASIL ! LOVE YOUR WORK !
You are so neat and organized! My strips are a bit of a mess. You have inspired me to go organize them so that they are neater.
I have visited your tutorials on utube and I found the ones on the tools you use very helpful. I think I will be getting the Angler 2 soon!
I never understood the leader and ender thing before reading your post. I was thinking they only made the 'other' block at the beginning of their trail and didn't understand how it helped that much. Seeing that you sew between each section makes much more sense. Thanks!!
GOT IT ~ LOVE IT ~now I can pick up all my little bags of scraps I have here and there and organize my sewing room. This really helps. Thanks so much and look forward to hear about your vintage irons! Thanks again!!!
Fabulous post!!! Thanks so much!! I use leaders and enders but never so creatively!
Inspire me ? yes you did. I have followed for a good while and rarely get time to comment.. but today my day off.. I am her to tell you I love your blog and your advise and your inspiration.. i save scraps to then donate to my local church for donation projects.. I have several ladies to save theirs for me to.. in a large bag.. I then one day cut my lil heart out.. love how you organize these.. this will help lots.. Thanks so much..
I LOVE, LOVE this post! Can you come to my house? I have saved scraps all my life. I used to steal my mom's scraps when I was really young. My problem is that I do not have them organized or cut into squares or strips.
Thank you sharing your tips. Wow! You are so organized. I'm heading off to my sewing room to get a handle on my scraps. Have a nice day!
Great post! Thank you for all the wonderful tips and beautiful photos.
Quel régal pour les yeux ! bravo
douce pensée de France
Thanks for the tips. Got a few good ideas about taming all the scraps I have been collecting. Really need to organize them.
I just hate to waste fabric! I keep a small plastic basket (Dollar Store find) near my machine to collect scraps during each project. I save almost everything - small triangles, narrow strips, the edges of fused fabrics. The baskets fill quickly, sometimes overflow. I sometimes use scraps in the back of the quilt. Afterwards they get trimmed, sorted, loosely tossed in to large plastic reclaimed pretzel barrels by basic color families. I can see everything at a glance when I want to dig. Its fun to grab a bunch, throw them on my work surface and go to town. I even use raw edges in fused applique - or woven and quilted into mug rugs, etc. Love your organization!! As my stash grows I may adopt it. Thanks for sharing.
I do the same I uaually have 2 to 3 going at the same time I am using a dwr pieces currently when I start I sew a few together and end with a few and press all when done and im doing a log cabin to at the moment I have a friend who makes throws from my tiny scraps for nursing homes and such
Great tut!!! But I see the Gilmore Girls DVDs. Yay someone else who obviously loves that show!
wonderful ideas for organizing and getting inspired by scrappy quilts! Thanks! Janet in AR
Thank you, thank you for this brilliant information. I'm excited to get started on scrap organizing :)
I love the way you organize your scraps way better than the way I've been doing it. Thanks for the inspiration.
See you in less than 1/2 hour, leaving now but had to check your blog first. I do similar, too. The trashcan I've been doing for a long time. It works.
Wow are you organized or what! Love it and it's also nice to hear that someone else doesn't through out small pieces....Love the aqua garbage can where ever did you find that one...Also loved getting to see your sewing space such a happy spot....Freda
I'm currently on a mission to use most of my scraps making children's quilts for donation. I've been having so much fun watching my STACKS of scraps turn into something useful! Wish I could keep my stacks as organized in the bins as yours are! Mine seem to mix themselves all over the place when I'm searching for just the RIGHT scrap LOL I'm hoping the Barn-Along blocks are still available. I really would like to do a quilt from them! have an absolutely wonderful day!
Great Post Lori! I have mine sorted into colors, but not sizes. I really like that idea. And now I need to get a can and spay paint it pink for my scraps. I love your quilt and think that will be my next go to project! Oh how I wish I had your stash!! Thanks for sharing.
Where can one find the cute little blue covered pail that you use to put your fabric scraps in?
You have an amazing quilt room! Thank you for sharing it and all the information on how to organize.
