ARE YOU DROWNING IN SCRAPS TOO??

Tub of scraps.

Are you drowning in scraps too??

My 2020 goal was to use as many of my scraps as possible. I made the “executive” decision that any fabric a quarter yard or smaller went from the shelves into the scrap bin back in March when I did a total cleaning of the sewing room.

Fabric scraps.

I took every single piece of fabric off the shelves, went through every drawer, looked in every project box….scary stuff. Some of those things I hadn’t seen in years. So after the dust cleared I decided that even though I already had a list of 12 UFOs I wanted to finish this year – I was going to use as many of the scraps on hand for those projects as possible.

More scraps.

I love all my fabric and that includes the scraps. When I decided that any fabric a quarter yard or smaller went into the scrap bin suddenly there were four bins instead of the previous two. Ugh.

I needed some inspiration on how to deal with the scraps. Pintrest, Facebook, and other quilt blogs were fun to look at. However, I discovered that other quilters have oodles of scraps too and are trying to find ways to use them.

Quarter yard pieces of fabric.

I do not have a scrap organization system:

The scraps are simply thrown in the bins.

I actually like this system for now because I am just taking out handfuls, ironing them, and cutting them into 2.5″ strips, 3″ squares or tumbler shapes. I went to the local dollar store and purchased see through plastic containers with lids for these standard sizes and shapes that I use in my quilt making.

Tumblers.
3" squares.

The continuing challenge:

My personal challenge is to use as many of my scraps up in 2021 as possible. I have been cutting strips, squares, and tumblers as time allowed during 2020 and have several see-through plastic bins of each now.

The thought as I cut up the scraps into standard shapes and sizes that the scraps would be less. Oh so wrong. I think they multiply while in those bins. I started the year with two bins of scraps, and am currently at four.

Challenge yourself:

Are you drowning in scraps too?? For 2021 find quilt designs that will utilize your scraps. Making scrap quilts is fun, and gives a feeling of not being wasteful. If you are tired of your scraps, trade with another quilter to give you some new fabric to work with. Have fun.

Ideas for using scraps:

https://www.redpepperquilts.com/2019/11/japanese-stash-buster-quilt.html

https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2019/07/windmill-blades-one-patch-quilt.html

https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2015/05/really-scrappy-quilt.html

https://indianaquilter40.com/basketweave-nine-patch

https://indianaquilter40.com/scrap-rectangle-party-quilt

PLEASE NOTE:  ALL PHOTOS AND WRITTEN CONTENT ARE MY OWN UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Lady busy sewing clip art

I Spy Log Cabin Quilt

"I Spy" Log Cabin Quilt

I pieced the 36 blocks for this “I Spy” Log Cabin Quilt while in Maine during September 2017. The scraps are bright, cheerful and fun. The variety of novelty fabrics make it even more interesting – there are all kinds of things to “spy” including: corn on the cob, Snoopy, Minions, cats, rocks, cars, planets, etc. All the fabrics in these blocks came from my scrap bin.

Each center block was a 3″ square sewn into a half square triangle (HST). The fabric strips were 2.5″ wide and as long as I could cut from each scrap. The exception was the outside border which was cut 4″ wide.

The borders also include more strips sewn long-way instead of the usual piano key type border.  This was a quick way to finish up the quilt top and allowed me to use up a few more scraps. (Did you notice the mistake? One side has only one strip of scrap border instead of two like on the other sides).

 This quilt was a Christmas 2017 gift for my daughter and grand-daughter. It makes a fun way to snuggle and play “I Spy” with the various fabrics. The backing was purchased by my daughter and is a peacock theme.

 All cotton fabric and poly batting.

 “I Spy” Log Cabin Quilt was machine quilted by RLM in November 2017 in an all over stipple design.

The binding matched the outer border. Machine sewn to the front and hand sewn on the back of the quilt.

 Finished size is 96″ square.

Log cabin
Source: Bing clip art

My conclusion:

I admit it – I was super slow to figure out how much fun Log Cabin quilts could be. The blocks can be set different ways depending on how the quilter wants the finished quilt to look. Log Cabin quilts can be scrappy or planned or even planned scrappy. There is simply no limit to what can be done with this pattern. Try the Log Cabin design out and see what you come up with. Have fun.

For more ideas about Log Cabin blocks and quilts:

https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2019/08/purple-without-apology-log-cabin.html

https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2009/10/log-cabin.html

https://www.freequilt.com/logcabin.html

https://indianaquilter40.com/lettuce-be-berry-christmas-quilt/

PLEASE NOTE: 
ALL PHOTOS AND WRITTEN CONTENT ARE MY OWN UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Encouraging clip art.

