Everyday Quilt Inspiration: Someone Else’s Scraps

scrap quilt

31 Days of Quilt Inspiration in Real Life

If you like to quilt, there are few things that are more everyday than a growing pile of scraps too big to throw away and too random to fit most patterns. In theory, making a scrap quilt is a great way to get another quilt made with little further outlay. But what if you don’t have enough scraps? Can’t work out how to work them into another quilt? Or worse? Are you Bored with your scraps?! What if your scraps are just not inspiring?!!

Finding Quilt Inspiration in the Everyday: Day 29

Create your own free-form quilts book

When I first started quilting, I didn’t have many fabrics or many scraps yet. But I’d bought a book with a technique I wanted to try. So when my friend (Romana – who got me hooked on quilting) said she needed to clear out some space, and did anyone want her (considerable) pile of very random scraps, I said “Yes!”.

That was when I discovered that it is much more fun to work with someone else’s scraps than your own! So if you are uninspired by your scrap pile, consider asking around. It may be that someone you know will happily send their scraps to a good home. Or swap scraps with you.

Improv quilt made of scraps

How was I inspired by Romana’s scraps?

The book I had bought was “Create your own free-form quilts” by Rayna Gillman of Studio 78 Notes blog. If you are looking for some improv quilting inspiration, you should definitely pop over and have a look at her blog. Coincidentally, she is releasing a new book really soon that is a follow up to “Create your own free-form quilts”, called “Create your own improv quilts” (this is not an affiliate link, and I don’t know Rayna, I just thought you might be interested). 

improv scraps quilt block

Anyway, the quilt project from the book that inspired me was a nine patch set out in a wonky fashion. I loved it at once. So I set out to make something similar. I took a scrap I liked from Romana’s pile and built up an improv block around it. Rinse, repeat 8 times and…. blahhhh!

improv scraps quilt block

I loved every block individually, but together they just didn’t work. So, I made some more, with the intention of swapping some out. But eventually I got to 16 blocks and discovered that I loved them all as a set. So the quilt just ended up considerably larger than intended.

improv scraps quilt block

Then I showed my quilt to a mutual friend, Susan. And it turns out that a good portion of the scraps that I had gleaned from Romana had actually originated with Susan. Susan makes her all own trouser pants, and often makes them out of batiks.

improv scraps quilt block

So we were sitting there, with Susan pointing at fabrics on the quilt, going “That’s pants. That’s pants. That’s pants”. Until she got the giggles. Turns out that Susan had lived in the UK for a while, and there the phrase “That’s pants” means “That’s rubbish!” We laughed until we cried. And then I named the quilt “That’s Pants”. It was indeed made of other people’s rubbish. What else could I do?!

improv scraps quilt block

Not long after, “That’s Pants” was gifted to Romana for a birthday and now it hangs at Flinders University. One day I would love to make another “That’s Pants” quilt. I certainly have enough scraps to give it another go!

improv scraps quilt block

How about you? How do you find inspiration in your fabric scrap bin?  Have you ever had the privilege of playing with someone else’s scraps? What did you make?

Do you have scraps you’d like to send me? hahahaha ….. of course not. You’ll be wanting to rush off and make your own scrap quilt now! But how interesting would it be to generate quilts from readers’ scraps and blog about all the stories that go along with them!? All those quilt stories from around the world, all come together in Australia to continue their journey….. mind blowing idea!

I hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend. There are only two days left in my Write 31 Days challenge! Where did October go?!!

P.S. If you are looking for scrap quilt inspiration and improv is not your thing, you might find what you are looking for on my scrappy quilt boards on Pinterest:
Scrappy Quilts – Amazing Quilts made from Scraps
More Scrappy Quilts – Amazing Quilts made from Scraps
String Quilts, Crumb Quilts, Selvage Quilts

Or, of course, you can follow all of Clever Chameleon on Pinterest for a broader range of quilt ideas. 🙂

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts, Busy Hands Quilts.

Now it's your turn.... what do you think?