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November 11, 2009

Quilter’s Connection Magazine is going GREEN, and we’re having a contest to celebrate!  Our Spring issue will be a ‘Green Issue’, full of great projects and patterns that use up those scraps in your sewing room, articles about what quilters are doing to save the environment, reviews on eco-friendly products, and …


Tips on the 3-R’s for quilting from you!

We are looking for your tips on how to Re-use, Re-cycle, and Re-duce (among other things) when you quilt.  For example, a really popular way to recycle right now, is to save all your little scraps of fabric and threads that you would normally toss into the garbage, and use them to stuff quilted pillows to give to charity!

Please post your tips here, on our Facebook page (search Quilter’s Connection Magazine), or send us an email by January 15th 2010, and ALL the tips will be published in the Spring issue of  Quilter’s Connection Magazine.  One lucky person will win a fabulous prize – it’s still so early we still have to determine what the prize is!

Sorry, contest open to Canadian readers only.

17 Comments leave one →
  1. November 16, 2009 2:33 pm

    I save my used dryer sheets. They become wonderfully textured transparent gems once painted. Here is an example….

    Plus they are great for using in an applique process.

  2. November 16, 2009 2:38 pm

    Something I have done in the past and will do again in the future is to take all of my scraps ( fabric and paper ) , chop them up and put them on the back of my quilt. Nothing gets thrown away. You can see an example here

  3. Jane permalink
    November 20, 2009 12:00 am

    I use my orphan blocks to warm up or practice my free – motion or machine quilting. Then I bind them or serge the edges and use them for hot mats under my casseroles on the table or under my kitchen appliances. Some of them are heavy , like my mixer, that I can just slide it closer to use.

  4. November 25, 2009 2:24 pm

    Great Contest!

    I love binding. When I have a fat quarter of fabric that I don’t like any more, or it’s gotten too old fashion, I will turn it into binding and put it into a little box wrapped up with a selvage. I staple a little piece of paper to say the length of the binding.

    Also, I always have at least 20 to 30 inches of leftover binding after finishing a quilt. Since I always use the same width of binding (2.25″), I save all those left over lengths of binding. When I think I have enough, I sew them together and bind a scrappy quilt with them.

    • Lucy permalink
      December 8, 2009 12:47 pm

      What a great idea – I have only recently accumulated lots of scraps & need to deal with them before it gets out of control. Thanks for the tip. Lucy

  5. November 25, 2009 2:39 pm

    I sew small things for school craft sales, or other non-profit causes. So, when I have left over fabrics, I determine the best way to get the most out of my left over piece and cut pieces that will make one of the 3 following small projects. I do have 3 ziplock bags on my shelf at all times and they hold the cut out fabric components, ready to assemble and sew for these three projects.

    I save 6″ x 4″ pieces of fabric to make luggage tags. It’s hard to make just one.
    I save 5″ x 5″, 6″ or 7″ pieces to make scrappy wonder wallets – a Lazygirl pattern
    And I save 4.5″ squares for the ever popular criss cross coasters.

    I’ll announce your contest on my blog later this week. Great topic.

  6. November 30, 2009 1:08 pm

    I use my quilting fabric scraps to make art quilts and tote bags. You can see of the tote bags here .
    I have also just started crazy quilting so that will use some more. And even tiny scraps I cut into 1/2″ x 2″ strips. I am sewing them several at a time on to a heavy felt backing to make a runner for the floor because my dog hates slippery floors.

  7. Jacqui Van Meppelen-Scheppink permalink
    December 15, 2009 1:16 pm

    If I just have a few inches left of a fabric after cutting pieces for a quilt, I cut the rest into strips and organize them in those plastic drawer units. I got this idea from Bonnie Hunter of I have 1″, 1 1/2″, 2″, 2 1/2″ and 3 1/2″ drawers. I cut squares from the 2″ and 2 1/2″ strips, lights and darks and use them as ‘leaders/enders’ or ‘thread pads’ while sewing blocks together to save thread. Then, when I have tons of these finished, I make them into four patches. I have already made a blue and white quilt by adding hst from the 3 1/2″ strips. I’m well into my second one with beige and green strips and also have a totally scrappy log cabin on the go from my 1″ strips. I also save 1 1/2″ strips of novelty fabrics leftover from my I spy quilts and use them for piano key borders. And, I’m now saving selvege edges for one of those cool quilts from the selvege blog!

  8. Maxine Turner permalink
    December 16, 2009 3:38 am

    Any scraps I don;t use,are passed on to a friend,and my batting scraps are sewn to make larger for smaller projects. I try to utilize all my leftover fabrics into squares 2 in and upward . In my sewing room are lots of used things, (from yard sales and thrift stores. )ex, thread rack,pocket organizer hung on back of door with sisscors pens,cutters,and anything that fits. My best find and usage are those zippered bags that blankets and sheets come in, love them for storing ufo’s, sets of blocks and scraps. ( I have lady at thrift store saving them for me now, as she use to discard them)So many more, but I will quit now. Maxine

  9. December 22, 2009 3:39 am

    Making “Inchies” is a great way to use very small bits of fabric and batting. Plus if you have costume jewelry that is broken or you no longer wear, you can use many of the beads and findings as little charms to embellish them with.