KID PROJECT – BUTTON QUILT

Kid Project: Button Quilt

Kid Project: Button Quilt – We all know children who like to “help” us as we quilt, or want to do something like we are doing.

This is a super easy and non-threatening way to teach basic sewing skills, cutting/dexterity, hand and eye coordination, multiplication, and measuring. Squares, borders, and final size can be adjusted for your child and project.

Daughter (H) was 9 when we did this project – button quilt. I used the rotary cutter to cut 64 blocks. She sewed the blocks together, and added the cat fabric border. I did the binding. She then sewed her favorite buttons (by hand) onto the white squares with thread that matched the buttons.

Kid Project: Button Quilt

We home schooled our kids K – 12, and found out early that quilting was a great way to teach basic math skills. We measure, divide, multiply, subtract, and add to figure out sizes of pieces, blocks, and entire quilts. There is also the colors, and shapes.

Advice for helping the kids in your life quilt: Keep it simple and fun. Let the child pick the fabric and keep the sewing instructions simple.

She entered the Kid Project: Button Quilt in the local county fair (4-H project) and the local quilt show. It got praise and ribbons both places. That is a great confidence builder, especially for a child.

Currently she makes clothes for herself and her daughter. She will help me with all the cutting, ironing, and sewing steps of a quilt top and it makes for a great “girl” day.

Finished size is 28″ square.

Cotton fabric and wool batting. Buttons that were her favorites at the time.

Daughter showing off quilt.
She wanted a photo of herself with the quilt in front of the Christmas tree.

Other kid quilt projects to make

This quilt my son and I made:

https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2011/12/four-patch_17.html

Some more ideas for quilting with kids:

https://swoodsonsays.com/easy-quilt-projects-for-kids/

https://www.quiltingcompany.com/kids-are-quilting-5-things-are-learned-teaching-kids-to-quilt-quilty-pleasures-blog/

Clip art - variety of buttons

PLEASE NOTE: 
ALL PHOTOS AND WRITTEN CONTENT ARE MY OWN UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

COLLECTING TOILE FABRIC & HOW I USE THEM IN QUILTS?

Toile fabric in blue background with red figures.

COLLECTING TOILE FABRIC & HOW I USE THEM IN QUILTS? I am that odd person who collects toile fabrics. Yes, the weird prints that involve people, scenery, or animals that are two colors. They look like something your grandma may have used. I admit it – I am obsessed with collecting toile fabrics.  All colors and designs. 

Toile with white background and skeletons dressed in colonial clothing.

According to Masterclass ( https://www.masterclass.com/articles/toile-de-jouy-what-is-toile-a-brief-history-and-toile-fabric-care-guide#what-is-the-history-of-toile ) “Toile comes from a French word meaning linen cloth….originally produced in Ireland in the 18th century….became known as toile de Jouy or toile…..designs were single-color prints on a white background featuring pastoral scenes, vignettes with people from the French country, and references to European mythology. The subject matter has changed…classic, provincial aesthetic and simple, single-color design remains the standard for toile today.”

Celebrating Abe toile
“Celebrating Abe” toile

I honestly cannot explain my fascination with these fabrics, but I rarely pass them up when I find this fabric for sale.

Toile fabric in white background with brown figures.

At this point, you are asking, “what does this weird fabric have to do with quilting?”

Toile with cream background and blue buildings.

The piles grew bigger and crawled from the cupboard to the floor and continued to grow. One day I was complaining to my husband about needing to piece together a backing for a quilt.

Toile with white background and brown buildings and animals.

He listened patiently (nope, didn’t even roll his eyes) and asked me why I didn’t use all the fabric that was in piles on the floor? What exactly was I saving it for? Eureka!!!!!!! What a great way to use the toile and not have to cut up the gorgeous fabric!!!!

Toile with yellow background and blue scenery and people.

My beautiful stash is finally being used without a whole lot of cutting it up into small pieces that I don’t find pretty at all. (However, I am trying to come up with a pattern to actually try to put some of this wonderful fabric into a quilt top).

See one of my quilts with a toile backing:

https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2017/10/prairie-windmills.html

The photos here are toile fabrics that are currently in my extensive collection.

Toile fabric with white background and red scenery and people.

Another section of "Celebrating Abe" toile
Another section of “Celebrating Abe” toile

Quilters, we all have that stash of our favorite fabric that we pet, look at, run our hands across, rearrange, and buy more of but do not ever use.  Who says the back of the quilt must be some plain fabric? Let’s give our quilts pretty backings.