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A Little Scrappy Input Please

I’m excited to be attending the Utah Quilt Guild Annual Meeting.  I look forward to it every year.  A time to reconnect with old friends.  Many of whom on I only see at this fine gathering.  

 I’m thrilled to be able to share my love of scrap quilts.  I’ll be giving a lecture on storing, organizing and using scraps.  To supplement my lecture I’ll be doing a bit of a trunk show.  I want to share the many ways you can use your scraps.  I’ll be sharing strip quilt, bit quilts, quilts made from left over precuts, and quilts I’ve made because that color bin was full.

 I’ll be sharing ideas I’ve learned from other great scrap quilters; Bonnie Hunter, Cynthia , Leila, and Sarah to name a few.  I’m thrilled I’ll be able to pass on their informative blogs and websites.

 Do you have any words of wisdom?  Great scrappy tips you’ve discovered.  Would you be willing to share them with me?  So I can pass them on to my class.  One of my favorite things about quilters is their willingness to share; tips, scraps, quilts.  They are definitely a generous lot. 

If you have any great tips you are willing to share leave them in the comments.  I can’t wait to learn from you all.


  • Elle says:

    Determine what shapes you use the most and cut your scraps as you go. Don't pile them up for an overwhelming mountain later. Get a small storage box for each size/shape and put them right in. I use pencil boxes. You could use dollar store plastic shoeboxes if you sew more than I do.

    Then, use those cut scraps as Leader/Enders and make good use of that thread between piecing your quilting projects. A scrap quilt will practically make itself. IE: I'm doing a 25patch w/sashing from my 2.5" scrap box. Right now I'm at the stage of making 5 patch strips as my L/E. When I have a big pile of those, I will take 30 minutes and sew those into 25 patches.

    I do the same with HSTs….I have an Ocean Waves underway, a 4patch of matching HST for an eventual medallion project.

    The list goes on of what one can do with scraps. I will say they are not my main project until all the blocks needed are finished.

  • Shasta Matova says:

    Scrap quilts using scraps take a long time to make, especially cutting all those pieces, so making it a long term, like leader/ender works really well. Choose your next quilt and cut and sew your scraps for that quilt as you make your current quilt.
    You can also save time by using precuts or using yardage. Can get variety by buying smaller pieces. It doesn't have to be truly scraps.
    Use scraps as you go along so you don't get overwhelmed – they are good for borders, backing, or a companion piece such as a pillowcase, wall hanging, doll quilt, etc.
    You can also just make a block or a few for a future sampler type quilt. That way you are storing blocks and not disorganized fabric, and have a head start to your next quilt.

  • Unknown says:

    My quilting friends know that I LOVE to make scrappy quilts, so they keep all of their scraps for me. This has worked really well for me to add variety to my scrap hoard… I mean collection!!!

  • Julie A Hutcherson says:

    I am nearly 62, and made my first (small lap) quilt at 12. Began quilting in earnest around 17. Sometime in 2016, I contemplated my enormous not very cohesive stash with something akin to horror and dismay.

    I didn't just want to start making scrap quilts one at a time, as 2-3 yards of whatever fabric would overwhelm a quilt. So I came up with a master "cut down plan" in excel It had over 20 quilts on it. I also made a fabric plan, florals into this, this & this, blues, neutrals, etc. So I started cutting. I would take up one fabric, and cut it into bits for 6-7 quilts. I have finished to flimsy, all queen size:
    Birch branches, yellow/pink/navy/white
    4" plus, charm quilt 144 fabrics
    9" Carolina Chain
    9" striped chisel neutral/colors (accuquilt)
    12" wonky log cabin
    6" floating crumb
    12" crumb
    4" scrappy Jacob's Ladder
    Bonnie Hunter Kentucky Album
    12" strip pieced X block quilt (twin)
    Floating red kite quilt
    navy polka dot kite quilt
    12" 64 patch
    9" red spinners on blues

    Queen-all blocks made
    6" SNS Charm (that's 540 different fabric)

    Still in process
    7" divided square
    6" on point chevron
    4" Tumbler
    Applecore (accuquilt)

    And cutting for about 10 more, but no sewing so far.

    These are just the cut down quilts for old-ish fabric, 185 yards cut down. There are several more in process, including some upcycle shirts a la Bonnie H.

    If you want pictures to share at your group, give me your email.


  • chrisknits says:

    Beware of large prints when cutting down. Too small and they can become muddy with colors. Fussy cutting takes time, but might yield more defined colors!

  • abelian says:

    When you're stuck, take out the part you like the best.

  • Diane says:

    Would love your info.
    Thank you!

  • audrey says:

    A fun class for sure.:) I love to pull scraps out in very broad colorways–pushing the limits of what 'blues' might play well together. People say you can just sew any color into a scrap quilt and it will turn out, but a pre-pull always makes a scrap quilt look sharper in my opinion, even if the designated color ranges go very deep and wide ranging.

  • Candace says:

    Such beautiful quilts in this post! I sort my scraps by size, then, when I am starting a quilt, I go to that size bin and pull the colors I need, then I cut from yardage stash, then I go to the quilt shop if I still need some variety in certain color families. I am a big fan of working in color families.

  • Anita SS says:

    I'm one for everything goes in a scrap quilt. Different fabric styles, lots of colors and variety in every scrap quilt. The one thing I do is find a fabric to use as a constant. Whether it be used just as the sashing, or a single neutral fabric, or used in a combination of the cornerstones and then repeated in a framing border. I think it gives the eye a place to rest and calms some of the chaos in my everything but the kitchen sink style of scrap quilt.

    My other advice would be to store them close to your sewing area. Once I moved my scrap bins to my cutting counter area rather than being stored in another room, I actually use them, everyday. I can easily grab them and I'm more likely to use them. And I learned from Bonnie to use them as my leader and Enders and I get more accomplished. Enjoy your lecture.

  • Ann says:

    Have fun. Audrey already wrote what I would say.

  • Cynthia Brunz Designs says:

    Sounds like a great event. I would love to hear you speak about scraps!

    I have a trunk show in a couple weeks about the same subject. I focus on colors and rarely precut sizes. I try and choose a piecing design that works best for the size of scraps in the bin.

  • Louise says:

    I guess my biggest tip on scrap quilting is this: don't treat your scraps like second class citizens. You bought that fabric because you loved it once upon a time. Now use it again and love it again! Each little piece that ends up in a quilt has a bit of your history in it. There's Mom's favorite flower from the quilt with the roses that you made her. There's the little dump trucks from your nephew's toddler quilt. Remember when you went through that blue phase?

    Some people think scraps are beneath them. But I think the best scrap quilts are like your best friends: complicated, unexpected, and full of love!

  • Elaine Adair says:

    Scraps – I have a terrible problem putting my "stuff" away and often my fabric bits and pieces stay out, fall over, get rearranged – Yikes, I used to be so upset with myself for not being more organized. But my artist SIL said "I just LOVE how the colors find new places, the shadows are surprising, and how did I manage to "match" those odd pieces, look at those proportions!"? So, being messy, might be called a positive attribute! 8-))) Elaine Adair

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