Random-pieced machine embroidered scrap quilt in pink

The contents of my scrap box were starting to get a bit out of hand …. actually, I’ve got 4 scrap boxes, and they’re all overflowing! Time to do something about it!

I thought a little random-pieced scrap quilt might be just the job to reduce the levels a bit …. so I started pulling out bits and pieces, matching colours, textures and tones.

scrap quilt

I was lucky …. I had a little helper who was very definite about what went where, and knew what she liked and didn’t like! If you’re going to randomly piece a quilt, then you don’t get much more random than a 4 year old’s choices ….

I started hand-piecing it all together …. I decided fairly early on that I’d just take each piece as it came, and fit it on with the next piece …. it worked out fairly well, but did give me a lot of odd angles to work with. I put together this tutorial to show you how to piece curves and odd angles ….

Just keep piecing, just keep piecing, just keep piecing, piecing, piecing …

Until I ended up with a little over a metre square of pieced scraps.

I suppose it’s OK, but it’s not really what I was after … it’s a bit blocky, I think.

Scissors out!

I chopped the whole thing into strips roughly 10cm across, not worrying too much about keeping lines straight or where existing seam lines are. I rearranged the rows, switching them up, turning them round, swapping their positions, until I was fairly happy with what I’d got. Then I got the sewing machine out (gasp!) and zipped up and down to put it all back together again.

(Note: if you try this, don’t chop it until you’re ready to sew it back together, otherwise you’re going to end up with a lot of remedial stitching to do first!)

And then I switched it round sideways, and did the same thing again, and ended up with this:

That’s much more like it … but I wanted more from it. Time to get my quilt on ….

I’m not sure if it counts as machine quilting, or machine embroidery. It’s certainly free motion, and an awful lot of fun. A riot of flowers all over the quilt … in hot pink and vivid purple and lilac and pale minty green and the palest of baby pinks.

(Yes, I was using up all sorts of odd reels from my box).

(And yes, it did use up quite a few reels – I think probably the equivalent of 5 full reels).

(And yes, it took quite a while to do).

(But not as long as doing it by hand … and after Eve’s Garden I needed something a little less intense).

It was *so* worth doing …… I loved how it turned out, the way it disrupted the underlying blocks and helped pop those colours right out.

The back looks pretty cool, too, I think.

But I prefer the front.

Luscious as a bowl of cherries, and in my Etsy shop right now ….

7 responses to “Random-pieced machine embroidered scrap quilt in pink

  1. awesome! I have got to try this , I’ve also got tons of scraps to use up. The technical advise about needle and tension is great – I’ve got a quilted cushion cover to do for my daughter’s birthday and I’m not overly confident about getting it right.

    • thanks 🙂

      Good luck with your daughter’s cushion cover … the best thing is to make up a trial piece of similar fabrics/weight and practice on that until you’re comfortable. If you’re still not confident, you could send it to me and I’ll quilt it for you 😉

  2. This is so pretty! And it sounds like a fun method.

  3. Annette Haidemenos

    What a great idea – I have done a very small random quilt before but this has made me think about doing another one – I really like the idea of chopping it all up – thanks again

  4. Clever, it’s beautiful. You are very talented. What machine do you hase for tge quilting. I’d love to do this but mine only does lines of embroidery. I hope you don’t mind but I just had to share on Pinterest.

    • Thanks Diana 🙂

      I use a standard sewing machine – an Elna – with a darning foot for the free motion embroidery. It takes a bit of fiddling to get the right needle & thread & tension combination – I tend to use a 90/14 or 100/16 needle to get through all the layers of fabric and batting, with a 40 or 50 weight cotton thread (that said, one of the reels I used up on this was a sulky 40) and the top thread tension a little looser than for normal sewing. It’s just like sketching, only with the pencil held still and the paper moving!!

      And I’m a huge Pinterest fan, so of course I’m happy for you to share this!! I’ll see if I can find and follow your pins just now 🙂

  5. Hi, what a lovely quilt and so much work…wow! It looks gorgeous, well done!

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