How to Turn Fabric Scraps into Quilted Cloth

Learn how to transform tiny fabric scraps into a gorgeous quilted zippered pouch. Use this technique to create any type of quilted project!

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If you’re a sewist or even dabble in sewing you are bound to accumulate a ton of fabric scraps. In my practice, I’ve gotten in the habit of cutting out fabric for a project then cutting down any remnants into large, usable pieces. These pieces can be made into scrunchies, headbands, and even fabric tape (you can find more scrappy project ideas here). Yet often after doing that I end up with tiny pieces of fabric, sometimes as small as a sliver! I’ve now found a use for even the tiniest pieces of fabric and I’m so excited to share it with you today.

Did you know that you can take all those slivers of fabric and turn them into gorgeous quilted cloth? It’s true! And that cloth can be used to make anything your heart desires; finished quilts, quilted garments, zippered pouches, or stand-up fabric bags. Keep reading to learn the process of quilting with tiny fabric scraps and learn how I turned my small scraps into a useful zip pouch.

Supplies

Fabric scraps
White or light colored woven fabric to use as the base
Quilt backing fabric
Organza fabric
Cotton batting
Zipper
Basing spray
Coordinating thread
Optional: cute woven labels

Tools

Baby Lock Compact Digital Dual Feed Foot or walking foot
Sewing machine (I’m using my Baby Lock Ballad)
Ruler
Fabric scissors or a rotary mat and rotary cutter
Pins or clips
Optional: serger (I’m using my Baby Lock Victory)

Use a 1/2″ seam allowance for this project unless otherwise noted.

Spray Baste Base Fabric

Use white or a neutral, light colored fabric as your base. This is a great way to make use of those large scraps! If you are sewing a zippered pouch, start with a base fabric that is at least 2-3″ wider than your zipper.

Lightly spray the entire fabric with basting spray.

Apply Fabric Scraps

Now go to town sticking down your fabric scraps. You can apply them in smooth layers or just pile them on to create more loft and texture.

Layer Fabric

Now create your quilt sandwich. Place your backing fabric right side down; place the cotton batting on top. Lastly place your collaged fabric piece on top of the batting and gently lay the organza on top of all the layers.

Pin All Layers

Use pins to hold all the layers in place.

Optional: Mark Quilt Lines

Now you’re ready to quilt! You can choose to use chalk to mark your quilt lines or you can just quilt more organically without any measurements.

Quilt Fabric

Time to quilt all the layers together. I chose to do a 1.5″ grid machine quilting with neon pink thread. Alternate from the center out as you quilt and remove safety pins as needed. Lengthen your stitch length to 3mm and use your walking foot. My Ballad came with the Compact Digital Dual Feed Foot and this walking foot makes machine quilting an absolutely piece of cake! It glides over the organza without any hesitation or rippling to the fabric.

Trim Quilted Fabric

Use a rotary cutter and ruler or scissors to trim down your quilted fabric to your required size. This is where you can choose your own adventure! You can use this quilted fabric to make a zippered pouch, as I continue to show below, or you can use it more a myriad of other quilted projects.

Baste Labels in Place

You know I adore adding labels to all handmade projects! Use a basting stitch to hold them in place before assembling your pouch.

Clip and Sew Zipper

If you’re making an unlined zip pouch, you want your quilted fabric to be 1″ wider than your zipper. Cut it down to size then clip the zipper in place. Sew using a zipper foot and top stitch if desired.

Finish sewing pouch

Finish sewing your pouch by sewing the side seams. I used my serger and neon pink thread to finish the inside edges to make this a very quick and easy project. Alternatively, you can finish the inside by hand sewing bias binding over the seam allowances or even choose to sew a fully lined zippered pouch.

I just love this technique so much and love that it transforms fabric waste into something beautiful!

2 comments

  1. The idea of turning those scraps into beautiful quilted fabric is brilliant! It sounds like a fantastic way to be more sustainable with leftover materials and create unique pieces. I’m particularly interested in how the article will explain the quilting process with tiny scraps.

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