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Thread: Questions about scrappy quilts

  1. #1
    Power Poster joyce888's Avatar
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    Questions about scrappy quilts

    I've got a question for all of you who make such beautiful scrap quilts. Do you make the blocks as you accumulate scraps or do you wait until you have enough for a quilt? Do you sort the scraps by light/medium/dark or mix at random? Do you mix fabric styles - vintage/modern/juvenile/batik/traditional/floral? I know these sound like very controlled scrappy questions; but I'm afraid if I start adding strips without any thought and make blocks as I create scraps from a quilt project I won't like the end result. The scrap quilt I'm considering is the diamond pattern using a small page (5x8) phone book with a black or dark fabric as the center stripe.
    Joyce

    Four things you can't recover: The stone.....after the throw. The word......after its said. The occasion.....after its missed. The time......after its gone

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    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    i sort my scraps to dark/medium/light. i wait to do the quilt blocks all at once since i have plenty of room to store scraps. the only other control i do is not to use the same fabric close to another one of the same.
    Nancy in western NY
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  3. #3
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    The most successful scrap quilts tend to use everything and anything together willy nilly. And actually, the fabrics that clash give it the most sparkle after it's done. The use of one solid dark will pull your quilt together.

  4. #4
    Super Member MaryMo's Avatar
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    all of the above .... depending upon feeling at the time. I have lots of orphan blocks that do go into scrap quilts and then I have jelly roll scrap quilts, scrap quilts where I just sewing plain blocks together (some all florals, some plaids, one that was solid colors, some mixed) ... And there's always the quilt that is still ideas where I bought/obtained some of the fabric. If I start something and it doesn't feel "right", it becomes a mug rug, hot pad, table runner, etc. Some of these efforts go to a local dog shelter ... the dogs and cats love to curl up on them.
    I do have hesitation finishing projects so I do have lots of unfinished projects .....
    Make it a scrappy happy day!

  5. #5
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    Our quilt guild is doing a quilt using 8 1/2" square blocks on phone book pages. We did a dark diagonal stripe in the middle and any colors wanted on either side. They will be sewn together in groups of four to make a large diamond shape. Then these blocks will be joined together to make the quilts for the Ronald MacDonald House. We are working from 3 big bags of scraps. No two blocks are the same in colors or strip widths. So far they look great!

  6. #6
    Super Member Pat625's Avatar
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    My string quilt is done block by block....and then sits until I think I have enough of a new variety oof strings to go on ...I am in the process of prepping scraps for a grandmas flower garden..I am going to cut the hexagons and save them until I have enough for the quilt (or at least the majority)..I tend to save scraps in shoe boxes, prepped to be alikee (ex: strings, 2 1/2 strips, certain size squares, hexagons etc)

  7. #7
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    Let me start by saying I have thousands of cut squares, rectangles and triangles.
    I cut leftover and fabric I'll never use into squares ranging from 1 1/2" to 6"
    They are then sorted.
    Most of the 6" squares are novelities and they are just stored in a large box.
    A lot of the 4 1/2s and 5s are also novelities and those I sort by type : children, flowers, sports etc.

    The 1 1/2"s, 2"s, 2 1/2"s. 3"s and 3 1/2"s are sorted by value: dark, medium and light
    Usually I use these in square blocks - how many are in the block depends on the size of the square.
    Any block with 16 or more squares always has 3 black squares in it. I learned this from someone on an old Simply Quilts show and it makes a world of difference.

  8. #8
    Super Member ArtsyOne's Avatar
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    I sort my scraps into Asians, brights, pastels, homespuns and batiks. Most I cut into strips, but larger leftover pieces I leave whole in case I need 5" squares at some point. Right now I have 25 strip-pieced 8.5" squares completed in autumn colors and will continue to add to that stash as I use browns, golds and greens in other quilts.
    A fabric stash is always missing that one fabric needed to finish the quilt on which you're working.

