When going with a scrappy background you want to choose fabric that will add interest without detracting from your quilt.
While prints are good, you want to keep to small prints. Large prints can be too busy and detract from the focus of your quilt.
For the most part I like to stay with one value. Like the lights in a low volume quilt or the dark navy I used for Enchanted forest.
Exceptions may be like my Dream quilt. Here I knew that the white words would still stand out among all the blue. Or in my Naughty Garden and Tie Dyed Sheep quilts where the flowers and sheep were bold enough to stand on their own.
You can test your background scraps with the other fabrics in your quilt by taking a black and white photo of your fabrics. If there is a good contrast between the background and the rest of your fabrics. Whether that contrast is dark background with light fabrics or light background with dark fabrics. You know those fabrics will work. If not you will want to try something different.
If using a pattern you can cut the pieces from different backgrounds Like I did in Divine. For improv quilts I just use different fabrics as I go. Finally if you are appliqueing on your background like in Hello Sunshine and Scrappy Dresden. I just make fabric. My method is here. But you will want to use bigger chunks than bits. More like jellyroll strips and charms or bigger.
Have fun! Experiment. If you try this method we’d love to see it on my Aunt Em’s Scrap Bag Facebook page. It’s a great place to share and receive inspiration. Also don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter if you haven’t. It’s full of freebies and tips. You don’t want to miss out.
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lovely quilts and innovative backgrounds…giving me some ideas…
Great tips! I've been wanting to make a scrappy background and I'll keep your tips in mind.
I have seen the low-volume scrappy backgrounds and love them. I have been collecting the fabrics and hope to get brave enough to use them as backgrounds. Your tips help!