Storing Fabric For Scrap Quilts

What About Those Tiny Bits?

Once my stash started to build, and I was keeping every last scrap of left over fabric in case I needed it, I had to work out an easy to use system of ‘filing’ them.

I began putting them into plastic grocery bags and storing the bags in bigger plastic bins. This meant digging through the bins every time I needed a scrap for a sample for students, or using new fabrics because it was ‘too hard’.

As I worked making quilts, I didn’t want to stop to put things away, so I had a large wire basket for ‘filing’ which got more and more in it, because who wants to stop creating to do mundane filing anyway!

There had to be a better way.

My Solution

After I complete each project, I straighten one end of my fabric, fold it and replace it into its spot in the stash cupboard. The saved piece I cut into various useful shapes or strips.

Usually I start by getting any 6 ½ inch, or 4 ½ in squares out of the piece. Next I cut rectangles 6 ½ in x 3 ½ in, 4 ½ in x 2 ½ in, followed by 3 ½ in squares, and 2 ½ in squares. If there is anything usable left after that, it goes into a bag for crazy patch. I sort the shapes into light and dark, not getting too fussy about it.

Sometimes I cut the scrap piece into strips of 3 ½ inch or 2 ½ inch width.

Storing The Cut Shapes

I bought some plastic stationery drawers at the dollar store (the ones you put paper for the printer in) and these hold the squares and rectangles.  I clip the strips together with a bulldog clip and hang on a hook for easy access.

Scraps ready to use in either random or controlled scrap quilts, and especially handy for Listen With Your Eyes scrap quilts, makes my life easier and my students can easily find bits and pieces to augment their own supplies.

Basket scrap quilt

The Basket Quilt

When I made this quilt, I used many, many squares of random fabrics, so my system gave me ready to use squares. Saved heaps of time (and money)!

Why not try this method for yourself?

Do you have a system for keeping left over fabrics? Tell us about it in the comments.

Have fun!

See you next time
Jan T

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