Scraps. Leftovers. Unused. Such sad words. One challenge of quilting is what to do with all of these!
I posted not too long ago about several Charities where you could donate quilts. Today I’d like to share one simple way I make those quilts, and use up extra fabric from completed projects at the same time!
Whenever I’m finished with a project, I cut the scraps into strips, starting with 1 1/2″ and up to 4″ widths in 1/2″ increments. It doesn’t matter what the length of the scraps are. I separate the scraps into 3 different color categories: brights, darks (muddies), and pastel/softs.
I work with one color category at a time, and sort the strips by width into 6 drawers, one for each 1/2″ width of strips. While I’m piecing, when I get to the end of a string of pieces, I sew 2 strips together width-wise through the machine. Some people use one small piece of fabric for this, I just use it as a chance to work on a charity project at the same time. (This is also a good way to reduce the number of loose threads on a quilt.)
I just keep doing this until all the strips are sewn together into one long strip. (I usually get impatient and end up sewing them together in a single sitting.) Then I press all the seams and cut the long strip into strips that are approx. 45″ long. I do this for all the widths, then I’m ready to assemble a quilt! I put all the strips of a color category in a basket to use them randomly.
I use spray adhesive to a secure batting to the wrong side of a piece of backing fabric approx. 72″ long x WOF. (Width of Fabric=42″ +-) Then, starting in the center of the back length, with the batting side up, I sew two 45″ strips to the batting/back, right sides together. The next strip goes on wrong side up, and I continue to assemble that half of the quilt. Then I start on the other half in the middle and assemble the other half. This method quilts the quilt at the same time I assemble it. Apply a simple machine binding and, voila! A great, nearly free, and donatable quilt. (I also use left-over binding from previous projects.) Here is the finished product, and showing the quilting on the back.
BTW: I first got this idea years ago from a lady named Bonnie Miles. I’ve used it for probably 12-15 years now!
So use all those leftovers, scraps and unused fabrics to make them happy!