Jun 22 11

Waste Not, Want Not

This is a box of “scrap” generated from cutting fusible applique shapes:

This mound just grows and grows, so periodically, I really need to make a concerted effort to generate usable shapes from all this stuff, and it’s pretty easy to do this. I start out by stacking many fabric/fusible layers and I deliberately arrange them so their shapes line up as below:

(This is easier than it looks, because I place these layers into my scrap box exactly as I remove them from the Sizzix machine, so they’re already grouped together in alignment.) I then pick one portion of available “uncut” areas and isolate it, like below:

I’ve got several dies that have small shapes on them, so I pick one that will accommodate that irregular shape, and start cutting! It goes pretty quickly because since you’re only covering one small portion of a die with fabric, I’m finding that I can frequently cut up to 9 layers of fabric/fusible. (That’s pretty efficient, since it’s really 18 layers!) Then I do the same thing by isolating other areas on that same stack of scraps until I’ve used up the whole thing. Sometimes, I’ll have an extra large piece of scrap, like this one:

In this situation, I first slice off that large rectangle at the top and save it for future use; a big rectangular piece of scrap like that is valuable! That still leaves me with lots of scrap, like the 4 big areas shown below:

My favorite use for large pieces like that are leaves like this:

or teardrop shaped leaves like this:

I divide them up by size, like these 4 bags of 4 sizes of leaves:

(I know this looks like a lot, but I really go through a lot of leaves!) When I’m cutting flower shapes, I usually store the different shapes separately because I’m finding that your flowers can become a lot more interesting if you start mixing/matching shapes from different dies. For example, these 4 bags are shapes that came from 1 die, but I’ll store them separately and use them with shapes from other dies:

And sometimes I’ll start to “pre-fuse” some shapes and save them in that state. These are 5 different sizes of petal shapes, and you can see in the 6th bag that I’ve begun fusing 2 shapes together:

I’m hoping to get some time this weekend to begin working on a new quilt, so I’m gearing up my fusible shape stash. Just doing this part of it is getting me excited!


  1. Sally Bramald Says:

    Patsy send me four of those ones from the top photo and I’ll make you a little quilt from them!!

  2. Kay Says:

    I like the idea of a fusible shape stash!

  3. Kelly Jackson Says:

    No wonder you can put together a piece is a short amount of time….you have a lot of your work pre-done. Great tip! Thanks for sharing. I was hoping you were going to toss out all those scraps so I could come by on garbge night and collect them…Darn it anyway :)


  4. SewCalGal Says:

    Great approach. I also like to use these pieces to “manually” (I know, bad word) cut around the pre-cut to create a new outline design, of the original design. Fun to play with and create completely new designs.


  5. Connie Says:

    Great use of scraps, I’ve been making a shape stash too.

  6. a1angiem Says:

    Are you going to stitch (decoratively or quilt) around ALL THOSE PETALS of the daisies??? I didn’t realize one could use the more intricate die cuts as appliques…I thought it would be too hard to stitch them after fusing them….