the 2021 scrap festival : 11 + ideas for your scraps

Consider this magnificent scrap, I’ve been holding onto it for 50 years or so. Loosely rendered daffodils on cotton, one of my all time favorites. It was my grandmother’s dress. This last little bit will be a couple hexies, there is pretty much, just barely, enough. I like scraps. My beginnings are in the mountains of scraps my mother kept in the attic. Giant garbage bags (seriously, the jumbo ones) bursting with mostly cotton prints.

For the third year in a row, in February, we celebrate scraps. A little extra. I’ve rounded up a bunch of scrap friendly projects and made you a new free sewing pattern.

stacks of cotton print scraps arranged by color

11 + project ideas for your scraps :


minimalist mice pattern

1. Minimalist mice (or bunnies) by wild olive. You could turn the sweet, simple  design into all sorts of pocket creatures.  The combination of raw linen and small charming prints is lovely.

2.  This needle and thread case. I shared this in the newsletter last year and I think it is the most popular project to date.

scraps pieced into edge binging

3. Scrap seam binding.  Checkout this easy way to make seam binding from scraps. I use tons of seam binding for mending and I love the way this pieced together stuff looks.

4. Angry apple cores – my newest free pattern – disgruntled and mostly eaten fruit.

quilt top assembled from scraps

5. Scrap quilts. This collection is impressive and inspiring and it might motivate me to finish one of the many scrap quilt tops I have begun and abandoned.

6. For your wool and felt scraps – an embroidered scissor keeper.

7.  Fabric sailboats – they twirl in the breeze and cast lovely shadows plus they are great for your bigger scraps –

hexie and log cabin potholder piecing

8. Hexie-logcabin  pieced potholders from sewshecan.

9. Stitched envelopes. so many possibilities for these. Find a DIY for cotton envelopes here and   and a wool or felt version here.

10. And you will of course need sweet stamps.

11. For tiny scraps, classic sarubobo plush.

And so many more! I added  a bunch of other scrap projects last year – lucky fish, minimalist chickens and a little owl ornament among them –  find them all on the free pattern page.

Do you have a great idea for a scrap project? Do you have a half finished quilt top in your closet?! Let me know in the comments and happy 2021 scrap festival to you.


  1. Victoria Fickel

    I love old scraps. Your yellow grandmother’s dress is so sweet.

    Made a dress from the same fabric for my grand-kidlet to match one I made her mom 37 years ago. She loved it, but I think her mom loved it more.

    Yay for scraps! Keep inspiring us, Ann! We all look forward to it.

  2. Elizabeth J Sneeringer

    Wonderful ideas!
    Do you know a way to sharpen pinking shears other than paying someone else to do it?

    • Becky P Slack

      You can try cutting through several layers of aluminum foil….

  3. Must have the thread and needle roll.
    Thank you for collecting all these cuties! Your owl ornament was a big hit at Christmas.

    A fun scrap story: I went to a sale at the local quilt barn and bought a sack of scraps (because I am a complete sucker for a grab bag) as well as a house block pattern for a quilt for the expected grandchild.
    When I got home and opened the sack, two house blocks fell out- I had purchased the scraps from the store’s sample quilt of the pattern I bought. Serendipity!

  4. Susan O’Neill

    You could try cutting thru either sandpaper or tin foil. I’ve done both and seems ok.

  5. Heather Smith

    Thanks for keeping up with the scrap festival! I’ve participated in your swaps and received so many nice fabrics, the community you’ve gathered is very generous! These scrap projects of yours have helped me navigate my pandemic anxiety, fidgeting with fish, tiny owl ornaments that hang around all year and the elegant rag doll pattern too. Thanks Ann!

  6. Angela Cox

    Hi Ann
    thanks so much for this post. like you, i have tons of scraps – memories of countless garments made for many different people, spanning many, many years!
    Some great ideas ~ little gifts, just to say ‘Have a happy day!’ especially in these mad times we are living in.
    Thank you

  7. This will be my first scrap swap and I’m very grateful that you organize something like this, Ann! I cranked out a bunch of the minimalist chickens and lucky fish at Christmas time and am excited to have some new scraps to play with. I hope to make some toys for my daughter and my son (who is due in May!) with the new scraps. Additionally, I inherited a queen sized hexie quilt top that was made by my great grandmother and great aunt (they were mom and daughter) that is in need of finishing!

  8. I’m so sad to have missed out on the scrap festival again! I have been watching for it but was at work all day. I hope next time I will be quicker. Can’t wait to at least see what people exchange.

  9. I love your website.
    What do you use for the filling on your subjects ?

  10. Rosalind Martz

    Love the chicken ornament. Both of my adult children just got chicks. This pattern will make a great ornament for their Christmas trees.

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