There is just something about emptying a box of scraps that feels good. Really, really good.
If you are following me over on Instagram, you might have seen me working on this quilt when it was just a box of scraps. In my stories, I pulled out this box and it was just a full of a very particular scrap: 6.5″ coins.
I have always been somebody who saved all my scraps. The thought of tossing the precious and expensive bits of fabric irked me to death and I’d end up with these piles. They used to be piles when I first started quilting and I had no thoughts on what to do with them. I just knew they were to be kept.
Then I got a big basket and just started throwing them all in there.
That basket was the kiss of death for the scraps, or pretty much. It held too much in an array of sizes.
I have found that if it’s difficult to use a scrap fabric I’m never going to use it. So now I like to make it easy on myself.
I organize my scraps in a bunch of different ways. Different scraps get different bins. When I’m done cutting fabric for a quilt, all the scraps get organized right then and there. If I don’t do this, I know they will be wasted and I don’t want that.
I think each quilt maker especially after they’ve been sewing for a while will lean into their own style, and depending on what that style is may find that they have quite a bit of a certain type of scraps. For me, I end up with a lot of leftover strips from yardage, lots of squares, and coins.
The coins in particular come from me cutting lots of 6.5″ squares. I cut them all the time. If you cut a strip of fabric at 6.5″ and then cut it into 6.5″ squares, there’s this little sliver on the fold that’s always leftover. The size always varies per manufacturer, but for the most part it ends up around 2-3″ wide.
I always take that sliver of fabric and put it into a bin labelled ‘6.5″ coins’. I’ve only been doing this with those pieces for probably a little over two years. Recently, that bin became so full I couldn’t get the lid on it, so I knew it was time to do something with the pieces.
They were all the same length, but not the same width and some of them were wonky.
I just started chain piecing them together, and eventually ended up with really long strips. I had enough for two quilts, so you are going to see another quilt similar to this one in a few weeks.
Welsummer Fabric Bundles – fat eighths, fat quarters, quarter yards, and half yards
Complete quilting cotton collection with 18 prints
by Kim Kight for Cotton + Steel Fabrics
100% quilting cotton (woven)
Made in Japan
I didn’t give myself any perimeters on color. The bin held mostly low volume and plenty of pops of colors, so I used all of them. When I had the long rows I trimmed them down to 5.5″ to get straight edges and then sewed all the strip rows together.
It’s not the coolest quilt ever, but I love it anyway. I love that it holds two years worth of scraps of fabric, that it didn’t take me long to make, and it still looks like a quilt that I would make. Lots of low volume and pops of color.
The little model in all my pictures today is my niece. Her ‘look thoughtfully away’ faces are owning me. I was snickering as I took all of these pictures. I ended up completing about three quilts all at once, so you are going to be seeing her in my pictures for the next several coming quilts. It’s nice to have somebody in the pictures with the quilts for a change. I think it makes the quilts look better with a little life, don’t you?
I did a fairly tight meander/stipple all over quilting pattern. This kind of tight style is quickly becoming my new favorite. It does mean that it takes longer, but I love the texture that it creates versus my loose meander.
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