Quilting · Quilts · Uncategorized

2021: Off to a Scrappy Start

The temptation to cut into new fabric has been strong. The fabric has been pulled from the stash. The pattern has been chosen.


There are heaping piles and containers full of scraps. The scrap situation has gotten out of control. Some are divided by color. Most are just in a jumbled mess on my sewing table and strewn all over the floor. It’s really quite horrifying.

In an effort to make some sort of progress using up my scraps, I’ve been working on scrap quilts. Last year I completed a lap quilt made up of scrappy triangles. This year I’ve taken more of a crazy patch approach.

I start by sewing the tiniest scraps together, then cutting so there is a nice straight edge. These small chunks then get sewn to other small chunks or slightly larger pieces of fabric. As I sew more and more chunks and strips together, I gradually work toward forming a 16″x20″ rectangle. (Once in a while and also to border each rectangle, I use sew on a long strip. This helps to minimize having a lot of seams coming together.) I used nine of these rectangles for my lap quilt.

My favorite thing about these scrap quilts is that I’ve been able to use up extra blocks from previous projects, such as a nine patch from my very first project 22 years ago, or little things I’ve sewn up that never really found a home, such as a pair of tiny paper-pieced houses. I’d made two houses, one in purple and one in blue. The process was tedious, and I knew after making two that I did not want to take the time to make enough for an entire project. I’m so glad they found a home in this quilt.

For the quilting I used a variegated thread and meandered all over the quilt top. Though my original intention was to sew all my leftover binding bits together to make binding for this quilt, I opted to use a solid instead.

Presently I am at work on my second quilt just like this one. I showed my middle daughter one of the blocks, and her comment was, “Everything is starting to look the same to me.” While it might be true that the fabrics are mostly the same, each quilt is definitely unique. I’d like to think that the scrap situation will be under control once the second quilt is finished, but I’m about six or seven blocks in and the pile doesn’t seem to be getting any smaller.