No Scrap Left Behind will inspire you to use your fabric scraps, even if you don’t use them in quilts.
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I’m no good at getting rid of even little bits of things. I hang on to yarn ends and little bits of thread and use them to stuff other projects. Tiny bits of fabric tend to get held onto, too, in the name of “I could use that someday.”
I know this isn’t necessarily a good way to live, because all those little bits take up space and often don’t actually get used.
The book focuses on quilts (and quilted pincushions), with 16 projects in all that use all sorts of different scraps, such as:
- squares of different sizes
- strips and strings, which are often rectangular pieces of varying widths and lengths
- triangles snipped from the edges of homemade bias tape (now that’s dedication to saving scraps!)
- snippets, or small pieces of various shapes
The book begins with great information on scrap management, including how she sorts and stores her vast stash of fabric bits. Her advice on choosing a color scheme for your project, things to do when a project isn’t working and alternative project ideas are sure to inspire you to use your fabric scraps even if you don’t have nearly as many as she does.
I would probably never make any of the projects exactly as shown in the book, but I think that’s kind of the point. These are the projects that were inspired by her stash. My stash — especially of scraps, but of fabric in general — is much smaller, but these projects are still inspiring and motivating me to want to find different ways to use the fabric I have.
The quilt projects are not necessarily for beginner quilters (and if I’m a quilter at all I’m definitely a beginner) because of the number of pieces and variety of scraps required. Nyberg calls them “a labor of love” and “intense,” noting that some of the projects took years for her to complete. That’s not really where I’m going as a minimalist crafter, but I can still find inspiration here and see the love and dedication that went into these gorgeous quilts.
I particularly love the quilt Slopes, which uses many, many short strips of fabric sewn together and then cut on a tilt so the stripes slant their way across the quilt. This would be a fun technique to use for a pillow, or even just to do for a single stripe down the center of a quilt.
Rows of little blocks or scrappy strips could be used along the hem of a skirt or be stitched to a cotton dishtowel, or a scrappy design could be used to cover a stain on a favorite shirt.
The pincushion patterns are perfect for people who might not have as many scraps or the patience for a full quilt. One of them measures 8 inches across, so you could definitely just use it as a pillow.
There’s a long, skinny pincushion that inspired me to think about sewing a scrappy cover for my computer wrist rest, and the greeting cards made by sewing fabric bits to card stock are definitely going on my list of things to make.
Use Your Fabric Scraps
Of course there are a million different projects you could use your fabric scraps on, from tiny sleeves to hold lip balm to giant quilts that cover the largest of beds. But sometimes it takes seeing beautiful scrap projects to inspire us to actually dive into our stashes and see what we can make.
No Scrap Left Behind definitely fired me up to do just that. I already used some long-languishing fabric to make a reading tent for my daughter, and I’m looking forward to finally finishing a scrap quilt I may have actually started in high school (or at least it includes fabric from projects I made while in high school).
What do you like to do with fabric scraps? Do you toss them or save them? Do you actually use them? I’d love to hear your thoughts (and feel free to drop some pattern links or show off your stuff on the Minimalist Crafter Facebook page.