Let's face it, sewing isn't always cheap, so I am always trying to think of ways to get the most out of each piece of fabric & every last inch of thread.
Here are just a couple of hints that I use to ensure I maximise my use of all that I purchase (especially as there are times when I need a particular piece of fabric or thread colour for a project & then have the left overs just sitting there.)
Utilizing Partly Used Thread Reels & Bobbins
Over time my bobbin box
& thread holders end up with
partly used bobbins & reels
Piecing multi-coloured quilts is an ideal time to use up these part reels & bobbins.
Yes, it does mean changing the bobbin & top thread more frequently, but it sure gets through the build up! It also means I can use complete reels for special projects or items where colour/thread match is important.
For the reels & bobbins with very short amounts of thread left on them, I keep those for hand stitching bindings, or sewing up some of the baby balls & soft toys I make.
Utilizing Fabric Leftovers
I have baskets under my ironing board - one for small scraps (tutorial using scraps coming soon) & one for selvedges. For ideas on how to use selvedges, check out my tutorial on
When cutting striped fabric for runners or other projects, I found I was collecting narrow strips of pattern between each piece for the runners.
After cutting the runners, I have a collection of strips & selvedge pieces.
I keep these strips in a container & have found several uses for them over time. Stay tuned for ways to use these strips in coming posts.
Any selvedge with at least an 1" of pattern attached goes into the selvedge basket.
If there are only narrow pieces of selvedge (depends on the pattern width of each fabric design), I then trim these into narrow strips & use them to attach my business cards/price tags for items being sold at markets.
Maybe you have some other tips for utilizing threads & fabrics? I would love to hear them.