I have great admiration for art quilts, I gawk at modern quilts, those Baltimore Album quilts are awe-inspiring, but the ones that tug at my heartstrings are the simple, scrappy, humble quilts made up from all different colors and fabrics. The kind that make you want to grab a cup of tea and a good book and sit in a comfy spot, wrap yourself up, and while away the afternoon.
When I attended the AQS show a few months ago , there were many amazing quilts. They were intricately embroidered, they had amazing designs, and some of them were made with very interesting materials ( duct tape and pinecones to name a few!), but none of them made me want to run home and start a new quilt. I guess to me a quilt is synonymous with comfort and these fancy quilts made out of materials I would be afraid to touch just don’t measure up. Is that terribly snobbish?
My most favorite exhibit at a museum near where we used to live was a replica of a small log cabin.
You were able to peek in the window and door, and inside was a very simple rope bed covered with a humble scrap quilt. I LOVED that exhibit, and was always happy to find our (then young) kids occupied with something or rather so that I could linger at the exhibit a bit longer.
Funnily enough I didn’t start out by making scrap quilts when I first started quilting. I think because most patterns and beginner books don’t feature scrap patterns, but rather use coordinating fabrics for a very cohesive look. Maybe I needed to become a “seasoned ” quilter so that I feel more comfortable going with my instinct, rather than following a pattern ( and color choices)to the letter. It is also scary to decide “what goes together”. But I think that’s the beauty about a scrappy quilt….everything goes! No really, it does! When you have a close look at the fabrics in a scrappy quilt, you are very likely to find some pretty ugly fabrics that you would never think of using, but they look fine in a scrap quilt. Have a look at this beauty that I was lucky enough to find in an antique mall a few years back:
At first glance you just see a beautiful, coordinated, but scrappy quilt, right? But when you look closer you will notice some fabrics that I probably would have been tempted to leave out.
I bet you didn’t even notice these fabrics. Some of those are UGLY! But overall the quilt is beautiful and I am STILL discovering fabrics in there that surprise me!
Here is another example of a scrappy quilt I found. At first you think it’s a red, white and blue quilt. But in reality some of those colors are more pink or not quite so blue, yet in the overall quilt they look gorgeous!
The longer I quilt, the more left-over pieces of fabric I am accumulating, and the more I feel the need to use some of these in quilts. Here are some other quilts that incorporated scraps…I have to admit that the more scrappy the quilt, the more I heart it!
These are my Giant Log Cabin blocks. Although I am trying to stay with a palette of 30’s colors, the fabric is definitely not coordinated!
This quilt, made for a friend, is very scrappy and I think it turned out so cheery and happy and it might be my favorite scrap quilt to date!
This teeny Log Cabin block quilt ( pattern by Lori Holt) is also extremely scrappy, but it is so charming! But really, look at some of my fabric choices….when you dissect the blocks, you think the colors and designs are awful ( I do!), but overall the fabrics work.
My latest project is my Tulip Festival quilt and I love the blocks! Sometimes when I am stitching down the shapes I will second guess my color choices, but when I see them from a distance they all just “go”.
I predict I am going to love this quilt very much 🙂
Now that I have caught the “scrap quilt” fever I’m not sure I’ll be able to turn back! I recently bought a quilt kit with beautifully coordinating fabrics, but they seem a bit ho-hum to me….I think I’ll be diving into my scrap bins to make it a teensy bit more exciting! 😉
Have a great week and happy creating!