Dryer Sheet Scrap Buster

I first heard about using dryer sheets as a foundation for string quilts a long time ago.  It isn’t an idea that everyone likes – putting those weird plastic sheets in their quilts.   I am not a purist by any stretch, and they smell great.  Also, I’m a bit of a nut about recycling.  I have let it slip over the past couple of years, but I really like the idea of taking things that are headed for the landfill and making something out of them.  If you are opposed to using dryer sheets, you can certainly use a piece of muslin as a foundation.  You can use paper, too, but you have to remove it before quilting.

Since much of my life seems to revolve around laundry, I have plenty of used dryer sheets.  I have tried to get away from them in the past, but my family prefers their clothing softened.  I have a rather large pile of the sheets – it is possible the laundry room trash can hasn’t been emptied in a while.

IMG_5121.jpgMy scrap pile is trying to take over, as ever.  The Thunderstruck quilt generated a lot of scraps.  I used a bunch in the border, but there are still plenty left.  So, rather than sort through all of them and stash them, I decided to try to use up some more.

img_5144.jpgI gave the dryer sheet a quick press – it will melt with too much heat.  A pressing cloth definitely helps. It measures 6″ x 9″ after pressing.


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I did a stitch and flip technique – very simple.  I started at one corner, laying on pieces and strips to cover the foundation completely.  A lot of my strips were already pieced, since they trimmed up pieces of slashed fabrics.  I don’t care too much for this look.  Too crazy for me.

Improv FlowerThen my artistic brain woke up.  I guess I was tired.  This one I started from the middle, adding strips going around the middle.  I’ve been considering making a free form rose quilt (for a little Rosie down the street).  I really like how this turned out, and I have some ideas for playing with the design.


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Much better than the first try.  I missed a few photos – I was so excited to see it coming together.

IMG_5159.jpgNow I’m out of red scraps, and almost out of green.  Just some blue left to use up.  I will make one more block, with just strips, but I’m done for today.  You can look up lots of interesting foundation pieced designs – string quilts are a wild and varied group.

My scrap pile is a little smaller – I won’t have more than a handful to add to the bin.  And the green bin’s day’s are numbered.

I definitely want to continue playing with this technique.  Maybe I can come up with something a little more cohesive for a large project.  It would be nice to have a quilt that has a block made from scraps of each project I do in a year.  If it isn’t pretty enough for me, the local shelter dogs are going to really love having a fresh smelling quilt to snuggle with.

Improv Flower

9 thoughts on “Dryer Sheet Scrap Buster

  1. I’ve never met a dryer sheet that failed to cause me rashes, so I’m stuck with other methods for string piecing. It’s old fashioned Downy in the wash for us. I do like the idea of using up the dryer sheets, though.


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