Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A Whole Lot of Scraps

I see you scrap bin...peeking out from below my cutting table. You think no one notices how you grow and overflow hidden way below eye level.  I know at times I seem to ignore you but I have my eye on you!  No longer will you languish in the shadows, I am determined to bring you out into the light and find the beauty in your depths!

You and scrap bins everywhere seem to have us quilters stymied over your crumpled mess. Your disarray has intimidated many and built up the reputation that scrap quilts have to be unseemly and disorganized.  

But sadly for you, you don't scare me.  I have found beauty before within your depths.  Patiently, I will listen to your contents and puzzle out the lovely quilts that are held hostage within you.

First up, a quick sort through you to eliminate solids, tone on tones and neutrals. Today I am looking for your difficult fabrics...the ones that never seem to find a home.  The ones that have lived in your deepness for years.

I will start by cutting squares from your shaggy pieces.  First 3 1/2" then 2 1/2".  I will gently let the quilts evolve.

TaDa - A quick grouping by color and from the larger squares easily comes these blocks.

I love how the colors gradate across the quilt.  A closeup reveals the lovliness that is evolving.  Mister bin, even at this stage, I believe the win goes to the quilter.

But I know total victory is not mine.  The challenge is still there to determine a use for all the bits of bright fabrics on black backgrounds that have collected in your darkest corners.

Stack after stack is cut....so much there to use.....

Wait...A quick sketch creates a block that not only uses theses squares but will create a home for some scrap solids.  Double bonus points!

Working a little further, I quickly realize if I sew a combination of these two blocks, I can fill a complete top with your pieces and add fun shades of different solids.

HaHa - challenge met!

And finally, what to do with the other 2 1/2" squares?  Luckily I saw something interesting the Corvallis Modern Quilt Guild was making and it inspired an idea. (I think they call them urban chicken blocks).

Once again, a quick grouping by color and the addition of some solid scraps and these blocks are created.  Before I  call a victory here, I will need to let this one continue to mature.  But even now, I am confident it will look great.

So take that scrap bin.  I will leave you to cower back in the shadows under the table.  I will let you be for a bit as you build your strength back up.  But know this...when you are ready, I will be here waiting to show you again who is boss!

And for my readers, I will continue to work on these quilts and post progress as it happens.  Feel free to use any of these ideas as inspiration for tackling your own scrap bin. Get creative and see what evolves!

Linking up with Fabric Tuesday at Quilt Story, Linky Tuesday at Freemotion by the River, Sew Cute Tuesday at Better Off Thread and Show and Tell Tuesday at I have to Say.


  1. great use of those scraps, Cynthia! They can be conquered!

    :) Kelly @ My Quilt Infatuation

  2. Wow, great work with your scraps. All of these look great - I especially like the first quilt up on your design wall.

  3. I need to attack my scraps like you did yours. Thanks for some great ideas.

  4. Beautiful scrap top. I love working with my scraps. When they start to take over I sort them. All my 2.5" squares are being saved for a special project.

  5. Love the little top you made with bright fabrics on black backgrounds. The aqua sashing really gives it some bling! My scrap bin is still growing. I keep your hints in mind!

  6. Love your message! You had me chuckling here so early in the morning reading your post about your relationship with your scrap basket. You definitely are wining out with so many lovelies. I need to take a day and see what I can do with my scraps.

  7. What great projects for working with scraps.......you do know that scraps multiply when.....you're not looking! Thanks for sharing.
    Freemotion by the River Linky Party Tuesday

  8. I love this! Thanks for the inspiration!

  9. You are not only a creative quilter, but you are also a very good creative writer!! I only wish I had half your talent....and as many beautiful scraps as you have!

  10. You just come up with the greatest scrap quilts and fast! Love them all!

  11. You showed that Scrap Bin - hah! It's not going to overrun your quilting room. (I think Connie is on to something....)

  12. Thanks for sharing the great ideas of what to do with scraps. I have been dedicating my summer sewing to taming my scrap bin. I'm not sure I have been as successful as you have.

  13. What amazing projects you have on the go to use up all those scraps my favorite is the one with the brights and I love it either way with the solid center or the scrappy center!

  14. Loved your post. As a new quilter, I do not have the range you have. However, my 4 bins were MESSY! So , the other night I organized into light medium and dark bins. I was rather proud I got that far. Now, I am trying a new technique, and instead of using my "good" fabric, I am challenging myself to work on this using ONLY scraps from these bins. So far, so good.


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