Scraps, scraps and more scraps. Do your scraps seem to multiply without much help from you? Maybe while you are sleeping? It sure seems that way in my sewing area. Welcome to the super simple Scrap Rectangle Party Quilt !!
I liked the look of the gray on the inspiration quilt as the alternate blocks between the scraps. My stash had several yards of a gray with white polka dots so that became the alternate blocks and the stable color all through the quilt.
I decided to work with a larger size rectangle. After cutting and experimenting with several various sizes of rectangles, I decided on 4″ wide by 7″ long. It was an easy to piece top that was also quick.
The scraps were pulled out of the scrap bins and cut to size. I did not use anything that blended in with the gray, but otherwise, the scraps were fair game.
I sewed the blocks together long wise into pairs, those pairs into groups of 4 rectangles , and those into 8. Using 24 blocks across made for easy math with 3 sections of 8 rectangles each.
The rows were 24 blocks across with a total of 16 rows. Now to frame it with some sort of border.
My daughter came over and between us we came up with the narrow black border (cut 2″ wide). We found the tough part was the outside border, nothing seemed to really work – more gray made the quilt too dark. There was not enough of any florals that looked right. I didn’t have enough of the solid purple that looked really neat.
Am I the only one frustrated with finding the perfect border fabric for scrap quilts? Somehow I doubt it. Anyway, daughter and I continued to dig through the stash and came up with a fun novelty fabric that was perfect. Cut a 4″ border from it for the outside border.
This really was a quick quilt to make. I started ironing and cutting on July 4 and put the final stitch in the top on Aug. 3.
Remember that you can adjust the size of the rectangles bigger or smaller depending on your own fabrics and desire. This quilt will be easy to piece no matter the size of the rectangles or completed size you want. Depending on the fabric choices, it could look totally primitive to very modern.
I am actually going to try another one of these in a planned color scheme.
Finished top size is 92″ x 110″.
Have a fun time making your own Scrap Rectangle Party quilt. Please send me photos – I love to see what other quilters do with ideas from this blog.
I am sharing this quilt because I thought the readers would enjoy this small quilt. It is another idea for a personal quilt for yourself or someone in your life. I love the ocean, and purchased this panel in Maine on one of my trips there. Eventually, it evolved into the Nautical Scene Wall Hanging. It is another fabric panel quilt.
The actual panel is larger than the part I used for this wall hanging. In the photo, the panel extends from the solid blue inside border (between bubbles and sea shells) to the center section.
I trimmed the panel up and added the blue bubble batik fabric as the outside border. It was cut 2.5″ wide.
I pieced the top while up in Maine and somewhere in my travels the top got dirty. I opted to wash it after completion so that there was no much unraveling and threads to deal with.
For quilting, I used my sewing machine. I outlined around the sailboat and the lighthouse on the panel. I did simple stitch-in-the-ditch around three of the borders.
The backing is a nautical toile. The binding is the same fabric and was cut 2.5″ and ironed in half. It is machine sewed to the front and hand finished on the back.
The hanging sleeve is also hand sewn to the back of the quilt. The finished size is 24″ x 25″.
The Nautical Scene wall hanging (a fabric panel quilt) is a gift to family friends who allowed me to stay at their home while dealing with mom’s final days and funeral. They are wonderful and I really appreciated all their help. This couple is very minimalist and a large quilt would not have worked. However, a small wall hanging in a nautical theme is perfect because they love the ocean too.
And so ends the story of the Nautical Scene Wall Hanging, a fabric panel quilt…
You can do this too
Making personal quilts for other people in our lives is fun and a great way to utilize the fabrics in our stash. Keeping the quilts simple can also make them fast and easy.
Here’s some other ideas for personal quilts using fabric panels:
Want to make a dent in your scrap bin? What about making a simple quilt in your favorite colors? This quilt, Lemon Drops and Blueberries, will do either or both. Plus it was fun and easy.
This quilt can easily be made with 3″ wide strips and strip pieced together if you have yardage or bigger scraps. However, I was working with small scraps and cut individual 3″ blocks.
