Friday, 17 August 2012

Tell me about scrappy...

Until I made my first scrappy quilt last year, I really didn't "get"scrappy.  To me it looked messy and I couldn't see what all the fuss was about.  But then when I started making this mini quilt and pulling out all my favourite little scraps, the quilt became a story in my head of where the scraps had come from.


And then I did the Amitie BOM The Circle Game where Jenny the designer arranged the scraps into neat circles bound by a charcoal dot.  Adding many of my own scraps into this quilt once again gave the quilt its own story, personal to me.


Now on my summer holiday, I've brought a ziplock bag with enough scraps to make 25 of these blocks although of course the lure of the beach means I've only made two!  But pulling scraps from the bag, each one with their own story of where and when it was bought or given to me or used in another project makes scrappy projects so rewarding to work on.

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Som scrappy projects are all scraps. Some have a blender to tie them together.  I like bright scraps mixed with something like white or charcoal to give them some kind of cohesion and I think scale matters - too small and the overall look is muddy; too big and the overall look is messy and confused.  When I pick scraps I find myself picking the same types of fabrics - brights mixed in with greys and creams and texty fabrics to add spots of interest.  In her scrap vomit quilts, Katy uses the solid black and colour fabrics to bring order to her sea of 2" square scraps.

et voila!

What about you?  Do you like scrappy quilts?  Have you made many?  How do you pick your scraps?  Do you restrict yourself to certain colours or just grab whatever comes to hand?  Do you like a completely scrappy look or do you like your scrappy quilts to have some kind of cohesive element in colour and or design?  

44 comments:

  1. These are all beautiful quilts.

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  2. I make a lot of scrap quilts - I find if you think too hard and plan too hard, it spoils them.

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  3. I have a lot of scraps. I also have miles of yardage. I have yet to make a truly scrappy quilt but Vomit is on my list, as is Katie Pederson's Seeing Value. I adore my scrappy lilysquilts triangle quilt to no end!!!!! Are you home?

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  4. I've just spent forever organizing my scraps...now lets hope I actually like using them. I would think there would need to be some sort of cohesive element.

    Your scrap quilts look wonderful.

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  5. I made one scrappy quilt years ago and didn't care for it much. But my fabric palette has changed (much brighter...no more greyed or browned or tea-dyed fabrics for me) and I would like to try another. I'm not familiar with the Circle Game or the Seeing Value or the Vomit quilts, but they sound interesting. I absolutely LOVE your scrappy triangle quilt.

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  6. I have a strange relationship with scraps. I keep every little crumb of fabric, but then don't really use them. Although I did make a scrappy string quilt once, which I love.

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  7. I haven't made many scrappy quilts. I try to use my scraps on quilt backs. But I recently borrowed Katy's solids approach to make sense of a scrappy project, and I'm quite fond of it.

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  8. I love scraps. I think I have more scraps than regular stash and even buy other people's scraps too. A bag of (pretty!) scraps makes me happier than a stack of new FQ's. Unless it's for the scrap vomit quilt, then I need ugly fabrics too.
    I like to coordinate an uncoordinated heap of scraps. At the moment I"m making several quilts based on scraps. A string quilt, a second Scrap Vomit Quilt and a quilt from the Sunday Morning Quilt book which is a great book if you are looking to use up your scraps.

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  9. I keep scraps, and haven't really used them much but did recently use them for a Kindle cover and love it - I might do a tute on how I used them after our holidays - quick fun and adaptable for lots of projects
    The quilts above are lovely and I think one of the best use of scraps is with a single solid rather than 100% scrappy - there is a tendency for the scraps to 'show' to their fullest this way

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  10. I do keep scraps, but I tend to keep them by collection which means they never get used! My instinct is towards planned quilts but I have seen some lovely scrap quilts (like Charlotte's rainbow string quilt) which makes me think I should make one. But I would have to plan my scrap quilt which possibly defeats the object!

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  11. Adore scrap quilts - probably my favourite kind ! Why have six fabrics when you can have 36!? But what do you call a scrap quilt?? How many different fabrics does it require? 90+?

    Usually have a neutral colour which brings it all together. Tend to avoid big patterns but some difference in scale is more interesting I think! I usually get a pile of scraps I want in the colours I have chosen and just dive in - it can be fairly random but I do audition pieces and reject some! Often like to place uglies, dull or super bright in the mix - just because you can get away with it in small pieces and why not?

