By Roxanne Nickolie Nancy’s Notions Guest Blogger

With all the sewing that goes on inside the walls of Nancy’s Notions, we get more than our share of fabric scraps. In fact, our sewing room has boxes and boxes of them building up beneath tables and along walls. Every seamstress knows it would be a cardinal sin to throw a single scrap away. So how do you use them up? Here are 5 ideas for useful and beautiful projects to get your creativity going.

Idea #1: Fabric Twine

This was the video that got us thinking about scraps in the first place. This tutorial will show you how to make twine that’s functional and 100% fabulous. This beautiful multicolored cord would be fantastic as a gift-wrapping element, a textural accent on a quilt, braided into headbands, belts, purse handles, and anything else you can think of!

If you don’t have long strips of scraps at home, precut fabric strips would make an excellent alternative.

Video courtesy of

Idea #2:  Rag Rugs

Rag Rug patterns  are some of the most popular items sold at Nancy’s Notions. The reason they’re in such high demand is because they don’t require any special skills or equipment. Anybody can make a rag rug. Plus, the look of a rag rug is classically cozy. But of course, the very best thing about rag rugs—they take a ginormous bite out of your scrap stash.

Scrap buster ways of how to sew fabric scraps.Idea # 3: Pincushions

Small projects are scraps’ best friend, and pincushions are the ultimate small project to make. You can sew dozens of them and feel good about giving them away; they’re a practical gift, and with tons of different designs to choose from, you can never go wrong handing them off to friends and family for birthdays, holidays, or just to show a little love.

How to use fabric scraps.

Find instructions for this pincushion in the Pincushion Appeal Book at

Idea #4: Pet beds

Who knew a fluffy bed for your furry friend was only a pillowcase away? Fill a pillowcase with shredded scraps, sew the end shut, and voila! You have a pet bed perfect for your own home use, or as a fantastic donation to an animal shelter.

Want to make it even scrappier? Sew the pillowcase yourself from old yardage! Nancy’s Notions has a free pattern for an easy pillowcase here.

How to use fabric scraps.Idea #5: Crazy Quilting

Of course we have to mention the fairy godmother of all scrap projects: crazy quilting. Crazy quilting has been around for centuries. The technique involves impromptu patchwork using small scraps—making it a resourceful, yet beautiful way to prevent fabric waste. Often embellished with a variety of stitches, the end result has lots of color, texture, and of course—meaning—infused within the project. Modern variations include using embroidery, coordinating colors for a more cohesive look, and mixing crazy quilting with more structured quilting to get a nice contrast. Small projects like decorative pillows, mug rugs, and pot holders are simple ways to try out crazy quilting.

How to use fabric scraps.

This pillow sham was created using Eileen Roche’s Today’s Crazy Quilting With Your Embroidery Machine Set.

This is really only the tip of the iceberg—there are hundreds of ways people use up their scraps. For even more ideas, visit or connect with Nancy’s Notions on Pinterest to get those creative wheels turning.

Thanks for the blog Roxanne!

Nancy Zieman's Giveaway Winner

The random winner of Quick Column Quilts is Joyce W. She shared, I was watching your Quick Column Quilts program on our local PBS station on Saturday and the phone rang. My 86 year old mother called to ask if I was watching the program. We both found it very interesting and hope to try your techniques. Thank you for continuing to present such great programing and the tutorials on your blog.

Quick Column Quilts by Nancy ZiemanBye for now,

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