For those of us who make scrap quilts finding enough scraps, in enough variety, is a big deal! When we find the scraps we need we hoard them, sleep with them, and guard them…or get a friendly feline friend to guard them for us.
It takes a long time to collect enough scraps, with enough range in color, texture, and value to create a scrap quilt if our only source of scraps is from our own sewing. While I personally save all of my scraps over an inch square for quilting and I save scraps and trimmings smaller than that for stuffing cat beds, I wouldn’t have near the quantity or variety of scraps necessary to make a scrap quilt, let alone multiple scrap quilts from my scraps alone. Which brings us to the important question of where to get scraps for scrap quilts.
There are two main methods of acquiring sufficient scraps to make scrap quilts. One way is to buy the scraps. Another way is to trade with other scrap quilters. In this post, I’m going to cover where to buy scraps.
There are a couple of ways to shop for scraps. One is to shop for precuts. The other is to shop for actual scraps which are sold by the pound or in some other way by some quilt shops. The main focus of this post is where to buy fabric scraps by the pound, box, envelope or some other way. I will create another post with more detail on buying precuts. The reason for doing this is that most quilt shops, both online and offline sell pre-cuts so they are not that difficult to find. Finding scraps available by the pound is a little more difficult. Even so, I’ll start with a little information which will help you get started shopping for precuts.
Acquire Scraps By Shopping For Precuts
Precuts come in a variety of different dimensions which are available through your favorite brick and mortar and online quilt shops.
Common Precut Names & Measurements
Fat quarters are generally considered the largest pre-cut. They measure 18×22 inches. Some quilt shops give you the option of buying fat quarters of fabric rather than a traditional fat quarter. This is a nice option when it’s offered. Most quilt shops have some fat quarters available in their shops. Fat quarters are a basic staple for quilters. They allow quilters to buy an amount less than a yard, but with a dimension that allows for cutting an alternate 12″ block or a large patch for the center of a block or several smaller patches.
Fat eighths are definitely a scrap quilters friend. They are smaller than a fat quarter. They measure 9×22 inches. They are perfect for adding variety to your scrap quilting stash. Since they are small you can generally buy more of them for less than the cost of the same number of fat quarters.
Layer cakes are cuts of fabric that are 10″ square. Most layer cakes come in a bundle of 4o or 42 squares per bundle. Often the package includes a cut (or sometimes 2) of each piece of fabric in a collection. They are a nice way to collect some bigger sized pieces to use in scrap quilts that require bigger patches or that require multiple small patches.
5″ Charm Squares
5″ Charm squares are squares of fabric which measure 5″ square. They are generally sold in packages of 40 or 42 squares. Often the package includes a cut (or sometimes 2) of each piece of fabric in a collection. They are a nice way to collect lots of small pieces of fabric and are my favorite pre-cut for scrap quilting. I’ve bought a lot of these as a way to add to my scrap quilting stash.
Mini Charm Squares
Mini charm squares are 2 1/2″ squares. Like layer cakes and 5″ charms they usually come in bundles of 40 or 42 pieces and are generally a piece or two of each fabric in a collection.
Jelly rolls are composed of 42 strips of fabric that are 2 1/2 inches wide by the width of the fabric – usually 44″. Like the layer cakes, 5″ charms, and mini charms, jelly rolls typically include 1 or 2 pieces from a given fabric collection, though you will sometimes see them sold by color…a blue jelly roll for example…which includes blue fabrics from a variety of fabric lines. Jelly rolls are great for cutting small pieces. I use them a lot for making the rectangles in the The Frugal Block blocks which I blogged about here.
Honey buns are strips of fabric that are 1 1/2 inches by 44 inches. They are not as common as some of the other precuts…probably because they allow less flexibility in how they are used. Still…if your scrap project requires long narrow strips, these may be just the thing for you.
Where To Buy Precuts For Scrap Quilting
Buying precuts allows the scrap quilter to add a lot of small pieces and a lot of variation without having to buy actual yardage of each fabric and is a good way to build a stash for scrap quilting. Of course, you’ll still want to save your scraps from your scrap projects and other quilt projects. I save everything larger than 1″ for scrap quilting. I use the smaller scraps for crumb blocks which I blogged about here. Quilts made from the crumb blocks are pictured here.
I will be putting together another post and a list of the best places to find precuts. But here are a couple sources to get you started. These are of course in addition to those at your own local brick and mortar quilt shop.
Missouri Star Quilt Company
Missouri Star Quilt Company advertises itself as having the world’s largest selection of pre-cut fabric…and I wouldn’t doubt them. Whatever color, style, shade or value you’re looking for you’ll find it at Missouri Star Quilt Company.
Connecting Threads offers a nice selection of pre-cut fabric in most of the dimensions mentioned above. They don’t have the selection that Missouri Star Quilt Company has, but they have good prices so it’s a good place to start.
While buying scraps as precuts is a lot of fun and gives you a lot of control over what you get (since you buy precuts of the fabric collections you like) it is expensive. With a pack of 5″ charms running almost $9 and jelly rolls (or sets of 2 1/2 inch strips) running between $34 and $39 most places, acquiring your scraps this way can get pricey.
Another way to acquire scraps is to buy scrap fabric by the pound. There are quite a few places that offer scrap fabric by the pound though it can be a bit hit and miss as to what you get. I’ve bought from some companies and been pleased with what I received and I’ve bought from other companies and been less pleased. Whether I’ve been pleased or not pleased has been more to do with the types of fabrics I like rather than the quality of the fabric itself. I’ve had good luck with the quality of the fabric everywhere I’ve purchased fabric by the pound.
Where To Buy Scraps – Scrap Bags, Fabric By The Pound And More
Listed below you’ll find several sites which sell scraps for making scrap quilts. Many of the sites listed below offer themed scrap bags which provides a bit more control over what you get than a purely random scrap bag. Have fun checking these out!
1 Choice 4 Quilting
Offers scrap bags around a theme, fabric line, or color.
Offers scrap bags around various themes. Since they sell mostly novelty prints their scrap bags are mostly novelty prints.
AAA Quilter’s Supply
Offers scrap bags around a color theme. Most “scraps” are cut from selvage to selvage and are between 3 and 17 inches wide. Generally speaking they are bolt ends and are not wide enough to make a fat quarter.
Erica’s Craft & Sewing Center
Erica’s offers 100% cotton scrap bags.
EQuilter offers what they call booty packs. Booty packs are tail ends of fabric bolts…usually less than 1/2 a yard. They are grouped around color or theme.
Fabric Diva offers a 1 pound packages of cotton remnants for $3.98. Remnants may be from 3 inch square to 20×15 inches. They are a mix of solids and prints.
Hawthorne’s offers scrap packs of about 2 yards (or 12 ounces) grouped around a theme or color.
Keepsake Quilting offers scrap bags of various types. Their scrap bags are created around a theme but what you get in each scrap bag varies. Some scrap bags are made up of fat quarters, others of quarter yards, some of other pre-cuts.
Nuts & Bolts Fabrics
Offers berry boxes. Berry boxes are plastic boxes like you might pick up at the salad bar, deli, or might get berries in. These small boxes are packed with a variety of scraps generally ordered by theme or color.
Southern Fabric’s scrap bags offer quite a bit of control over what you get. They sell scrap bags for several fabric collections. You buy a scrap bag for a given collection and the scraps included come from that collection.
Offers fabric by the pound. Most of their fabrics are bolt ends which range from 2 inches to 18 inches by the width of the fabric with a few fat quarters and fat eighths thrown in.
Another Way To Acquire Scraps
Another way to acquire scraps is to swap them with other quilters. But that’s a topic for another post.
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