May 26, 2016

On the Issue of Scraps

Lately I have been contemplating the best use of scraps in quilts. Many times I get complements about how my colors look like they "go" together for scrap quilts. 

So. It's time to share the secret. 


My scrap bin in comparison to others is quite small. This little pail from IKEA is the max I keep around. When it starts overflowing, then it's time to sew some of those fabulous bits up! 

The secret to getting a pretty scrap quilt vs. scrap vomit ... 
Don't put in every bit, curate the scraps you use! 


What does this mean? To start, I dump all my scraps out and scatter them around the table. Then I start sorting the fabric into color themes that would look good. When I made the quilts below, I noticed my scrap bin was heavy on vibrant/bold colors.


My theme was born. I pulled all the bold colors and then pulled support colors that would work with my initial color scheme. Not all my scrap fabric got used. It was ok. What was left behind didn't work for this quilt. They were saved for something else. Check out the final products here.

This time around with many of my bolds missing, my bin had a lot of pastels and low volumes. When planning a pattern I first assess what my colors would be and the size of fabric. After deliberation I went with a square boxes pattern from Cluck Cluck Sew forgoing the outermost box. 


Once again scraps got left behind, right now my bin is heavy on navy's, warm colors, bright greens, and small bits. When working out the plans for my next quilt I will find something that works with a quilt heavy in that color scheme/size. 


Of course these stacks don't prove my point! 

What do you recommend for these remaining beauties? 

12 comments:

  1. Yes, curating the fabrics is the key to success in a scrappy quilt for sure! You have a great eye for finding balance and harmony in your selections.

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  2. Thank you for those thoughts. I have used everything and been so disappointed. Now, I'm picky. People make fun of my scrap saving, but hey fabric isn't cheap and I've made great quilts with them.

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  3. I like to start with an "inspiration fabric" and then build my scraps around that as a focus fabric or as the main color scheme. I have done that for two scrappy quilts and I am SOOOO happy with the results.

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  4. I keep all my scraps in color coded bins and a separate bin for strips. I've gotten better about not saving every single scrap but I still struggle with using them.

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  5. I'm not a scrap quilter but it makes perfect sense to curate your scraps. I'll be sure to do that if I ever amass enough scraps to become a scrap quilter.

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  6. I like the stacked coins pattern for my scraps. I also sew monochromatic scraps into 10" blocks for use. Scrappy quilts are the best!

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  7. Curate my scraps? That's more control than I would ever want over a scrap quilt project though I do try to balance the light and dark fabrics. My thoughts are when it comes to scrap quilting, there is room for a variety of methods and styles. That's what makes scrap quilting so wonderful to me.

    tushay3 (at) yahoo (dot) com

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  8. I totally agree with curating your scraps. I've tried the "just sew everything together and hope for the best" once and I was not in love with it.

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  9. This is a great strategy, makes sense to come up with a scheme first. I don't think I could make a whole new quilt with my scraps, I know it wouldn't look coordinated enough. I mostly use coordinated scraps to make smaller projects like zip pouches or pincushions.

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  10. I wish my scraps were organized... in any fashion! :D I always love the 'made-fabric' approach to scrap quilts. You could combine like colors (say, all the navy) into made fabric, then use it in a simple quilt pattern, like the New Wave quilt, or something else with big pieces. Or just slowly allow the scraps to take over your life... :P

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  11. I think I need to get my scraps out of boxes and into something where I can SEE them. You have a wonderful eye for recognizing the color ombinations that work well together!

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  12. What is the smallest size of scrap you save? I seem to have a lot of little pieces that would only be 2 1/2 inch squares, but I'm not sure I'd use them. I seem to like big blocks with big pieces. Your thoughts?

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