Tag Archives: scrap quilt

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 ….

Tutorial – hand-piecing curves on scrap quilts

When I work a scrap quilt, I take each piece as it comes, rather than smoothing out to straight edges. Which means I need to manage hand-piecing curves and odd angles as and when they appear …. and without the benefit of a template, this can get complicated.

This tutorial does exactly what is says on the tin … takes you through my method of hand-piecing curves & tricksy bits without needing to bother with drawing up paper templates. (You can do this, but it is a rather cumbersome method).

So … step by step …

First, lay the two pieces to be joined, one over the other. If you’ve got a piece with a seam on it already, lay it on the top, otherwise clip curves and press back the top piece to make a smooth edge.

Using the top piece as a guide, use a trick marker (or tailors chalk, depending on your preference) to mark the seam line on the bottom piece of fabric. I prefer a trick marker to tailors chalk, because you get a clearer line. This one fades over time, and I’ve not had a problem with it coming out …. that said, do test on your fabrics first.

Once you’ve marked the fabric, slide it out and clip the curves up to the line you’ve drawn ….

and press the seam in ….

just double check that your curves line up against one another before you finally commit … make any adjustments as necessary …

line up the two edges, right sides together, and secure with a pin ….

slip-stitch the two edges together …. move the pin along to keep the edges lined up as you – it helps stop everything moving around as you stitch it all together.

Flip everything the right way over and press …. I tend to use the iron on a low setting to take into account the different types of fabric, and because you will be repeatedly ironing as you piece, and you don’t want to risk scorching any of it.

Flip it over and press the seams flat ….

et voila …. curves, done.

If you have particularly fiddly or small shapes, I’d recommend basting around the pressed curves before stitching the seams.

And that’s all there is to it!

Simples.

Hopefully, I’ll be able to show you the finished quilt next week.