Wednesday, May 18, 2016

I May Have A Scrap Problem... Using Them Up In Style!

Hi, all!

Well, after Monday night's little internet debacle, I decided to go to Starbucks this morning, camp out on their internet, and upload all the pictures I would need for this blogpost at the same time I finished Monday's post.  There's more than one way to skin a cat!  If only using up my insane stash of scraps was as easy.....

But I have made some headway this week!  I made a cute and easy quilt that gobbled up a lot of scraps - someone on Instagram called it Scrap-Eater!  That feels so "Lord of The Rings" - like naming a sword or something! But I like to call this the Gum Wrapper quilt, also suggested by several Instagram and Facebook readers.  

So here's how this quilt came about.  When I started looking at that tub of blue scraps, I realized I had a lot of long strings that were between two and five inches wide.  Last year, after Joanne posted this tutorial as part of Hands2Help 2015, I cut a bunch of yellow scraps into 1.5" x 2.5" and 2.5" x 4.5" rectangles, then tucked them away in a tub where they had been languishing ever since.  So I cut up my blue strings into the same sizes, sewed a light and a dark of the smaller size together (that makes a 2.5" square) and started fiddling around with design ideas....

When I posted them on IG and Facebook, the one that grabbed everyone's attention was the last one - the blocks set on point with a subtle chevron design.

You can see here how the blocks are laid out to achieve the chevron.  This is a direct steal from Crazy Mom Quilts, whose chevron quilt design is one of my favorites.  I hate making half square triangles, and her method makes it so easy and fast!!

Then, in a moment of clarity, I realized that it was going to take over 900 of those little 2.5" squares to make this quilt!  Oops - back to the drawing board.... Because I had the larger rectangles too, I experimented on the design wall with throwing some of the larger pairs in too.  With these sizes, two 2.5" x 4.5" rectangles sewn together yields a 4.5" block. 

I liked the way this looked, and it would be easy to accomplish, because coincidentally, four of the 2.5" blocks sewn together four-patch style also yields a 4.5" block!  

So I started playing around on EQ7 and came up with this design...

...which translated into this on the wall...

...which grew into this as I made more of those tiny blocks to make it larger....  (don't worry, I moved that upper left larger block - everyone commented on it and now it's in the middle of the quilt!)

And after four (yes, FOUR) bobbins of thread and a whole lot of piecing, this was the result!

Isn't that purty???  And I'm happy to say, I managed to get it quilted and bound this afternoon, so here's the finished quilt...

...and the back, which is a favorite IKEA print I had in the stash!

I'd love to be able to tell you just how many of those 2.5" blocks are in this quilt, but I keep losing count.  I think there are 120 of the sets of four, which would mean 480 2.5" blocks, and there are (I think) 61 of the larger 2-bar 4.5" blocks.  I kept having to make more, so obviously my math skills were sadly lacking on this one.  But it ended up being about 53" square, a nice size for a lap quilt!  And made completely out of my stash, so this is another one for Sew My Stash 2016!!

So that's what I've been doing with my scraps this week!  Have you been making any headway with yours?  Sometimes the simplest ideas turn out looking striking.  I love the idea of leaders and enders (even though I don't do that!) because when you get ready to sew them together you can sometimes be surprised what you manage to create from bits and bobs that took no time away from the projects you were working on. This particular quilt would make a great leaders and enders project!

Keep plugging away at those scraps, and let's tame our scrap monsters together!!!




  1. Another fabulous scrappy design. This would be such great sewing practice for our newbie quilters who still need to master the 1/4 inch seam consistently. I can identify with your internet issues, we have the same thing going on with our rural satellite set-up, and getting up at 2 or 3 a.m. to attempt taking advantage of their "bonus time" is not in our schedules often, making frequent blog postings a thing of the past.

  2. Fantastic idea. Love the different layouts too. One could make many different quilts in the same blocks. I am always surprise at how fast you can put a quilt together. Congrats on this beautiful scrappy finish. ;^)

  3. Wow. Just love it. I am amazed how you can get it all sewn and then quilted so fast. I have lots of tops just waiting to be quilted. I love the scrap solution!

  4. Ooh, I'm inspired. I do sew leaders and enders but usually with 2 or 2.5 inch squares or HSTs. Now you've given me the idea to dig into my 2 x 3.5 and 2.5 x 4.5 inch rectangle box. Thank you.

  5. That is an amazing quilt Sarah!I like the name gum wrapper, although I do name all of my swords, don't you? :)

  6. very neat - I always love these kinds of scrap quilts - gotta use these pieces up!

  7. I used some scraps and "short yardage" in my current quilt.

  8. LOVE IT! Going to practice my math skills and see if I can figure this out for my size of scraps. Thanks for sharing!!!

  9. OH MY GOODNESS!! What a wonderful quilt and a great way to use up your scraps. I have lots of 1-1/2 and 2-1/2 inch strips...this type of quilt would be perfect. Congratulations on your finish!

  10. I loved watching this come together on instagram and facebook. It turned out great!

  11. Just. WOW! And yes, gum wrapper is the first thing that came to mind when I saw it, too! What a fun memory. I love the two sizes of blocks and how they fit together so neatly.

  12. This is awesome Sarah! I might have to re-think the rectangles I've been saving for flying geese units...

  13. Scrap-eater does sound like naming a sword, LOL. Or in this case, a sewing machine. :) I really loved and marveled over how the center of the quilt was made of larger chevrons. It's a great design and a beautiful (or purty) scrappy quilt! And that backing! Wow do I need to look for some great Ikea fabric!

  14. Great scrappy quilt. For some reason I have lots of smaller size strips but never enough of any longer ones. this would be a great way to make a dent in them!

  15. I just might have to do the math (hard for me) and figure out how to make this with even larger blocks (like 6.5"). It would be fun, with reds, whites and blues, for a Quilts of Valor quilt.


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