Scrap quilting is so much fun. It’s even more fun when you have a stash to work from. It’s not hard to build one, especially if you quilt a lot. Scrap quilts are my favorite because since they use so many different fabrics, I don’t have to have a lot of one particular fabric. I can even make my background fabrics scrappy! Let’s talk about building a stash and a scrap quilt so you can get started.
Building a Fabric Stash
One of the keys to successful scrap quilting is to have a stash of a lot of smaller pieces of fabric to choose from when making these quilts. I often buy fat quarters at the quilt shop for this purpose. But I also achieve this by cutting down larger pieces of fabric into assorted smaller pieces, so that color print I like so much is represented in every size in my stash. There have been fabric pieces I have had in my stash for a while and haven’t used until I cut it up into smaller yardage!
So here is my mini tutorial on cutting up a yard of fabric:
Below are the tubs I store the different cuts of fabric in. I like to keep them separated by size and color so I can just grab a tub and find the colors I want.
And this is how I store the fat eighths:
See how easy it is to move around the fat eighths without any getting lost?
Finally, strips! I like to save lots and lots of strips. I will cut and keep 2 1/2″ and 1 1/2″ strips any time I have less than an 1/8 of a yard of fabric left when cutting pieces from a larger piece of fabric. Here’s how I store those:
I cut pieces of acid free cardboard to make separators between stack of strips. This is a lot better than the way I used to store them:
LOL! It was pretty hard to find the strips I wanted in this mess. Also, they would get tangled and frayed this way.
Building a Scrap Quilt
You can actually turn any quilt pattern into a scrap quilt with a little thought. I’ll use a simple 3 color quilt as an example. To make it easy, let’s say this quilt takes a yard of each color fabric (not including the background) and has 12 blocks. Here’s the 3 colors:
These fabrics would certainly make a pretty quilt:
However, you can turn this into a scrappier quilt by substituting three 1/3 yard cuts for each yard of fabric from above. I’ve done that here:
The red, blue and yellow fabrics served as a jumping off point to add in 6 more colors. So here’s how that quilt from above looks now:
It really does make a difference! And like I said earlier, you can also make the background fabrics scrappy by using different tan prints with each color.
Another way to “scrap it up” is to use several colors in one block.
You can alternate which colors you use in the center and for the star points and end up with a really fun scrap quilt! This was just a simple example of how to make a quilt scrappy. Use your imagination, plus a little math, and you can make any pattern scrappy!
Leave a comment below on scrap quilting and be entered in the drawing for my pattern, Twinkle, Twinkle.
The drawing will be on Monday, August 3rd. **We have a winner … Congrats, Eileen!**
Great tips, as usual! Thanks for sharing! HUGS… and stitches
Rita Manetta says
Awesome tips, as always! I really enjoyed the tutorial on how you cut up a yard of fabric into different sizes for your scrap stash. Thank you so much!
Love the scrappy quilts, just finished a scrappy triple Irish chain quilt for a nephew.
Thanks for your ideas.
Eugenia Read says
Oh my gosh! Such wonderful tips and tricks for cutting and storing the fabric. This is definitely next on my bucket list. Thank you for sharing it all. I love learning all about quilting.
Thank you so much for this tutorial on scrap quilting! I have two tubs of large scraps and plan to cut them down and organize them this winter… I see scrap quilts in my future 🙂
Irene Philp says
Thanks for all the great tips Deanne! A quilter never stops learning tricks to tame her scraps!
I am still working on building my stash.
Gayle Shumaker says
Great tips, thank you.
Robin McGuire says
I love making scrap quilts, the scrappier the better! But it did take some time to build a healthy stash.
Wonderful ideas for sorting scraps,ready for an amazing quilt. Thanks for inspiring me to do this ready to make a quilt.
June Alton says
Thanks for the great tips to make a scrap quilt.
.Mary S says
Love the breakdown for cutting larger pieces of fabrics. I’ve been just cutting 1-1/2″ strips for years and always have to go digging in my yardage if I need a different size.
Think I’ll give your sizes a try to see if if makes fabric selecting quicker.
Great tips for scrap quilts. Time to organize. Thanks much for all your sharing.