Thursday, 10 January 2019

minimising waste




I am afraid this is not a clever post with good intentions and fantastic tips for minimising waste on a bigger scheme. I am struggling with that, I expect we all do. Instead I want to show you how I am trying to minimise my fabric waste.

I find it difficult to throw away even the smallest pieces of fabric. If there is enough of a piece to make seam allowances on all sides, it is probably big enough to use. Only, I haven't been using these scraps, they have been accumulating quietly but steadily over the past few years. Should I compost the most awkwardly shaped and very small pieces (those even too small for Jo's postage stamp quilt made with 5 cm squares)?

I liberated my carefully curated scraps from the colour-coded zip bloc bags and stuffed them all in a box. To think about the time it took sorting the scraps lovingly by colour in the first place makes me wince .....  Alas, I started to sew similar sized pieces together until I had a small collection of slightly bigger pieces. I trimmed those to have straight lines to make it easier to sew. Curves on a tiny scale don't appeal to me. Then I stitched this smaller units into bigger ones, and bigger ones still until they were approximately the size I wanted the block to be (essentially the size of my square ruler). Finally I trimmed the block to just 16.5 cm to give a finished size of 15 cm. I took no time at all and I had a lot of fun. Not laughing out loud fun, but fun all the same.

What do you do with small fabric scraps?

Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment, it is good to see old and new "faces".

Christina x




17 comments:

  1. Hi Christina, ha ha you got me there. It's just as you said, the western world (possibly) has gone gone declutter & sustainable, waste not mad. The soon as your blog title appeared on my list, I assumed that's what you were going to talk about too.
    Your beautiful fabric colours truely represent your blog name today - A Colourful Life. Thank you for making me smile today, Cx

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  2. You put me to shame. I often throw out trimmings when I could use them. Your blocks look great. B x

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  3. Oh yes Guerilla quilting is right up my street. I have some strips you might like to add to your mix. I think it is a very satisfying way to empty a tin of scraps. Looking forward to this one... Jo xxx

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  4. You made my heart sing when I saw that photo! This is the kind of thing I do/ or quilt as you go method. I make scrappy mats, bags, or mini quilts as I cannot bear to throw out fabric. X

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  5. It looks amazing, I am a great fan of waste not want not and recycling too so the perfect project. Wishing you and yours a very happy new year.

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  6. Oh wonderful, I do so love this clever use of little pieces of fabric. I do save mine, but I haven't got round to doing anything useful with them yet. All in good time... But I couldn't throw away a good piece of fabric, especially a lovely print. CJ xx

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  7. I stuff all my scraps into a bag with good intentions do something useful. I use a lot of small bits for patching clothes (currently obsessed with visible mending) and making giftwraps. Every now and then I sort through and throw away anything too small to be properly useful.

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  8. I've just started a similar project. It's really enjoyable to handle the pieces again and remember past projects.

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  9. Those blocks look so lovely I am almost tempted to go and buy fat quarters... my scraps are all different weights of cotton, but mostly I have been making hexagons into 'flowers' to sew together sometime into a 'Grandmother's Flower Garden' quilt. The two important words in these sentences are 'almost' and 'sometimes' - I am a great prevaricator and putter-off of things I want to do. Obviously don't want to do them that badly then!

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  10. I save all my scraps too but I don’t often use them, except occasionally for applique. I love your colourful blocks.

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  11. I'm terrible unless they'll ma a few 4 inch squares I throw throw them out.

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  12. I too have a habit of saving every scrap of fabric for future use.
    Then once in a while I watch a hoarders episode, get scared, and start throwing out a lot. That's how I manage piles of fabric, books and almost everything I I have.

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  13. These are such a great way of using scraps and look gorgeous!

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  14. They're beautiful! I love using up scraps you end up with completely different items and my favourite blankets are the scrappy ones :) Looking forward to seeing what you do with them

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  15. Your scraps are so beautiful. I love how you try to utilize ever single piece of fabric no matter the size.

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  16. I put any unwanted fabrics or clothing that isn't good enough to be sold/gifted into clothing recycling and i understand that they are reused in other ways. I guess if they cannot be reused those companies are the experts to know that and i'm doing my best neither to waste or hoard.

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  17. I always remember something I read on Bonnie Hunter's blog - "scraps cost just the same per yard as all your other fabric" - and like you, I cannot throw small bits away.
    There's a nice blog about using all sorts of odd scraps at Wanda Hanson's site http://exuberantcolor.blogspot.co.uk/2017/12/crazy-pieced-blocks_21.html

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Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment, I love to hear from you, I really do. I sometimes reply by email but I am not all that reliable... Christina xx