Starting step for Lemon Drops and Blueberries Quilt
Using the same idea from Pintrest as I did for a previous quilt, Simply Squares (indianaquilter40.com/simple-squares-quilt) I cut out stacks of 3″ squares from the scrap bin. I narrowed my color choices to blues and yellows.
For this quilt, I made the blocks 6 squares long by 6 squares across. I use the foot on my machine for the seam line and it is a bit bigger than a quarter inch. My blocks turned out to be 15″ square.
I decided to make the quilt five blocks across and six blocks long (30 blocks total), plus the sashing and posts. So I did not loose count, I pinned the finished blocks together in stacks of 10 blocks.
Adding the posts and sashing to Lemon Drops and Blueberries Quilt
The blocks finished at 15″ square which is the length I cut the sashing. The sashing is 3″ wide.
By sewing sashing, block, sashing, block and repeating, I was able to sew the six rows of five blocks together quickly.
Then I sewed the post, sashing, post, sashing, etc. together until it was the length I wanted to match the block row.
Adding the borders to the Lemon Drops and Blueberries Quilt
The only fabric that is not scraps is the border on my quilt top. I cut it 4″ wide.
I sewed the top and bottom borders on, then ironed. After that I sewed the side borders on and ironed.
The top is complete !! The size is 94″ x 110″.
Remember that this quilt can be adjusted several ways:
The square size can be made larger or smaller than the 3″ squares that I used if you desire. This will enable you to utilize the fabric you have.
Or the number of squares sewn into a block can be adjusted to more or less based on the needs for your own quilt. I used 6 blocks across and long (so 36 squares in each block).
Even the posts and sashings can be narrower or wider than the 3″ I used.
The border can be easily wider or narrower based on the size of quilt needed.
Other ideas for using simple squares and scraps to make a quilt:
Have you ever considered making a personalized quilt as a gift for a special person in your life? Below are two examples of lap quilts that are very personal to the quilt recipients. They were fun to make, and I kept them simple and easy.
A personalized Quilt As A Gift – Reversible Sunflower & Ocean lap quilt
My sister loves sunflowers and the ocean (actually any body of water). I wanted to make her a lap quilt for her birthday. Something she could take along on travels and snuggle in. I made her a reversible quilt that includes both her favorite things.
This is the sunflower side. It is five different sunflower fabrics. The medium green separates the sunflowers. The border is a black. I believe the sizes of the strips are six inches for the sunflower and three inches for the green.
For the water side, I started with a lighthouse panel. By adding 4 different fabrics that coordinated with it the theme continued. The fabric right next to the panel is actually two fabrics – the top part is clouds and lightening, with the bottom fabric being waves.
The outside black border is the same on both sides. It is also the binding.
Finished size is 62″ x 53″. Pieced during Dec. 2017.
Machine quilted by RLM in January 2018 in a stipple pattern.
A PERSONALIZED QUILT AS A GIFT – TEAL & YELLOW LAP QUILT
My niece asked for a quilt in teal and yellow for her birthday. I had plenty of scraps to make the blocks. Bought enough of the teal and yellow paisley fabric for the outside border, binding, and the back.
The blocks started out as 8″ squares sewn diagonally and cut apart, so there were two identical triangle blocks. Directions are in this post. Sewed those into rows, and added the border.
Remember that you can easily adjust a simple pattern like this for your own needs. The blocks can be smaller or larger. The border can easily be adjusted to complete the quilt in the size you want.
Machine pieced and machine quilted in Feb. 2018. The quilting pattern is an all over stipple.
Her mom says that she loves it, and that the quilt is on top of her bed over the other blankets. I am always glad to know that quilts I make are loved.
We were so poor growing up, and my mom hated to sew. I don’t remember ever using anything for a doll quilts around my “babies” but old worn out towels. However, I do have special memories of a doll quilt my mom kept safe and gave me as an adult. This is a brief story of my yo-yo doll quilt memories.
Apparently these quilts were popular during the 1920’s to 1940’s. They were portable, could be used for scraps, only required a circle template (a plate or cup would do), did not need a sewing machine, and many did not have any kind of batting or backing. Quilters make due when times are tough.
