October 19, 2015

Sew Your Scraps: Part I

Ah, Fall. The leaves are in full display, the pumpkin flavored everything is out, and the crisp air has moved in for the season.  Last night my sister and I showed two little girls how to make pillow cases. It was so much fun. The oldest was able to make hers all by herself, 8 years. Both to her Mom's and my surprise! She had asked about making a quilt.  Any pointers? I was thinking it would be another fun project for us all to do together. I shamefully forgot to take pictures of the experience they were so stinking cute too!

Ok, away from soliciting free information, and onto giving free information! Are you like me with too many scraps you don't know what to do with them all? It got me thinking about a quilt pattern that uses a lot of small scraps.  Typically I cut down scraps to 2.5 inch squares for easy use later so the bulk of this design uses 2.5 inch squares. Over last couple of months I have also been cutting scraps down to 6.5 inch x 2.5 inch rectangles.

Here is what I came up with ...


Piecing Tip: When sewing your blocks together always grab different colors to place next to one another, so you have a good variety of colors in each blocks. Don't worry about matching or if the colors "go" together. Make sure you include a good variety of lights, mediums and darks in each block as well so there is always something bold in each block. This will spread out the colors so the quilt will look balance when all the block are sewn together. I never lay out a scrappy quilt I just go for it :)


The Blocks:





Materials: 
640 - 2.5" squares
128 - 6.5" x 2.5" rectangles

Layout: 
Each row will have the following block layout, make 8 rows in total.

A   -   C   -   B   -   C   -   B   -   C   -   B   -   C   -   A

Sew each of the rows together to create the quilt top, should finish about 64" by 64" inches. 


The "Sew Your Scraps" series will have a total of 3 parts over the next week, well because I had cut too many 6.5" x 2.5" rectangles and the whole point of scraps is to not be wasteful. So, there was actually enough to make 2 separate quilts. The tutorial for the right quilt will be coming out later this week!  Check back for another scrap de-stash idea.

- Patch & Chels

16 comments:

  1. Love this! Good idea for using up all this scraps :) My 5 year old has been asking to sew lately too ... I'll be interested to see what everyone's advice is!

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    1. start him off. as I child I was started knitting by the age of 4 and produced my first sweater at age 6. I was also sewing but nothing major until age 7. if the desire is there they will learn because they want to. keep things simple. what else is he interested in? that can be a jumping off point for making a bag to keep his toy cars in , or clothes for a doll.

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  2. Great idea!!! I've been using my scraps to play with my quick curve ruler... I don't think I'm patient enough to do cut it all down into 2.5" squares. And I'm not entire sure my scraps play as nicely as yours... :D

    I have a very dear friend who actually teaches children's sewing classes. One of the first quilts she always suggests is the strip and flip quilt from Cluck Cluck Sew. Most of her kids are able to complete the top in just a few hours. And for quilting she just goes with straight lines (the machines in the classroom are finicky at FMQ). Her other go to is borders around a panel... not as much fun, or easy to do from stash, but some kids really like it.

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  3. I cut my small scraps into 2.5 inch squares too in the hope that one day I will collect enough to start a truly scrappy quilt, but I had not thought of keeping some larger pieces as well to add interest. Great idea!

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  4. I keep my scraps in bins, organized by color. I attempted to cut down my scraps into 4 general sizes (2.5" squares, 3 inch squares, 2.5" and 3 inch strips) but after getting through my first bin (red) gave up. One of these days, I either get back to it or decide on something else to do with them.

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  5. I really like how the larger pieces add visual interest and movement to the scrappy quilt top. They are like a pause and place to rest to give me the opportunity to really look at all the fabric in detail.

    In terms of teaching an 8 year old to quilt, that is totally doable and something I did earlier in the year. I met with the mom and "student" once a month or so and we slowly worked on simple block piecing followed by quilt top assembly. They even did the quilting on my long arm and tested out FMQ on my domestic. In the end, I did the binding because it required a bit more patience and precision than any of us thought was going to be able to be given by the child, but they did all the rest. Feel free to email me any specific questions you have, but I really just let the child lead and I played the whole thing by ear.

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  6. I second everything everyone else wrote: great idea! (And I agree with Sarah ... Your scraps play especially well together.)

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  7. Super cute use of scraps! I cut mine to 2.5 squares and strips, so this is a great use for them. Thanks!

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  8. Yay! Great quilt! Love all the movement in the quilt from these three blocks!

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    1. I recently started teaching my sister and niece (13y) to sew by making pillowcases. My 8 yr old nephew observed us & asked if he could make a pillowcase so he will be next to teach sewing. I started sewing at 8 yrs old myself making clothes.

      I would consider starting the young girl's quilting experience off with an easy crib sized strip quilt. She will have the experience to perhaps cut strips (safety first), to understand & sew a great seam allowance, the commands of the sewing machine, the reasoning of pressing seams open or to the side, the process of layering a quilt sandwich, pin basting a quilt and quilting the quilt. I would teach her a simple stitch in the ditch or the decorative scallop stitch to quilt with.

      I would suggest crib sized so the experience is not too overwhelming this first time through and she could walk away with a finished quilt in a relative short time. I know my sister and niece were super excited to finish their first pillowcases and posted it all on FB.

      Good luck to passing along the sewing/quilting tradition to a potential budding new quilter.

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  10. This looks really lovely! I have a bunch of 2.5" squares from a guild swap and was wondering what to do with them, love a scrappy quilt!

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  11. ohh my that is just too pretty, and such a great idea. I love the mixed sizes!!!

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  12. Can you tell me how to continue the row across if I wanted to enlarge the quilt to make it like 88" for a queen size thank you. Enjoy the blog.
    Mary - mburnette912@bellsouth.net

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