Friday, April 24

Interview with Retro Mama: a Scrap Happy Sewer

As you probably know by now, I love sewing with scraps. Even the ugliest of scraps can result in an interesting project. In her new book Scrap Happy Sewing Kim Kruzich turns small bits of fabric (just pretty ones!) into lovely items.

The projects are fresh and fun and when you read the book it's easy to imagine how your personal scrap stash can be turned into beautiful projects. I really want to make the scrappy Zig Zag Quilt. And if you are not a scrappy person: many of the projects won't even look very 'scrappy', if you simply use more coordinated fabrics. :)

The book is good for beginners, but the attractive projects will appeal to more experienced sewers too, as many of the patterns can be sewn up quite quickly. I interviewed Kim about her book and Scrappy Sewing.

What is your favourite project from the book and why?

Tough question! I would have to say it’s between the Simply Strippy Sewing Kit and the Pajama Bear Softies. The sewing kit is an easy project that gives you a lot of bang for your buck! Just a few thin strips of fabric look so striking when quilted and bound, and it is so much fun to be creative in decorating the inside pockets. But those bears are so silly and cute that I just love them to bits.

What favourite fabric scrap(s) did you use up until the last tiny bit? And do you even have any scraps left after writing this book?

I am a bit obsessed with Denyse Schmidt fabrics--there are several prints from her Hope Valley, Picnic, and Fairground lines that I have savored to the very last scrap. I also have a measuring tape print by American Jane that I manage to fit into almost every patchwork project that I make! I found a bunch of it on eBay years ago but I still treat it like a precious metal and try to make a little bit go a long way. There is a teal floral and cherries print from Lecien’s Old New line that I adore and wish I had bought a whole bolt, so I will be very careful about using what I have left!

I possibly should be a little embarrassed by how many scraps I still have after writing the book. I definitely dug into my scrap basket and used many of my oldest and most favorite fabrics, but I did get new prints specifically to use for the book, and so I have a bunch of new scraps as well!

How do you sort your scrap stash?

Until recently, I kept all my scraps stuffed in a giant pink tub under my cutting table! It was pretty overwhelming to attempt to find anything in there. But I have finally seen the light and I’m in the process of cutting leftover fabrics into strips that I store together by width in these great transparent boxes that I found. The strips are 1”, 1-1/2”, 2”, etc., so now whenever I want to do a scrappy project I can just pull out the right box and the fabrics are neatly stacked inside.

What are you working on right now?

I’m catching up on sewing projects for myself and friends and family, as well as sketching some new softies and dolls.

A big bag of scraps or a new bundle of fat quarters?

A new bundle of fat quarters! So many times I’ll see a fabric and think, “Ooh! That would make a perfect doll dress or bear pajamas,” so a fat quarter would ensure that I could make a doll or other toy out of it. I’ll take the bag of scraps, too, though, I am a firm believer that one can’t have too much fabric!


Thank you so much Kim for this fun interview! More peeks and projects from the book can be found on various blogs this month. You can follow Kim on her blog and find more patterns in her Etsy Store.

Scrap Happy Sewing is available now in book stores. And find a free sewing pattern for these lovely pleated pincushions on Stitch Craft Create!


  1. о! Какое все прекрасное! И очень очень красивое!

  2. Hi Nicole, it's so wonderful to meet you:)
    First I love your free embroidery tutorials...I'm sure my novice skills can get thru Owl and the Pussy Cat. Too precious.
    Your interview w/Kim is great. I keep saving scraps and scraps and the pincushion is perfect for it too. A girl can't have to many pin cushions. I like your twist on the scrappy quilt....coordinated scraps will make it look less scrappy. It's raining today so I'm inside trying to sort thru 'em. Thank you.

    1. Hi Diane, nice to meet you too. :) I need to sort through my scraps soon too and organise them before I attempt a new project. I'm sure I have enough scraps to make all the projects in the book!

  3. What a lovely interview. I am so happy to have found your blog and will take my time looking around!



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