  9. #9
    Super Member leatheflea's Avatar
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    All of the suggestions you gave are right. Everyone has there own idea of scrappy and organizing. I personally like the kind where you close your eyes and grab fabric. I do however sort mine by color. It makes things easier to find if I need a certain color.

  10. #10
    Super Member burchquilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eastermarie View Post
    Our quilt guild is doing a quilt using 8 1/2" square blocks on phone book pages. We did a dark diagonal stripe in the middle and any colors wanted on either side. They will be sewn together in groups of four to make a large diamond shape. Then these blocks will be joined together to make the quilts for the Ronald MacDonald House. We are working from 3 big bags of scraps. No two blocks are the same in colors or strip widths. So far they look great!
    This sounds fabulous! I hope you'll be able to post some pictures of these!!!
    (`v)
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    .
    .*).*)
    (.(. (..`..♥ rebecca

  11. #11
    Super Member burchquilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltnNan View Post
    i sort my scraps to dark/medium/light. i wait to do the quilt blocks all at once since i have plenty of room to store scraps. the only other control i do is not to use the same fabric close to another one of the same.
    That's my method, too... kinda. I just do lights & darks because I find that "medium" is relative.
    (`v)
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    .
    .*).*)
    (.(. (..`..♥ rebecca

  12. #12
    Super Member burchquilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArtsyOne View Post
    I sort my scraps into Asians, brights, pastels, homespuns and batiks. Most I cut into strips, but larger leftover pieces I leave whole in case I need 5" squares at some point. Right now I have 25 strip-pieced 8.5" squares completed in autumn colors and will continue to add to that stash as I use browns, golds and greens in other quilts.
    Oh, those sound yummy. Pictures? Please?
    (`v)
    `*..*
    .
    .*).*)
    (.(. (..`..♥ rebecca

  13. #13
    Senior Member w7sue's Avatar
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    I store mine by size - 1.5, 2, 2.5 - when I am ready to go, I put out ten coffee filters and sort one of each in each of the coffee filters. If I have five of one, then it goes only onto five filters, if I have nine then only nine go out, when I am done each coffee filter has a large supply of one of each that I then start working into squares/blocks. I did this for 290 nine patches made from 2 inch squares. The same fabrics are used all over the quilt but each block is different. I like this method better than just grabbing since I tended to grab the same fabrics over and over and it looked too planned. I am one of those people who sew two lines when doing half square triangles so the part that is cut off is trimmed down to one of the above sizes and they can be tossed in every once in a while - it uses all those little pieces that get trimmed down. I love a book called "Adventures with Leaders and Enders" by Bonnie K. Hunter - I have made three quilts from this book and the fourth one is just waiting for the perfect outer border.

    I am pretty sure there is no right or wrong way - just your way and what works for you.

    I just got an envelope full of scraps from luvTooQuilt (I sent her postage and she sent fabric scraps she didn't want anymore) - yahoo! I can hardly wait to press them all and trim them to their biggest sizes - they will add a little something to my quilts because they will be different than everything else I have.

  14. #14
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    When I start a scrap quilt I throw all my darks and medium on the floor... Then stand back and see what "grabs" me. I then toss what really stands out as a "stinker" into a seperate pile. I them take lights and toss on the floor next to what is to be the darks /mediums and throw the lights and toss the stinkers with the stinkers. This may take a few days of me walking by ...toss ing a few back in ....tossing a few more out till I have my pile. I never judge what makes it .. from close up .. always at least 4 feet away. Then I figure out a pattern taht goes with the most efficient use. What happens alot .. is the pile of "stinkers" is its own quilt and I like it more than the original scrappy.
    The era or style makes little difference to me its mostly all about the color range.

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    I use plastic bins so that each color family has it's own bin. I use the plastic see through with white plastic tops. I randomly use whatever I put my hands on first. The more color, the better the result.