Thanks "sew" much for this valuable tip Lori! I shall start today! Great for yoyo's too!
I am absolutely IN LOVE with scraps and I'm a little bit CRAZY about saving them. I even save tiny scraps I can't use just because they look so pretty in a jar. Yes... THAT crazy. Haha! I recently found a use for scraps that are too small to quilt with on Nana Company's blog she shows how to make those little fabric postage stamps, I made a whole bunch of them this morning for a project out of the ZAKKA HANDMADES book. So, YES, I agree with you about saving scraps. And I love making scrap quilts too, of course! This is a great post! :)
Loved your post about scraps and leaders and enders. I can't sew without them! I always have something cut and usable for this method. I find I have a hard time sewing without it!
I'm all about organization, so your methods are perfect to me! I'm so new to this that I don't have an abundance of scraps yet, so this will be a great way to start:) thank you Lori!!
Love this tutorial on saving and USING scraps!!!
Can't wait to give it a go!
wonderful tutorial!! I certainly need something to help get me organized, and now you have inspired me, 'cause I hate to throw away little pieces, and now I know what to do with them! :-) Time to go buy some little bins for my scraps!! Hugs, H in Healdsburg
Love, love your space!!! Thank you for sharing!
Love your space!!! and thanks for sharing!
I love your scrap organization. I have been working on organizing my scraps. I keep wanting to use them. Maybe you could share some more motivational ideas for my scraps. I love your blog. Thank you for sharing.
Great tips for keeping those scraps in order. I really enjoy your blog!
Just wanted to let you know how inspiring you are and how much I appreciate your tutorials! I know this takes up alot of your precious sewing time, and you are so very generous to give that time up for us fellow quilters! I just love your tutes and have tried just about every single one of them :) Now this will be my first leader ender project, I've been wanting to start one for quite some time now so thanks for kicking me in the butt! You ROCK Lori!
Love this idea and my mom has used it for quite a while but it seems we don't want to do what our moms say! Right? What up with that? I am 50 now and she knows a lot more than me!!!
Thanks for the inspiration to be more organized.
This is a great idea, and it helps you to organize your scraps with out wasting your fabric. Thank you.
I was already saving my scraps, and pre-cutting them into usable shapes, but I was NOT throwing my 'still need to be dealt with scraps' into a pile, so they go all over until I get sick of looking at them. I like the pail idea much better. I also like that you save the scraps by size, not by color. I also need to schedule some scrappy projects. The boxes are too full! Always inspiring Lori!
I am a newbie and am VERY impressed with your blog. I look forward to learning a lot from you!
Thank you for sharing and showing fabulous pictures! It makes it so easy to understand.
Thank you, I am doing this. I am going to sort and cut my fabrics. Money will be saved cause I will not be purchasing fabric I already have. Thank you, I do need Glacie though.
Lori, I love all your tutorials, and ideas. They are so useful an helpful. I get so overwhelmed sometimes with all of my scraps, but just can't seem to through them away! Thanks so much for the help!
Thank you, thank you, thank you. How generous of you to help us out! I've had no idea how to organize my scraps and you just taught me how to do it and be more productive. You're the best!
I've been cutting scraps into 2.5" squares and using them as leaders/enders/new projects. I want to know something though-where did you get that cute "trash can" that is not a trash can?
Great tips! Thanks for sharing! I'm currently trying to get my sewing room organized in a similar fashion...I'm hoping once I get the initial organization into place, I will be able to keep it up without too much trouble. It's just getting through these 15 shoe boxes plus 4 bags of scraps to start with that's killing me!
Thank you for a great tip, I'm a hoarder and have bags and bags of scraps this will be my winter project.
I intend to make a scrap quilt like the you made.
Lori you are wonderful. I am currently trying to get my large pieces and scraps collected into one place and cut the scraps into a nice variety of sizes. I have 4 totes under my kitchen table I have to tackle. I am just proud I was able to gather that much into one place. It is slow going, but you have given me incentive to keep it up.