Yo-yo doll quilt memories
This 18″ x 22″ yo-yo doll quilt is a really pretty example of this technique. Most of it is 1930s fabrics with a few pieces being 1940s. My grandma (the same wonderful woman who years later would teach me to sew) made it from scraps she had available. There is lots of blues and pinks, with some yellow and multi colored fabrics typical of the time in it.
When grandma died, I inherited her treadle sewing machine and fabrics. With the scraps were some still bright fabric pieces that match the fabrics in this quilt.
The yo-yo’s are sewn down to a piece of muslin for stability. My mom had a real baby doll to play with. Mom was born in the mid 1930s so life was still hard and the Great Depression still a real part of life.
When I was growing up, this yo-yo quilt was stored in a chest in my parents’ room. Once in a great while, mom would bring it out for me to touch and look at. The texture was wonderful. The backing had thin spots and a few small holes. A few of the yo-yo’s themselves were starting to come undone at the center.
Mom would tell me stories of her childhood while I rubbed my hands across the fabrics and thought about the huge family my mom was part of and how various people played such a part in her childhood. Most of the children of those same people were my playmates.
If you have a quilt that is passed down to you, please find out as much as possible about it. When it is passed on again, the story will make the quilt so much more precious.
I encourage you to keep some sort of notes and photos for the quilts you make. Put a tag on the back telling who and when it was made by.
Quilts are like hugs across the generations and years. There are quilts that are made to be loved to death with usage. Some are meant to be used and enjoyed. There are some that are meant to be heirlooms. The world needs all three types of quilts.
Have you ever had an idea for a quilt that was so totally different than what you see normally in the quilt world? The idea just rattles around in your head and you can’t get away from it? But you think it is embarrassing to even consider something so different from “normal” quilts. Stop thinking that. Quilting should be fun, and making quilts from the ideas in your head can be so satisfying.
I am going to share three very different quilts from my quilt scrapbooks because I want you to make the quilts that make you happy. We are all unique creations, and it should not be surprising that we have ideas for unique quilts.
Before we start, put away the angering, sad, and depressing thoughts about the current events in our country. We are taking a break and just going to have fun for a few minutes.
Making quilts from the ideas in your head – Queen’s Crown #1 Mini Quilt
See here about this fun, hand quilted mini quilt that is embellished with beads.
Making quilts from the ideas in your head – Welsh Beauty Whole Cloth Quilt
When I mentioned making this whole cloth quilt to a few ladies in the local quilt guild, they gave me either blank looks or were verbally negative. The kindest comment asked me why I would “want to quilt silk fabric, and use itchy wool batting? And something about extremely sore fingers. I continued on with my plan for this beautiful quilt.
Welsh Beauty is posted on my old blog here, see for details.
Making quilts from the ideas in your head – Maxine Strikes Again (reversible quilt)
My mom-in-law really, really likes Maxine (you know, the really sarcastic old woman comic strip). When I found both the Christmas and regular fabric versions, I had the wild idea to make a reversible quilt.
This is probably pretty tame compared to my “normal” outside the box quilt ideas, but it was fun. Coordinating fabrics from my stash. A little math to make them the right size.
The Christmas side I made 2″ bigger all the way around than the regular print side. This was so I could do self-binding.
advice to you
Go ahead and make quilts from the ideas in your head. If you have an idea for a quilt, follow your heart and mind, and just make it. So what if the quilt is not how you imagined it. If it truly is not what you want when it is done, gift it to someone else in your family or community.
But it may turn out better than you ever thought. Just think what a satisfying finished quilt you would have missed if you had not made it. Follow your ideas.
Enjoy your quilting journey.
PLEASE NOTE: ALL PHOTOS AND WRITTEN CONTENT ARE MY OWN UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.
Today is Memorial Day. We probably all know at least one person who has served this country either as active duty, reservists, or as a loving spouse. Have you considered making one or many veteran quilts for our patriots? If not, please take a moment to think what a quilt means to you – it’s a kind of warm hug, right? Our service members would love to have that “hug” as well.
Ideas for places to take or send veteran quilts
There are several places to donate veteran quilts for our patriots. Please check the sites out, find the one that feels right to you, and follow the guidelines they have for the gift quilts if you are interested.
