Scraphappy February

This month I’ve used some scraps and managed to increase the stock, just slightly, in the most sadly neglected of my three Etsy shops.

I made a few needle cases a while back, gave some as gifts and took some to sell at a couple of the fundraisers for the dog refuge I support.  I had three left which I stuck in a drawer and forgot about until I came across them again a couple of months ago.  I thought I might as well put them in my shop so I did and sold a couple quite quickly.  Thinking to follow up on that success, I thought I’d make some more as they are the perfect size to use up scraps – albeit not the teeny tiny scraps.  The biggest piece of fabric you need is about 11 x 8 inches.

The first one I made with a precious scrap of Echino fabric by Kokka.  The quilting is done with the outer, wadding and lining, then the pocket and felt ‘pages’ added afterwards.  Then the whole thing is edged with binding in the same way as you would a quilt.

Unfortunately, I messed up the first one by not mitring the corners neatly enough so – what a shame – I’m going to keep that for myself as the little needle book I bought ages ago is looking a little tatty and is only big enough to hold needles.  I want something to also put scissors, etc. in for when I take small hand sewing projects downstairs occasionally (my workroom is upstairs).

The second one is also Japanese Echino fabric – another scrap from the same original yardage.

All the bindings, interior fabric, felt and trimmings are also leftovers from other projects.

The last – for the moment, but I have more plans – is the Llamas in Love.  Llamas are ‘a thing’ at the moment – I think they are the new flamingos – and this was a scrap of organic cotton I had left over from a bag project.

It’s fun trying to find coordinating fabrics from the scrap bin to make it look as if that’s the way you planned it all along.

I really enjoy making these although I would prefer a quicker way to bind them as I’m hand-stitching the binding down on the inside as I do for quilts and it takes time which doesn’t really make them cost effective.   Any suggestions?

Still, it’s using scraps and that can only be a good thing can’t it.




Scraphappy Day is organised by Kate & Gun for anybody who wants to make new things from scraps of any kind – doesn’t have to be fabric or yarn.  Here’s a list of participants – both regular and occasional – if you want to have a look at the sort of things you can do with scraps.

Contact Kate (first name on the list) if you want to join in.

Kate  Gun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Nanette, Lynn,(me) Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancyAlysKerryClaireJean,
Joanne, Jon, HayleyDawnGwen, Connie, Bekki, PaulineSue L
and Sunny




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  1. #1 by nottaholiday on February 15, 2020 - 08:05

    These are so lovely – I love the concept of the circle of (fabric) life too. Very cute tape too.

    • #2 by tialys on February 15, 2020 - 10:10

      ‘the circle of fabric life’ – I like it!
      Now I can’t get the song out of my head.

      • #3 by nottaholiday on February 16, 2020 - 05:41

        you can hum it under your breath when in the creative zone…lol

  2. #4 by Wild Daffodil on February 15, 2020 - 08:47

    Great stash-busting projects – love the pocket – fabulous fabrics.
    Llamas are the new flamingos, must remember that.

    • #5 by tialys on February 15, 2020 - 10:13

      I’m pleased to be able to put the leftover pieces of these lovely fabrics to good use.

  3. #6 by Kim on February 15, 2020 - 08:56

    Fabulous! I love the llamas – I had no idea they were the new flamingos. Not sure how they’d cope on one leg……

  4. #8 by nanacathy2 on February 15, 2020 - 10:08

    Oh my goodness me, these are so lovely. I have llama socks and a llama notebook, gifts from Christmas, so you are bang on trend.

    • #9 by tialys on February 15, 2020 - 10:14

      I have some fabulous fabric featuring sloths – I wonder if they’re on trend too at the moment 🦥 . I think they probably are.

  5. #10 by katechiconi on February 15, 2020 - 10:54

    They’re lovely, and anyone would be glad to own one. About the binding: have you considered not binding them, but constructing them in two stages: 1) layer outer, batting and scrap backing. Quilt. 2) Then layer on the inner facing (complete with pocket) inside out. Stitch all round except for a small gap to turn through. It’s a bit fiddly, but a lot quicker than all that hand stitching, plus I suspect it may lie a little flatter because there’s no thickness from the binding. I also like an inner pocket which is a slight overlap of top layer over bottom layer, as stuff doesn’t fall out of it. I have that on mine, and it means I can keep scissors, needle threader and thimble it in.

    • #11 by tialys on February 15, 2020 - 11:05

      Ah, yes, I was thinking of the ‘turning right side out’ method but hadn’t thought of using some scrap for the backing fabric. I knew I could rely on you to come up with something. I’ll try that on my next one and it should definitely speed up the process. I’ve made the inner flap on crochet hook rolls before and it works well – I’ll have to look up the way I did it and try to incorporate that too if it’s not too time consuming.

  6. #12 by claire93 on February 15, 2020 - 10:57

    lovely modern colours & fabrics!

