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Tips and Techniques

Use Those Scraps! 


What exactly do we mean by this?  Well, we all know that quilting leaves lots of scrap fabrics, but it also leaves us with other kinds of scraps:  batting strings, thread globs and empty spools.

Here's some ideas for recycling our quilting scraps...
Help the Birds
Quilters, especially longarm quilters, use lots of thread.  When you finish with a large cone of thread, use the sturdy plastic ones to feed the wild birds...just wash it, spread it with peanut butter, and roll it in wild bird seed.  Voila, instant bird feeder!  Hang it outside on a tree to watch the birds feast all winter long.

And while you're feeding them, why don't you help them with a home, too?  Cut up your leftover cotton thread into small pieces (1 inch or less so birds cannot strangle themselves) and place outside in your back yard.  Birds will take the string in their beaks and build a warm (and colorful!) nest with your leftover thread. Try not to use synthetic thread as it can harm the birds.

Recycle That Batting

Have a Swiffer®?  If not, you can get one at any grocery store nowadays.  Use the leftover batting from your last project on your Swiffer® to clean up dust and pet hair from your hard floors.  Yes, I know it's considered cleaning, but it has to be done anyway...

How about making a few pillows?  Just take two pieces of fabric, place right sidestogether, sew around three edges, turn and stuff.  No one says that you have to use quilt batting in something flat!  Whipstitch the last side closed and give it away!

Use some UFO blocks and make potholders!  You can find the heat resistant silver-stuff at most large chain stores.  Just layer that over your scrap batting, quilt as desired, and bind.  Then give them away!

If you are a longarm quilter, those big needles can be used to hang pictures.  Just hammer them gently into the wall, and hang up your favorite quilt picture.


Use scraps to wrap presents, or make little flowers for adorning gifts.  You can make bows, too, out of fabric strips. 

Make placemats with unused blocks, clear contact paper and poster board.  A great project for the grandkids.  If it doesn't get sewn into a quilt, at least it can be enjoyed on your dinner table!

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