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  12. You said at the beginning, to me scrappy is all about telling a story. It could be colour story, or a print theme story or a reminder of all the places the fabrics come from

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  13. My quilts are always scrap quilts because I get bored making blocks with the same fabrics. I have lots of scraps, in different sizes, if I have cut into a fat quarter the leftovers go into a big bag and periodically are cut into squares, triangles and strips so I always have a good sock for my quilts.

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  14. I love to look at scrappy quilts but making them is another story. I get very twitchy when I do full on scrappy. "Controlled" scrappy is much easier for me. I prefer to work from a color palette of fabrics that work well together. I did one totally random scrappy where my only rule was a light against a dark. It is my granddaughter's favorite quilt so I guess I did ok!

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  15. I recently made a Perkiomen Valley quilt using all scraps. It's a good exercise in sorting by value as well as colour. I have tried to cut scraps into the biggest square possible as I go along and store them in labelled boxes, saves a lot of time later and the really scrappy useless offcuts go into a separate bin for the local primary school to use in foundation class for collage.

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  16. well as you know i can't sew but when I do it is always scrappy

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  17. I love scrappy. Really love scrappy. But it has only been in the last couple of years that I have been able to make a scrappy quilt successfully. (Perhaps that should read 'to my satisfaction') I find it hard to do random and so whenever I did scrappy I would try to organise it too much. It's only since I have been able to let go completely and just let the fabric speak that my scrappy has found it's voice! I keep my scraps separated roughly into colours which helps if I am just using one or two colours.

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  18. I love organised scrappy - I need some sort of cohesion (be it background fabric or colour choices) to make it work for me. I can't do the 'pick two fabrics and stitch them together no matter what' thing - what if the two fabrics don't like each other? I don't want an argument in the middle of my quilt ;o)

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  19. My friends and I make truly scrappy quilt for charity. I found a long time ago that the books out there that show you how to use up your scraps are all 'controlled' sraps. You won't find lime green or yellow mixed in with a quilt that is mainly brown, navy and red. To me, they are not real scrappy quilts because the colour palette is limited. I don't want to have to go through the stash to just use a few colours. I want to be able to use all of it.

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  20. Yeah, you can throw your rusty reds and dirty browns out there with the clear pinks and acid greens. I'll bet if you do that though, you don't mix your confederate reproductions in with the Amy Butlers and Kaffe Fassetts. One or the other has to be consistent - either the style of the print or the color story. I agree with Dolores that too much control ruins it - but likewise, too much randomness can ruin it too. BTW, I LOVE scrappy quilts and make them almost exclusively now!

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  21. Scrappy with cohesion for me. I seldom buy a whole fabric range, nor can afford more than a FQ very often so I think I became a scrappy quilter by default. I would like to say that I just grab and go with what I find - but having done Sarah's Stained QAL I can see that I pulled 144 scraps that blend well together so even when going with the flow my eye picks out the ones that I think will go best in the quilt they are destined for.

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  22. I am generally in the anti-scrap camp. I refer to those quilts as "Ativan Quilts" because I get so anxious looking at them that I either need medication or to leave the room. However, I can bear, and have made mono-chromatic scrap quilts that work for me.

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  23. I've made a few scrappy quilts ~ find that I have a heck of a time putting them together as I want to organize and put certain fabrics together. So ~ I put them in a paper bag, pick one and sew it on. It's really worked for me and now I really enjoy them. I made a hexagon quilt that way also ~ 930 hexes and it turned out wonderful!

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  24. I just finished my first scrappy quilt, and I loved doing it although it was much more time consuming than I expected. I used a solid navy to pull it all together, and limited each block to 3 colours. Definitely will do more as it looks like I didn't make even a small dent in my scraps!

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  25. I love scraps. I think i have made 5 scrap quilts in the last 2 years. I sometimes do restrict the colour but ehen i made a string quilt, i used whatever and i love it! I called it who spilled the bucket of crayons. I made a huge farmer's wife quilt from scraps too. I have even been known to buy scraps at quilt shops. Love scraps!

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  26. I love scrappy quilts, but I have yet to make one of my own. At first, I was so new to quilting that I didn't actually have any scraps! Now that I do have some, I'm a little bit afraid to make a scrappy of my own. I feel like when you, or Katy, or practically anybody else makes one they are always sensational, but I feel like mine would just end up looking like a mud puddle!
    I am starting to take my scraps and cut them up into 2.5" pieces in the hopes that someday I will have the nerve to dive into the scrappy pool.

