From Waste to Wonderful: ScrapHappy

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From April to June.

From string to fabric.

From threads to towels.

From waste to wonderful (if I say it myself!)

I wrote in April about my weaving project that began with miles of leftover thread from previous projects. In fact, I used up almost two miles (or 3 kilometers, if you prefer) of thread that otherwise would’ve been considered waste!

From that, I got 4 thirsty kitchen towels, each slightly different. (You can click on the photos, to see the differences clearly.)

I also wove a small band from my leftovers, to make hanging tabs for each towel.

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And, because I wanted to leave pretty striped fringe on one piece, and fringe doesn’t really suit kitchen towels, I made a table runner, as well! Hemstitching secures the fringe.

I liked everything about this project and am unabashedly thrilled with the product. Once again, scraps make me happy.

Do they make you happy, too?

You might want to contact Kate and get in on the fun of sharing your creations!


From Kate: ScrapHappy is open to anyone using up scraps of anything – no new materials. It can be a quilt block, pincushion, bag or hat, socks or a sculpture. Anything made of scraps is eligible. If your scrap collection is out of control and you’d like to turn them into something beautiful instead of leaving them to collect dust in the cupboard, why not join us on the 15th of each month? Either email me at the address on my Contact Me page, or leave a comment below. You can also contact Gun via her blog to join. We welcome new members. You don’t have to worry about making a long term commitment or even join in every month, just let either of us know a day or so in advance if you’re new and you’ll have something to show, so we can add your link. Regular contributors will receive an email reminder three days before the event.

Here are the links for everyone who joins ScrapHappy from time to time (they may not post every time, but their blogs are still worth looking at).

KateGun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Nanette, Lynn,  Lynda, Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, JanKaren, Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean, Jon and Hayley

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75 thoughts on “From Waste to Wonderful: ScrapHappy

    • Thanks! I actually really use my towels, pretty hard, although I wouldn’t wipe up tomato sauce with them. But they are meant to be used. You wear the clothes you make, no matter how pretty, right?

  1. My word, you certainly deserve to be happy; those are gorgeous, and I love the detail of the hanging loop. It’s that sort of thing that elevates it from lovely to downright fabulous. Thank you for the link, too – we’re getting a fair bit of interest in ScrapHappy just now. The more ScrapHappy, the merrier…

  2. Oh, you’re my kind of woman! Make-do-and-mend, recycle till there’s nowt left. That’s the way forward. And what lovely things you’ve made. Too posh for kitchen towels, that’s for sure.

    • I have miles of stash yarn but not so much scrap yarn right now. But one thing that I can count on is creating more scraps as I go! I love the hanging tabs, too!

  3. These towels and table runner are extraordinary! X&O plus kisses!!! Seriously wonderful! You have refined your craft to perfection. Such a lovely post, I have been lingering on your photos!

  4. Thank you for doing this project AND for sharing it with all of us. I loved seeing the detail of the different weaving patterns in your photos. And I am astounded to think that you used up “almost two miles (or 3 kilometers, if you prefer) of thread that otherwise would’ve been considered waste!” Beautiful work/play!!!!

    • You got it just right, Will–it’s work that feels like play. I did a weaving demo at a local museum last weekend and they kept thanking me . . . but I thanked them for the excuse to spend two days weaving!

  5. Wow, what a great outcome! I like it from several standpoints — aesthetically, functionally, and frugally. Plus you certainly rose to the creative challenge! Good work, Kerry. 🙂

  6. wow – those are super cheerful! Don’t tell people they are scraps, tell them they were planned to be so beautiful. 🙂 Love the fringe! And the hanging tab.

  7. Absolutely gorgeous, Kerry – no wonder you are so pleased. The details are just so delicious – I love the tab and the fringe – you have such a beautiful design eye 🙂

    • I could just see that stripey fringe in my mind’s eye. It’s not especially practical–the fringe would get ratty if the thing was washed in a machine and put in the dryer–but I do love the look! Thanks, Liz!

  8. As I said in your last post about this, I don’t often use scraps or old stuff like sheets and old clothing, but I do make scrappy looking rag runners and quilts. It’s a fun way to play with color without worrying.
    I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed this so much!

  9. Kerry, these are so pretty! Do you think you have many more miles of left overs? If you do, I can only imagine what might pop off that loom next. I am so glad you weave, it is a dying art, and we need you and your skills in our world. 😘

    • I don’t have miles of scraps right now (but that will change over time) but I have hundreds of miles of stash–and that’s almost as good! I did a weaving demo at a local museum last weekend and was heartened by how interested people seemed to be in the craft. Several asked about lessons–maybe weaving will make a comeback!

  10. 2 MILES of thread! Good golly. Good thing you put it in your snazzy towels rather than letting the cats have a go at it. I love the idea of coordinating, rather than matching, towels. And thanks for the thoughtful touch of hanging loops. Now if you could work on good places to hang the kitchen towels. Somehow those designer kitchens never seem to address that little issue.

    • Well, I have knobs on my kitchen cabinets and can hang towels on those but I suspect most people don’t even register the hanging tabs–but I don’t care! They make me happy. And the coordinating, instead of matching, towels is the perfect way to keep from getting too bored on the longish warps!

  11. Loving these – what a fabulous outcome! Isn’t it liberating just using what is there and then so happy making seeing the outcome. Your work is always so precise and so neat and beautiful!

    I’m thinking I really should join Kate’s group! Isn’t it so very satisfying using up all those left over bits and pieces. I’m on a real mission right now to find ways of using up all my hoarded yarn, fabric and stuff and make useful things out of it all. My etui doll (I don’t know what else to call her) is 100% scraps.

    • Thanks, Pauline–and, yes, it *is* weirdly liberating to be constrained by using what we have! You *must* do a ScrapHappy post about the etui doll next month! Its such a great project and I bet you could come up with other posts for many ScrapHappy months ahead!

  12. Let me pick my jaw up off the floor before I congratulate you on your industry and perseverance! I love what you’ve done with what someone else would have dubbed trash. You have every right to be pleased and proud!

    • I like using shiny, new materials as well as the next person but, you’re right, there’s a special payoff from successfully using scraps. And, since I’m constantly creating more scraps, I know there all be a similar project in my future–and now I look forward to it!

  13. I can see why they made happy. You have such a wonderful sense of design to be able to take scraps and turn them into something as beautiful as the towels and table runner.

  14. Lovely Kerry, this is so beautiful and intricate! I should do something with this info. At my work I make the display/decorations over the front desk ( a big circular one) and this time I made quite a big one for the summer adventure reading programs: butterflies, magic boats and creatures all made from scrap and ‘found’ materials. Maybe I should share indeed. I never knew you could weave with scrap materials?? Live and learn. Xoxo Johanna

    • Johanna–that would be a perfect post to add to ScrapHappy next month–let Kate know to include your link! It’s a different direction than others have taken, too–many of the posts are about quilting and knitting, etc. (and I imagine you have some scrappy knitting projects you could tell us about, too). Re: scraps in weaving–there is a TON of waste in that craft and I am always trying to come up with ways to use it. Glad to know you like this project!

  15. Wow. 2 miles? 😀 As another reader said above, love those little tabs!! It is such a good feeling to use what you have on hand. (I have been known to hoard weensy, tiny fabric scraps). What a fabulous project to team up with. I’m on my way to see what others have done with their scraps.

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