Scrap Happy Workshops & Patterns
During our Scrap Happy Workshops, you are very welcome to EITHER sew strip-sets or patches together OR work on an entire quilt top design. If you choose to work on a quilt top, you will also need to bring your own rotary cutting mat, rulers & cutter in addition to your sewing machine and sewing basket. Here are a few Scrap Happy tips for your own quilting enjoyment.
What constitutes a "scrap" of fabric?
Since quilt pieces are cut from strips of fabric that measure the full width of the bolt, lengths less than 6" long (measured parallel with the grain or selvage edges) are considered scraps. The exception to this rule is for large pieces that do not measure the full width of the bolt. These larger pieces are cut into squares of equal size.
How to Manage Scraps
Fabric scraps are best managed by cutting them down to predetermined sizes and storing them in tubs based upon size and shape rather than based upon colors or motifs. If this is accomplished at the end of every sewing project, few scraps are cut over time which adds up to a lot of scraps that are ready for use when needed.
Storage Sizes & Shapes
There are three general sizes and shapes scraps can be sorted into for later use in a scrappy quilt design.
Strips that measure the full width of the bolt can be sewn into strip-sets of various widths (measured perpendicular to the seams of the strip-set). The finished width depends upon the desired block size they will be subsequently cut into. These long strips do not have to have perfectly straight crossgrain edges as a neighboring strip can be positioned and sewn so that irregular edges are hidden inside seam allowances.
Large scraps that do not measure the full width of the bolt are cut into squares. Each square size has its own tub for storage. Squares are either included in scrappy alternating QFK kits or they are sewn into 4 or 9 patches. The patches are subsequently cut for various disappearing techniques made popular by Missouri Star Quilt Company.
Smaller scraps of various lengths and widths are sewn into strip-sets that form distinctive shapes like large squares, triangles or hexagons. These large shapes are then sub-cut into units that will be combined with solid fabrics to form actual quilt blocks or large more complicated shapes like huge stars.
What we do at Scrap Happy Workshops:
Since space is very limited at the venues where we meet, it is hard to set up both sewing and cutting stations for everyone. So, strip-sets and patches are mostly just sewn together and pressed during Scrap Happy Workshops. Pressed strip-sets and patches are later assigned to a volunteer to cut into shape and assemble into complete kits (much like the normal QFK kits are assembled). These scrap kits are then assigned to experienced quilters who piece, quilt and bind them into finished quilts. Here are just some of the possibilities for scrappy quilts: