January is over and the New Year Resolutions that most of us have made are starting to look far less inviting than they did a month ago. If you are like many quilters, one of your resolutions may have been to use up some of the fabric in your stash. I say that every year! I will tell myself that I can only get some new fabric if my project is at least 1/3 stash fabric. The trick is how to make all those different fabrics work together and look like they belong in the same quilt (or purse, pillow…).
That, however, is the beauty of a scrap quilt! All of the fabrics don’t have to match exactly and if you run a little short on one piece, you can easily substitute something else. The key is being able to choose a pattern and visualize the finished quilt before you start. To help narrow down the options, you may want to consider one of the following books:
“S is for Scraps” by Gayle Bong
Published by That Patchwork Place, “S is for Scraps” contains patterns and instructions for 18 different scrap quilts. The variety of quilts range from very simple patterns to several more complex, which makes the book appealing to beginners, experienced quilters, and everyone in-between!
Beginning with a discussion on organizing your scraps followed by construction tips and techniques to improve your results “S is for Scraps” provides sound information to help new piecers do things correctly from the start. The added tips to increase your efficiency will make the time you spend sewing both more productive and pleasureable. The wide variety of color combinations and patterns shown is sure to get your creative juices flowing while you work your way through your stash. Clear technique guidance will also help broaden your piecing knowledge.
“Simple Strategies for Block-Swap Quilts” by Lynn Roddy Brown
Just because That Patchwork Place published “Simple Strategies for Block-Swap Quilts” several years ago doesn’t diminish it’s value in your book and pattern collection. Including 15 different scrap quilts and alternative layouts, this title is especially valuable for groups and guilds. Guidelines are laid out for how a group can work together to organize a successful block swap. If you are working on your own, instructions are included for using strips and fat quarters to make blocks and choose fabrics to really make your scrappy quilt really sing! Lynn has a very good introductory discussion of value and color. She also reviews the basics of cutting, piecing, and finishing quilts in this book.
The alternative project layouts simply expand the range of quilts available. Scrap quilting is a great way to show off your love of fabric, free yourself from the need to control every detail and provide a terrific visual reminder of other projects that you have worked on.
“Simple Strategies for Scrap Quilts” by Lynn Roddy Brown
A follow-up to the previous title “Simple Strategies for Block-Swap Quilts” contains 16 different scrap quilts. This is a good book for someone with a fabric stash or someone who would like to make a scrap quilt from fat quarters. Lynn has a very good introductory discussion of value and color. She also reviews the basics of cutting, piecing, and finishing quilts in this book.
The projects range from beginner to intermediate. They include basic bars, rails, double four patch, bow ties, spools, and hourglass blocks. The nice thing about the book is that once you learn how to construct a block, Lynn gives you two or more different layouts for using the block in a quilt. The quilt layouts for each block differ in color, value and setting. You will be able to make multiple quilts for each block pattern you learn.
Remember to go with what you like, scatter color throughout, and don’t worry about matching your fabric colors exactly. Most of all, enjoy yourself!