QM Staff Inventory: I love Scrappy

staffstories carolyn2 QM Staff Inventory: I love Scrappy
pinit fg en rect gray 20 QM Staff Inventory: I love Scrappy

When I thought about my quilting style and what it is, my first thought was traditional. Most of the quilts I design and sew are based on traditional blocks. As I went back and looked at my quilts, I realized that yes, they are traditional, but the ones I’m drawn to most are scrappy. Scrappy makes me Happy! The quilt above is one of my favorites—Raspberry Truffles is a quilt I designed for Quiltmaker‘s May/June ’09 issue.

Raspberry Truffles is on the bed in my guest room. I made a small Birds in Flight quilt using the same scrappy pinks and browns that I put in a frame to hang in the room with it.

Birds in Flight mini QM Staff Inventory: I love Scrappy

Birds in Flight

I designed Country Village many years ago and love the softer shades that I used in the rows. Each of the rows uses a different tan background and my scraps are rather controlled—different reds, blues, greens and golds—but not a lot of value contrast. I wasn’t very brave back then.

country village2 QM Staff Inventory: I love Scrappy

Country Village Row Quilt

Here’s my version of Anita Grossman Solomon’s Arrowhead that appeared in QM Nov/Dec ’10. I used a fabric collection called Fruitcake by BasicGrey for Moda Fabrics. With Anita’s technique, 2 different fabric squares are paired together for each of the blocks.

Arrowhead QM Staff Inventory: I love Scrappy

Anita’s Arrowhead

Another scrappy quilt I designed for QM is Smooth Sailing. This quilt is all batiks. It’s based on the traditional Log Cabin block, but I enlarged the center square and added pieced sailboats and also added triangles to the logs. Another passion of mine is adding pieced elements to both the centers and logs of Log Cabin quilts. This appeared in May/June ’10.

Smooth Sailing QM Staff Inventory: I love Scrappy

Smooth Sailing

I’ve lived in many states and have belonged to several different quilt groups. I love to participate in group exchanges. My groups have exchanged blocks, rows, fabrics—you name it. The fun thing about exchanging blocks is that even though they typically have some controlled element—a certain fabric, color, theme, style—they end up scrappy and reflect the personalities of the makers. For the last block exchange I was in, I requested 12″ blocks sewn in red and white. Here are some of the blocks I received. The block I made is the basket in the top left corner.

red and white QM Staff Inventory: I love Scrappy

red and white block exchange

I exchanged 4″ blocks with one of my quilt friends. We each made 2 of the same block so we could each have one. I used mine in the center of 8″ Evening Star blocks. The blocks are all scrappy but use fabrics from one collection. Here are some of the blocks I’ve made so far.

sampler QM Staff Inventory: I love Scrappy

4″ block exchange

I participated in a 3″ Pinwheel exchange with co-workers from the different magazines here in our office. I used my Pinwheels as the centers for another Pinwheel design and also as part of the border. Here’s Pinwheel Party, the quilt I designed with my Pinwheels. It appeared in QM March/April ’09.

PinwheelParty QM Staff Inventory: I love Scrappy

Pinwheel Party

I’m a big fan of Bonnie Hunter and her scrappy style. I was thrilled when she started writing the Addicted to Scraps column for Quiltmaker in 2010. Her first column was based on the Old Kentucky Album block which I started sewing as Leaders and Enders. I chose a scrappy red, brown and tan palette and pulled strips from my stash to cut the patches for the blocks. Here are some of my blocks.

addicted to scraps QM Staff Inventory: I love Scrappy

Old Kentucky Album blocks

I guess my scrap quilts are still pretty controlled and my color choices are not very brave, but I’ll get there. Right now, I’m just having fun! There’s something about combining lots of different fabrics in my quilts that I love, plus it allows me to make an ever-so-small dent in my stash. What’s your quilty style? Has it changed throughout your quilting career?

About Carolyn

I'm the Creative Editor for Quiltmaker magazine. I've been quilting for almost 30 years. I'm an avid quilter, but I also enjoy scrapbooking, knitting, reading, and hanging out with friends and family.
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8 Responses to QM Staff Inventory: I love Scrappy

  1. Patsy Wilkerson says:

    First blog tour I have done. Not sure if this is the place to enter the contest or not. I am a fairly new quilter so I haven’t made very many quilts to know which I like best.

  2. Connie Mitchell says:

    I have done applique, but my most favorite is making pieced blocks. I have a collection of patterns, but I’m always looking for more ideas for blocks!

  3. carol says:

    I loved the ideas for the chevron borders and the cat block.

  4. Deb Contreras says:

    I don’t do a lot of scrappy yet, have done scrappy bindings and love the look.

    I am really a fan of paper piecing, english paper piecing and am now getting into hand applique. It is time consuming but I like the look for the project I am currently working on.

    Thanks for the Quiltmaker Block magazines. I love them and am beginning to collect them all. Thanks for all the ideas.

  5. Sherry says:

    “Leftover” quilts are my first love. When I was a child my mother took the leftovers from the clothes she made to our grandmother on our yearly visit. After a few years we would receive back a lovely “leftover” quilt made with those fabrics. The memories those quilts carried are still with us today! I hope to carry on that same idea with the “leftover” quilts I make now.

  6. Karlene says:

    I love scrappy quilts. Your quilts are wonderful!

  7. Barb Johnson says:

    I’ve always been drawn to scrappy quilts – even before I knew that’s what they were called! Before I started quilting I thought that quilts were only made from the leftover bits and pieces from clothing and such. I didn’t realize that people actually bought fabric to cut up into pieces! Now that I am a quilter, I do make quilts from purchased yardage, but I love throwing the leftovers into my bins so I can make my first love – scrappy quilts!

  8. Karen says:

    I think a lot of quilters do not realize they can make beautiful quilts with scraps. I love scraps I rarely buy fabric in anything other than fat quarters as I want many colors in my quilts and now I have so many scraps I am pre-cutting into sizes I use and putting them in boxes for easy access.
    When a quilter says “I don’t make scrap quilts” I wonder why on earth not!

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