I'm late to the party....I've just discovered you! Love your stuff. Your scraps seem to all be from one color/style type. Do you have other genres of fabric such as batik or reproduction etc? Do you include those in your scrap plan or do they get their own bins and baskets?
I'm late to the party! I've just discovered you. I do love your stuff! I'm wondering if you collect other genres of fabric such as batik or reproductions, etc. if so, do you include them in your scrap plan or do they have their own bins? Thanks for the great ideas!
Great post Lori. Love the idea! I also love all your tutorials over at fatquartershop! You must have been really busy doing all those videos. They're very helpful! Thanks for inspiring me. Corine from Alberta, Canada.
Wow! You are so organized! I could only wish to be that way! Thanks so much for sharing and I am going to bookmark this and give it a try.
Love your work!!!!!
I love scrappy quilts and have 2 large storage boxes of scraps. I have heard of cutting them to usable sizes before, but I especially like the leaders and enders tutorial you gave. I now have a project to work towards. I will be moving next year to a new home, so I am always looking for new ideas for my sewing studio.
Can you share any info about the beautiful aqua sewing machine at the end of your post??? I think I may have seen that brand at and estate sale last week(not the aqua color,though). Do you use the machine? Did you build it into a cabinet yourself or did it come that way?? Thanks!
Super and soooo tidy!
Greetings from Germany
That is perhaps the prettiest, happiest sewing room I've ever seen. Thanks for sharing your system and your photos and joy!
I love this post! You have really inspired me to organize my scraps. I am finally getting a large pile of scraps and have not known what to do with them. Thanks!
Your scraps are so color coordinated! My problem is I like too many different lines so they don't look as cohesive as yours do. Oh, you're too cute - would love to see a big smile...looks like you're trying to be reserved :)
My scrap system is almost exactly like yours except that I also save 2 inch strips and squares. I call the leader/ender quilts that I make "free quilts' since it doesn't take any more time or $ to make them! Great post....I bet that you made some converts!!
Your studio is great! I love all the bright colors in your fabrics and quilts. I wish I had some of the little birds fabric on the back of your scrappy quilt. Darling...
Love your ideas. You inspire me to be more organized. My Mom is Greek and always tells me "Economia" which means learn to economize and to her it is not to be so quick to throw things away. Love your blog and style :)
Mom and Grandma would be so proud! Gotta love your coloring crayon box. Cute scrappy Quilt.
Thank you so much for sharing these wonderful tips for organizing and using scraps, Lori! Can't write more, as I'm headed to my sewing room (aka the garage) to press and cut scraps...
Thanks for the great tips. I have been saving scraps for years, but never knew what to do with them so I'd put them in a box & never use them.
Thanks so much Lori! I'm making my way through my scraps and organizing them this way. I'm going to really try to have a leaders/enders project ready to go all the time too. I have done some leaders/enders projects but would love to be prepared to always have one ready!!! You're the bestest!!! xo Erin
I am going to start this system, What a great idea.
Where did you find the white plastic baskets? Love your storage plan!
What a beautiful room you have thank you for sharing
I just stumbled onto this post via Pinterest and was blown away when I saw the picture of your vintage White sewing machine. I learned to sew on my grandmothers turquoise White machine and this is exactly how I remember it looking! I have never forgotten that machine and wondered if I would ever see another one like it in my lifetime. You made my day! Just one question... Does it have a foot pedal or a knee lever? Grammie's had a knee lever instead of a pedal, and it was in a cabinet. Thanks for the trip down memory lane!
This is the best scrap saving idea I've ever heard. I'm sick to think of the scraps I've tossed because I didn't have them organized. Thank you so much for sharing this. I love your sewing room.
I need to go get some baskets. Wonderful ideas. I wasn't sure how big my small scraps needed to be. Now I know!!! Thanks
Dear Lori, I just had to smile out loud when I read your post re: scraps and storage methods. It is so similar to how I store mine.
I LOVE scraps and I have actually used that same expression that you did about thinking of your scraps as a big box of crayons. I said it a few weeks back to my friend and she laughed but agreed it was pretty accurate description. I wonder if you sometimes just "play" with the strips and scraps like I do?
