QOTD: Scrap quilts..what have you learned from them?

sunnycentralFLMarch 14, 2011

To add to the discussion on Scrap quilts...I was wondering "What have we/I learned from making scrap quilts?"

I just finished the quiltville mystery quilt that started in Oct/Nov. It feels good and I was ready for it to be done, although I have to say working on it bit by bit got me through the holidaze, the quilt show and the on going kitchen remodeling...thank you Bonnie Hunter!

Now, to the QOTD: I learned not all scraps are equal and I do like using up what I have on hand.

Looking forward to your answers!


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I'm still learning and still struggling with scrappy. I can do scrappy by color but the total mish-mash of colors and fabrics does not appeal to me. Not everyone likes everything so it may be that I am never going to be a totally scrappy quilter. I like Bonnie Hunter's quilts a lot but it's still the ones that have color themes that appeal to me the most.

I have learned that I should sort my scraps by color and I have every intention of doing that in big glass jars but I haven't done it yet.


    Bookmark   March 14, 2011 at 10:56AM
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I've learned that I have a lot of scraps to use up....I mean bags and bins full!

I've learned that I will be happier with the scrap quilt the more fabrics I can use. (Just yesterday I cringed when I saw the same fabric used twice in my beloved Sunny Lanes quilt that is on my bed.....yikes! how did that happen? I thought 40+ fabrics would be enough....NOT!)

I'm learning that one of my favorite types of quilt is the two color quilt - blue and white, red and white - or the three color quilt, yellow/blue/white, for instance. I like using plain Jane white muslin and lots of blue fabrics, the more the merrier. I've already found a red/white quilt design that I want to do next. And there is an aqua/white quilt in the future too. These quilts I call controlled scrappy.

I like the connection a scrap quilt brings to me with my grandmother who quilted and all our ancestors and the pioneers who truly did use scraps and worn out clothing to make their quilts. And when I pick up a certain scrap and remember where and how I used it in a previous quilt or other sewing project.


    Bookmark   March 14, 2011 at 11:10AM
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I am learning from all you. I don't care for the look of "the scrappier the happier" although I am making little squares and triangles.
Controlled scrappy I do like. But, that is planned...I am too much of a control freak.

I am going to make a willy nilly scrappy quilt one day when I have more scraps and a bigger variety of different fabrics.

I do admire your scrappy quilts--but I like most all quilts.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2011 at 11:57AM
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So Gwen, where is a picture of RRCB? Hmmmm? I haven't finished mine yet...I have a ways to go and it will probably be a while before I get back to it.

I used to keep my scraps sorted by light, medium, dark and multicolor and found it took so long to pick out any to use that I rarely used them! Now I have them sorted by color and I am using them more, though I still have a lot!

I like Bonnie H's ideas, too, and like Kate, usually the ones with a definite colorway appeal to me more. But in doing RRCB, when she said pull neutrals, or pull pinks, I used the small pieces from my scrap boxes first. I'll have to plan more quilts that way so I can use them up.

I use them in miniature quilts a lot, too.


    Bookmark   March 14, 2011 at 12:20PM
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I've learned that scraps grow while you are asleep!!
quoting Teresa.......I like the connection a scrap quilt brings to me with my grandmother who quilted and all our ancestors and the pioneers who truly did use scraps and worn out clothing to make their quilts.

Teresa,I like that feeling too . I think it's the main reason that I do scrap quilts.


    Bookmark   March 14, 2011 at 12:43PM
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I've learned that it takes a lot of scraps and patience to make a quilt. Recently I started a "scrap" quilt and ran out of scraps. Couldn't wait to finish it so I ended up buying fat quarters to fill in.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2011 at 1:43PM
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I throw all my scraps into one bag. When I'm doing a scrap quilt my unwritten rule is whatever I pullout of the bag gets used next even if I don't like it. There's no peeking when pulling fabric scraps. So far it's worked well for me.

After everything is cut and I start stitching there's no playing around with placement. Again what gets pulled gets used in the order it's pulled. Again it works for me.

I've also learned that if you are really intent on getting a scrap quilt done you will force yourself to work on it at least one hour a day till it's pieced together. Especially if it's a string quilt or a single shape. It's very easy to get bored with that type of quilt.
I've also found that by pulling things out of the scrap bag kind of as they went into the bag the results are more cohesive. You are usually working from fabrics gathered in the same time period or design phase you were going thru so the fabrics have a sense of cohesiveness all on their own. When they get put into a scrap quilt you can almost see a history of your sewing choices for those years.

