Five Tips for Scrap Happy Quilts

There is really nothing to in-the-hoop scrap quilts but these tips will make the journey more fun!

Before you sit down to stitch up an ITH scrappy quilt, like Simply Scrappy from Molly Mine, these tips will help your stitching time to be productive and stress-free.

Group by Color and Content

Store cottons with cottons and knits with knits. You can easily mix and match if you want, but having like fabrics stored together makes it easy when stitching one or the other. Sometimes, you want different textures together. At other times, not so much.

Also group colors. Having all of your reds in one bin and greens in another makes it easy to quickly pick and choose when stitching blocks. Within each color, you may want to use combinations of light, medium or dark. Group colors however it makes sense to you.

Separate by Similar Sizes

This will help you to choose the right size of fabric for the piece you are stitching. Rather than sorting through the entire bin of scraps, you may have them divided into small, medium, and large according to the block pieces needed.

Press Before Stitching

Pressing your fabrics before stitching with them will yield professional results. Even the slightest fold line can cause a wrinkle or pucker.

I am a big fan of Best Press. You probably have your favorite, too. It does not leave a residue, smells great, and is the best thing I have found to remove fabric fold marks.

Use Generous Pieces of Fabric

Do not skimp when choosing your crazy patch fabrics. A little bit of overlap is good to ensure strong seams. You also want to be sure to extend fabrics around the outside edges of the block. They will be trimmed to seam allowances after blocks are completed.

For quilts like Simply Scrappy that are pieced in the hoop, it is helpful to have one clean-cut edge of the scrap for stitching seams.

Interface if Needed

Some darker fabrics may show through lighter layers when crazy quilts are pieced together. In those cases, I like to use ShapeFlex 101 interfacing on the back of lighter fabrics to prevent show-through. Lightweight batiks also benefit from interfacing. SF 101 is thin, fusible, and does not make the fabric stiff.

If you are interested in learning how this quilt was made, see this blog.