  7. #14 by DawnGillDesigns on February 15, 2020 - 11:19

    I love those.

  8. #16 by The Snail of Happiness on February 15, 2020 - 12:19

    You have inspired me…I might have a go at making something similar… after all, I have plenty of scraps! I do love the lamas.

    • #17 by tialys on February 15, 2020 - 12:47

      I’m going to have a go at doing it as per Kate’s suggestion to cut down the time and effort a bit and perhaps incorporate a flap to keep things from falling out. I’ll post a pic if it works.
      I don’t know what it is about llamas but it’s a very popular motif at the moment.

  9. #18 by Laurie Graves on February 15, 2020 - 15:08

    What a great way to use scraps! So lively and lovely.

  10. #20 by CurlsnSkirls on February 15, 2020 - 17:24

    Llamas and sloths–who’da thought? Your creations look grand, and I hope Kate’s suggestions inspire further editions❣️

    • #21 by tialys on February 15, 2020 - 19:41

      I’ve tried one today but there are some issues that need ironing out.

      • #22 by CurlsnSkirls on February 16, 2020 - 12:47

        Good luck with the ironing. 😘

  11. #23 by thecontentedcrafter on February 15, 2020 - 19:09

    I never took to flamingos but am absolutely into the llama and alpaca thing – as my expanding stamp stash testifies. Love these little books they are perfect for on the go work too and I’m a fan of everything in one place! I didn’t realise you had three Etsy stores – this might explain why when I visited what I thought was your only store and found no new collar for Siddy I thought you must have stopped making them…….

    • #24 by tialys on February 15, 2020 - 19:43

      I have a ‘hand-made’ shop (my first one), a Vintage shop, and a dog collar shop. The link is but you know you only have to ask and I will make one and send it to the lovely Siddy as a gift. If there’s nothing that takes your fancy in the shop, let me know what colour/theme you like and I’ll do my best to source the ribbon.

  12. #25 by Emmely on February 15, 2020 - 23:28

    Would machine stitching the binding with a zig zag stitch (or perhaps a decorative stitch) work or is that look not clean enough? For example as shown in this tutorial.

    • #26 by tialys on February 16, 2020 - 15:09

      I have tried this out on a piece of scrap and it looks quite good. So, I’ve taken off the binding on the tiger needle case and will re-do it using this method. Thanks for the suggestion Emmely.

  13. #27 by Born To Organize on February 16, 2020 - 01:57

    These are charming, Lynn. I don’t know why it never occurred to me to use something like this, either. I fumble around with a traditional red pincushion, when one of these would be far superior. As for finishing, I have a vague notion of something called “stitch in the ditch” Would that work for your binding?

    • #28 by tialys on February 16, 2020 - 15:07

      Pincushions definitely have their place. I use mine all the time next to the sewing machine and on my cutting table. However, if I want a few bits and pieces to carry around with me for whatever reason, these are better.
      p.s. Stitching in the ditch on binding is – in my case anyway – a little hit and miss as you have to be very precise to hide the stitching on the front and to make sure to catch the turned piece on the back.

      • #29 by Born To Organize on March 4, 2020 - 06:00

        Those are all excellent points. I have a magnetic pin catcher that I love using near the machine. I can toss the pin within reason with the confidence that the magnet will catch them. I understand about stitching in the ditch. I’ve never been very good at it, but since I enjoy hand sewing it works out ok.

  14. #30 by Susan Nixon on February 16, 2020 - 03:18

    They look great! I like the first one, even, and see nothing wrong with the corners, but of course, if you need an excuse to keep it, that one will fly. LOL I like the way you make the insides, too. I’m sure they will go fast. Using scraps that most people might throw away really helps make them cost effective.

    • #31 by tialys on February 16, 2020 - 15:06

      I’m actually going to try and re-do the binding on the tiger one so we’ll see, I might not end up with it after all.

  15. #32 by Dartmoor Yarns on February 16, 2020 - 19:28

    These look fab, but yes, rather labour intensive.
    Three Etsy shops? I didn’t know you had three. Why do you need three?

    • #33 by tialys on February 17, 2020 - 08:46

      One for handmade items and tutorials.
      One for dog collars
      One for vintage and antique items.

  16. #34 by magpiesue on February 16, 2020 - 20:13

    I love the bit of ribbon or tape you’ve included on the inside pockets. Does it serve a purpose or is it merely decorative? These are wonderful little scrap projects. My needlebook is looking a little tatty now that you mention it… 😉

    • #35 by tialys on February 17, 2020 - 08:48

      It is merely decorative although I did wonder about leaving the central piece open so you could tuck something through it – but what? I’d have to decide in advance in order to leave the correct sized gap.

  17. #36 by Sunny on February 18, 2020 - 01:48

    These are so pretty, and such a great way to use up scraps to make something so useful!

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