Thursday, June 16, 2011

Week 7, Scrap Busting Blocks

Well, this week we were going to attempt some blocks to use up scraps from this quilt but -we got sidetracked looking at our final quilt construction, quilting techniques and finishing. That's all good but you're probably still wondering what you're going to do with your scraps!

So here are some ideas for blocks that use strips, triangles and other fabric scraps. There has been a trend over the past few years towards improvised blocks .

I bet you'd never thought you'd be looking at quilting trends when you signed up did you?

This image of 2006 Gees Bend Commemorative Stamps from is taken from this website.

A great example of the improvised block style are the Gees Bend Quilts and this modern look has been taken up by many quilters and designers like Denyse Schmidt. In fact, you can attend day long workshops with Denyse to learn how to make your quilt blocks look random and unstructured!

Many quilters aim to use up all our scraps, sometimes it's the only time we practice frugality. And whilst we may think that fabric is a pricey luxury today, historically it was a precious commodity and nothing was wasted. Clothing was recycled into bedding, ribbons pieced together to make tablecloths and bedcovers, old blankets cut up, pieced together and embellished into a new blanket or drapes.

Here are some of my favourite scrappy blocks:

1. The log cabin block, perfect when you have many left over strips. They don't need to be the same width and colour. A wonderful effect can be achieved by mixing colours, tonal value and size. If you have lots of strips you may also want to try a Stacked Block.

2. Spider web block. The neat thing about this block is that you sew the scraps onto a foundation so you can use up even your tiniest scrap, this is called string piecing. Here's a great tutorial on this technique at Sew, Mama, Sew!

3. Improv block. A real beauty, anything goes! Work with a solid or neutral fabric as a base and piece scraps randomly till they are pleasing and the correct size. The Sometimes Crafter has a great post about piecing these blocks.

4. Blocks using tiny squares eg the Postage Stamp block, Sashed 9 Patch and C12 Family Reunion from the Dear Jane quilt.

There is a whole section of the quilting world dedicated to scrap quilting, I can't wait to get my copy of Scrap Republic by Emily Cier later this year. Try Amy at Badskirt and Mari at The Quilting Edge for some inspirational photos.


Don't worry, I haven't forgotten about the quilt layout dimensions you asked for. I'll have to upload those tomorrow! Lorena x

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