Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Tip Tuesday: Organized Scrap Quilts

Happy Tuesday! Summer is the time I get a lot of quilting (and organizing) done in the sewing room. And since I've been working on several scrappy projects lately, I thought it might be fun to share some of my tips for making scrap quilts.

It seems like every year at about this time I feel like sewing something red, white and blue.

Last summer I made my Scrappy Nested Churn Dash quilt using Minick & Simpson fabric scraps (you can read about that quilt here if you are new to my blog). When I finished I thought my red white and blue stash might be depleted (after all, I made a king-size quilt), but as is often the case, scraps seem to multiply even more when you use them.

 So I'm at it again this summer, this time combining other red, blue, navy, and neutral fabrics with my Minick & Simpson left overs. And I'm having a lot of fun.
When I piece scrap quilts, however random they might look, I actually use a little bit of organization as I put everything together.

I start by pulling a pile of strips or scraps and pile them up on my sewing machine table. As I "build" each block I do pay attention to where I'm placing lights and darks, and I try to make sure there is a good mix of the colors I'm using in each block. Having the pile of strips right on the sewing table makes it easy to choose what I want to use next. As I add layers I can always change it up if I feel like there is too much of one color or not enough of another.

When my pile of strips starts getting low or is made up of pieces that are too small to use in my project I choose a new set of fabrics to start sewing with and replenish the pile of strips on the table with new fabrics in different sizes.

If the scrap quilt requires pieces cut to specific sizes, I'll cut a lot of strips in the sizes I need and organize them in piles on my block boards. This way I can make sure the piles all look semi-balanced before I even start sewing. It takes a little extra time, but if each block is balanced, then I feel like the entire scrap quilt will be balanced.

I'm only about half way finished with these scrappy log cabins...but I'm in love with them already!

Do you have any favorite tips for piecing scrap quilts? I'd love to hear!

Thanks so much for stopping by!


Laurie said...

Wow! They look fabulous! I just may do something similar :)

Hildy said...

Your scrappy blocks look great! And it's really funny that I always end up with more scraps then I started with, too, but I'm glad it's not just me;-)
A tip about scrappy sewing: I discovred that I don't like a too scrappy quilt so I first think what look I want for my quilt and choose a color range for it. For example, for my Green Tea and Sweet Beand quilt I choose white, pink, red, blue, green and brown. So far it's working.

Judy said...

I love your scrapy blocks! You could make a rag look Great! Thank you for your help, I sure need it! Quilting is and quilting the quilt is harder than it looks!

em's scrapbag said...

The start to another great scrap quilt.

Karen said...

You're right -- I am itching to work with red, white, and blue these days too. I have plenty in the stash to work with; however, the projects at hand will not fill the bill. I may have to start another new one to scratch that itch. :-)

DreiPunkteWerk said...

I love scrappy quilts :-) Especially the log cabin - I have made a LogCabinQuilt a short while ago too.
Maybe this is interesting for you, what I found today: http://www.canoeridgecreations.com/2015/06/oh-scrap-scrappy-chain-tutorial.html
Scraps out of control;-))
Best regards,

Bev said...

Oh, I love your log cabin blocks too! Awesome!

Monica said...

Your scrappy quilt is beautiful with the Americana colors :). I have never done a scrappy quilt and I don't do good with scraps-when I finish a quilt the leftovers I will make a pillow sham, table runner, potholders, etc.. scraps stress me out :(.

Debbie said...

I love controlled scrappy. Can't wait to see your blocks on the design wall.

magistra said...

Yes, I don't think I ever thought that your quilts weren't controlled scrappy. They harmonize so beautifully and are so balanced, you can tell there is an artist considering each move behind them. I looked again at the churn-dash quilt and then looking at the log-cabin, they are both such beautiful quilts and really, really show off how stunning red, white, and blue can be together. I do appreciate your tips on how you achieve the controlled scrappiness. I'm new at this and have been wondering where I was going to go in my next quilt. I like scrappiness and I'm pretty sure I'll utilize your system (thanks again!) I think Hildy above also has a good suggestion. I think I should pick some colors for this first scrappy type of quilt. It might harmonize together better. But I did buy some red, white, and blue fabrics just this week. I love the combination and I think I'm experiencing the same itch. Possibly I can do a table runner to scratch it!

JaneH said...

I love those fabrics and colours!!!

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