Monday, 16 December 2013

How to store and use really tiny scraps, and another way to make crazy patchwork

Over the last few months I have sewn a few projects using Liberty and was left with some very small scraps, none much over an inch at the widest, and some only a cm or so in width, so impossible to seam.


If you are like me and can't bear to throw this kind of thing away one way of using it up is to transform your tub of tangled bits into one piece of fabric which can be used in various projects.  You can do this using a method of crazy patchwork.

It is different to the 'spiral method' I used to make panels for my bags, and uses a foundation cloth, so as well as your scraps you need some cloth for your foundation (eg fine cotton sheeting), some Pellon/ Bondaweb/ WonderUnder, and threads.

Cut a piece of Bondaweb the same size as your foundation fabric, place your Bondaweb on your fabric rough (glue) side down, iron and then remove the backing paper to leave a layer of glue on your foundation fabric.  (Hang on to the backing paper for the moment.)

Now start to lay out your scraps on your foundation fabric, butting them up together or overlapping them just a bit if necessary.  You won't have to worry about seams and you don't have to lay them out in any particular order - you can be quite relaxed about it; it's a bit like crazy paving.  Just don't leave any gaps.


When you have covered your backing fabric with scraps you can use the piece of paper you peeled away (obviously now glueless) to protect your iron from any stray glue round the edges while you bond the scraps to the backing fabric.  I keep these bits of paper in my work tub - they come in handy.


You'll end up with this.


Now go over all the overlapped or butting edges with a small zigzag stitch or blanket stitch or whatever you fancy - again, you can be quite relaxed about it, crossing over pieces and reversing over your own stitching to follow another edge unless you are a perfectionist which I'm generally not.  You might see some lines of stitching below where I have crossed a piece of fabric and then kept going just in order to avoid having to lift the needle to stop and start another line.


Now you have your lovely, scrappy fabric which you can treat like any other.   First of all it is easier to keep in the cupboard without getting in a mess.  Then you can cut selectively from it and use pieces for applique - it is easy to cut as it is stabilised by the backing.  Or you can use larger pieces to make pouches or pincushions.  Of course you can also join panels together for bigger projects.

I used some of mine this week to make a table mat just for me.  It was inspired by Larisa's mats, which in turn were inspired by the Komebukuro bags and pouch I made.  I really like that about blogging!


[If you don't have Bondaweb but happen to have a can of spray baste you can spray your foundation fabric and fix your scraps to it that way - omit the ironing!]





23 comments:

  1. Wow, and to think I've been throwing out much larger scraps than these.

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  2. Love it! I have been doing crazy patchwork for ages but not like this - can't wait to get to my scrap box and have a go! Done in reds and greens or other seasonal colours it would be great for Christmas cards!

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  3. That's a really clever way of using scraps...yay now I can keep them all :-)

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  4. Oh this looks great - I am generating quite a few tiny Liberty scraps at the moment!!

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  5. Great idea! Will try this soon! :-)

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  6. Fabulous!! Thank you so much! I get a lot of really small scraps from paper piecing, now I know what to do with them.

    -Soma

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  7. Oh I have loads of scraps and love this method. Thanks for sharing.

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  8. Great idea, I will have to keep all those tiny bits of fabric that I have been binning from now on :)

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  9. Boy Catherine, you've been really busy! I was just catching up with your last couple of blogs! Love the robot quilt! Really cute fabric and the scrappy table mat is really cute! Holiday sewing is so much fun! thanks's for the 'How to" ! Happy Holidays! cheers, Claire W.

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  10. brilliant idea! I, too, have been binning bigger scraps than this.

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  11. mmmm Liberty............
    Larisa inspires you, I read your blog and you inspire me, that's what I like too about blogging

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  12. Fabulous idea! (...and I never would have thought of it!) I am definitely going to pick out a tiny container for those precious tiny scraps, and try it myself! Happy holidays!

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  13. I so agree with you Catherine, there are so many blogs out there that are a feast of inspiration.....including yours!! I love this idea using your gorgeous Liberty scraps; they are much too beautiful to throw away. They look splendid as crazy patchwork!!

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  14. Love, love, love this! I paper piece a lot and end up with weird scraps. This is a genius way to use them without tossing.

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  15. What a completely fab idea! Looks brilliant :-)

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  16. haha, what a great idea!!! Looks so lovely for tea-time!

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  17. This is brilliant. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  18. how very clever!! Thank you for the tip.

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  19. I'm never throwing away a scrap ever again, regardless of how small it it..... Brill idea!

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  20. I'm off to the bin to retrieve the scraps I just recently threw away. Great idea. Thanks for sharing.

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  21. Oh just love this idea--I have bags full of scraps of loved material I cannot bear to throw out
    thanks so much for this super idea--hugs, Julierose

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