Thursday, June 18, 2020

Scrap Stacks

So if you look back at the last several quilts I've made, you'll find that their focus has either been repurposed fabric or scraps. And after piecing together my second carefully measured and constructed Plaid-ish quilt top (which just got sent off to be long-arm quilted), I was back in the mood for some more improv.

I flipped thru Nicholas' Inspiring Improv (again) and realized I hadn't ever tried the 'stacks' technique. Well maybe I had done something similar, but it had been a very long time. So I rummaged through that scrap basket again, just pulling some bits and pieces that felt like they'd be good together. I just started making blocks and putting them up on the design wall, building as I went. I started in the upper left corner, so you can kind of see how some colors (like the lilac) are concentrated there, then as I move out, other colors (and sizes) are added in and then left behind. There really was very little rearranging of blocks once I'd worked my way through the pile. Maybe there should have been, but that just wasn't what I was feeling.

Once the blocks were done, I actually pulled another small pile of strings and stuff that I thought I would incorporate as I puzzled the blocks together, but strangely enough, I never added a thing. I just pieced and trimmed in sections, again building as I went. And then it was time for a pieced quilt back.

For quilting I did a randomly spaced and non-straight grid with Aurifil 50wt #2600 [light gray]. I like how it really stands out on the darker fabrics, yet recedes nearly completely on the lighter ones. 

And oops! When it came time for trimming, I just couldn't square it up. Again. Binding was made out of those strings I mentioned earlier, so yes, I did use some of them after all.

And once the quilt was done, I threw it right in the wash. Not my norm necessarily, but this one just called out to be crinkled. Measuring about 44" x 49", it's a funky finish - soft and textured and teeming with a scrappy spontaneity that I love.


  1. Debbie, this quilt is one of my favorite, so fabulous!
    Spontaneous but informed by great natural intuitive design ability.
    (Maybe I should be an art critic)
    But honestly, over the top.

  2. I really am enjoying your exploration of different improv techniques and especially leaving the edges non-square. Are you using straight grain binding?

  3. i love hearing about your process.... another great finish my friend!

  4. The same here, love the sharing of your process... and might take a look at my solids scrap box ;-)
    And the quilt is stunning

  5. The more I look at your improv quilts and all the mentioning of that book, I think I should put it on a wishlist :) Love your quilt! And expecially that though you always use your scrap box, it does look totally different from scrap vortex versions because of the "improv rule" you just used. Hope that makes sense ;)) xo

  6. This is beautiful! I am a beginner quilter and am doing a similar type quilt with jewel tones. So grateful for your blog. I will be looking for more.

  7. Love the neutral tone of this one and the wonky edges. Curious how you use all the quilts you make, especially the smaller ones.

  8. Wonderful. When I saw your images I thought of Korean wrapping cloth. I still want to make a quilt inspired by examples of the wrapping cloth from Hemispheres Magazine, October 1995. Just web browse for Korean wrapping cloth images to see what I mean. Thanks for sharing those inspirational quilts.

  9. Great quilt. Love the red and yellow pieces in it as accents.