Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Scrap usage

One of the things that I really like about quilting is its history as a way to use up every little scrap of fabric. That appeals to the part of me that recycles, has a worm compost bin and uses fluorecent light bulbs.

When I quilt, I save all the scraps. They get divided into three groups: scraps larger than 2.5" square, scraps smaller than 2.5" in at least one dimension (a 1" x 18" strip would fall into this category), and scraps that seem too small to be worthwhile sewing into anything (tiny triangles, strips cut off when straightening edges, bits of batting).

I store the tiniest of pieces in plastic grocery bags and use them for stuffing.

I used the first bag I collected to stuff a poinsettia pillow I made for my aunt and uncle for Christmas. I filled a second bag and when the third got full, I decided I needed to make the next project to stuff.

The new dog bed is made of 2 pieces of fabric that I got at Goodwill (the brown flower top and the weird brown-and-purple mushroom fabric I used for the sides) and a piece I got free from a friend (purple bottom fabric you can't see). I'm going to make a removable cover for it (someday) so that I'll be able to take that part off and wash it.

It's roughly 24" x 36" and the sides are about 3" high. I didn't calculate exactly how much volume is in something this size. I thought that two stuffed grocery bags full of scraps would fill it up.

Nope. Nowhere close. I ended up leaving an opening on the side so I could continue stuffing it as I produce tiny scraps. I just added some more this morning, and TD (who was straightening my fabric for me) added some bits last night.

Rags is quite pleased with it really. He doesn't seem to mind that it's a bit lumpy and understuffed.


  1. Looks like Rags appreciates re-purposing! Great name for a quilter's dog :)

  2. He was named Rags long before I was a quilter! I must have known I'd start quilting when I got him... :)