Please don’t forget that local VFW posts might take quilts for their members, and local quilt guilds can also have members who head up quilts for veterans. Check around at local fabric shops or libraries for points of contact. Also local churches may know or participate in making veteran quilts. Many nursing homes have veterans as residents.
My personal journey with veteran quilts
I am extremely patriotic and have had exposure to military members and their families my entire life. They give an awful lot so I have the rights available to me to as an American.
I have donated many lap size quilts over the years to groups or churches who dealt directly with wounded or traumatized veterans. The need is great. Sometimes I worked on the quilts alone, sometimes as part of an informal group who wants to do more than just say “thank you” to veterans.
I do not have bragging rights because of helping with this worthy cause. It was within my skill and interest simply to do something.
Other people told others that I was involved in this and suddenly people starting donating fabrics and supplies. Many, many thanks to those who help by keeping me or us in supplies. Not all the fabric was patriotic themed, but all of it is used.
With the informal group, the lap “quilts” were crocheted, tied, machine quilted, and even sometimes hand quilted. We give them to local wounded vets, and I know of one woman who keeps several in her car to be given to those “old” men that are seen in caps that say “______ veteran”.
Sometimes I cut the pieces and hand those off to another quilter to piece. Or I tie the finished tops. I bind many that need it. All those involved worked around their own schedules. We only get together every 2 or 3 months for a work day together. Here are photos of a few simple veteran quilts that I have been involved with over the years:
Quilters tend to be very giving in mentoring new quilters, making quilts for local charity auctions and local victims of domestic abuse or house fires. Here is another idea for volunteering your time and talents by utilizing your quilting skills to make veteran quilts for our patriots. Think outside the box. Look around your community and see who would love to have quilt “hug”.
Thank a veteran today.
PLEASE NOTE: ALL PHOTOS AND WRITTEN CONTENT ARE MY OWN UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.
Millennium Quilts – looking back 20 years. Were you quilting 20 years ago? If so, do you remember if you had a special quilt project for the year 2000? I went through a pile of quilts last week that needed to be aired out and refolded. In the pile were two millennium quilts that I made.
When I found the millennium quilts and realized 20 years have passed – wow!! The time is just flying by day by day. So many changes, both in my quilting and personally.
As far as my quilting, the past 20 years have been mostly fun. I have tried more hand applique. Using the rotary cutter has become second nature and I learned after one serious accident to keep my fingers firmly on the ruler. Combining colors and designs of fabric no longer scares me. I rarely feel the need to respond to the question “how many quilts have you made? – it is not a contest. Quilting gives me joy and a sense of peace, plus I can actually enjoy and see the finished item, which is not something visible in my daily job.
The making of my millennium quilts – looking back 20 years
In the late 1990’s I saw ads in quilting magazines from people all over the world who wanted to trade 3″ squares to make millennium quilts. I thought it would be a fun challenge to make a quilt with 2000 different fabrics. So I traded, and traded…….. Eventually I traded 10,000 three inch squares with other quilters all over the world. Each envelope was so exciting to open and see what new treasures were inside.
The squares came from all over Europe, Canada, and the USA. There were even a few packages from Africa, India, Japan, and South America. I certainly never thought about all the different fabrics that were available the world over. This project really opened my eyes to quilting being international – not just American.
In fact, the post mistress of our little town was so excited about all the places these envelopes came from that I would open them right there so she could see what they contained. The selection of fabrics was amazing. Ultimately, I ended up with 43 repeats out of the 10,000 squares traded!! And only one person did not trade back (or maybe the envelope was lost somewhere in the mail system).
2000 Millennium Charm Quilt – looking back 20 years
I cut the 3″ traded squares to 2.5″ simply so they were actually all the same size. If you have quilted any time at all, you know how my 3″ square maybe a bit (or a lot) different than your 3″ square. I have never figured that out, but that is not the point either.
The variety of colors, patterns, and even quality of the cotton was amazing. The squares were kept in plastic bags by color groups. I changed my mind several times about exactly how I would design this millennium quilt – after all, the year 2000 was a big deal (or was supposed to be!).
Finally opting to do 16 square blocks. It was a simple way to double check to make sure there were no duplicates. This way also allowed me to loosely use the squares by color. I didn’t stress over if my planned look for each block turned out differently – frankly I just let myself have fun putting the blocks together.
