Thursday, June 27, 2013

Scrap Buster Baby Quilts

It's Friday again, and I have finishes!  These two sweet little baby quilts were made entirely from my scraps.  It's such a rewarding feeling to make use of some of those scraps.  I'll tell you what else is really rewarding about baby quilts: speed! There's nothing to help you get your quilting groove back like whipping out a quilt in a day.

Photo from White Sands National Monument, NM.
The little girl quilt I am calling "Pink Lemonade."  I wrote up a brief tutorial in case you want to make a scrap quilt like it; the tutorial can be found here.  Basically, I just cut patches from my pink and yellow scraps that measured 3.5" on at least one side. Then I sewed those patches into one loooong chain, chopped up the chain and sewed it into a top.  The finished quilt measures 36" x 39".

I decided to try out spiral quilting, a new-to-me technique, on this little top since the size made it manageable.  I used a light pink thread and a fairly tight spiral and I have to say, I love the result!  In fact, I am already in the process of spiral quilting a larger quilt now.

The pieced-pieces in the lower right and middle left are remnants from my Dino quilt
Several people have asked me how I went about the quilting but, honestly, there was no real science to it.  I used my compass (like the kind you used in geometry) to mark a circle about the size of a quarter in roughly the center of the quilt. Then, using my walking foot I quilted around the circle. After I closed the circle I deviated slightly out to begin my spiral. I eyeballed a slim 1/4" gap to the side of my walking foot nearest my previous line of stitching and just quilted along.

I thought the circle in the middle of the quilting looked empty so I embroidered a little flower in it.
It was a little stop-and-go at the beginning as I was having to turn the quilt so much and quilting in a pretty tight circle, but the farther out I got the easier it became.  Starting on a small quilt is definitely the way to go as less bulk makes it a lot easier to turn. 

I was expecting problems with wrinkling or distortion but none ever emerged.  Just a couple of cautionary remarks about spiral quilting: 1) It takes a long time and a lot of thread, relative to the size of quilt you're doing. I think this tiny quilt used 5 or 6 bobbins.  And 2) make sure that you spiral clockwise, other wise you'll end up pushing more and more bulk through the throat of your machine with every round, rather than less.

I have to give a shout out to Rachael from The Floral Suitcase.  I won her drawing during the Sew Mama Sew Giveaways and she sent me a charm pack and a ton of the best scraps, all the way from Ireland!! Several of her scraps made appearances in these two quilts and I adore the fabrics she sent.  Thanks Rachael! 

For the backing I used some of my precious, large scale Tula Pink fabric from the Plume line.  I found a bolt of it on sale at a quilt shop in California. It was marked down because it had faded some, but I can't tell the difference! I stocked up on it for little girl quilts.

I am generally NOT a pink kind of a girl, but I love these swirly swans and the soft pink works so perfectly for a baby girl quilt.  I bound the Pink Lemonade quilt in a pretty pink weave fabric and it will being going off soon to a sweet couple expecting their first baby in the fall.

I also made this baby boy quilt from my scraps after seeing all the modern herringbone quilts popping up around blogland.  It measures about 36" square and is backed with a soft, dark blue flannel.  Every fabric in the quilt top, including the muslin, was cut from my scraps piles. 

Photo from White Sands National Monument, NM
I have to give credit to Amanda Jean for convincing me to sort my scraps. It was reading Sunday Morning Quilts that got me to finally get around to it. Since then I've made exponentially more scrap quilts than before. It really is true that piles of well sorted scraps are not only easier to use, they're inspiring!

I quilted this one with sort of an overlapping zig-zag in a variegated blue-green thread.  So far this quilt isn't assigned to anyone, so it will be added to my emergency baby-quilt stash.  I wrote a basic tutorial for this top, too, which you can read here if you'd like to make your own.  

Linking up to Amanda Jean's Finish it Friday.  Have a wonderful weekend!


  1. Beautiful scrap quilts! Looks like you had a great time in New Mexico too. I enjoyed living in Albuquerque for 8 years. A very diverse city with great quilt shops.

  2. Your blue scrap quilt is lovely, great phot shoot too!

  3. great scrap quilts! i love the spiral quilting.

  4. I am going to try the spiral quilting. I just love it. Your quilts are very beautiful!

  5. These look amazing. They make me want to pull out my scraps. Your circle quilting is fantastic! I'm nervous to try!

  6. Love your circular quilting on the pink quilt.

  7. Love,love the circle quilting in there and the photo in the sand is very serene;)

  8. I love the zig zaggy herringbone quilt--and your courage to try the circle quilt. They both turned out wonderful.

  9. Both quilts are very lovely! I may have to try the spiral quilting now, since you make it sound quite easy and I like the effect!



  10. Your blue quilt reminds me of blueberries. Both are wonderful scrappy quilts.

  11. Both quilts are darling. I have always wanted to get ahead and have a "baby quilt stash". Hasn't happened yet! I usually make the quilt the day before the shower. I am new to your blog - I love quilts AND cats too!!! I blog at

  12. I am hosting "A week of Quilt Tutorials" on my blog, Jedi Craft Girl, July 22-27. I would love to feature you and your two baby quilts. Let me know if you are interested. amandaniederhauser(at)yahoo(dot)com

  13. just catching up on some of my reading, love the boy quilt the most. those colors work so well together and remind me of the ocean.