How to make a scrap quilt sing? Go solo (+ sale!)

Look at your pile (drawer, closet) of scraps. Is it a hodgepodge of colors and patterns?

When you look at a quilt pattern that might be a good match for your scraps, you likely see a quilt where the colors are composed, the arrangement is balanced, and the finished design is stunning.

A question arises: how do I get from the hodgepodge stage to the stunning quilt stage?

There’s one trick many designers rely on to simplify the scrap-quilting process:

Stick with a solitary or single-block pattern.

Checkered Past quilt from Simple Charm
Thirty-two fabrics, one block pattern: “Checkered Past” from Simple Charm.

Single-block quilts remove the distractions of other design elements so you can focus on fabric choice. And when it comes to finding a home for precious scraps, that’s where the focus should be.

Let the options below lead you to a solo block; then start stitching up those scraps! And every time you consider tossing your scrap pile, remember this advice from scrap-quilt connoisseur Lynn Roddy Brown:

Advantages of scrap quilts

Single-block option 1: any color, any pattern…any scrap you’ve got!
From Simple Strategies for Scrap Quilts by Lynn Roddy Brown

Bow Tie Circles quilt
Choose shades of white and off-white for the backgrounds of these simple Bow Tie blocks; then get creative with anything-goes prints for the bow ties.

More quilts from Simple Strategies for Scrap Quilts
More solo blocks from
Simple Strategies for Scrap Quilts

Simple Strategies for Scrap QuiltsSee more single-block scrap quilts
from Simple Strategies for Scrap Quilts

eBook: $16.95

> 16 gorgeous traditional quilt patterns
> Start with one scrap size—a 5½" x 20″ strip
> Dozens of tips on color, value, design, and more

Single-block option 2: country colors
From Flannel Quilts by Sandy Bonsib

Almost Amish quilt
In “Almost Amish,” solid flannels combine with spunky plaids in a Square Within a Square block variation. Blocks are sewn, cut, swapped, and sewn again, so the imaginative color placement happens by happy accident!

More quilts from Flannel Quilts
More scrappy single-block designs from
Flannel Quilts

Flannel QuiltsSee more from Flannel Quilts

eBook: $16.95

> 17 quick-to-make quilts
> Lots of large, simply sewn blocks
> Make these fun quilts with flannel or cotton fabrics

Single-block option 3: reproduction prints
From Link to the ’30s by Kay Connors and Karen Earlywine

Double Windmill quilt
With only two pattern pieces, this Double Windmill block can showcase a large collection of prints. Karen used unbleached muslin for the background.

More quilts from Link to the 30s
More scrappy solo blocks from
Link to the ’30s

Link to the '30sSee more from Link to the ’30s

eBook: $18.99

> 9 authentic designs from the 1930s
> Unique block patterns come from 1930s newspapers and antique quilts from the era
> Perfect for your most cheerful scraps

Scrap-Basket BeautiesGot lots of scrappy strips?

Gather fabric strips for these pretty quilts from your scraps, your stash, or your Jelly Rolls. Single-block designs feature a variety of fabric styles, from traditional prints to batiks, florals, and more. See the quilts in Scrap-Basket Beauties.

What style of fabric dominates your scrap stash? Tell us in the comments!

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