Monday, May 25, 2009

Kitchen Sink Quilts

Michele wanted to know about my scrap quilts, and I how I quilt frugally.

I am not consistent with my scraps. Once upon a time, when I was a new quilter, I used to envy people's scrap collections. I really love the way scrap quilts look and I wanted to make those - without having to buy little pieces of fabric everywhere. Since then I have amassed my own collection, and I was sometimes worried that I had gone the other direction, with having too much scrap fabric.

What do I do with my scraps? Several things:
First of all, whenever I work on a new project, I go through my scrap stash and see what surprises I can add to that project. Each of my quilts have at least one fabric that has come from another quilt.

Sometimes I use several fabrics from my stash - to simply use them up so I have space to buy more new stuff.

When I am finished with the cutting, I cut up the leftovers into several sizes:
1. If it is a fall color, I cut a 3 1/2" square for a harvest quilt I will someday make - it will likely be a charm quilt with no fabric repeated.

2. If it is a fall color, and there is a chunk left, it can go into the Dear Jane quilt, so it will be stored there.

3. Lately, some of my scrap fabrics have to be saved for applique for the same quilt. Let me tell you, it is very difficult to continue to save the fabric after the bulk has already been cut up.

4. If any other color, and I am willing to let go of the fabric, and it is a small enough piece, I will cut the leftovers 1 1/2" x 3 1/2" pieces for the rail fence quilt Leader and Ender quilt I am making. The quilts I have been making have required me to save fabric for the applique - I am afraid I am going to have to dig through my scrap stash to cut some more fabric for that quilt.

5. Other pieces get used for the border and / or back and/ or label. With the scrap stash getting out of control, I figured that as long as I saved a small piece for a future quilt, I could simply use up as much of the fabric as possible on the same quilt itself.

6. Another way I've used up the fabric is to make a small, doll quilt for my someday quilt wall. These little ones also make good gifts. And postcards and ATCs also use up scrap fabric well.

Remember the purple quilt that served as a background for the lilacs a few posts ago? That one had a large amount of leftover HSTs. I used squares to make triangles. I could have trimmed off the rest and thrown them away, but they were sewn into many HSTs. I have been seeing people make small quilts for Mini Quilt Monday, and thought it would be a super way to finally have a finished quilt under my belt this year. I dug out this bag of HSTs and am in the process of making a mini quilt. It isn't finished yet, but maybe soon, in the next quarter or so, I'll have a quilt finish to show you.


Donna said...

its interesting how we all define "scrap" differently, and then our ways of storing/using... I tried to migrate myself to Bonnie's system from over on Quiltville and I think I'm ready to admit defeat and return to my own, less orginaized system... The fact you have a few "some day" quilts that you're saving for speficially makes a lot of sense to me

Michele Bilyeu said...

Wonderful analysis and description, Shasta! I just know you're going to make others think about their own habits and maybe even spread some seeds of good ideas for future sewing!

Paula, the quilter said...

Love hearing how you save scraps. Everyone has a different system. Mine is yardage, 1/2 yards, FQ, 5" squares, 2.5" squares and then 2 scraps buckets: one lights and one darks. Most everything else is trashed.