I am a big believer in giving back to my community. Here are six simple donated baby quilts to the local crisis pregnancy center that I made. As I make these quilts, they get donated in batches of 6 – 12 to two local pregnancy centers.
The blocks are a mix of flannel and cotton with the batting being scraps left over from my own projects. The backing is usually a flannel or child print cotton. They are tied with yarn. People know that I make many of these annually so many of the supplies are donated to me for this purpose.
Supplies For the Donated baby quilts:
Nine 9.5” cotton or flannel squares (3 rows of 3 squares each)
Bright colored yarn
Backing fabric (flannel or cotton – 1.25 yard)
At a minimum they should be tied at each corner and in the center of each block. They could be machine quilted easily in straight lines.
I do a self binding by trimming the batting even with the top, and then trimming the back to 2″ on each side larger than the top/batting. Fold the over hang in half once (so now 1″ wide all around quilt) and sew down as binding.
If using fleece as the backing, when self binding trim to 1″ and zig-zag stitch down. I have found if using fleece for the backing, I do not use batting.
Please remember that these donated baby quilts for the local crisis pregnancy center are meant to be loved to death, so make them well and colorful.
Reach out to others:
If you ask or look around your own community, there are people or places who would love to receive warm and cuddly quilts. These are also a simple way to teach people basic sewing skills.
In the past, I have used these quilts to teach basic sewing and giving skills to a group of teen girls at church. It was a fun way to learn and for them to socialize as well. Currently I am making the donated baby quilts alone as the girls have all left for college, and none of the current teen girls are interested in sewing.
This quilt started out simple enough as an Ocean Wave quilt. And then “disaster” struck and I ended up with this Lost at Sea quilt.
My daughter wanted a bright and cheery quilt. And as always I was happy to make a top that used lots of scraps from my overflowing scrap bin.
This pattern uses two sizes of triangles and normally goes together easily enough. I currently cannot find the old paper pattern from a magazine that I used (it may finally have been used to death), but this quilt pattern is very similar.
Due to the the small pieces, and large amount of pieces needed there is a real need for the time to work on it.
So how did I make this mistake on the Lost at Sea quilt? Lack of time and being over tired so I just did not catch my mistake. I pieced this top in 1997 and my kids were all under 12, and we were homeschooling.
The blocks went together individually just fine.
It was when I connected the blocks that the mistake happened. The blocks got turned around and ended up in a totally different design. Yes, it does resemble real ocean waves and we all liked the finished top.
At least the gray and pink striped border frames it beautifully.
Crisis avoided by laughing about it, and just renaming the quilt. This quilt was a favorite of my daughter’s and it is long worn out from being loved into nothing but rags.
The finished size was 68″ x 88″. It was machine quilted in an all over wavy pattern in 2000 by MG.
I love this pattern and it makes beautiful quilts. So far, I have only made these in scraps but it would make a beautiful two color quilt. I am thinking about making a solid colored quilt – maybe like an Amish quilt with black or navy background.
I made the below Ocean Wave quilt in 1990. Here it is in a personal quilt show last spring. It still looks good.
Wherever your quilt journey takes you, enjoy the trip. Learn from it. Challenge yourself. Be happy.
PLEASE NOTE: ALL PHOTOS AND WRITTEN CONTENT ARE MY OWN UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.
I decided to do the mystery quilt that Bonnie Hunter put out on her blog during late November 2020. My goal was to complete each part as the directions came out every week. Real life put out some bumps and I am behind, so the mystery quilt continues…..
If you missed my previous post on this mystery quilt, please go here. In that post, I showed photos as I completed making parts 1 – 6.
I am not going to give details or sizes because you should to go to Bonnie’s website to get the complete directions. At some point this design will be put into a PDF pattern she will sell.
And the mystery quilt continues…..
Now I am in part 7 which is putting the components from the previous parts into blocks and sashing to complete the top for making the Grassy Creek Mystery Quilt.
The Main Blocks:
The first step in this part was making these Ohio Star blocks to be the center of the main blocks.
Then adding the triangle components to the sides.
So the center block is complete. There is still the sashing and secondary blocks to make from the parts.
Sewing the gray strips together to make the sashing was easy but to me the most time consuming part of the entire process. For part 7 the red rectangles were added to each long end.
