In a previous post in June, I shared how to build a stash for scrap quilting. My tips included ideas for fabric sizes from 1/2 yards all the way down to strips. Now that your scrap baskets are bursting with lots of colorful fabrics, it’s time to “bust” them wide open and make some fun projects. There are many ways to use up these scraps from making blocks to scrappy borders and bindings. Let’s get started!
Multiple Colors Within a Block: In my opinion, one of the most fun things to do when there’s time to quilt is to sit by my scrap collection and create blocks. Even if I do not have a plan for them! Some of the simplest blocks you can do are 4-patch, 9-patch and even 16-patch blocks.
You can make these blocks by cutting individual squares from your fabric pieces or you can create strip sets from your collection of strips to make a lot of these blocks at once. Here’s a few scrappy blocks I have created using these simple scrap busting ideas:
On the left, I took some scrappy 9-patches and combined them with blocks with folded corners method (also known as the stitch & flip method) on two sides to make a star pattern within the block. On the right, I turned a 16-patch scrappy block into a scrappy snowball block by adding the corners through the folded corners method.
What’s the folded corners method? It’s a technique where you take squares, place them face down on a larger square or block and then sew a diagonal seam to create an angle. As noted above, it’s also referred to as stitch & flip. The photos below demonstrate this:
I’ve also used these easy blocks on their own, combined with star blocks, to make some quilts.
Other types of blocks can be made from just joining strips and not cutting them into little squares like the blocks above. Of course the most popular of those blocks are the log cabin and the rail fence blocks:
Single Colors Within a Block: Another way to make a scrap quilt is to choose a block, like I did with the bowtie below, and make several but each a different color. When you join them together, that creates the scrappy look.
I made the single color print bow tie blocks sitting by my scrap bin, then I combined them to make the scrappy table runners for the It’s a Tie pattern. You can use this scrappy method with all kinds of blocks like stars, churn dash, and more. I did that with the two quilt patterns below:
Then you can have more fun by combining the multi-color with the single color elements like I did with this block from my Kaleidoscope pattern:
Borders and Binding
Another way to bust that scrap basket is to the scrap collection to make interesting borders or scrappy bindings.
Border Fun. I really like doing this with scraps. It’s a great way to use up scraps while also adding a lot of interest to your quilt. First up is a simple piano key border or a checkerboard border. These are two of the easiest ways to use up the remaining fabric from your quilt and increase the size of your quilt if that is desired.
The piano key border on the left helps to frame the quilt. The “keys” can be as short or long as you want. The checkerboard border on the right acts as a decorative element between the two solid color fabrics.
The next step up in doing a pieced scrappy border is something like I did for my Wildflower Lane quilt.
It’s kind of a variation of the piano key border. Three strips are joined and then a stitch & flip corner is added. Once those border units are stitched into a row, they now look like colorful flying geese. Here’s how it looks on the quilt:
Another border idea is to take an element from the quilt block and use it in the border. I did this on these two quilts:
Finally, here are some other border options. Flying geese, half-square triangle squares, strips joined on a bias and then just a mish-mash of different sized scraps.
Scrappy Binding: Last but not least is the scrappy border. This is a great way to use up 1 1/2″ or 2 1/2″ strips, depending on the binding type you choose. Simply chose a variety of strips or cut strips from the leftover fabric from the project and join them into a binding.
So that’s it for this week’s chat. I love playing with the scraps in my collection and now you can too. Even if you don’t have a lot of time to quilt, you can sit down with scraps and make a block or two. Before you know it, you’ll have enough blocks to make a quilt!
Leave a comment or ask questions below and you will be entered into a drawing for my quilt pattern It’s a Tie.
The drawing will be on Monday, July 24th. Good luck! ***We have a winner! Congrats, Ginny!***