Quilt-scrap overload? Visit a new playground. (+ giveaway!)

Posted by on April 19, 2012, in quilting & sewing, ,

What do cupcakes, row robins, and Welcome Back, Kotter have in common?  Why, scrap appliqué, of course!

Perhaps I should explain. We have monthly meetings where we look at what books are coming for the next month. We plan our blog topics and then decide who will write each post. Imagine Horshack from Welcome Back, Kotter—that was me when the new book Scrap-Appliqué Playground came up. “OOOOOOHHHHH! OOOOOOHHHHH! OOOOOOHHHHH!” My arm shot up and my hand started waving. I’ve wanted to play in Kay Mackenzie’s playground ever since I saw her fun scrap-quilting patterns.

Before I share a little project of my own with you, I’ll tell you a bit about the book. Kay gives you permission to play with all those quilt scraps you’ve been saving and shows you how to turn them into pretty new fabrics for scrappy quilts. Appliqué takes on a whole new dimension when the fabric is made up of many colors. Kay takes us on a creative journey that requires no measuring or calculation—just spontaneous fun! I’m especially fond of her methods because I’m not a particularly accurate piecer. I was relieved to see that precise piecing for these scrappy quilt patterns isn’t required.

In addition to providing detailed instructions for creating “new” scrappy pieced fabric, Kay also shows four different appliqué methods to choose from, including fusible appliqué, which is suitable for beginners. Then she shares adorably whimsical projects for you to choose from. Take a look:

I’m a huge fan of appliqué and I love all forms of it. But I have one problem. I’m not much of a scrap saver. I never know what to do with scraps, so I end up tossing them (yes, I hear your gasps). However, I recently completed a row-robin project (ten friends each sewed a row onto mine, creating a very cool quilt). My friends were quite organized and returned a bag full of scraps from the project, which happened to be all shades of brown. Woo-hoo! Instant scraps to play with!

Kay demonstrates five different methods for creating her scrap-appliqué fabric, each providing a different finished look. I chose the “shrinking strips” method, which is very relaxing and fun. And nearly every size of quilt scrap worked! Here’s the beginning of my piece, on the left. In no time at all, I had a new piece of fabric!

So what will I do with it? Make a cupcake, of course!

I’m working on a quilt that has a cupcake in the center block. I was still playing with it but wasn’t quite satisfied with the top of the cupcake because it seemed boring. So I set it aside until I could come up with something better.

Scrap appliqué came to the rescue. Look at the difference! I couldn’t believe how much more interesting the cupcake became:

Now I have to decide on the cupcake bottom. ‘Scuze me, I need to go dig for more scraps!

Visit Kay Mackenzie’s site.

So, appliquéing with your quilt scraps—have you tried it? If not, what DO you do with them? Share your ideas in the comments and you could win a copy of the Scrap-Appliqué Playground eBook! We’ll choose a winner one week from today and let you know by email if you’ve won. (You can also get Kay’s book here, and when you do, you also get to download the eBook for free right away.) Good luck!

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Thanks to all who entered the drawing to win the Scrap-Appliqué Playground eBook! The randomly chosen winner is Vicki, who said:

“Ooh those are all super cute. LOVE that cupcake. No, I have not used my scraps for appliqué yet although I haven’t done much with my scraps at all. I haven’t made enough things yet with my good quality quilting fabrics to have enough scraps, yet I do look forward to using them in some type of project.”

Vicki, we’ll email you a special coupon code for your free eBook. Congratulations!


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