Love your blog.
I think this is a wonderful idea and I cannot wait to start my own baskets of fun. Thank you for sharing.
I save all scraps. The pieces that are too small to use in a quilt and even threads and batting scraps go in a bin to be used as filler for poufs that I make for gifts and silent auctions.
I have such a love/hate relationship w/ my scraps. Horrible guilt when I throw them out sometimes....and sometimes a sense of relief when I toss them in the garbage.
After reading this....i have guilt again.:) It really does come down to be organized and having a plan. Thanks for great inspiration!
Jan @ email@example.com
Thank you, Lori, for all the practical ideas for organizing to quilt.
Thanks so much for sharing! I am slowly going through my stash to incorporate your ideas. I see this making a world of difference and hopefully making me more productive!!
Thanks so much for sharing! I am slowly going through my stash to incorporate your ideas. I see this making a world of difference and hopefully making me more productive!!
I have just met your blog (through Noodlehead) and I love it! Thank your for your tips. I've always kept my scraps and usually cut them like you . I've made many scrappy thing because I love the scrappy look,but I've never used it with your method of leaders and enders. I'm going to start , just now.!
Greetings from Spain
I love your ideas of leaders and enders...today I cut some fabrics in this manner...I love all of your tips...I also have a 2 1/2" square quilt top waiting to be sandwiched...I am totally addicted to your blog and the videos on The Fat Quarter Shop...
Hi Lori! Amazing post! I love your style and blog and all the lovely photos that really pick you up with all the bright colors. It was so inspiring, My fabric is currently stored in boxes and is a mess and you've just inspired me with a clear idea of how I should go about sorting it all out. I would love to do some scrappy quilts. Thanks so much!
I love your quilts! I follow you on instagram and I have been tempted to try making a quilt with my all my scraps. What quilt style would you suggest for a beginning quilter? I really love your bee hive style quilt you posted on insta but I have a feeling that is a little more advanced for me.
Oh for cute sakes!
Thanks Lori for sharing your mom's little saying--Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without... That put in to words the mind set of my parents
and basicly how I was raised.It was not really spoken but rather lived out. I better understand my ways now.
Thanks for sharing your ideas...I will try to do this one for sure....
Thanks for your great post! It is wonderful to see glimpses of your beautiful sewing studio - it is clearly a place of cheer and joy! I look forward to exploring your website.
Best wishes, Laura
I love your I dea of making the sizes as you go. I sew allot of flannelette, and I have been cutting uniform sizes from the scraps but have been putting them back in my small pieces boxes marked Boy or Girl.
I love your idea of cutting into consistent usable sizes. I already sort by color and measure all the pieces cutting and measuring makes great sense.
I want you to know, you have inspired me and I am right in the middle of organizing my sewing room. Right now a huge mess, but I have hope! Thanks for all the ideas...
Love this makes sew much sense! Thank you.
Cutting and saving scrap leftovers in various sizes has been great. I am currently making a Tennessee Waltz quilt and using these scraps in the process, saving so much time custom-cutting pieces!
Thank you Lori, this is a wonderful and inspirering blog, I will start right away cut my scraps into usable squares and strips. How nice to finaly get a tip how to organize my tiny sewing place, I am sure this will make it so much easier to just sit down and sew together something. Blessings to you and your family, hugs from me in Norway :-)
I love your site! I am a late comer though. Been quilting for about 27 years but have been on hiatus. Finding this blog is a blessing! California Cuilter and Music and Art Teacher and Musician and School Teacher. Beth
Fabulous post. I'm a pretty organized person and can apply some of your methods easily. I've never really saved scraps and until now only purchased what I needed for the current project. Would save larger scraps from those quilts and would make a scrap quilt when the storage drawer reached full. Yes I only had 1 drawer for my fabrics. Mostly because of lack of storage space.
Love your ideas for storing scraps and fabric. I have been looking for ideas on storage for my fabric and definitely be incorporating your ideas into my sewing area. Thanks for sharing.
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