Thrift store scraps

My mom bought me a ziplock bag full of pre-cut squares of cotton from a local thrift shop for $4.00. The bag was full to bursting.

Thrift store scraps
Thrift store scraps

I pulled the squares out, counted the 1 1/2 inch squares and approximated the rest:

  • 266 – 1 1/2 inch squares
  • 220 – 2 1/2 inch squares
  • 260 – 3 inch squares
  • 200 – 4 inch squares
  • 100 – 5 inch squares

There is quite a variety of scraps: Kaffe Fassett, children’s prints, modern, calico prints, florals. They are all patterned, there are no solids.

Thrift store scraps
Thrift store scraps

I love using scraps. Quilts made from scraps have a wonderful sense of colour. They also remind me of how quilts were usually made by our ancestors.  Small pieces of clothing that were not too worn out, were repurposed into a quilt that would be used to keep the family warm.

For the moment, I will add these to my stash of scraps and ponder on what to do with them. How often do you use scraps in your quilts?

Paper pieced scrap blocks

I love scraps!

As I am finishing up a project I will take the larger pieces left over, usually less than a quarter of a yard, and cut them into then largest size squares or strips possible. These all go into plastic scrap booking containers. I will go through these boxes (yes, I have more than one!) when I need a small amount of a certain colour, but generally, these scraps sit in their boxes for long periods of time.

paper-pieced blocks
paper-pieced scrap blocks before trimming

I started an improvised quilt top in the fall, which generated a fair bit of scraps. I loved the look of the colours and patterns together. So, I decided to use these scraps to create paper-pieced rectangles.

paper-pieced blocks
back of paper-pieced scrap blocks

I received a calendar in 2011 that was printed with a quilting pattern-a-day. I kept the calendar even though I knew I would never make any of the quilts. Each piece of paper is 6 1/2 inches by 4 3/4 inches. This was a good size to use up the scraps I was generating.

paper-pieced blocks
paper-pieced scrap blocks trimmed

I like using the paper-piecing process when working with scraps. Since many of the scraps are not on grain, using the paper stabilizes the block. The paper stays in the block until I have either stitched it to a piece that is on the straight of grain or into a complete top.

paper-pieced blocks
paper-pieced scrap blocks pressed and trimmed

The improvisationally pieced quilt top that started this process is now completed. It actually turned into 2 finished quilts. I have used all the calendar pages up to February 21st! and don’t have any scraps to deal with! I plan on using up more of the calendar for the scraps generated from my next quilting project.

I don’t know how I will join these rectangular blocks together yet. Maybe with sashing, or joined together. I will let them sit for a while.

Wishing you and your families a very Happy New Year for 2015!


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