Welcome to another day of the Scrap Busting Extravaganza! And wow – do we have an amazing project for you today!!
Today our special guest is the Amazing Amy from Diary of a Quilter!
Amy is a super talented seamstress and quilter and I’m so excited she is visiting today! She has beautiful quilt and sewing projects on her blog, and she also has a quilt patterns shop and has written a book! (Which I have 0- it is totally awesome.)
You are going to just love her project today!
Hello Friends! My name is Amy Smart and I blog about my fabric addiction and sewing adventures at Diary of a Quilter.
Scraps! As a fabric
hoarder lover, I have loads of fabric scraps.With the increasing costs of fabric and craft supplies, you hate to see those precious bits go to waste. Plus there are so many great ways to use scraps, it’s almost like making “free” (not really, but you know what I mean) projects when you can put those scraps to good use. I love that Bev started this series of ideas to use those pretty scraps and give them new purpose.
As a scrap saver, I’ve learned that organization is key to actually using those scraps. And the more simple the organization, the more likely I am to actually do it. My favorite way to organize fabric scraps is simply by color. I have clear bins that I just toss my scraps into in an effort to a) keep my space a little tidier, b) so I can actually find what I want at some point and c) because seeing the spectrum of pretty colors actually inspires me to DO something with them.
My next crucial tip for using your scraps is to regularly go through them and get rid of stuff that doesn’t inspire you anymore. Don’t feel guilty about it. Just do it. Give them to a friend, a local humanitarian or girl scout troop- whoever. Just let. them. go. Trust me. It’s worth it. You’ll be way more likely to use your scraps if you still like your scraps.
Today I want to share a little project for a 15” x 15” mini quilt. This one calls for all kinds of random scrap sizes. This method is called “Foundation-paper-piecing” and it’s fun because it allows for lots of improvisation and does not require perfect accuracy (best part!).
What you will need:
- Assorted string-y scraps of your favorite fabric no wider than 1 1/2” and between 3” and 13 1/2” in length.
- 17” x 17” piece of batting
- 18” x 18” piece of fabric for backing
- 1/6 yard piece of fabric for binding (or more assorted 2 1/2” wide scraps)
- 4 pieces of paper 8 1/2” x 8 1/2”
- Sewing machine
- Rotary cutter and ruler
I suggest pressing your fabrics (scraps included) before starting.
Fold one of the 8 1/2” square pieces of paper diagonally down the middle. Lay one 13.5” long scrap down the center of the fold, using a small amount of glue at both corners to hold the first scrap in place.
Audition various scraps by placing them on either side of the middle scrap, in diagonal rows, overlapping generously to compensate for seam allowance. Make sure you completely cover the paper. Carefully remove the scraps, keeping them in the right order so that it’s easy to grab the next one and sew.
Turn stitch length on your machine to about 1 1/2. (The shorter stitches will perforate the paper more often, making it easier to tear the paper away later.) Put a new fabric scrap right sides together on top of the glued center scrap with right edges matched up. Sew through both fabric scraps and paper using a 1/4” seam allowance. Working from the front of the fabric, press both strips open and flat.
Start at the center and work outwards toward the corners, sewing your strips in the order that you auditioned them.
Repeat the process with additional scrap strips, completely covering the paper.
Turn the square over and with the size of the paper as the guide, use a ruler and rotary cutter to trim all four sides.
Turn paper over to the fabric side and using a ruler and rotary cutter, cut into four equal 4 1/4” x 4 1/4” squares. Carefully remove the paper backing by folding on the stitched lines to crease and then tear them off completely.
Repeat the process with the three 8 1/2” x 8 1/2″ paper squares and remaining scraps to create a total of 16 mostly different 4 1/4” x 4 1/4” scrappy diagonal blocks.
Layout the pieced blocks 4 across by 4 down. There are a variety of designs you can create by rotating the blocks. Here is a sample.
Sew blocks together using a 1/4” seam allowance into four rows of four blocks each. Press seam allowances to the left on rows 1 and 3 and to the right on rows 2 and 4. Sew rows together in order, nesting opposing seam allowances.
Layer quilt top with batting and backing pieces underneath and quilt as desired (machine quilting tutorial here.) Using remaining fabric or scraps to create a 2 1/2” x 64” strip for binding the quilt.
You could easily make multiple blocks to make a bigger quilt, re-scale the sizes, use this panel for the side of a bag, etc.
I’ve shared a few other ideas for organizing and using your scraps on my blog. These are some of the most popular. Enjoy!
I am so in love with this quilt Amy!! I think I need to make a vintage sheet version – I certainly have the scraps for it!! :) Thank you so much for joining in the series!