Improvisational Scrap Busting – French Style

I have spent the past two months finishing all the forgotten quilt projects I can possibly manage. This has been great for clearing my sewing room, checking off the to-do’s on my list, and giving me hope that I can actually start some new projects soon. There is a downside to all of this, though. My scrap collection grew from a pile into a basket, which then turned into a bin that overflowed onto the floor.

Just a small sample of my overflowing scraps. I keep this little basket next to my cutting mat.

Today, I dealt with this irritating problem. It took 2 1/2 hours, but I picked through, sorted, cut, and folded. I then gave everything a proper home. For the most part, I sorted things by color or favorite fabric style–ala Kaffe, solids, hand dyed, or dots and stripes. Scraps are trimmed into a variety of sizes for squares or strips and stored in drawers. The bits and pieces get tossed. How do you sort and store your leftovers?

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Leftover scraps of French and French inspired fabrics.

But then there are the fabrics that I adore so much, that it is hard to part with even the tiniest scrap. Today, that would be my French fabric collection. The colors and prints are so cheery in French fabrics. I just love to work with them. They are always a bit harder to find, which makes me want to use every inch of fabric possible. One of my favorite vendors is French Connection. They have an amazing collection of French prints and are usually at a few quilt shows that I attend.

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A block exchange project using the Bushel Basket Quilt block by Edyta Star, from Laundry Basket Quilts.

There is a fun little block I am making for a group exchange. It has little 1″ strips. We are using up Civil War reproduction scraps. The blocks are quick to make and work really well mixing oodles of prints. Tiny, but really cute. This got me thinking . . .


I could get another project out of my French scraps if I just cut them into 1″ strips!


What if my blocks were different sizes and shapes? That way I could use up as much of the scraps as possible! I started with a 2″ x 2 1/2″ center (because that is what I had). Since they are so small, maybe I could offset them with crisp white alternating blocks.


Uh-oh. I think I just started another project. Better get to work!

Happy Valentines Day all!

Authentic French Alpine Hearts Cotton Print

Signature Cropped

6 thoughts on “Improvisational Scrap Busting – French Style

  1. I’m a scrap hoarder and have even been known to gather other quilters’ scraps during a retreat for use in mini quilts and blocks. I’ve made two queen-sized quilts from my scrap basket purchasing nothing but the background/border fabric (Nearly Insane and 100 Modern Quilt Blocks) and never duplicated a fabric in the 100 blocks contained in each quilt, and many mini-quilts, most recently an 11″ square Tumbling Block. The unfortunate thing about this compulsion is lack of stash reduction! Love your solution, thanks for sharing!


  2. This is a fun way to use up treasured scraps. I agree these French fabrics are well worth the time and effort to make these small blocks. This is a great way to use up scraps and turn them into a lovely quilt. Thanks for sharing … have a happy heart day everyday … 🙂 Pat


  3. Happy Heart Day! A friend collects all my bits and pieces and shares them with a lady who is making dog beds. She stuffs an old pillowcase with many bits and pieces, then quilts the devil out of it. Dog bed ready for the dog pound. Love this idea but I know I wouldn’t get around to actually doing it and bits/pieces take up so much room to keep!


  4. Happy Valentine’s Day to you. I love the french fabrics too and appreciate knowing about this site. I can see a modern style quilt with blocks randomly all over. Hmm, maybe even looking like flowers – multicolored of course. I think I have a project too. Maybe it is facing a 2-3 foot pile of snow at the end of my driveway. Thanks for making me think Spring today!


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