Even as I pieced this top together during Jan. to March of 1999, the packages of 3″ squares continued to come in. It seemed that no matter how many I used, there were more to work with.
I finally stopped making the blocks, and added a navy blue border with “2000” in it. Then I added another border down two sides of more blocks. There is one square of the border fabric somewhere in the top so that there are exactly 2000 different fabrics for this millennium quilt.
It was quilted in Nov. 1999 by MG in an all-over cloud design. The final size is 90″ x 98″. The top is all cottons, the batting is polyester, and the backing a queen size flat sheet.
2001 Millennium Charm Quilt – looking back 20 years
Still using the 2.5″ charm squares, I simply just randomly sewed the medium and dark ones together. I was still getting packages in the mail and at this point just felt overwhelmed at how many different cotton fabrics there were around the world.
I pieced the quilt header “2001” area using the lighter squares as the background and darker ones for the 2001.
I worked on this quilt on and off during the first half of 2001. In Oct. 2001 it was machine quilted by CM in the loopy design. The backing is a light colored large flat sheet.
While the machine quilting was fine, the quilt was not centered on the backing. Truthfully, it really made me angry to work so hard and long on a top to have it treated so disrespectfully by the machine quilter. However, I wanted it completed. So a creative answer to fixing this issue for binding was to simply cut off part of the borders on two sides. It ended up being finished size 92″ x 104″.
I continued to use the millennium charm squares in other projects as I was able. The squares also got bagged up and “gifted” to other quilters for birthday or Christmas gifts.
I loved the challenge of working with the squares. It was fun, if time consuming, to keep checking for duplicates. My challenge to other quilters is to do a charm quilt of some sort during your quilt journey.
The year 2000 has come and gone. But I have two very special quilts to represent that year and am so glad I did all those exchanges with so many other quilters around the world.
I am so glad that I took the time and challenge to do the millennium quilts. It has been fun over the past week to look back over the past 20 years of quilting – wow. For myself, somehow those millennium quilts were really freeing for quilting in my life. They improved my critical thinking skills (as in how am I going to fix this problem/mistake?). I spend less time thinking about the individual aspects (will this fabric really match?) and more about the whole quilt design. There is also just making the quilts because each one suits me or my current need.
Each quilt you and I do expands our skills and allows us to learn something new about ourselves. Have fun with your quilt making journey.
Have you discovered how much fun log cabin quilts can be? I was not a fan of them, and it took me a long time to become one. Once I discovered how much fun they could be, I got hooked on making log cabin quilts. There are just so many ways to set them. The color combos are endless. Scrappy or planned, log cabin quilts are awesome.
Sometimes it is hard to see in our heads what we can do with certain blocks or how the final project will look. I thought I would show a few log cabin quilts of mine just to give you some new ideas.
First Log Cabin blocks
My next try at a log cabin quilt
The only quilt magazine I could find while living in Germany was “Quilt”. Many of the articles and patterns had to do with log cabin blocks in various settings. I still was not really confident in exploring various quilt blocks. Looking at that magazine made me feel like I was really missing something in the quilt world.
So I thought I would try another log cabin quilt with larger pieces this time. Same color scheme as the first one since that is what fabric I had to work with.
Third try at a log cabin quilt
Once we returned to the US, fabric was readily available. Somehow, lots a fabric ended up at my home and I really started getting confident in just doing what I liked for quilts.
I learned how to really use the rotary cutter and assembly line piecing. Making more quilts also meant there were more scraps in a bin.
I thought there had to be something really great to log cabin quilts – there were all kinds of photos of them in quilt magazines. Folks in the local quilt guild also seemed to make them routinely. Obviously, something was wrong with me that I didn’t like them.
The ah-HA moment of discovery
So somewhere about this time, a lady at the guild allowed me to borrow one of the first “Quilt in a Day” https://www.quiltinaday.com/ log cabin books from her. At this point, I had that “ah-ha” moment that said, “oh, I can do this now”. I was obviously making this pattern tons harder than it should have been.
Anyone who reads this blog for long realizes that I tend to take the directions or ideas and use them to come up with a system that works for me. The one thing I have stuck with since that first “Quilt in a Day” log cabin book is sticking with 2.5″ wide strips for these blocks.
