New tricks for a seasoned scrap quilter (+ scrappy giveaway!)

As the content director for Martingale, it’s easy to be inspired by all of our authors’ work. Every day I’m surrounded by beautiful new quilts, pillows, table toppers, embroidered goodies, and more. Very often I find myself saying, “I want to make that.” Then time slips away, another box of quilts comes in, and I start the daydreaming process all over again.

Oh, Scrap!But not this time. A few months back while working with author Lissa Alexander on her book Oh, Scrap!, I thought, this time I really am going to make that project—and I did! And it was easy and fun and I love the result.

First off, I love scrap quilts. My favorite genre. But with a full-time job and a home to run, I don’t always have as much time as I’d like for sewing. Enter the mini-charm-pack scrap quilt. Even though I have more fabric squirreled away than I care to admit, Lissa’s tip for those new to quilting— or those who don’t have a stash of scraps—is to start with precut squares. In this case, mini charms, which are 2½" squares. Each mini-charm pack has 40 squares from one line of fabric, offering a little taste of each fabric in the line.

For some reason, Lissa’s tip resonated with me. It was as though she gave me permission for a fresh beginning. I didn’t have to rummage through bins and baskets looking for just the right colors. I could start anew with mini charms. And that’s exactly what I did.

Plus Marks the Spot is the first quilt in Oh, Scrap! and it’s beginner friendly. You don’t need lots of experience, because it’s made with the simplest of shapes—squares. And you don’t need a stash—you can start with a couple of packets of mini charms and one background fabric. It couldn’t be easier.

Plus Marks the Spot quilt
Plus Marks the Spot

Making this quilt was so freeing—I wasn’t beholden to fabrics on hand, and I didn’t feel guilty for ignoring all my scraps and buying new fabrics, because mini charms are very affordable. And each little packet comes already cut to exactly the size you need. I could just divvy them up and get sewing.

Planning the blocks

Chain piecing

I do have one word of caution for you, however. Sewing this quilt is addictive. I couldn’t stop at the number of mini-charm packs called for. Four days after my initial purchase, I went back to my local shop and bought several more packs and made my quilt slightly larger. Not because I needed it to be larger, but because I was having fun! Quilting doesn’t get much better than that.

Block layout

Trimming/prepping for binding

Lissa’s quilt in the book features a dark-blue square at the middle of each block, but red was the predominant color in the charm packs I bought. So my blocks all have red centers. From there, it was like dealing a deck of cards—aqua squares for this block, yellows over there, greens for another block. While the colors work nicely together, I made sure that all seven of the charm packs I used were by different fabric designers so that I’d have a variety of prints and colors. After all, this was going to be a scrap quilt. (right: the different fabric lines I used in my quilt.)

Plus Marks the Spot quilt

So whether you’re a seasoned quilter like me or you’re just starting on your quilting journey, Oh, Scrap! is a fun book with so many ideas and tips that I bet you can’t stop at just one quilt. I know I can’t. Next up, Izzy Squared is calling my name.

Izzy Squared quilt
Izzy Squared

Today we’re giving away a copy of Oh, Scrap! and a one-of-a-kind collection of scraps created by Lissa herself, while she was working on her book!

To enter into the drawing, tell us:

How many mini-charm packs are in your stash right now? 

  • 1 to 5
  • 6 to 10
  • More than 10
  • Headed to the quilt shop right now 💨 💨 💨

Tell us in the comments! We’ll choose a random winner one week from today and let you know by email if you win. Good luck!

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Thanks to all who entered the drawing! The winner is Karen, who says:

“I’m in the 1 to 5 category, with plenty of other stash scraps to fill in. This book is so inspiring. Thank you!”

We’ll email you about your prize, Karen—congratulations!


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