I have a problem!

I have bins of scraps everywhere. Some are full of scraps or strings …

Some are just a jumbled mess … this one has leftover blocks, squares, and leftover chunks of fabric.

There are numerous smaller bins with fabric leftover from other projects, some of them have binding pieces just tossed on top.

My GO cutting table has piles of scraps and yes, another bin with scraps …

And trust me, there are many other bins piled up with scraps. I mentioned a couple days ago that I’d like to have one machine set up just for string piecing without explaining that I do have two machines set up here in Tampa in addition to the longarm. Typically, I use one for the current piecing project – that one is in the nook with the cutting table, the ironing board, and the design wall. The other machine is across the room and I use that one for piecing backing, battings, and binding. I don’t have room to set up another machine so I’m going to try to use the 2nd machine for string piecing and leave my string bins there under the GO table. I’ll have to walk back and forth across the room to press and trim blocks but we’ll see how that works for now.

I started moving things around this afternoon and going through some of the bins. This will be an ongoing project this year.


  1. I have two large bins plus a couple of shoebox sized bins full of trimmings and extra bindings. I felt overwhelmed. Then my daughter decided to make crumb quilts made of blocks constructed only of individual colors. She sorted all of my scraps by color, neutrals and multi-colored. She has already used virtually all of my yellow scraps and my blue scraps are almost gone. And it is scary! To think I have no blue or yellow scraps??!! What will I use in multi-fabric scrappy quilts for variety?? I did not expect her to be so efficient at using up my scraps!

  2. I’m glad you have a tentative solution to the String sewing, Mary. Regarding walking back and forth to press and trim…
    I sew upstairs and go downstairs to iron. I consider it my workout for the day!

  3. Can you spend 1 hour a day just cutting scraps? You have several patterns you repeat a few times a year it seems so could cut for a scrappy everything goes version for each?

    I wind up my leftover bindings and keep a binding box. When I have a scrappy quilt, it gets binding of those, sometimes 10 pieces! It’s fun and I get lots of compliments on them.

    If you remove that empty bin, you wont’ refill it 😉

    Happy String piecing!

  4. Your bins look like mine did several years ago, but multiply that by about 5 times….I had 4 decades of scraps that I’d never organized. I don’t have a GO. I played movies on the TV in the quilt room, ironed the scraps and then used the Bonnie Hunter system to cut down the scraps into precuts for future use, and I’ve been doing it ever since. Great job when its snowy, rainy or you just need a little ‘me’ time. That’s the easiest way to get yourself set up with precuts for many years, and I love how I can just pull out what I need & start sewing, especially since all that I do now is scrappy quilting. People still walk into my quilt room & say its like a quilt shop (that’s what 40+ years of quilting will do), but its all organized and ready to go. Especially important now as we now live in a home of 900 sq ft & my quilt room is the second largest room in the house. I love your idea of the binding box, Elle – I think I’ll put that to use for me, thanks!!

  5. I feel your pain. In fact, I may have the same situation here too. I’m hoping I don’t go wild buying fabric this year but I really don’t have pieces I can use for backing. I’m going to see what, if any, fabric I can piece for backing tops that I have waiting to quilt. Perhaps what I really need to do is figure out pieced backings… Good luck with your year long effort to use scraps!

  6. I am also swimming in bags of scraps and also a lot of fat quarters !! I have never pre-cut specific sizes as I don’t really make a lot of traditionally pieced blocks. I am trying to do a “no buy” this year and to just use what I have on hand …
    I used to have a quilting friend (who has since moved away) and we would tear each fabric of say, reds, in half and swap…that was really fun…we would do a color a month that way. Those were fun afternoons…and it really juiced up our collections…
    Hope you can begin to tame your strings…hugs, Julierose

  7. It’s good to know that others share the same problem that i have with scraps accumulating and taking over. I’ve made some progress in organizing but have a long ways to go yet.

  8. I also have scraps that I have not used. Don’t always have time to sort thru bins cause we just go to the next project adding more scraps to the never ending piles! Guess thats what we quilters do LOL

  9. It appears that many of us are having the same or similar experiences with our scraps gathering and maybe even starting to overwhelm a sewing space. Since it is an ongoing problem for me, and I know I cannot possible sew them all soon, I felt after reading your post and the many responses, that it is ok, and I won’t worry about it any more. I’ll try to have an alternate scrap pattern in progress at all times. most of my sewing is scrappy, and my friends know I will try to use whatever scraps they send. I never want to garbage even a small but pretty piece of quilting fabric

  10. when I have small pieces left i cut them into strips or squares and keep them sorted in leftover plsstic bins labelled wit size- 2″,3″, 2 1/2″ etc.

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