Is there anything with more potential than a big pile of fabric scraps? Most of us have them - some of us have way too many - and all those scraps are like free fabric. They are left over from other projects and crying out to be used - and this year's quilt-along will give you six great ways to use them!
As you may know from past years, I've been hosting a "quilt-along" in the six weeks before the Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge. Now I call it a quilt-along, but it's not really that - for six weeks, I'll share six quilts that follow a theme. In 2015, it was Sweet Sixteen (all sixteen-patch quilts), in 2016 it was Nifty Nines (all nine-patch quilts), in 2017 it was Stunning Stars (all star quilts). Each of those posts had a tutorial so you could make the quilt if you wanted to. All the quilts are designed to be simple enough to be made quickly and used for charity quilts - perfect if you want to participate in the Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge that follows.
A long time ago, I decided that if I was going to use my binding scraps, I should stop just throwing them in a tub all higgledy-piggledy and get them organized. The picture above shows what my binding box looks like today. All the pieces are measured, then wound up and pinned with a post-it note stating the length of the piece.
This way, when I want to make a scrappy binding, it's easy to pull out just enough pieces to make the length I need! But even using those binding scraps, sometimes my tub starts to get over-stuffed and I know it's time to make a quilt. Since I always use the same size binding (2.25" is my favorite size), I can sew those strips together to make a jelly roll quilt. Here's one I made recently using all my solid binding pieces, and I added a red cornerstone between each binding scrap for a little extra punch.
This quilt was made using a variation of the super-easy and ever-popular Jelly Roll Race pattern. You can find a video tutorial showing the original Jelly Roll Race pattern here. Once you've mastered the basics, it's easy to find ways to vary the pattern, and that's what I've done with today's Scrumptious Scraps quilt!
This quilt started with a basic Jelly Roll Race quilt top, made using my binding scraps. I pulled out a bunch of print pieces from my tub, cutting anything longer than 40 inches in half or thirds (or more if it was really long) and pressing them flat. Then I threw them in a big basket and mixed them all up.
Randomly drawing out pieces (just making sure I didn't repeat colors too close together) I put these together and created a jelly roll top using the basic method.
Using this picture as my inspiration, I cross-cut my finished jelly roll quilt top into four 5.5" strips, two 10.5" strips, and one 15.5" strip. Then I found a piece of fabric (mine was about a yard) to use as the horizontal sashing to separate the strips. You can use a solid, but I found a near-solid Cotton + Steel print in my stash that I really liked. I cut my strips 2.5" wide for the horizontal sashing, and also cut two pieces of the sashing fabric to put into each row of the jelly roll fabric.
Now comes the fun part! You can mix up the prints in your jelly roll strips so that they aren't right over each other by opening the seams to add in your sashing strips. Feel free to flip the jelly roll pieces, or move them from their original positions (end to end) to vary to positions of the fabrics. Stagger the vertical sashing strips in each row. They serve to move the eye across the quilt and provide visual interest.
Assemble the quilt with two 5.5" jelly roll strips at the top, then a 10.5" strip, the 15.5" strip, then the second 10.5" strip and the two remaining 5.5" strips. If you have enough of your sashing fabric left, it looks really good as the binding (as you can see in the inspiration piece) but as you can see in mine, I didn't have quite enough, so I had to find a coordinating fabric.
The "pickle" color of the sashing strips was hard to match, but I found just enough of it in this stripe to echo both the sashing strips and the jelly roll fabric! Sometimes it pays to have a big stash!
Are you looking at your binding scraps a little differently now? Or maybe you don't have a stash of binding scraps - there are still ways to make this quilt. You can always use that jelly roll you've had stashed away forever - - - or you can pull out your stash and cut a 2.5" strip off each piece. We've been doing that at church lately to create jelly roll kits and it's amazing how great those quilts look! Scrappy always looks best when you don't think too much about how the fabrics work together - don't ask me why!
And now, how about a little fun? I have WAY too many scraps in my stash, and I'm looking to share. So - I'm going to give away a box of scraps! If you're feeling a little scrap poor, or you want to supplement yours with some new scraps, leave a comment below and let me know. I'll draw a name next Saturday and announce the winner in next Sunday's Scrumptious Scraps post! Please be sure to leave your email address in your comment if we don't regularly correspond - I'd hate to be unable to send it to the winner because I couldn't contact you! And if you want to comment but don't want any more scraps, just let me know in your comment and I'll exclude you from the drawing.
PS - if you are interested in checking out the previous years' tutorials, you can find the links on the Tutorials page under my blog's header photo!