Ideas to use fabric scraps

I think it’s safe to say, we all have leftover fabric scraps. Here are 20 ways to use fabric scraps in a variety of projects: quilts, gifts and other craft projects. (This post was updated 02/18/2020)

This week I helped to teach a class with ideas for using your scraps with the very sweet Marilyn Yerkes at our local quilt shop. We were asked about doing this right after Christmas and it has been so motivating for me to get my scraps organized and to start making projects with them in preparation.  

Above is my progress with my American Jane scraps quilt. I’ve got more blocks assembled and I think I’m going to make it twice as big, at least. Finally giving those scraps a good home (because there are a lot of them)! This quilt was inspired by a project in this book and this quilt by Rita of Red Pepper Quilts.

Of course I only took two (really poor-quality) pictures during the class. sigh.

This quilt is by Marilyn. She used a tutorial from the Missouri Quilt Co. and 3 Dudes Quilt Shop that’s on YouTube. It’s so cool!

It was very fun to share ideas and projects with other quilting friends and I figured I’d share some of the ideas with you too!  I shared some of my recent scrap projects. (Including this quilt finished. I love it.  Am now working on the pattern and will share when both are ready!)

Here are some of the other ideas we shared. Some of them you’ve probably heard of dozens of times, but just in case, here they are all together. (Pictures used with permission.)

Scrap fabric organization: The first thing I recommend is organizing your scraps by color. It’s the simplest way to organize your scraps and it will make them SO much more appealing to work with. I bought a couple of sets of those clear, plastic drawers as a simplest possible see-thru storage option.

My second tip for scrap organization: Get rid of the scraps that are no longer inspiring. Clean out and purge.

I have more details about sorting and organizing scraps here.

 Quilt-as-you-go TableRunner 

Use your fabric scraps to make a wonky log cabin quilt

Wonky Log Cabin quilt blocks

GrannySquare Quilt Block Tutorial from Blue Elephant Stitches

String x-block tutorial from Leedle Deedle Quilts

 Strings block tutorial from Film in the Fridge

Ticker Tape on Canvas by Amanda Jean of Crazy Mom Quilts

Tutorial - Scrappy Fabric Garland
Scappy Fabric Garland from Cluck Cluck Sew

Applique Fall Pillow from Cluck Cluck Sew

Gift Tags from A Spoonful of Sugar

Simple Sprocket Pincusion Tutorial By Sedef Imer
Long, scrappy pincushion tutorial by Jeni Baker
Scrap Jar Stars quilt block tutorial
50+ Fabric Stash Buster Ideas: Lots of purses, pin cushions, needlebooks, etc. from Tipnut.com

I hope some of those ideas spark some creative juices in using your own scraps.

For keeping track of more Scraps ideas, I’ve started a Scraps pinboard that I update regularly, if you want to follow it for the latest projects and ideas:

What are some of your favorite ideas to use fabric scraps?

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  • Reply
    Katy Cameron
    March 17, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    Sounds like a fun day, and great collection of tutes, thanks for sharing.<br /><br />As for the leprechauns, I think they were away stealing the Irish rugby team&#39;s playing ability today…

  • Reply
    March 17, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    I love your ideas for scraps. I have a long list of to-dos, it just seems as though there is never enough time!

  • Reply
    Lucy @ Charm About You
    March 17, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    Your quilt looks wonderful 🙂 Happy St Patrick&#39;s Day!

  • Reply
    March 17, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    Inspiring!!! I have LOTS of scraps, including a bag of 2&quot; squares (Bonnie Hunter inspired me to do that).

  • Reply
    Missy Shay
    March 17, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    Thank you for sharing!

  • Reply
    Steph Jacobson
    March 17, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    I love your American Jane scraps quilt. I&#39;ve been making string quilt blocks with my scraps. It is a lot of fun and I love the crazy, colorful quilt blocks it makes.

  • Reply
    Sarah Craig
    March 17, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    Love love love your American Jane scraps quilt! What a great way to use up little scraps!!

  • Reply
    vintage grey
    March 17, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    Love the scraps quilt! I have so any scraps, a great way to use them. Oh, your Reunion quilt is beautiful, too! Happy St. Patty&#39;s Day! 🙂 xo Heather

  • Reply
    Cindy~ Heart and Sew Inspirations
    March 17, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    Such great ideas! As a beginner quilter, I hope to have enough scraps someday to do something pretty with. I may try the table runner! Right now, I am still on my second quilt top and just starting to build a stash toward my next project. Love your blog!

  • Reply
    March 17, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    I really love what you&#39;ve done w/ the scraps in that first quilt top. all the white is awesome, too.<br />thanks for putting so many ideas together in one spot. <br /><br />if i ever sew again (4 kids?!! how do you do it!?), i&#39;ll keep these in mind 🙂

  • Reply
    March 17, 2012 at 9:00 pm

    I love Marilyn, we have been friends for years! She is one talented lady–in many mediums. Great ideas.

  • Reply
    March 17, 2012 at 9:58 pm

    I just found your blog. Wonderful quilts…and I love the math related comments. My Daughter graduated from BYU n Math Education and now teaches at Orem Junior High. We have gone into The American Quilting store. It is very cute.

  • Reply
    Catskill Quilter
    March 18, 2012 at 12:54 am

    Happy St. Patrick&#39;s Day to you as well! I hope it was wonderful. This is an interesting post — the first quilt is gorgeous, and I see that it depends on lots of background fabric (in this case white) for its success. LOVED this post from you — another great one!

  • Reply
    Sew Create It - Jane
    March 18, 2012 at 4:16 am

    Lots of great scrap ideas there…only problem with scraps is the box never seems to empty no matter how hard I try :o)

  • Reply
    Ric Rac and Polka Dots
    March 18, 2012 at 9:16 am

    Reading this post makes me think I need to organize my scraps. Oh, just what I need, another project! Very cute ideas for using them up, thanks for sharing!<br />Julie

  • Reply
    March 19, 2012 at 6:51 am

    Some really great suggestions Amy! I love the quilt you made to take to class. Thanks for consolidating all the ideas into one post!

  • Reply
    March 19, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    Who knew you could make so many great things with the scraps. I will look at them in a new light.

  • Reply
    Melanie@Crafty Cupboard
    March 19, 2012 at 10:32 pm

    I think Rita&#39;s scrap quilt was the second quilt I ever made, and I LOVED it. Still do. I&#39;m saving scraps to make another one just like it! Actually, with all the fabric scraps I&#39;ve accumulated, I could make 7 of those…

  • Reply
    Mary DeBar
    February 20, 2015 at 6:57 pm

    I cut 6&quot; squares and when the stack gets large enough, I sort into piles of colors that work together for simple lap quilts for a prayer shawl ministry. I feel good about using up the scraps, the quilts are small and simple so go fast, and someone not feeling well knows someone is thinking of them.

  • Reply
    Using Fabric Scraps
    January 14, 2017 at 12:05 pm

    […] If you’re looking for other ideas for using up scraps, this post is full of ideas for using your fabric scraps. […]

  • Reply
    Penny Wilkens
    January 15, 2017 at 6:48 am

    Is there a pattern for the American Jane quilt with instructions for the size of the blocks. Such a cute quilt!

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