Sunday, February 18, 2018

Oh Scrap! : Right Design for Your Scraps

Just this last week, I was gabbing with a few quilty friends and the conversation turned to scraps.  It often comes up that they feel my scrap quilts always look better than theirs and they want to know my secret.

I don't think I have any secret but maybe it has to do with how I approach my quilts.  So I thought I would go through my thought process on my latest scrap quilt.



Last week I received two Island Batik stash builder rolls I won from Vicki's Crafts and Quilting.  (Thanks Vicki!)  Each roll contained four 5" x WOF strips.  They contained mostly oranges with a dark and light blue and my plan is to turn them into a donation quilt.

So now I have to figure out how to make these work together and what deign to use.



I don't have a lot of batiks anymore but I did find a few larger scraps that I thought would work in this quilt.  I knew I needed more darks - both in orange and blue.  I didn't have any dark blues so I looked at what I call "close to".  I found some black and orange and some grays.  Once they get into the quilt, they will appear to be orange and blue. (I promise!)



 The next step was to come up with a design.  When I evaluate a pile of scraps, I always look at what sizes I have and if they blend or contrast.  These fabrics definitely contrast.

I decided to cut them into 2.5" strips.  Why that size?  It yielded the most out of the strips I won (I simply sliced them in half) and the new fabrics I added were all WOF and narrow chunks.  Because the fabrics contrasted, I felt it needed a design that created color blocks.



I decided to go with a color block design that is fast and easy.  I cut the strips to length as I watched the Olympics Friday night and used them as a leader project as I worked on some secret sewing on Saturday.  I told you it was a fast and easy design, I already have the 6" blocks finished and am working on the 6 x 12" blocks.

I don't know if I shared any secret here but I do believe that ANY pile of scraps can be turned into a lovely quilt.  I try to let the fabrics speak instead of forcing them into a design that won't let them shine.  Just like a "planned" quilt from new fabric and a pattern, you have to pick your scrap colors and approach the scrap quilt with a plan.  Easy Peasey!


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It is now your turn to share what you are making with scraps.  Here are the details for linking up:

  • This linky party is for any scrappy project - It can be in-process or a finished piece.
  • You can link up your blog post (not your homepage please) or Instagram photo from the past week that features your use of scraps.
  • If you are linking to a blog post, I ask that you link back to my blog somewhere in your post. So if you are writing about scraps, just get into the habit of including a link as there will be a linky party available every week!
  • If you are using Instagram, please use the hashtag #ohscrap.
  • This is a party so remember to socialize and comment on the posts of others.
  • Following my blog is not necessary but it sure would be great if you do!

Quilting is more fun than Housework
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So if you love scrappy projects, feel free to grab my button for your sidebar or posts and get ready to share all your wonderful projects from scraps.  And if you have a great idea for using scraps and would like to be featured, feel free to contact me!





24 comments:

Kate said...

Thanks for sharing your process. Once the UFO list is whittled down a bit, I want to tackle some of my drawers of scraps. Knowing how others come up with their scrappy goodness helps a lot.

Cathy said...

You are right! Any pile of scraps can be turned into a lovely quilt! I actually find working with scraps easier than working with stash.

Quilty Fred said...

Thank you for sharing your creative approach, I love the way you play with these fabrics!

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

I think almost all of my quilts are always scrap quilts, I rarely buy yardage any more except for backings or small pieces to extend out the scraps! Love the colors you are using.

Judy H said...

I enjoy reading your blog for the design process. It helps to see the steps you go through to design a quilt and has given me the push to try my own designs.

LIttle Penguin Quilts said...

Congratulations on your win! Those are pretty fabrics! I also enjoy reading about your process as you put scraps together to make your amazing quilts - I think you have a special gift for it. :)

MartiDIY said...

Those are pretty batiks. I like the way you planned how to use them. I hope I can remember this the next time I need it. Very efficient use of the fabric and I like the blocks you've made.

The Colorful Fabriholic said...

Thanks for the insight into how you plan a scrap quilt. Very helpful!

chrisknits said...

Great explanation of your process. The fabric will speak if we are willing to listen. It's when I try to tell the fabric what to do that I end up frustrated! It has a mind of it's own.

Louise said...

What a great group of fabrics! That will make such a pretty quilt. I agree that almost any group of scraps will work together, and I'm learning that the key isn't color as much as value. Those dark grays substituting for dark blues are what really make your fabric pull sing...they are the bass notes to let the orange melody shine.

I suspect that your friends look at their own scraps and think, "Oh, that old piece. Ho hum!" But once we start to embrace our scraps as dearly loved and cherished friends then making scrappy quilts is so much more fun. "Oh, I remember this cute print! So happy! And this yellow always is so bright and cheerful..."

Anonymous said...

I appreciate hearing your process. I learned from the "close to" selection concept.

Janice Holton said...

I enjoyed reading your thought process and understanding the reasons why you do the things you do. I really agree with the premise that any pile of scraps can make a beautiful quilt. I tried my hand at that last night in making a doll quilt. I'm not very comfortable doing that yet, but I gotta start somewhere! Really enjoy your style. :)

Sandy said...

Thank you for sharing that. It does make me think about my scraps in a different way.

Charlotta said...

Love your orange and blue blocks!

Kristi said...

I love your scrap quilts! You have definitely inspired many of my own scrap quilts! Often think of you when I have a pile of scraps. Right now I have some flannel grey strips (with monkeys on them) that are percolating in my mind for a scrap quilt!

Julie said...

I agree. You have to look and evaluate what colors and obviously size you're working with, and sometimes even add something in to balance the whole color scheme. I love reading how each quilter thinks about a process, and maybe more so than seeing the end project. Thank you for a wonderful post, Cynthia! Your blue and orange certainly did show nicely like you promised.

Bonnie said...

Great post on design or at least the color part of design process. I attended a lecture by Jinny Beyer where she asked the room to pick their favorite quilt from 2 beautiful quilts. Really, they were both lovely. But overwhelmingly the room liked the scrap quilt better. She explained it was a more complex quilt to look at not in terms of design but in the numerous scraps used in the quilt. It was a very interesting talk and I wish I remembered more from it. But the real take awayhor me was that a well put together scrap quilt is more interesting than a well put together quilt utilizing a lot of the same fabrics. I love those oranges and dark blues and greys together. You've done a great job with the choice of the blocks too. Thanks for sharing your thought process.

Nann said...

I agree with you: any fabric can work in a quilt design. Even ugly ducklings become swans with the right companions. (But...how can you pare down a batik stash? My favorites!)

Vicki in MN said...

Wow you made those fabrics work just perfectly!!! Your quilt is going to be stunning:)

em's scrapbag said...

Great home for those fabrics! Looking so good!

Astrid said...

Thank you for sharing your process. I love working with scraps and from now on I have to keep in mind the color design of the process. Congrats on your win, beautiful batiks.

JanineMarie said...

Easy Peasey, well, I'm not sure about that, but you make it look easy, anyway. Thank you so much for sharing your approach! I'm sure we all will take it to heart. I especially like how you differentiate between blend and contrast when determining a design. I hope you will share another post like this (or a link to one) that shows what you do when you have fabrics that blend.

Jasmine said...

I always love reading about how you select designs for your quilts. Thanks for the inspiration.

Dar said...

Thanks for sharing your thought process for putting together your quilts. I do not consider WOF and precut packages as true scraps but the colors you took from your stash worked great.

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