so scraptastic! || part 1

or craptastic depending on how you feel about this project today.  :)

It was time to conquer this . . .

This is a compilation of three gallon size Ziplocs and one fish bowl full of scraps.  These scraps have accumulated over the course of the year.

One thing I noticed right away is that my idea of a "scrap" is totally different from most.  If I can make a zipper pouch from it, it is considered scrap for me.  There's something so annoying about folding small pieces of fabric, so the lazy self in me tosses these pieces into my scrap bin.

Well, I challenged myself to get rid of the scraps.

4 hours into sewing . . .

7 hours into sewing . . .

And I feel like the pile is not getting any smaller.   (And yes, I am fully aware that my mature self is as messy as a toddler or 16 year old when sewing.)

So here's my challenge . . .

Is it possible to achieve an aesthetically pleasing quilt without planning the design of each block?

Here are a few beautiful scrap quilts, which all of them have been designed.
Quilt by Andie Johnson

quilt by philistine made
Quilt by Katy of I'm a Ginger Monkey

Hypothesis: The outcome can go either way really, but I think this quilt will turn out mediocre at best. (Which is totally cool by me.  This quilt is for me to snuggle under during the cold winter months.)

I am testing the idea that a beautiful quilt can be made from scraps without any thought of planning or design in mind.  Though quilting with scraps is nothing new, I am literally pulling out of my scrap pile and piecing together with NO consideration to color or print.  Typically, modern quilting has a plan with a design in mind.  I have no plan.  No design to achieve.  I just want all my scraps sewn together and see what happens when you really are not looking.   

My challenge includes:

  • Breaking many quilting rules
  • No thought to directional prints, colors, or design
  • Wonky seams (some seams are 1/4", some are more, and some are not even straight)
  • Some seams pressed open, some not
  • Some fabrics washed, some not
  • Some fabrics pressed before piecing, some not

Materials used:
  • Scraps accumulated during 2012 for my top quilt
  • Isacord thread for piecing
  • Warm and Natural Cotton batting
  • Aurifil for quilting


I am literally picking up one piece, finding another one with similar width and length, and sewing together without any consideration to colors or prints.  The experience is a bit like working on a puzzle because I want to use as much of the scrap as possible.  Once I build a nice size block or strip, I set it aside to start a new one.  Once all pieces have been sewn, I will trim my blocks as little as possible to make them square/rectangle.  I will then sew all the blocks together, baste, quilt, and bind.

*The only planned design will be piecing my final blocks together to make the quilt top, but since I am saving as much fabric as possible, I can only piece blocks that fit together the best.  This does limit my ability to move blocks around.  If necessary, I will pull from my stash to fill in the gaps to complete a quilt top.

Here are a few completed blocks that actually turned out better than expected.

Here are two blocks that I am not thrilled about.

In Part 2, I will share with you all the blocks completed. (18+ blocks and strips) [I'm still in the process of piecing scraps together.]

In Part 3, I will share with you the quilt along with my thoughts on this process.

How do you think this is going to turn out?

I'm sharing with: Plum and June, 


  1. I'm fascinated to see how this turns out. I think the end result will be lovelier than you imagine.

  2. i can't wait to see it! I should try this method... I have an entire recycle bin loaded with scraps....

  3. I actually think it will turn out pretty well! Can't wait to see!

  4. I bet it will be fantastic.

  5. What is it about scraps that they seem to multiply as you use them?! That happens to me too:). But there's something about scraps that make my heart soar-seeing all those little bits of fabric together in a project that remind me of other things I made and the people I made them for...I love it! I think your quilt will turn out great-I'm a big believer in playing with fabric and seeing how things turn out!

  6. I hardly ever sew with a plan - well, if I start with one, I usually find I abandon it pretty early! I think it is fun to put the quilts together like a puzzle with only a vague picture of what the result will be - just see where it takes you! I've been giving more though to color palettes lately but most of my quilts from earlier this year are all the result of randomly putting together the fabrics - some worked out great, others, um, not so much! But I think yours will be fantastic - your blocks look great already!

  7. So far your blocks are fabulous and I love your rules or non-rules. I am a rule breaker too and I love the wonky cutting, sewing process. I like to sew together, cut it back up and sew again. See my improv rug on my blog. I made it for my daughter....hope she likes it. http://p8ntingmom.blogspot.com/2012/11/new-fabric-new-project.html

    Can't wait to see step 2....

  8. I love what you are doing and I'm following you now so I can see more... Found you at Plum and June's.

  9. Oh, this one will be interesting to watch! I once made a string quilt from scraps, and while I was making the blocks, I thought this is going to be awful. But once assembled, it looked totally fine. So just hang on and enjoy the ride...

  10. I love that you are sharing this journey! I think its gonna be great but I agree with the blocks that aren't great. notice those blocks have big chunks in them, that may be what we dont like. how about if you chop those blocks up abit then sew to something else or each other? what have you got to lose? suggestion for a name - the 2012 quilting journey:-) cant wait to see how it turns out


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