  16. #16
    Super Member May in Jersey's Avatar
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    I sort my scraps by color. I like to make 24 or 48 blocks string blocks using the same color for the diagonal center strip, this gives the scrappy quilt a little unity. I used lightweight light colored fabrics for the foundation of the string blocks.

    Other times I make simple 9 patch blocks and have one square in each block in the same color, it doesn't have to be the same fabric, just the same color.
    Last edited by May in Jersey; 06-28-2012 at 05:47 PM.

  17. #17
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    You need to go to Bonnie Hunter's site "Quiltville". She has info on all things scrappy. Lots of instructions and free patterns. Here's her organization method
    http://quiltville.com/scrapusersystem.shtml
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
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  18. #18
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Someone said the most successful scrappy quilts are willy-nilly, however I think it's a matter of quilt design and personal preference. I made a scrap pineapple quilt that was not "willy-nilly", I split my fabrics into lights vs darks and the contrast turned out quite beautiful. The string quilts I've seen that I thought most striking were either completely scrappy ones that had a unified center line throughout all of the blocks, or had some sort of design element such as fading from dark to light, or red vs. blue, etc. Again, however, it's a matter of personal preference - and what type you choose to make will determine your course of action regarding how you manage your scraps.

    If you haven't already, you might take a look at the scrappy quilts pictured on this board. They might give you inspiration to make one, then you're off and running with your own ideas!

    http://www.quiltingboard.com/main-f1...s-t187228.html

    http://www.quiltingboard.com/members...bums16956.html

  19. #19
    Senior Member hevemi's Avatar
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    I sew most of my scraps into various sizes of PP log cabins, coloring by the mood I'm in. I have piles of those, and string blocks. I use these for all kinds of small projects, gifts etc when I don't relly feel like making anything "real" but my fingers are still itching to sew Something. I've also made a couple of lap /twin size quilts with those just to pass time. Scraps breed like rabbits so I have no method for storing, I sort my scraps over and over again, by color or strip width depending on what I'll be working on at that time. Or I sort and switch them around just to handle lovely colors. I'm the messy type organizer, boxes labelled - Stuff- Junk - Scraps- Things etc.

  20. #20
    Super Member carslo's Avatar
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    I sort my scraps into three boxes manly, womanly and childlike. Have fun no matter how you sort them!
    A bed without a quilt is like the night sky without stars.

    http://californiaquilting.blogspot.com/

  21. #21
    Super Member Gail B's Avatar
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    I don't sort my scraps. I throw them all together in a bin & grab a strip & sew it on. The only time I don't use what is pulled is when I already have it in the block. I love scrappies all helter skelter, no rhyme or reason.

  22. #22
    Super Member Latrinka's Avatar
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    I did a scrappy log cabin, and used the same fabric for center square and sashing to tie it all together. Just used all kinds, didn't separate darks and lights. Came out pretty I think.
    If a woman's work is never done....why start?

  23. #23
    Senior Member Pat75's Avatar
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    I make only scrap quilts because 3 or 5 fabrics bore me to tears.I mix batiks with what ever and because I like many fabrics I buy a yard of what I like and just play with color light dark and medium are planned .Phonz and Porter have a great book on scrap quilts from simple to complex I have started one called lotsa potsa flowers and completed a Jacobs ladder in the book and there is another one that is all batiks I will make .
    I'm an obsessive compulsive quilter and batik aholic. I make only king size quilts.

  24. #24
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    My MOM called the scrappy quilts paper bag utility quilts THANKS MOM those are my favorite

  25. #25
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    right now working on 1 1/2 x 2 retangle scrappy. I use the brown bag method. What comes out I use unless I really don't like the one that comes out by what I have at the time I just throw it back in. It will always go great else where. I do them in groups of about 12 by 12 blocks but haven't decided if I want sashing or not or just keep sewing them like a postage stamp type quilt. When the blocks are done I will play with them and decide. I have also done a pattern called Hillside village scrappy. I love scrap quilting they seem to always come out better than I think they would. Just go for it and have fun.

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