I have a scrap bin, like all of us.
Often I’ll see pictures of people’s scrap bins. They are plastic shoeboxes with a few scraps spilling out of the top. The next picture is the scrap box, emptied out, with piles of 2.5″ strips and squares sitting to the side. “Look at what I did!” the post says, “Ready for scrap quilts!”
I don’t do this. First of all, most of my scraps don’t cut into 2.5″ anythings. My bindings are a skimpy 2 1/8″, and if my border leftovers are 4.5″ or 6.5″ I have a hard time cutting them down. My daughter rifles my scrap bin with complete freedom, so the larger pieces end up being sewn into yoyo pillows or squishy totes.
So I’ve ended up with a scrap bin that is in a 10″x10″x10″ fabric tote. Stuffed in. I mentioned that it’s a fabric tote because the sides are bulging. Something needed to be done.
I pulled out all of the pink-ish scraps. I was generous with my definition – I used all shades of pink. I used florals, from my latest addition to the bin to the leftovers from the 1980s calico quilt I finished for my sister. There are ballerinas, circus tent stripes. Even some oranges and purples.
I cut them to 4.5″ wide by however long. I ended up with great big pile-o-pieces. I sewed them together, into pairs, then 4s, then on and on and on until I had one super long strip that was (roughly) 4.5 inches wide and more than 400″ long!
Wanting to make kid-sized charity quilts, that was way too much. Two quilts it is! For one quilt, I cut 5 strips that were 40.5″ long from my monter strip. On each side of those strips I sewed a 1.5″ strip of white. I then joined these rows together with 2″ (cut) strips of pink, put two more strips on the outside, then added a top and bottom border of 2″ pink. Walla! One finished quilt top, about 40×44, made completely from scraps. The white was a fabric that was hard to use since my daughter, once upon a time, made a nifty cut in the middle. The pink border, if you look close, is a patchwork of piecing – it’s leftovers from the backing and binding from a quilt I made 4 years ago.
What it took to make this quilt – scraps, scraps, and more scraps, that can be cut into 4.5″ wide strips. 1/2 yard of white, cut into 10 1.5″ strips. 1/2 yard of pink, cut into 2″ strips. (If your pink or white does not have 40.5″ of usable width, trim down the width of the strips by 1/4″ or so and change the 40.5″ cut length to 38″ or so.)
Pictures later, and probably a better how-to. I’ve got lots of scraps left! Next up, novelty!