The Year of the Scrap Quilt

The Year of the Scrap Quilt

This year I am putting a lot of energy into reducing the content of my scrap bins. I considered just getting rid of everything and starting over, but I have an emotional attachment to my scraps. Each one is a little piece of something that I have made and I love making scrap projects.

scrappy kaleidoscope quilt

Scrappy Kaleidoscope Quilt (with tutorial)

I love making scrap quilts SO MUCH. They are always my go-to project when I’m feeling drained or stuck or just tired. There is something so restorative about taking lots of little pieces that could have easily been trash - and making them into something useful. It really helps me to understand and feel a connection with early quilt makers who made beautiful quilts with old pieces of clothing. It is pretty magical.
Cotton + Steel Scrappy Modern Postage Stamp Quilt

Modern Postage Stamp Quilt

How do you organize scraps?

Ok, this one is a hard on for me. There are lots of words you could use to describe me, but “organized” is not one of them. I tend to stuff my scraps into a bucket until I am ready to work with them, but then it takes so long to sort through them that I end up a little defeated.

Earlier this year I instituted an organization system. I use that term loosely - it is still kind of a mess - but it’s working for me. I have a bin with 3 drawers: one for large scrap pieces, one for long, thin scrap pieces, and one for small scrap pieces. It’s nothing fancy, but taking out the must-sort-to-sew step has been fantastic.

bonnie lass quilt

Bonnie Lass from Jen Kingwell's Quilt Lovely book

What makes a scrap quilt successful?

It is almost impossible to make an unsuccessful scrap quilt (although I kind of made one once). The only qualification is that it effectively uses up a good number of scraps.

I think that by nature, scrap quilts just turn out nicely because they are using little pieces of fabrics that we already love. Plus they have the added benefit of holding up to lots of wear and tear - even if you spill something on them, you will probably never notice!
Which Patterns Work Best with Scraps Not all patterns work with scraps, but so many do. See that kaleidoscope quilt at the top of the post? It is not generally a scrap project, but it totally works.

Patterns that work for tiny pieces:

Scrappy Trip Around the World

Scrap Vortex

Modern Postage Stamp Quilt 

Granny Square 

Dinner Date Block 

On the Fence

Quilty Hearts

Plus Squared

Patterns that work for long, thin strips:

Scrappy Log Cabin

Rail Fence

String Foundation Blocks


Scrappy Triangles

Pineapple Block

Patterns that work for a little bit of everything:

Missouri Star Crazy Quilt


Scrappy Kaleidoscope 

The Sadie Quilt Pattern

Color Pop

Patchwork Sky



kara's scrap quilt

A Scrap Quilt for Kara

All the Rectangles Scrap Quilt - Kitchen Table Quilting

Valued Scrap Quilt

Maple Leaf Rag Quilt

Maple Leaf Rag Quilt from Material Obsession 2 by Sarah Fielke

I hope you are looking for more scrap ideas because I am hoping to share at least one or two more scrap quilt tutorials this year!

Scrap Quilt Roundup - Kitchen Table Quilting

Comments 2

Rose on

I know that this is an older post but I’m just seeing it. What a wonderful resource this is for usage of scraps! Thank you so much

Margaret on

Oh, such goodness! I’m saving this post to enjoy over and over! Scrappy quilts remind me of my grandmas and great grandmas “user” quilts. My favorites! (I will admit, mine often turn into “scrasty” – scraps + stash + yardage).

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