24. May 2016 · Comments Off on No Scrap Left Behind · Categories: Sewing · Tags: , , , ,

I’ve adopted a new philosophy when it comes to sewing . . . no scrap left behind.

Now I’m not all into the “Scrap Vortex” quilts that were making their way across the quilty world a year or so ago that kinda made my eyes want to pop out.

Scrap Vortexscreen shot of the images that popped up when I Googled scrap vortex

These scraps are just toooooo much for me.  Way too busy.  No place for the eye to rest.

I have instead decided to deal with my scraps on a per project basis.  This way there’s fewer fabrics to deal with at one time and theoretically they should all go together nicely.

The project I’d like to highlight today started with a four pack of Marimekko napkins I bought at Target.


I decided to turn them into tote bags for my son’s preschool teachers.  Nevermind the fact I later learned there were actual Marimekko tote bags available as well.  Harrumpfh.  Handmade is always better anyway right?  Right.  I used a free tutorial by Noodlehead for the Madras Tote Bag.  I made a few changes:

– skipped the canvas as interfacing

– skipped the pocket

– added fusible fleece and quilting to the napkin exterior panels

– lengthened the straps a bit

I shared these bags on my Instagram account but here’s the gist for those of you not on that space:

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I’m pretty pleased with how they turned out thank you very much.

This project left some random scraps.  Lots of long scraps from the interior fabric as well as the finished edges of the napkins.  Most people probably would have chucked the pile and moved on to the next project.  Not me.

I started by cutting one inch strips off the Marimekko napkin leftovers and two inch strips of the teal and pink.  I used my bias tape maker to fold the pink and teal in on themselves to make one inch finished strips.  This was the result, a woven mini quilt that my son has already claimed for his room:

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It measures roughly 8″ x 15″ and I washed it when I was done to help roughen up the edges of the raw edge Marimekko fabric.

Next up was another woven panel, this time nothing was measured or cut or folded and it seriously used bits of fabric that otherwise would have been chucked.  The folded over finished napkin edges I had cut off.  The pink and teal whose edges had frayed when I prewashed the fabric.

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The pieces are not uniform.  The panel isn’t square.  I love it.  It’s raw and organic and completely unique.  I’m too lazy to go and measure it but it’s bigger than the mini and maybe destined to be a tote bag of its very own one day.  I haven’t decided yet.

Both panels were made using the Wefty weaving needles that my pal Tara sent me.  You can check her and the weaving process out here and here.

Next up are improv blocks, which are more the style I usually go with when busting scraps.

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These blocks will be added to my improv block collection which will someday be its own project.  Except the little guy.  He may want to be a mini mini quilt.  He’s super tiny and adorable.

All together now:

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There are officially no more of these scraps left.  Not one.  Wahoo!

Thanks for following along on my sewing journey with me.  Till next time, whenever that might be . . .

– Joanna