The Great Big Scrap Discussion – Part 3 – Tips + Patterns

This post is part of a 4-series of posts dedicated to the topic of fabric scraps.

Find all the posts in this series here.

Find all my scrappy quilts here.


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What is a scrappy quilt?  Let’s settle that first!  A scrappy quilt is any quilt that you use bits of fabric in and doesn’t have a set number of fabrics.  You may see a particular fabric once or twice, other fabrics even more.  There’s no rules.  Scrappy quilts can have scraps used in some parts of the quilts and a lot of background used as well or a scrappy quilt can consists of total and complete fabric scraps.


We’ve established that keeping your scraps organized by color and size will help you use them.  One of the most common things I get asked about is how to make them look good.  I’ve said this before on here and I’ll say it again, just because you are using scraps doesn’t mean you throw the whole color palette out the window.  Pick your color palette first and then go gather ONLY the scraps that can adhere to that.  That is the trick!  You don’t need to go using every scrap you can find.  It’s not 1880 and you are not making a quilt for warmth.  We can be picky with our scraps today!

So establish your color palette first, then get your scraps.  If you find, that you don’t have enough scraps, it’s time to dip into your stash.  This mixing and mingling can make your quilt one of a kind.  If you find that you have scraps overwhelming in certain colors, then build yourself a color palette around the color you have the most of.


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Another thing to think about is that most patterns are not written for scrappiness.  There’s many traditional quilts out there that you don’t even need a pattern for.  Think my Dresden quilt above, or that Trip Around the World quilt I made recently, basic tiny patchwork, coin quilts, etc.  These are the type of quilts that will use up your scraps like nobody’s business!

But we don’t always want to make quilts like this.  Sometimes a new quilt pattern comes out that we are dying to make and it’s on trend and everybody is making it and we want IN on this group fun.  Making a quilt with a bunch of people is the coolest and it’s why I’m always prone to quilt alongs.  I love seeing the same quilt over and over with different fabrics.

Now most quilt patterns with exceptions will tell you how many fat quarters you need or how many half yards you need or whatever, and if this quilt pattern is block based it doesn’t mean you MUST stick to those rules.  Most patterns will also lay out the fabric requirements for each block.  This is your chance to go scrappy.  Skip the fabric requirements and the cutting and cut for each block instead.

For example:  My Dresden blocks above require (4) 6.5″ squares for background (almost always stash because they are bigger), and then from scraps (10) 3.5″ blades in one color and another (10) 3.5″ blades in a different color and then a 3.5″ square for cutting a circle from for the center.  I can go as scrappy as I want with this which I always have a tendency to do.  I can make each block with different fabrics which uses up my scraps and gets me my scrappy look I’m after.

You can do this with ANY quilt.


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This part of this series was requested.  Even though I’ve already told you that you can go scrappy with any quilt pattern, let’s have a look at some quilts that are perfectly made for that scrappy look.

Here’s a few of my own quilt patterns:

  • Landslide Quilt – This quilt pattern doesn’t read like your regular pattern does.  It’s particularly made for you to head to your scrap basket.  There’s a lot of wiggle room in it and if you are sitting on strip scraps it’s ideal.
  • Good Girl Quilt – This pattern was written again with strip scraps in mind or even if you are sitting on a big pile of unused jelly rolls.  It does require quite a lot of background fabric as well, so keep that in mind.  It’s a good example of mix between scraps and stash.
  • Falling Slowly Quilt – I haven’t made this one in a while as it’s a bit finicky.  It’s almost 100% scraps.  I had many low volume scraps at the time and this pattern worked well for that.
  • Tumbler Quilt – This is another that is completely scrap made, no need for background.  Come one, come all scraps.  This one can wipe out all those oddly shaped scraps.  It’s a time consuming quilt, but I love it!

A few quilts I’ve made that require no background, only scraps:

Quilts I want to make scrappy:


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  1. One of my favorite scrap patterns is the Village Jumble Quilt by Miss Rosie’s Quilt Co. It is all houses that can be entirely made by cutting up 5″ squares, but also by using scraps. There are so many houses to make that doing it all at once can be daunting, so I like to make up a house anytime I have some scraps. Then when I have enough houses, I assemble the quilt. It’s a great way to use up scarps as soon as you acquire them!

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