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  27. I LOVE scrappy quilts - and it's a good thing, when you consider how many scraps I have! So many of my quilts are made from scraps - but I like them to have a little order to them. Usually. I made a charm quilt with 1000+ different fabric triangles. I put the triangles into diamonds with like-colors so that there was some kind of order to it. It's hard for me to think about buying matching fabric when you can make scraps work!

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  28. ummm yes to everything there. I think sometimes just going for it and randomly using any scraps that come to hand can work really well and sometimes I like something with more cohesion. I too am fond of using texty fabric to add some extra interest. My rainbow hexie charm quilt used a lot of scraps but ended up looking cohesive because I went for a rainbow design. I think it could have looked just as good being completely random. I all depends on the design you want to do I think.

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  29. I LOVE scrap quilts. My very first quilt (finished in 1976!) was made from scraps of garments that my sisters and I sewed for 4-H.
    I love to add one common fabric to tie all the scraps together and give some sort of "foundation" to the overall design.

    When making my most recent string/scrap quilts I choose pretty much any fabric except the really pale fabrics, especially ones with a lot of white. This helped build a better looking fabric from the strings. Mixing in pale or white would have given it a busier look.

    I'm saving up the lights for a "low volume" scrap quilt.

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  30. Whilst not strictly starting with scraps, I have enjoyed recently picking out 30 totally random fat quarters from different lines in varying shades of grey, aqua and a little orange, and throwing them together on not one, but 2 completely different quilts. I've got some super scrappy mod block quilt tops that will go back to back too, but haven't had chance to sew them together yet...

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  31. yep
    Ove scrappy, whether it's in a controlled colour sorted way, or tied in with a single background, it in total scrap vomit Gaye abandon! Love pulling randoms out and seeing what I get on the way!

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  32. I love scrappy, but have not made one yet. But I have made several CRAPPY quilts. Are you home from your holiday?

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  33. I love scrappy quilts, sometimes "controlled" scrappy, sometimes "everything goes." And Katy's scrap vomit is definitely on my life of things to do. Once I made a quilt for my parents out of only three fabrics, queen sized. I thought I would go quietly insane by using only three fabrics. And I didn't like a single one of those three either...

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  34. I think all my fabric is scrapy since I usually only buy 1/8 yards at a time. I love all the different colors and designs especially when putting them all together! Bright and beautiful, I say! LOVE your quilts! Gorgeous!

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  35. Almost all the quilts I have made in the last few years have been scrappy. With moving I am determined to use what I have and not move it again! (although I have so much, I will end up moving some of it anyway) The last picture you showed, Scrap Vomit, is on my to-do list.

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  36. I have yet to do a FULL scrappy quilt. I usually have scrappy border or some such. It is definitely on my list to do...but it really has to be the "right" one! I am a bit controlling so it will need to be special..like the scrap vomit quilt!!!

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  37. I love scrappy quilts, but absolutely adore yours!! I find that choosing or "matching" the right colors in scrappy quilts always throws me off. I want to make the scrap vomit quilt, so am hoping that will help with my color values...I like organized scrappy :)

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  38. Hi Lynn. I am admittedly right brained and therefore have a hard time making scrappy quilts. While I appreciate them for their colorfulness and pizzazz, I just can't get past the need for pattern and order. I would love to give it a try, though, so maybe one day...

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  39. Emily and I raided the scrap basket and have both nearly finished a double "scrappy" log cabin each, so you can imagine how big the scrap pile was! Now I miss the pile of bits so can't wait to get the pile back again. I too am a fan of scrappy, but need some order every now and again so just call me a fence-sitter.

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  40. I love scrap quilts! They're my very favorite kind to make. I normally depend on either a solid to keep some sort of cohesive look (i.e. scrappy stars on gray, etc.) or I use scraps in a limited color palette, like greens and grays together, to keep it from being too loony. Love your mini, it's perfect!

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  41. scrap quilts are definitely my thing. I sew mostly from my scraps, even though I have too much yardage waiting for me to get too. the most important thing in working with scraps is value, not colour.

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  42. I love the look of controlled scrap quilts. I am just getting enough scraps to make my first one, but I can't decide on what pattern to go with!

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  43. Nearly all my quilts are scrappy, because nearly all my quilts are made from scraps that are given to me from other quilters. I love the variety, but I do like to have a common element to tie it all together. These that you have posted are beautiful!

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