Scrappy quilts – with a paint-by-numbers plan! (+ giveaway)

Do you dream of making beautiful scrap quilts that are as easy as painting by numbers? Best-selling author Susan Ache will show you how!

Quilt by Color

Back to share her secrets for making astonishing scrap quilts, Instagram sensation Susan Ache (@yardgrl60) uses coordinated Moda Color Cuts bundles for a scrappy yet planned look. You can use Moda Color Cuts or substitute fabrics from your stash.

From Quilt by Color

Moda Color CutsSusan’s approach to fabric selection makes it a snap to re-create her coveted, spectacularly scrappy look. Just grab one or two (or more!) Color Cuts bundles to begin. Each bundle contains 12 different prints in a similar colorway. Prefer to use your stash fabrics? Simply use 12 greens or 12 blues or 12 grays that you have on hand. Either way, you’ll be ready to create Susan’s beautifully planned scrap quilts.

We recently caught up with Susan and asked her about her latest book—here’s what she had to say!

Susan AcheStitch This!: You are one prolific designer, releasing not one but two books in the past year! What inspired you to write Quilt by Color?

Susan: When Moda Fabrics released Color Cuts bundles for the first time, I felt like I was shopping in a quilt shop. The fabrics consist of prints from different designers’ lines, all in a single color. That was genius for building my stash! Color Cuts make my stash shopping so much easier when I’m focusing on certain colors.

ST!: What’s your designing process like—and where do you find your inspiration?

Susan: I find inspiration everywhere. My favorite go-to spot is the produce department. There are some colors in fruits and vegetables that make my heart beat a bit faster. I keep my phone with me, and when I see colors that I may not have thought of side by side, I snap a picture.

My inspiration really is about color, never the project. That part of designing seems to come to me while I’m piling fabrics together. That’s the best part about sorting fabrics by color—I can pull out stacks at a time and narrow my scattered thoughts down from there. I also spend way more time than I need to Googling vintage quilts. I can spend hours upon hours searching for something that catches my eye.

Counting Stars quilt
Counting Stars

ST!: We know from your Instagram feed that you do all kinds of sewing. What other things do you create with needle and thread?

Susan: I’m a crazy cross-stitch fanatic right now. I discovered Quaker Samplers, and there’s just something so satisfying about completing a little motif in a short time. I also have a stack of embroidery to get back to, and I will, but I’m more of a one-project-at-a-time crafter. Working through my cross-stitch patterns seems to be my focus now.

ST!: Do you have a favorite quilt from your new book?

Susan: It sounds silly to say, but every quilt in Quilt by Color is a favorite, for different reasons. Kaleidoscopic is a favorite because I’m in love with that block.

Kaleidoscopic quilt

Chiclets and Gumballs is a favorite because it was based on a scrap quilt that I designed some years ago—it was a blast to make.

Chiclets and Gumballs quilt
Chiclets and Gumballs

Sprinkle with Pepper is also a favorite because it was the first time I made a Log Cabin quilt.

Sprinkle with Pepper quilt
Sprinkle with Pepper

I could go on and on about why I love each quilt in Quilt by Color, but here’s the real reason I adore them all: each of the quilts in the book features fun blocks to make. I enjoy sewing a pattern over and over again if it’s fun and the results are happy. 

ST!: What’s inspiring you right now?

Susan: A couple of weeks ago I went through my pile of orphan blocks. Let me explain that—I make a quilt block most of the time to see if I want to make a ton of them for a quilt and to see if I can possibly make the construction easier. So, my orphan pile fills up baskets until they’re overflowing. Back to my inspired project. I pulled anything and everything that could be related to fall and started putting them on my design wall. Then the game changer came—I found my pile of Halloween quilt blocks. The project went from fall to Halloween in a blink of an eye! Now I’m just a few blocks away from sewing the sampler together.

Susan’s Halloween sampler quilt (pattern not available)

ST!: What’s your #1 tip for beginning quilters?

Susan: Make practice blocks. I can’t say that enough, especially for getting to know your ¼" seam allowance. Use scraps, or use something you might not love as much as other fabrics in your stash, and then practice sewing the block. There is nothing more disappointing than completing a ton of quilt blocks and finding that they’re all the wrong size.

ST!: Fingers crossed: will there be a quilt-along for Quilt by Color?

Susan: I love hosting a quilt-along. It’s so much fun to see variations of my quilts done with such different colors. Maybe I should take an Instagram vote—and maybe we could get some thoughts right here. Leave a comment if you’re interested!

Quilt by ColorThanks for sharing more about your new book with us, Susan!

We have a copy of Quilt by Color to give away to someone today—could it be you? Answer our question in the comments to be automatically entered in our random drawing (and don’t forget to chime in about a quilt-along too!):

To make a project from Quilt by Color, which fabrics would you choose?

  • My stash—it needs some busting.
  • Moda Color Cuts—oh boy do they look fun!
  • Both, as I plan to make more than one quilt from Susan’s new book!

We’ll choose a winner one week from today and let you know by email if you win. Good luck! And if you’re ready to dive into your stash—or your Color Cuts bundles!—and start one of Susan’s gorgeous quilts today, you can order Quilt by Color at our website and we’ll send you a link to download the eBook version for free.

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

“Definitely I would use a combination of scraps and Moda cuts!”

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

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