How to Use Your Fabric Stash to Make Scrappy Quilts

As a quilter, I love working with new fabrics, and I love designing new quilts for our Spring and Fall Quilt Retreats. But each winter, when the holidays are over and we begin to hibernate inside, I like using up scraps from my fabric stash.

How to Make Scrappy Quilts

This year, I repurposed fabric from several scrap bins into three queen-size quilts. In previous posts, I shared tips for:

Now we’re ready for the big reveal. Are you ready to see the final quilts?

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And here is a photo that shows how I used fabric scraps for the backs of the quilts. I like how the different designs turned out!

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Here are a few close-ups of the quilt pattern on the fronts:

And a few close-ups of the quilt patterns on the backs:

Our Winter Scrap Fabric Challenge is done…does that mean that winter is done as well? Well, not quite. But at least we have a few more finished quilts to keep warm!

Now that I have emptied some of my shoe boxes of fabric scraps, I thought I would repurpose the shoe boxes. So here’s a quick survey. Help me decide what I should fill the boxes with:

High heels?

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Sneakers?

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Or more fabric scraps?

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I like the way you think. More fabric scraps it is!

Thank you for joining us for this blog series on quilting with scraps. What ideas would you like to see next? Share your ideas–and your own scrappy quilts!–in the comments.

😀 Happy Quilting!

How to Use Scrap Batting and Prepare Quilt Tops for Quilting

I hope you enjoyed reading about my January Scrap Challenge quilts. Now it’s time to prepare for quilting! I have three steps to follow to get your quilt top ready for quilting: backing, washing, and batting.

How to Use Scrap Fabric for Quilt Backs

After getting three queen size quilts out of my shoe boxes, I still had quilt pieces left over! (I think my fabric stash multiplies at night while I sleep quilt.😉) I decided not to make a fourth quilt, but instead sewed the leftovers together. I used the scrap pieces for the backing. Here’s how they look:

How to Prepare Quilt Tops for Quilting

Next, I decided to wash both the quilt tops and backs. When you’re making scrappy quilts, it’s a good idea to rinse the quilt tops before quilting—especially if the fabrics are older and have been sitting around for several years.

The “rule of thumb thimble” is that if you wash any of the fabrics for a quilt, you wash them all. So I washed both my quilt tops and quilt backs (either plain fabric or scrappy quilt backs). Here’s a quick way to wash your quilt tops and quilt backs before quilting:

  1. Rinse: You can hand wash or use a washing machine on gentle wash using cold water. Do not use any soap. I usually do not use any dye catcher as sometimes I do when washing a quilt.
  2. Dry: Put the quilt in the dryer for a little while, but don’t let it dry completely. Iron the quilt top to finish drying and make the top nice and smooth for quilting.

How to Use Scrap Batting for Quilts

So now our scrappy quilt tops and quilt backs are ready for quilting. We need just one more ingredient for our “quilt sandwich”—the quilt batting. Since these quilts were part of our Scrap Challenge, did you know that you can use scrap batting for quilts, too? Yes! You can use scrap batting for quilts, if you follow a few easy steps. Here is the process I use to prepare scrap batting for quilts.

Throughout the year, save your scrap quilt batting in a large tub or bag. (Beware of using garbage bags, since your helpful and efficient family members may decide to “accidentally” throw them away.)

Here are two different methods to join quilt batting scraps:

Sewing machine: Cut two straight edges and butt them up against each other and join with a zig zag stitch. I usually set my machine at stitch width 3.5 and length 3.5.

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Fusible interfacing: Sometimes your sewing machine does not want to feed your fabric one to one, so if that happens to you, here is a helpful trick. Use knit fusible interfacing! Butt the two edges together and then iron the fusible interfacing to join the two pieces.

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Size: Keep joining batting until the whole piece measures 3 inches larger on each side than your quilt top. For a queen size quilt (which measures 90 x 100), combine enough batting to measure 96 x 106.

Now that we have prepared the quilt top, quilt back, and batting, it’s time for my favorite part: quilting! Next week I will share my favorite quilting tips and reveal the finished scrappy quilts.

In the meantime, stay warm, keep sewing, and keep in touch! I love seeing the projects you are all making this winter.

 

January Scrap Challenge

Ideas patterns for using up quilt fabric scraps

Here it is January again. The family has all left, and the house is empty and quiet again. I’ve undecorated from Christmas and settled in for some winter sewing. I’m always excited about getting back to the sewing machine in January.

Several years ago, I decided to use the cold, dreary days of January for scrap-happy sewing projects. I set a goal to sew with scraps and empty one tote. Many years ago, my stash would have fit in a dresser drawer. Now? Let’s not tell my husband how many totes of scraps I have…😊

This year I wanted to find my oldest UFO (unfinished object). In 2003, I had a nephew getting married, and decided to make him a quilt. I used my stash fabrics to cut pieces for a Jacob’s Ladder quilt.

When I finished the quilt, I still had pieces left over. The pieces filled three plastic shoe boxes! This year, I dug out those scraps and decided to use them up. This is my January UFO project to conquer.

Quilt projects to use up scraps

I decided on a design with squares and triangles. The squares are cut to 2 1/2 inches, and the triangles are made from a 4 7/8 inch square, cut diagonally.

how to make scrap quilts

The block when sewn measures 8 inches square.

The quilt is 11 blocks across by 13 rows up and down.

how to make quilt blocks from scraps

So far out of these 3 shoe boxes I have sewn 2 queen size quilt tops (88 inches X 104 inches) and I am on to my third.

Scrappy quilt pattern

Next week I should be ready to prepare the quilt tops for quilting. Stay tuned!

I hope you are all doing well and enjoying the days inside to sew. Please keep in touch and let me know what you’re busy working on this January!

Happy quilting!

❤️ Sheila