The Year of the Scrap Quilt

This year I am putting a lot of energy into reducing the content of my scrap bins. I considered just getting rid of everything and starting over, but I have an emotional attachment to my scraps. Each one is a little piece of something that I have made and I love making scrap projects.

scrappy kaleidoscope quilt
Scrappy Kaleidoscope Quilt (with tutorial)

I love making scrap quilts SO MUCH. They are always my go-to project when I’m feeling drained or stuck or just tired. There is something so restorative about taking lots of little pieces that could have easily been trash - and making them into something useful. It really helps me to understand and feel a connection with early quilt makers who made beautiful quilts with old pieces of clothing. It is pretty magical.


Cotton + Steel Scrappy Modern Postage Stamp Quilt
Modern Postage Stamp Quilt

How do you organize scraps?

Ok, this one is a hard on for me. There are lots of words you could use to describe me, but “organized” is not one of them. I tend to stuff my scraps into a bucket until I am ready to work with them, but then it takes so long to sort through them that I end up a little defeated.

Earlier this year I instituted an organization system. I use that term loosely - it is still kind of a mess - but it’s working for me. I have a bin with 3 drawers: one for large scrap pieces, one for long, thin scrap pieces, and one for small scrap pieces. It’s nothing fancy, but taking out the must-sort-to-sew step has been fantastic.

bonnie lass quilt
Bonnie Lass from Jen Kingwell's Quilt Lovely book

What makes a scrap quilt successful?

It is almost impossible to make an unsuccessful scrap quilt (although I kind of made one once). The only qualification is that it effectively uses up a good number of scraps.

I think that by nature, scrap quilts just turn out nicely because they are using little pieces of fabrics that we already love. Plus they have the added benefit of holding up to lots of wear and tear - even if you spill something on them, you will probably never notice!












Which Patterns Work Best with Scraps

Not all patterns work with scraps, but so many do. See that kaleidoscope quilt at the top of the post? It is not generally a scrap project, but it totally works.

Patterns that work for tiny pieces:
On the Fence
Quilty Hearts
Plus Squared

Patterns that work for long, thin strips:
String Foundation Blocks
Daydream
Scrappy Triangles
Pineapple Block

Patterns that work for a little bit of everything:
Missouri Star Crazy Quilt
Plaid-ish


Maple Leaf Rag Quilt
Maple Leaf Rag Quilt from Material Obsession 2 by Sarah Fielke

I hope you are looking for more scrap ideas because I am hoping to share at least one or two more scrap quilt tutorials this year!
Scrap Quilt Roundup - Kitchen Table Quilting

18 comments

  1. I love scrap quilts! Looking forward to seeing what others you make this year. :)

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  2. Thanks so much for designing these patterns. I just downloaded your plaid-ish quilt. I make quilts and donate them to a charity near me. I always love trying a new pattern just to see how it looks. I can't wait to try out plaid-ish. I love the name you've given it also. It's very appropriate.

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    1. That is wonderful! I am glad the pattern will be put to good use!

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  3. I've never made a scrap quilt but I love they way they look. Yours are beautiful!

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    1. You should go for it! They are great because they turn out wonderfully no matter what ;)

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  4. I think you are an amazing scrap quilter. Keep on inspiring us. Blessings. Diane

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  5. One of my favorite blog posts I have read in a long time. It is creative, practical and filled with possibilities. Thank-you.

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  6. Replies
    1. Me too! They are my family's favorite quilts to use.

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  7. these are ALL fantastic. I look forward to the summer ahead with my hand in the scrap buckets

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  8. Beautiful! Love seeing all the scrap quilts. I really need to get busy with mine. They are taking over the quilt room.:)

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