Friday, February 10, 2012

Scrap Dilema

I'm sure a lot of us have discovered that Pinterest is a wonderful and dangerous thing.  For instance a few nights ago, I was tired (being almost 8 months pregnant will do that to you) and I decided to browse pinterest for some quilt ideas.  Since discovering basting spray and how it takes my least favorite part of quilting and makes it manageable, I've fallen in love with quilting all over again.  (You can see all the quilting goodness I've been pinning here.)

Anyway...I came across this quilt.

Connect the Dots Baby Boy Puzzle Quilt - Pattern available from

I loved it...and then started thinking about how I would do it differently to make it look more like a real puzzle...and how I would avoid all of the piecing involved. 

And then I just had to try it...Here's a sneak peak at my version...

...and now I've got a baby quilt all finished and ready for our baby boy when he if we could only settle down and choose a name...

Anyway...I digress...

Any quilt or fabric project leaves you with a lot of scraps.  I especially hate throwing out scraps of pretty quilt fabric.  I read something a while ago that got me thinking though.  (Sorry I can't remember the link.)  Basically it suggested to have a project in mind for all those scraps.  Then if you cut your scraps up as you generate them, it's more manageable than doing a scrap quilt all at once.  So I'm thinking I want to have an ongoing scrap quilt project going.  Something where I can sew the scraps from a given project into a set size square or rectangle or something.  After all, the scraps from any given project, usually coordinate together to some degree and should make decent blocks, right?  Then when I have enough blocks I can sew them into a cohesive quilt.

The problem is that I have to decide on a size for the blocks.  The bigger the blocks, the bigger the scraps have to be and the smaller scraps get left out.  On the other hand, the smaller the scraps are the more time it takes to sew them and instead of losing little bits of pretty fabric...I'm losing large chunks of my life.

And of course there is the difficulty that there are just so many great scrap quilts to choose from.  Should I start a couple projects to use different kinds of scraps?  Or just stick to one?

And instead of just making up my mind and getting to work on a couple of blocks to use up the scraps that are hanging around from my latest quilting binge...I decided to write a blog post about it.

Here are a few I'm thinking of...which one is your favorite?

Love the easy design.  Even though the pieces are small, they'd be fast sew together in long rows. 

I love the simplicity of this one...but of course your scraps have to be a bit long.

Scrap Buster Quilt Top from Red Pepper Quilts
I like that I could sew coordinating fabric strips into blocks that could be arranged later according to color.  I like how the uniform white rectangles make a cohesive pattern through the whole quilt.

And a similar variation...

I'm thinking one common factor here is that I need to get some white (or grey) fabric to break things up...which is also part of the reason I haven't started on the scrap quilt.  Despite all the fabric in my stash, I don't think I have a good solid white quilt weight fabric.

How do you generally solve your scrap dilema?  Do you throw them away or use them for something else?

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  1. I am probably the worst person to ask about this. Seriously. Through a series of events it became very clear to me that **I** have fabric issues. LOL. Through that same series of events I have narrowed my world down QUITE a bit when it comes to scraps. I have started a Ticker Tape style quilt. If I want to put a scrap on MY quilt it stays (and gets put on to my quilt, which is very much a long term work in progress)If it comes off "perfectly" (like the triangles on a flying geese) and I can sew it together right then and there, then I do (usually using it as a leader for the project I am working on.If it doesn't fall into those categories it is gone. Just for ME it has been one of the most weight lifting things I have done. Again, just for me.The biggest problem for me was that I don't tend to have a lot left over and I don't tend to do a lot of the same colors/themes right in a row, so those scraps were hanging around a long time before they were even thinking of being a quilt. They felt more like a chore than fun and this is supposed to be fun! Enjoy whatever you decide!!

  2. What a fun dilemma! These are all wonderful, and you have got me thinking about quilting again...

    I don't know...can't decide. Why don't you have one pile for the longer scraps with the scrappy stripes, and pick one other one for now.

    Gee, you have me itching to pull out my scrap box.

  3. I like the first 2. One day I will learn how to quilt.

    And don't worry about not having a name yet. Micah and I changed Lily's name a few weeks ago. Not a huge change though :)

  4. Ooh, scraps! I hoard my scraps. Obsessively. Even the tiny ones. It's a problem I have...

    I like the zigzag quilt best, but they are all so fun! Can't wait to see your finished puzzle quilt :)

  5. They're all fun quilts, but the first one is definitely my favorite.

  6. Much to my husband's chagrin, I save the scraps if they are at least 5" one direction. They have come in handy more times than I can count!

    Now, if I can just get one of my sewing machines repaired, I can get going again.....


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