The final components to put together are the remaining flying geese blocks, HST, and red rectangles into a secondary block. This is where I am as of this morning – still needing to add the yellow and gray HST:
When I committed to doing this mystery quilt, I involved another quilter who had never done anything by Bonnie Hunter or a mystery quilt. She was not sure about it but was willing. Her top has been completed for 3 weeks because she had way too much fun using scraps and piecing an unknown design.
That being said, for those of us who get bogged down in a design, someone else just flies through it and is done. Usually other quilters say that I am the one flying through the piecing of a quilt top – not this time.
So….just keep at your project, enjoy, and complete. I have not given up or allowed myself to work on another quilt top. This one will not be a UFO.
Quilting Books for Tiny Scraps – I am not really sure how it happens, but I start with one shelf for quilting books and pretty soon they have taken over two. I recently decided that some weeding and/or organizing of these books was necessary. Doing this actually forces me to really look at the books – which can be a distraction because then I start thinking “I could do this quilt, or this one…….” And sometimes I even wonder what in the world I was thinking when I brought a book home.
Over the past 2 or 3 years, I have been trying to use up my scraps and also my stash. These two books have wonderful patterns or ideas that I have based a couple scrap quilts on. They have patterns from easy to expert. They are “keepers” for my personal library.
I was asked how I get books with spiral bindings. After purchasing, I take the books to the local copy shop. There they cut off the binding and put on this spiral binding. I like my quilt books this way because they lay flat when I am working on a project. The cost is very reasonable – generally about $2-3 each book.
I truly encourage quilters to collect quilt books that are helpful to you, whether it is techniques, patterns, or inspiration. There are so many wonderful quilting books out there to choose from.We don’t need all the books, but building our own reference library of books that help us as quilters is a great boost to our quilting journey.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Waste not, want not or so we are told. The Basketweave Nine Patch Quilt is a classic example of not wasting those pesky scraps that keep filling up a tub in my sewing room. This is a super easy pattern to do and can be adjusted for any size quilt. If you have not made a quilt from this pattern, let me encourage you to do so. It is easy to make and can be adjusted to any size strips you want to use.
Too many scraps….
I saw this pattern in some quilting magazine back in the mid to late 1980’s while living and working in West Germany. I thought yippee!! A great way to use up some of these scraps.
Obviously even then, I had a real problem with scraps!
I understand that rotary cutters were available by this time, but I had not seen one yet, so I actually cut all those pieces out by hand with scissors! It made for sore hands. Plus the issue of keeping those sharp scissors out of the little folks reach since I generally sat at on the floor to cut my fabric and they were playing around me.
So I eventually cut enough rectangles out for four queen size Basketweave Nine Patch Quilts that were completed over several years. It’s ok, you can say and think that this poor woman had a serious problem with fabric addiction. You would be sooooo correct.
Easily adjusted to the size you need
In the first photo, the quilt has blocks made of 9 “Roman Stripe” patches. I don’t remember the exact size but the three strips sewn together were the same length and width. Just alternate them as shown in the clip art below when sewing together.
The next step was simply adding solid black sashing between the Basketweave Nine Patch Quilt blocks. The post was a square the same size as the width of the sashing. I believe the sashing was 4″ wide, which would mean the posts were 4″ square – obviously this was a personal choice size wise and could easily be adjusted to fit any size quilt.
The top was finally put together in early 2007 and machine quilted by RLM the same year. It was given to our son M. for Christmas.
Scraps can be so much fun to use and the ideas are are numerous as the quilters who have those ideas. Go ahead, bring out all those scraps you have stashed in boxes and bags and give a scrap quilt a whirl. Quilts made with scraps can be addictive – who knows, you may never make a planned quilt again. Have fun.
PLEASE NOTE: ALL PHOTOS AND WRITTEN CONTENT ARE MY OWN UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.
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.
The Bird in the Air quilt that I had given me the idea had lots of blocks all set together in rows with narrow sashing and posts. There is nothing wrong with that, but once I had enough blocks made to start playing with how I would set them together that “look” just did not inspire me. Um….now what?
Finally after some time of playing around with different settings, I came up with this by putting four blocks together:
So I made a total of 16 large blocks (each made with 4 of the original Birds in the Air blocks). At this point I did not want to make anymore of these blocks. I sewed the 16 large blocks into four rows of four large blocks. The top of Scrap Bonanza #1 was about 60″ square.
