Ruth gave us a presentation about her use and management of scraps. She called it Scrap Magic. She talked about her system of scrap organization.

Scraps can be better used if they are organized. Everyone’s organization system will be different and personal to them

She uses scraps as soon as she is done with the quilt so that she doesn’t have to file the scraps away.
She said that using scraps adds interest to your quilts and her view is that making scrap quilts is like getting a free quilt. Since you don’t have to buy the fabric for the new quilt, the quilt is free.

When you use scraps in a quilt, you add interest.


  • faster to sew into quilts
  • saves space 


  • can lose possibilities because you cut to a certain size.

Identify your scrap limits before you start to organize:

  • Size – is there a size that is too small for you to use?
  • Personal taste – do you like the fabric enough to keep it around?
  • Quality – is it good enough quality to continue to use?
  • Shape – is the piece a weird shape or a shape you don’t want to keep?

If your scraps are overwhelming you, your limits might be too low.

Organize what you keep so it will be useful

Ruth talked about cutting scraps to defined sizes. She mostly, doesn’t do it, because she feels it limits her options. If she cuts a 4.5″ scrap down to a 2.5″ square, she has lost an inch or so of fabric that could have been used when a larger piece was required.

Nota bene: your editor cuts defined pieces if she has a project in mind for them.

Check the resources noted below for other ideas about cutting to defined sizes.

Ruth also curates her scraps. When she chooses fabrics, including scraps, she has an idea of the color scheme or motifs she wants to use. She tries to avoid the Scrap Vomit look. She selects parameters to create cohesion. Not everything works well together, despite what some experts say.

Scraps are good for paper piecing.

You can cut pieces to add to a pre-cut project

  • replace unsuitable charms or strips
  • add darks or lights as needed to a group of fabrics

Start by selecting yardage and then bringing in scraps to add interest.

Other resources on scraps were posted previously.

Thanks to Ruth for taking the time to prepare a presentation.