Scrap Quilts: My Rules

Scrap Quilts: My Rules

Do you impose sewing-related rules on yourself? I do — my sewing room is not big and I have to maintain some sense of order! Today I am going to share my scrap quilt rules with you.

First let me just say that I regularly break these rules. I do not have them to make myself feel bad or guilt if I need to ignore them occasionally. These rules exist to help me maintain order and use fabric efficiently and responsibly. These do not need to be your rules — you can do whatever you want!

A Scrappy Ruth Quilt - Kitchen Table Quilting

Using scraps is more important than having a fabric that is a perfect fit for a quilt

Would I like to always have the exact right fabric in every place in every quilt? Sure, but I am making scrap quilts to USE scraps and if I am cutting into my yardage, I am making MORE scraps. 

Do not use fabrics that you do not like in your scrap quilt

You can believe me or not, but using fabrics you do not like is not a good idea. Donate those fabrics! 

A Valued Scrap Quilt - Kitchen Table Quilting

Always use frankenbatting (pieced batting scraps) for scrap quilts

I use this batting tape, but there are other options or you can zigzag stitch your batting scraps together. I use a queen size batting roll for my quilts and my most of my quilts are lap size, so I always end up with at least a 12" wide of extra batting from every project. I save these and use them for scrap quilts.

A Scrappy Freya Quilt - Kitchen Table Quilting

Binding should (almost always, rare exceptions) be from my stash

Finding binding for a scrap quilt is a great way to use up one of those prints-you-love-but-will-never-use prints from your stash. It doesn't have to match anything, this is a scrap quilt!

The Luna Quilt in Rifle Paper Co. Scraps — Kitchen Table Quilting

If possible (it's not always possible) the background fabric should be from low volume scraps

This is definitely a step that takes a lot more time and that isn't always possible. Between the various quilts that I made, I end up with quite a few scrap pieces in various shades of white and light gray that work together well for a scrappy background.

Scrap quilts should be given as gifts if possible — if they are not gifted, they should be used and should never sit on a shelf

I save some of my quilts to use as samples, but I try to make sure that these are never scrap quilts. Scrap quilts should be used!

Scrap quilts should contain as many different fabrics as possible but I will not cut into yardage to make this happen

The goal of a scrap quilt is to use scraps. If I cut into yardage to get more fabric variety, I am creating more scarps. 

Cotton + Steel Scrappy Modern Postage Stamp Quilt

These are my own rules and, like I said, I break them all of the time. They serve as helpful guidelines to turn those overflowing scrap bins into useful, beautiful quilts!

Comments 12

Wendy on

I love making scrappy quilts, they bring me happiness and always a smile to my face. I have some rules, as I always have a small sewing space. And they change when needed. Some are the same as yours. And when I see a pattern, what I see first is, Can I make this scrappy? And my thoughts, a scrappy quilt isn’t meant for all the fabric to ‘match’ because in the end, they do. Thanks for sharing

Primrose Bohne on

Great advice. I have a lot of scraps, and have been wondering how to get them organized and cut for scrappy quilts.

Patrice on

Do you use flannel scraps too? I’ve been making a lot of flannel projects for me grandsons and have lots of scraps

Koyya PUGH on

I believe an have use ugly fabric in my scrap quilts. An actual like it ,it blended in better in a scrappy than a normal piece quilt.

Beth H on

To Mary regarding not color coordinated scrappy. Go for it! I am surprised when I see color coordinated. I try to keep my scraps volume controlled. About every two or three projects I make the scraps into something. Therefore I never have a mountain of scraps and I never have enough of any one color to coordinate. I have the scraps I have and they become strips, or squares, or whatever and get into a top as soon as possible.

Kathy on

Thank you for the sound advice!

Krid on

Love your rules.

Norma Aitken on

I agree. Scrap quilts are to be used. I run a Gift Quilt Program in Australia ,we make lots of scrap quilts. We also have a Scrapoholics group that makes & donates scrap quilts. I cut thin iron on interfacing into 2” strips to join scraps of batting. I match & trim my batting before joining

Marianne Ferenczy on

Mary, (Jan 07,2023) I agree with your comment…. ‘I usually see organized scrappy’ :)

Carolyn on

Great rules! Our dining room is enjoying its 2nd life as my sewing “studio,” so I’m limited on space as well. I currently have a basket of scraps with a particular scrappy pattern in mind, so all the pieces in that basket are cut down to the size I need for the quilt. I cut the pieces to the correct side as I’m finishing each project, so I don’t get so overwhelmed.

Mary on

When I look at everyone else’s scrap quilts , I usually see organized scrappy. I don’t want to have color coordinated scrappy quilts. I also don’t want to put all the work into making a truly scrappy quilt then be dissatisfied with its appearance. Any suggestions?

Bonnie Cadwell on

I love the quilts.

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