Scrap Madness

After  I realized I am no longer inspired by many of the fabrics in my stash, I decided to take all of those fabrics out, sort them by colors, and then use them to make some scrap quilts, hoping that I will either make some things that I love, or at least make room for new fabrics that fit my current tastes.  The first set of fabrics I am working with are browns (never a favorite color), mustardy greens and various yellows and florals I bought when I anticipated making more landscape quilts.  Some were purchased when I planned to make a green companion to a blue star quilt.  More on that in future posts.  I’ve neither made that companion quilt nor continued making landscapes, so time to use up these fabrics.  I also pulled any scraps I had in similar colors, even if they were fabrics I still adore.  I then had a day or two of blissful and mindless cutting of strips, an antidote to a rather stressful few days dealing with banks, the IRS and luggage locks that refused to open.

Cutting and randomly sewing together strips is unbelievably fast.  Although I usually prefer very controlled scrap quilts, I decided to just pull out fabrics randomly and hope that the initial general coherence of fabrics would be enough to create something I love, or at least like.

I made sets of strips 10″ wide and 20″ long, trimmed them to 9″x20″, and soon had this:

Strip layout 1

I actually liked it more than I expected to, but I felt like it was missing something, so I added 2 1/2″ strips made from addition strips sets to the blocks and started playing with layouts.  Here are some of my current ideas.

Actually, I may like my original plain layout the best, but too late for that now!  I will have to play with the layout to make sure that some of the fabrics that stand out a bit more are well distributed and there aren’t too many places where the same fabrics meet.  This may turn out to be one of my least favorite quilts…but then again, quilting may change things significantly.  We’ll see.  I do have another idea for the mountain of remaining strips though, that is more controlled and may be more to my liking.

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  1. Your project looks great, an effective way to use lots of fabrics in similar colors. Since I rarely make block quilts anymore, I don’t use my scraps as effectively as I used to. I still do sort through them for any project, and I do pull and use some. The sizes seem to be a problem, too small, often, for what I need. But occasionally I manage to use up a lot of something. I think I’ll need to plan a couple of “next” projects that take a kitchen sink approach, like big multi-color 16-patches or something. They always look pretty when done. Also I have LOTS of RED scraps, that are red red, mostly tone-on-tone but some with prints with different colors in small quantities. I thought maybe I should try mixing them with solids of all different colors, mostly in half-square triangles of different sizes, to make long strips… Sort of an Anna Williams look. Here are google images — if only I could make things as fabulous!
    https://www.google.com/search?q=anna+williams&espv=2&biw=1276&bih=678&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjv6K_lxpXMAhWBQCYKHTR6CkkQ_AUIBigB#tbm=isch&q=anna+williams+quilts

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    • Those are really colorful and vibrant and make room for such variation in shape. I hope you make one inspired by hers. I would love to see what you come up with! I find I have the same problem with scraps. If I find a pattern I think might be great, I don’t have enough of the right sizes of scraps in the right colors. I end up just letting the scraps accumulate. I think a periodic clean out with a kitchen sink quilt is a great way to keep things under control and possible experiment with new approaches.

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  2. I love to do scrap quilts…it’s my favorite type of piecing. Hope you catch the scrappy-bug while you explore this.
    🙂

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  3. I am not a big fan of the brown/green/yellow combination USUALLY, but these look great together! I really like the smaller squares between the rectangles, in any of the arrangements you show above (but I think the first one is my favorite). They remind me of a lot of landscape postcards. I don’t know if you have a favorite way to quilt, but looking at the pictures, I was thinking that maybe you could do some sort of quilting lines that would suggest mountain ranges, rivers, trees, clouds etc. to bring out that landscape feeling your arrangements have.
    I hope you don’t mind the suggestion — I just know that sometimes I have really appreciated ideas from readers. 🙂

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  4. Even distribution of the stand out, look at me, scraps is so crucial to a satisfying scrap quilt. Otherwise you get unattractive blobs. I recall some ugly scrap quilts made using that technique where you keep sewing 2.5 inch strips end to end without the ability to place your colors.

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  5. I love scrap quilts. This looks awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

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