To me a scrap quilt is the ultimate in sewing. It's maker had the vision and backbone to take large numbers of mismatched pieces of cloth and put them together into a single handmade item which not only brought beauty to her home but kept her family warm. It's the ultimate in recycling and making do.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2011 at 2:00PM
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I've learned that the size one person calls a scrap, I have stored with my fabric. But the 2 1/2" strips are all together. And, what's the shortest strip you'll keep before cutting it into squares?

When I think of a scrap quilt, I think of a quilt made up of various fabrics and colors. To me, controlled scrappy says you control the colors and hues used of various fabrics.

Teresa, You're just going through a phase right now. lol

At Camp Cheerio this year, y'all should pour all the scraps in the middle of the room, mix them up and take back as much as you put in. If you're flying, make sure you have the broom serviced to carry that much. lol

aka/rbc (have I earned the name yet?)

    Bookmark   March 14, 2011 at 3:08PM
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I have learned that it isn't the single pc. of fabric that counts but the over all effect that is important. I like a mix of D-M-L's and not too much of one color thrown together. I love scrappy and I think many patterns work well with the mix. I do like to have a fabric that ties things together eg. black-cream-brown-blue etc.
I find that far more rewarding then following the same thing over and over. Jayne

    Bookmark   March 14, 2011 at 3:21PM
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Scrap quilts are my Karma, I think. Before I started quilting, my mother used to urge me continually to take some of the fabric she had stashed over the years to use. I did and it was wonderful stuff, like raw silks she bought by the yards when we lived in Japan. She was always going to make a quilt, inspired by the wonderful cottage industry quilts we saw hanging on clotheslines when we lived in the Ozark Mountains. If you saw a line full of quilts, it was an unwritten invitation to stop and haggle. They were not somebody's laundry.

Wells, she inherited and bought stashes after that at auctions and they all got sorted and folded into boxes and she bought a huge load of natural muslin to make a catherdral windows quilt and started one and got to the point she was so elderly she gave up sewing and it never got finished. When I started quilting, I heard daily that I should take fabric home to quilting with. When Mama died........I did.

I think I am on the seventeenth quilt in less than five years. Not a one of them has been done entirely with purchased material, though many were made with unused cottons she had collected. But, it goes without saying I have enough scraps that the number of potential quilts I could make is driving me crackers. LOL. And when people hear I quilt, more elderly lady's stashes find their way to my house when children clean out their parent's houses.

So, even though I was always a monochrome-themed person, I have learnt to appreciate scrap quilts. My wildest to date was the spider web and it even set my teeth on edge. LOL. But like said previously, by setting scraps against a themed background or using a common plain sashing, you can tame the scrap quilt enough it doesn't come across as something from a nightmare. I am just finishing up on a Blueridge Mountain beauty block quilt, using crisp blue paisley, solid blue and white and incorporating four patch random scraps into the diamonds. It reads serene. I'm loving the way it turned out.

Long live scraps.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2011 at 4:57PM
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I have yet to make a scrappy quilt but have been collecting for several years to make one. The link below shows the one I am working on. I have about half the blocks cut out. I am aiming for no repeats.

I think it was in a McCall's magazine back in 2007.

Here is a link that might be useful: Trading Patches

    Bookmark   March 14, 2011 at 4:59PM
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I have learned over time that my scrappy projects look so much better with some solid colors to tie it together. In cannahavana's quilt she showed in this post... I made that also, one like her picture and another using solid black in the stripping area, and found that I liked it much better. Thus my taste has changed to more control scrappy colors in my projects.

I also like Bonnie Hunter�s quilts and utilized her ideas in my own work.

I also learned that your scrappy pile does not get noticeably smaller with each thing you make. I have made 5 large quilts (using only scraps and fabric on hand) and I still have so much fabric left I can�t believe it.

I learned that scrappy can be more relaxing to make � take time and just enjoy the colors� reminisce on what the scraps were used for �way back when'!!

    Bookmark   March 14, 2011 at 6:20PM
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I have always loved scrappy quilts. But I have learned if you mix a focus fabric (usually one that reads solid) it creates a calmer more organized look to the quilt.

I have learned what some call scrappy I call planned. I saw one on another forum that was various reds with a single WOW and she called it scrappy. I called it beautiful, but to me it wasn't scrappy.

I have learned what one calls a scrap, another calls a half yard. I traded some scraps with a friend and she included some half yard cuts. I was tickled to get such large pieces of new fabrics to freshen up my collection.

I have also used my love of scrappy quilts to justify purchasing more than enough fabric to complete a quilt. After all, I can always use what is left over in a scrap quilt, right?

I agree with Geraldine, my pile of scraps grows at night.


    Bookmark   March 15, 2011 at 10:48AM
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