    You can see some examples of my “inchies” at

  10. Maxine Turner permalink
    December 30, 2009 4:55 pm

    I just finished (cleaning/clearing) my sewing room. In doing so,I discovered fabric that I bought on impulse(who doesn’t eh?).I can’t think of an immediate use, so plan to recycle it to our Quilts of Valour group. I.m sure it can be used in backings or borders.We plan to get back at our sewing Jan 1oth ,and finish quilts for our spring presentation.My husband just used up some leftover pine,to make up ruler holders.Gave one to a friend, and others will go to my QOV buddies.These holders are so neat, (much cheaper to make from recycled wood than buying them,more money for fabric,)and my rulers are ready to grab.
    Maxine Turner 2 Earle Dr,Pasadena ,NL.A0L1K0

  11. January 3, 2010 4:30 am

    I keep all my batting cut offs to be reused. Whatever I trim from the sides of a quilt is stored in a plastic bin and pieced together for smaller projects or “quilt as you go” projects.

    Tiny scraps are saved to be used for cleaning my sewing machines. I use a hemostat (purchased from a surplus store for $2) and a small wad of batting to reach inside and under the bobbin area and under the thread plate of my machines. They work great at collecting threads, lint and any excess oil.

  12. January 7, 2010 3:41 am

    I have to admit that I am a scrap hoarder. I always think I will need that little bit in the future…for something.
    A couple of times a year I sift through my scraps to make sure there are no pins in the pile. Then I bag them up and take most of them to a local daycare centre. I end up with several garbage bags full and I know my centre is the envy of the rest of their group. Many of the applique fabrics I use are very bright and/or sparkly and the kids love them!
    I usually take my silk scraps to the Embroiderer’s Guild to share. I know one lot ended up going to someone without any stash to speak of. Can you imagine not having a stash? Well she does now.
    The excitement and enthusiasm I hear in feedback lessens the pangs of separation from my beloved fabrics. Now if only I could find that neon lime swirl. I know there is a bit of it here somewhere…

  13. Linda Hartwick permalink
    January 9, 2010 8:52 pm

    I re-use the plastic containers that you buy the spring salad mix in. It is the perfect size to store your fat quarters and other sizes of fabric. Because it is clear you can store in sorted colours and just grab a bin and find the colour of blue you need. They are also great for storing your projects in once they have been cut and ready to work on.

  14. January 14, 2010 4:49 pm

    What do you do with greeting cards you receive? Before putting them in the recycle bin why not cut out some of the interesting or cute design elements to add to fabric postcards.
    You can see an example here

  15. January 14, 2010 8:16 pm

    I created small gift ideas to make for quilters that can be made from our already abundant supply of fabrics and notions without spending more money on new gifts and packaging – saving on time, fuel, and resources. (available in an ebook on my website)

  16. Heather McArthur permalink*
    January 16, 2010 8:09 pm

    Hi Heather–
    I realize I am too late for the contest. Have been thinking about the contest, but procrastination and I are well acquainted! (I meant to write in last evening, but was out celebrating my birthday by quilting with a group of friends until close to midnight!) However I thought I would still send some reduce, reuse and recycle tips for you to use, if you wish. The following is what has worked for me…
    Entice your daughter into becoming a quilter and fabric artist and encourage her to raid your stash.
    Cover an artist canvas or builder foam with fabric you love, but have no project in mind for, and hang them on your wall.
    Make some shopping bags.
    Sort through your stash and gather those fabrics that you REALLY do not know why you bought them and can not imagine ever using and donate them to your local quilt guild or high school.
    Make more “quick” quilts!
    Sort through your unfinished projects and gather the ones you know you will NEVER complete. Use the completed blocks as “back art” on current projects, incorporate into other projects or donate them to a guild to be used in a charity quilt.
    Let your grandchildren play with selected fabric. It can still be used when you “need” it and it brings them lots of imaginative play.
    Use those special dishes that sit unused in your cupboard to hold quilt-basting pins and other quilting tools.
    Cover logos or company promotional ads on your own or thrift-store tote bags with orphan blocks or fabric to make them attractive and unique.
    Cut apart used greeting cards and cover the picture or print with scrap fabric, embellish and use as your own cards to give to others, or frame and use as wall art.
    Use an empty prescription bottle to put used needles and bent pins in so your “sharps” are safely stored.
    Cover shoe boxes or hard-plastic containers with fabric to use as storage. (Also reduces your stash!)
    Give scraps of fabric, bits of trim and empty spools to your grandchildren, along with some construction paper or empty bottles or boxes, and let them tape and paste to their heart’s creative content.
    I look forward to the next issue of Quilter’s Connection.
    Jes F

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