Imagine you have just finished cutting fabric for a new project. You have a nice, neat stack of cut fabric shapes and then you have . . . everything else. Are they scraps? Do they go back in the stash? Are they something else?
There is no answer here - it is 100% up to you how you want to handle leftover fabric, but I am going to walk you through how I handle this situation and hopefully that might help you a little bit.
In this situation, the fabric is from a single collection (or sometimes from a single designer). I don't have much of each print leftover, but I have enough that I could potentially make a baby quilt or I could add basics/solids to the scraps to make another project.
In my sewing room, I have a shelf for these stacks of fabrics. They aren't really stash, they aren't really scraps. I keep the fabrics together in hopes that they will be just what I need for a future project (and they frequently are)! I used leftovers from this project to make the version of the Julia Quilt shown below.
I have pulled fabrics for my stash to make a quilt. They are a mix of designers and collections. While I am going to use them for one project, I probably won't use them together again. In this situation, I put anything smaller than a fat eighth into my scrap bin and return everything else to my stash.
Exception: Sometimes there will be a print that I love, love, love, but I only have a small piece left. I will usually put this in my stash.
The fabrics are from a collection, but the pieces are all small or I don't think I will make another project with that collection again. These go straight into the scrap bin.
Warning: you may not like this! You have a finished a project and by the time you are done, you hate the fabrics. Do not put these back in your stash. Do not put them in your scrap bin. Find someone else who will enjoy working with them or throw them away. If you don't like them at this point, you aren't going to enjoy working with them again (even if it's for a scrap quilt).
Exception: I will talk about this next week when we talk about patterns, but you could save them for an "ugly scrap quilt" in the future.
All of your leftover pieces are really tiny. If you really think you will make something with these tiny pieces, go ahead and save them. You can also put a bunch of them into a mason jar for decoration in your sewing room or use them to stuff pillows. If the pieces are tinier than you will use, do not put them in your scrap bin or they will sit there forever.
I think that covers most situations. We are all quilters because we love fabric and it is hard to know how to best handle those little leftover pieces. Today in my Instagram stories, I will do some videos about this topic and show you my (very full and messy!) shelf of leftover fabric collections. These will be saved to my story highlights.