It is really cheerful and bright and busy at this point. I love it but wow, I need somewhere to rest my eyes. So I will add a solid border – I still have lots of 2.5″ strips. Just FYI, the brown border is linen left over from another project.
I have two plastic containers of 2.5″ strips for log cabin blocks. What if I made a piano key border to complete this quilt? Can I be honest – I am not a fan of piano key borders. They are time consuming to make and right at this point, I just wanted this quilt top done.
So I looked around at my stash of UFOs – was there other blocks that could be used as a border? Not that I wanted to use for this. How about just a plain old solid border? That would be quick and easy. None of the fabrics I auditioned for an outer border looked right.
Yep, back to my first idea – make a piano key border. So I just started pulling strips out of the container. No rhyme to the colors I just sew the strips end to end into a long, long, long strip.
Cut the strips into 15″ lengths. Sew those lengths together in pairs down the long sides. Make enough to add to sides of top so this border goes all the way around.
I added the border to one side, then opposite side. Made a lot more border which I added to the remaining two sides. It was time consuming, but really easy. This quilt top “Scrap Bonanza #1” is done and I am really happy with it.
I also did not stress that all my points were not perfect. The “quilt police” are not coming after this quilt (I would not listen to them anyway). It was fun to make and really made a dent in the scrap problem I am trying to conquer.
Your mission should you decide to accept is to make a dent in your scrap bin. Step out of your comfort zone, do something fun (and maybe a little wild) with all those scraps you have been holding onto because they are just too nice to throw away. Have fun. Be creative. Enjoy the quilt journey you are on.
Now I am confined to working from home until further notice. It is so much easier to be productive on my quilts when I am right here at home. So I am challenging myself to see how many “quarantine” quilts I can make during this time.
Feel free to join me in this if you want. We can always give the tops or quilts away to friends or family. Or we can donate them to a worthy cause.
The Great Migration Quilt is simply a combination of two sizes of Flying Geese blocks. The blocks are left-overs from two previous projects.
The “geese” started out as 5″ squares and 8″ squares that were sewn diagonally through the center to make two half square triangles (HST).
I sewed 10 of the bigger “geese” into three rows.
The two rows of smaller “geese” have 20 blocks in each. They did not quite fit right so I ended up adding about an inch of muslin to the end of each. Use those creative skills…
The small interior borders are simply three strips 1.75″ wide sewn together.
The burgundy exterior borders are 4″ for top and bottom, and 6″ for the two sides.
The top went together quickly since the “geese” blocks were already together or mostly together. I think it took me longer to add the borders. Simple and quick quilt.
I did not buy anything for The Great Migration Quilt but the batting (even used a coupon). The geese blocks were left-overs from other projects. The borders were fabrics in my stash. The backing was the extra wide backing fabric that was already in my stash. It is a very satisfying feeling to know that I am using what is on hand.
Please don’t feel like you have to go out and purchase fabric for every quilt you make. Beautiful quilts can be made from the scraps and stash you already have on hand.
Flowers & Tumblers quilt looks great, but it did not start as a cohesive quilt idea. It started out as an exercise in frustration because fabric scraps had gotten out of hand and were taking over my sewing area. This quilt will require more than one post, so here is Flowers & Tumblers part 1.
Something had to be done to stop the flood of scrap piles on the floor, on the shelves, and generally in my way. Do scraps reproduce in the dark?
On Jan. 1, 2019 I went thru every single piece of fabric on the shelves and put anything a quarter yard or less in a box (it turned out to be two). Then I started cutting 3″ blocks, 2.5″ strips, and hexagons in two sizes. Each type went in plastic storage totes.
The leftovers from this went in a “crumb” tub to make string or crumb blocks at some point in the future.
Hexagons can travel:
The hexagons went in bags that I drug around on my job travels. The smaller size “flowers” are being appliqued to plain muslin blocks. The larger ones shown here got used in the strips in the photos – and yes, there are several more waiting for me to get back to them.
Am I the only one who comes out with leftovers from most of my quilts? Honestly, I never thought I was that bad at math….
So these two strips of English paper pieced flowers were the starting point for this quilt. I made the flowers while at a family reunion in July. I don’t sit well with nothing in my hands, so these were easy to pick up and put down with all the visiting and conversations.