Charlotte Quilts

Scrap Quilts

Scrap Quilts

In the early days of quilting, scrap quilts were made from the quilter's scrap bag - the bits leftover from other quilts, leftovers from garment sewing, and pieces salvaged from discarded clothing. Today that is generally not the case.

According to Roberta Horton, the modern definition of a scrap quilt is any quilt with more than 75 fabrics. These quilts contain at least that number, and probably far more fabrics. If you've ever conducted a frantic search for another yard of a particular fabric because you ran out before your quilt was done, you'll understand why I love making scrap quilts. If I use up all of a particular fabric, I can easily add another similar fabric.

The secret to successful scrap quilts is color value. Lights and darks create the pattern, which is often more visible from a distance. Many of my scrap quilts are "controlled scrap quilts," meaning I used many fabrics that read as the same color, such as "lots of dark greens," rather than relying just on value alone, such as "any dark color -- green, blue, brown, purple, black" to create the pattern.

Nature's Perfect Palette
This is an original design, drawn in EQ. Cutting strips for this one, I was a little over-zealous and ended up with enough strips for thos quilt, and the one below. Quilted by Richard Larson, Quilting Design Studio.

Burgoyne Surrounded
Made from leftover strips from Nature's Perfect Palette.

Explosion in a Fern Factory
Paper-pieced blocks from an internet swap. I consider this a scrap quilt, but I haven't counted the number of fabrics recently. The name of this quilt was concocted when my daughter and my husband joined their strange minds in their first cooperative naming effort.

Civil War Scraps
Designed by Carriage House Quilts, Plano, TX. It's actually a very scrappy block of the month, pulled together well by the tan/black quarter-square triangle blocks.

Spiral Triangles
Pattern by John Flynn, created in a class he taught in Lancaster, PA. Quilted by Richard Larson, Quilting Design Studio.

Quintessential Scrap Quilt

Irish Stars (above left)
Design was from a class at Me & Mom's Quilt Shop, Frisco, TX. I "scrapped" the original idea of the swag applique border in favor of the piano key. 

String Quilt (above right)


My First Quilt - aka Lumpy (above, far left [background])

Made in 1982. I used cotton, poly/cotton blends, seersucker, and just about anything else I had around. I wanted it to be puffy, so I used multiple layers of poly batting. It was hard to quilt, so I just went around the squares. As it has been washed over the years it has become rather lumpy.  

Debbie Caffrey Mystery (above left on quilt ladder)

111 Reds (above center on quilt ladder)

This quilt has 110 stars and uses 111 different reds (the 111th is the border)

Not Quite 111 Reds, But Close (above right on quilt ladder)

After completing 111 Reds I had a great stash, so I made this quilt and several others. The rest of my red and white quilts live with my daughter in Killeen, TX.
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