Picknick blanket scrap quilt

I am on a roll, this is another unexpected finish. I started this quilt years ago and I am so happy it’s finished. Sometimes you start a quilt full of creative energy, cheer or under the guidance of alcohol, and then later you kinda forget about it. It will find a home in a drawer and that is it for that project for the foreseeable future. I have been going through my mother’s fabric collection these past weeks and I find a lot of proof that this doesn’t only happen to me. For the longest time, I wasn’t sure what to think of this particular quilt and how to continue. I loved the colour in it, but I had some epic plans with glow-in-the-dark thread which fell through. I picked it up again, started hand-quilting, discovered I love that, and I am very pleased with the result now!

This is actually the first finished project I could show at the ‘show-and-tell‘ at my local quilting bee. It’s nice to see the lovely reactions and how enthusiastic quilters are when you show them something that is both crazy and finished.

The plan: why to make a scrap quilt

Due to experimentation with paper piecing backgrounds, I found myself with a pile of vaguely-useful material. It wasn’t good for intricate piecing necessary for the Dear Jane, but I also did not want to throw it out. So, I got myself a pile of colourful fabric, drew some lines on the foundation material, and started sewing. In the end, I ended up ignoring those lines and just going with gut feeling: sometimes you need to start somewhere to roam free. This quilt has a lot of ‘unusual’ quilting fabrics which are shiny, stretchy and fray like mad. Also, I used quite a lot of my old clothing. When using fabrics like that, I recommend using a foundation background to secure the fabric on. It will prevent the fabric from moving and thus gives the quilt a neater look.

Another tip for making scrap quilts like this is to work with basic shapes. The foundation material had a rectangle shape and those helped to put all the different pieces of the quilt together. In the picture below you can see some of the individual pieces. When making scrap quilts it is good to build in elements which make it easier for yourself or to create cohesion. That can be recurring fabrics, a foundation fabric or working with easy shapes such as the rectangle.

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Quilting materials: how to make a scrap quilt

This is what I used:

  • a pile of colourful fabrics, including any old clothes you want to give a second life
  • The background foundation material
  • A sewing machine
  • summery cocktail drinks (not a must)
  • Joie de vivre, or as I call it: a ‘just go for it with enthusiasm and all will be fine’ attitude.

Scrap quilts are ideal to give much-loved clothes a second life. For example, one of the fabrics is from a much-too-expensive vest. It was completely worn out, but I could not part with it yet. Using its fabric in a quilt is a perfect way to get even more use out of it.

Finishing this quilt

This quilt is hand quilted with glow-in-the-dark thread. I had dreams of picnicking at night on this blanket with the shape of constellations sewn in the blanket. In that way, me, and whomever lucky enough to share that moment with me, would see the beautiful stars and constellations, both in the sky and on the ground. However, the thread doesn’t really glow very well so I had to stick to normal quilting. Still, I love the cheerful result of this quilt, so I am pleased.

scrap quilt af 40% cut

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Conclusion: enough quilts for today?

Never! I am going to hang my Dear Jane quilt in the curtains now because I want to see the colour distribution among the blocks. I’ll share a picture in the next Dear Jane quilt post or on Instagram. Curtains are a perfect design wall if you live in a small room.

Some questions for you:

  • Do you recycle scraps or old clothing?
  • What do you do when your favourite garment is worn-out?

Do you want to know more?

Next week’s post:

-Dear Jane seeing colours: white, do I look alive in this sheet?

Bonus: see the calming effect of a quilt waving in the breeze!


See my DeviantArt or Instagram (username: bella.g.bear.art) for more artwork and WIPs. You can also follow my blog by clicking on the button on the left or by filling in your email address. There will be a monthly update at the end of every month and a new blog post every Sunday or Monday.

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