I find the 2.5″ wide strips are just easy to work with and the amount of strips or “logs” around the center can be adjusted easily for whatever size I want to make.
Color-wise, log cabin blocks really are awesome. Color combos can be anything that appeals based on the project, my mood, or the recipient of the finished quilt.
I keep several bins of already cut 2.5″ wide strips so that now when I want to make a log cabin block or quilt I already have a starting point. I have experimented with the center square though: 2.5″, 3″, 4″, 6″, and 8″.
The last 10 years of making log cabin quilts
So I really started just having fun with log cabin blocks and quilts. They are fun to make and now go together easy. The logs can be adjusted size wise if needed, but I generally have stayed with 2.5″ wide.
Is there a pattern that you want to do, or maybe think as a quilter you should be doing?? My advice is simply to keep trying until you either decide the pattern and design is really not for you. Or keep trying until you figure our a system, style, or size that works for you.
It took me years to figure out how to do log cabins quilts easily and that suited me. Don’t give up the first time around. Look at magazines and books, get on-line and watch tutorials, talk to other quilters. That pattern that is frustrating you might be easier than you think.
PLEASE NOTE: ALL PHOTOS AND WRITTEN CONTENT ARE THE PROPERTY OF INDIANAQUILTER40 UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.
Have you ever been fascinated with a quilt kit? You loved the colors, concept, designer, whatever….. Got it home and said “well what was I thinking?” That is pretty much the story of this quilt – Purple Without Apology.
There is no hard and fast rule that a kit has to be used as is – if there is something about the kit that you want to change then do it. Your project should make you happy.
I don’t know when I purchased the actual quilt kit. Probably between 1998-2001. You know, it had the fabric, pattern, and probably some colored photos all together and looked really nice. I loved the idea of a purple and off white quilt.
I know that when I got ready to piece the quilt together in 2002, I felt that the purple fabrics just weren’t purple enough. So….I traded fabric from my stash (and probably purchased more purples too) so that the purples were, well purple enough.
Then I had to spread all the purple fabrics out again and make sure they really were purple enough for what I wanted. Another problem being that I would not be sewing it at home and didn’t want to pack all kinds of extra fabric “just in case”. Finally I had the purples that I wanted for this project.
I loved the light fabric selection and kept it the way it was. The red center fabric was also from the kit.
Putting it all together:
I did the cutting before heading up to Maine during May 2002. The blocks were pieced while spending quilting time with my great quilting buddy SB. Instead of the traditional log cabin setting, I opted for the streak of lightening (or Zig Zag) setting.
This book is my “go to” book for setting together log cabin blocks:
I did 3 narrow borders on this quilt. The inside and outside ones being a deep eggplant purple. The inside border is a hideous fruit print that both SB and I had purchased years before as a challenge to see what we could do with it. She had already used hers. However, mine was still in my sewing room washed but otherwise untouched – it was just too ugly. Anyway with all the purple fruits in it, it did work well as part of the border for this quilt.
I chopped the rest of the fruit fabric up and used in small portions in several scrap quilts. I still think it is one of the ugliest fabrics I have ever bought. But it worked well as part of the border. Now I think that it would have looked good as the center square too, but there is no going back at this point.
It was machine quilted by RLM in late May 2002 in an all over stipple design.
Finished size: 71″ x 90″.
I used to think that backings should be one fabric. One day I realized that was boring. It was also a waste of money when I had beautiful yardages of fabric that would make pretty backs. So the backing for this purple quilt is two different fabrics – one a deep purple with a gold design running through it. The other fabric is a yellow with large purple flowers.
I originally planned on giving the Purple Without Apology quilt to the daughter for Christmas, but made a different quilt and kept this one. It still looks good. In fact, the other day I was thinking about doing another purple quilt.
Kits are to make life easier since all the pieces and parts are in one place. Just remember that it is just fine to change the kit up. Make the quilt you want. The kit probably has a great idea, but be creative and have fun.
PLEASE NOTE: ALL PHOTOS AND WRITTEN CONTENT ARE THE PROPERTY OF INDIANAQUILTER40 UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.