How to Sort and Organize Fabric Scraps

Organizing Fabric Scraps

In honor of the upcoming the Scrappy Stash Quilt Along at Ellison Lane Quilts, I decided to organize my fabric scraps by color.

Sorting fabric into piles may seem simple enough, but if your current fabric scrap bins look like this, you may be a bit overwhelmed!

Organizing Fabric Scraps
Although I love this vintage box, it sometimes runs over with fabric scraps, to the point that I no longer want to use them. But once sorted, scraps are much more fun to sew with! Here are some tricks I used to get my fabric scraps from a total mess to a pretty, well-sorted bin.

Organizing Fabric Scraps

Left: Scraps that are part of a collection can stay together. I just toss them aside for now. Right: Patchwork scraps that have already been pieced (if you think you might use them again) can go in their own pile.

Organizing Fabric Scraps

Left: Long strips of fabric can go in another pile, regardless of color. I like to keep these together for making a quick patchwork string block or you can pull from these to make scrappy long cabin quilt blocks. Right: All of my fabric scraps that are solids, regardless of size, go in their own plastic bin. This is because I make a lot of solids-only projects, so I like seeing them all together.

Organizing Fabric Scraps

Left: I keep a burlap bin filled with all of my white fabric scraps (and also off-white or linen). Right: as you sort, make a separate pile for black or grey fabric, and another pile for brown tones. These neutrals are some of my favorite scraps to have on hand!

Organizing Fabric Scraps

As you go through the rest of your fabric scraps, begin to sort by color groups. Here are my blue, pink and orange scraps. I am sorting mostly monochromatic prints. Monochromatic means that there is just one color within the fabric (or nearly one color).

Organizing Fabric Scraps

You’ll notice that I eventually intermixed my red and pink scraps. This works just fine for storage purposes, and you can always refine your fabric sorting later.

Organizing Fabric Scraps

Here are my fabric scraps that read as several colors in each print. Instead of trying to sort these, I’m just going to store them at the bottom of my cool stacking tub I got from The Container Store. I didn’t want to spend any money on fabric storage, but since I might be moving soon, I figured I should simplify my fabric stash and invest in a container that I could store in a closet if needed.

Organizing Fabric Scraps

Here you can see that I barely have any orange fabric scraps. This is okay! Also, my “purple” fabric scraps are more pink/fuschia. Use whichever categories make sense to you.

Organizing Fabric Scraps

Ta da! Here are my piles of monochromatic prints. I folded them in any way that makes sense. If you want to cut your scraps into manageable sizes (like 3″ x 3″ squares), feel free to do that now. Otherwise, you can always cut them later, when you’re ready to sew a project.

Organizing Fabric Scraps

I used freezer storage bags to store the piles of colored fabric. Press all the air out of the bags before closing so you can store them flat in your storage bin.

Organizing Fabric Scraps

My storage bin has a handled tray that sits in the top of the bin, which is the perfect size for storing fat quarters and large scraps. I’ve roughly sorted these prints by color.

Organizing Fabric Scraps

And here is my scrappy storage bin (left) with all of my loose and bagged fabric scraps beneath the white tray! To the right, you can see that my vintage box is once again a manageable scrap bin. (Inside are my solid scraps and scraps that are all from the same collection.) When I’m sewing and have a few new scraps, I’ll toss them in this bin until it’s time to sort again!

Scrappy Quilt Along

I hope you will consider sorting your scraps in time to join the Scrappy Stash Quilt Along hosted by Ellison Lane Quilts! It kicks off October 9 with giveaways, special sales, discounts and all the details to get you started.

Sponsors: The many prizes offered to those of you that join our quilt-along are graciously donated by the following sponsors.



Timeline

Scrappy Stash QAL starts October 9.
Scrappy Stash QAL ends November 13.
Link up finished quilt November 13-15.
Prizes drawn November 16.

Blog Hop

The following fabulously talented ladies have so kindly offered to share their scrap secrets with you as well as helping spread the word about the Scrappy Stash Quilt-Along. Be sure to stop by each day and check out their scrap storage!

10/4: Craft Buds <<You are Here>>
10:9: QAL kick-off day at Ellison Lane Quilts!
10/10: Maureen Cracknell Handmade (QAYG tutorial!)
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  9 comments for “How to Sort and Organize Fabric Scraps

  1. October 3, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    Your bins look a lot like mine…except I didn’t get any sort of tray on top, where did you get them?

    Also, like you I used to sort specific sizes (like strips and charms) together, but found they never got used and I was usually seeking out a specific color. So, I’ve reorganized to only sorting by color and I am so much happier!

    Funny that there should be a blog hop on sorting scraps as I just wrote a post about it a couple weeks ago!

  2. October 3, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    Interesting post – thanks for sharing what you do, my scraps are sorted by colour but I do like the idea of putting solids together, I’m never sure what solid scraps I have.

  3. October 3, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    I really like that container!

  4. October 3, 2012 at 11:30 pm

    It looks like fun just browsing your bits.

  5. October 4, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Thanks for being part of the blog hop Lindsay! Loved peeking at your scraps and enjoyed your tips!

  6. VickiT
    October 4, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    Thanks for the great post and ideas. I don’t have many scraps yet but am starting to collect them now that I’ve started quilting. I have a few smaller bins now and know that I need to get organized before they take over. I love the ideas

  7. October 5, 2012 at 1:53 am

    I have tons of scraps from several types of fabric. Now I’m in the midst of sorting it out and to keep only the cotton fabric. Your tips and ideas are really helpful…thank you for sharing!

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