Are you up for a scrap challenge?

Are you up for a scrap challenge?

For the past week, I have been testing something out to see if I wanted to share the challenge with you — I have been spending 5-10 minutes each day cutting scraps into different sizes. 

The Challenge

Let's do it together. Five to 10 minutes every day. 

At this rate, it is going to take me the entire year to make it through all of my scraps but I am making progress.

Rainbow Modern Postage Stamp Quilt - Kitchen Table Quilting


The Rules


The important thing is that I don't want to burn out so I am not letting myself spend more than 10 minutes cutting scraps. I am also not letting myself give up if I miss a day (or five).

Every few months, I decide that I am going to cut all of my scraps down into usable shapes and I am always so glad that I spent the time doing it, but it is incredibly time intensive. I usually cut down to useful sizes (like 2.5" or 3.5" squares) without a definite project in mind.


This time, I have some tentative game plans for some quilts that I want to make in the next few months. Here are two existing patterns that I am planning to make:

A Scrappy Iris Quilt - Kitchen Table Quilting
  • The Iris Quilt, potentially a rainbow scrap quilt. I have made a scrappy version of this quilt before but I used quite a bit of black and primary colors. I want to go brighter this time. If I have the scraps available in my stash, I am going to try go for a rainbow quilt but I'm not sure if that is going to work out.
    A Scrappy Freya Quilt - Kitchen Table Quilting
    • The Freya Quilt. I have made a scrappy version of this quilt as well and I LOVE it for scraps because it uses up so many, including some smaller pieces. This time I am thinking I will use dark scraps for the background fabrics and low volume scraps for the feature fabrics. 

    Here are the other shapes I am cutting. I will add a link if I have done a prior post about using that particular shape in patterns. Some of these are going to be for new patterns so you will have to wait for more info on those!

    The Luna Quilt in Rifle Paper Co. Scraps — Kitchen Table Quilting

    If you are new to working with scraps or want more background info, here are some posts that you will help you along.

    The Plan

    This is meant to be very low stress and to help you get your scraps in order if yours are as bad as mine. I will be taking before/after photos of my scraps and keep you updated on the progress. I currently have 4 bins full plus 2 scrap piles on my sewing room floor so things are pretty dire here.

    My plan is to make one blog post per week that is scrap-related and that will help you along the way. If you have any specific questions or posts you would like to see, let me know in the comments!

    A Scrappy Ruth Quilt - Kitchen Table Quilting

    Since this is something I will be working on every day, I will be sharing progress in my feed and my stories on Instagram and will definitely be sharing tips and info there too so make sure you are following along @kitchentablequilting

    Comments 26

    Jaylyn on

    Do you organize them by these sizes and just keep them all together by size or do you then organize them by color? For example, after you have all your 2.5” squares, do you organize all those squares into colors or types or just leave them all together?

    david on

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    Barb Johnson on

    I’m in

    Jill D on

    I am in! We had a great speaker at our guild last year with easy and creative ideas for organizing and USING scraps (as opposed to just collecting them) and mine are ready for a purge. I am learning paper piecing and have a pattern all picked out! Started yesterday on it. If I don;t have enough scraps for a quilt or wall hanging, I plan to make them into placemats to donate to Meals on Wheels. Our guild makes them every year for local M on W recipients.

    Kelli on

    I am in. I have some sizes started but need to dedicate a little each day and maybe I can bust thru all these scraps. Thanks for the push and sizes to cut.

    Marianne on

    I learned the hard way just to sort my scraps but not cut them until I decide on a project. There’s just not one or a few sizes I use a lot and inevitably I will need a larger size if I pre-cut.

    Robby on

    I’m a fairly eclectic quilter when it comes to designs. The frugal part of me balks at cutting up fabric without a plan. I think I need to pick maybe three-ish quilt patterns to make scrappy and do my cutting with that I mind. Then I’ll for sure use the sizes I cut. I’m looking forward to following your posts and projects this year.

    Rebecca Bunke on

    Great idea for a challenge – I’m in! I like to cut 2.5" strips to make your Luna quilt. I think I’ve made 4 or 5 of them so far.

    Bobee on

    This last year I got tired of cutting the usual so I have 5 bins with a designated scrap pattern for each and the completed units. I grab a scrap and cut it to fit in with one or more of the scrap projects. I use it up until there isn’t a thread left. Your advice about the fabric you just don’t like…I keep a bag near my cutting station where I put those scraps for the Linus Project. That has kept my scraps at bay and now I have 12 tops that need quilting. Since it usually takes about 10 days to get your machine it’s annual spa treatment I will take to the longarm then and get them finished up. I really only like to make scrappy projects so I have, wait for it, ordered scrap bags from several on-line quilt shops to start over, lol.

    Deb E on

    I’ve got decades of scraps already cut up in most of common sizes. I am still working on the most recent scraps I’ve bought (at quilt sales, etc) to ‘freshen up’ my scraps. Did something different this time. I’ve identified what I want to make in the near future for scrap quilts: bricks, happy bricks, smores, autumn leaves, 9 patches, economy blocks, rectangular coins, etc. I now have 10 quilts I’m specifically cutting scraps for & putting in dollar store baskets, and in addition, can add some from my existing stash to make these. What fun I’ll have making these quilts, and all are really quick to make. These projects will be my ‘treats’ for finishing existing projects I’m working on: a 60+ year hexie quilt top I acquired from hubby’s aunt that I’m finishing for my SIL, quilts for 3 nieces (blocks already made & ready to go) and quick QAYG tablerunner/placemats for 1 niece as she loves mine that I rotate for our dining table. I’m a nearly 50 years quilter and really trying hard to make a serious dent in my fabric stash / scraps!

    Elizabeth George on

    I tried cutting my scraps into usable sizes but found that I did better by sorting them, whatever size, into colors and specific holidays. Then when they get to be too small/narrow to function as a piece, they go into either the crumb or strip bin. Even though I do a decent job of keeping up with this, my sewing room is still a disaster.

    Amber on

    I love the Freya for scrap quilting so much. It has such a wow factor with scraps… especially fun to put them in a bit of a rainbow order! This is a great idea!

    Carolyn Miller on

    Will you be suggesting the sizes to focus on such as 3.5, 2.5? I’m concerned that I will regret cutting choices later

    Sonja on

    I made Luna from scraps! It turned out so nice!

    Debbie on

    I’m always afraid I’ll cut the pieces too small for a future project. I think my brain works best if I have a plan in place for what I want to make with the scraps. I tend to cut the scraps into the largest piece I can. I need to use them!

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