A long time ago when I first started quilting I remember hearing some ladies talking about “bonus quilts” and how many they had made. A “bonus quilt” is a quilt that is made from the left over scraps of other quilts that you are working on….and because it is just left over fabric that creates another brand new quilt it is called a “bonus”. And while this sounded like a good idea, at the time I thought to myself I will never have enough scraps to make one of those.
My how times change….
Actually, it was a year ago when I was going through my scrap bins that I remembered the “bonus quilts” and I thought it really is such a terrific idea and it changed how I cut my fabric and store my “scraps”.
Before I remembered this I just took all my left over scraps and chucked them in a plastic storage bin (bins) and never really looked at them again. And the scraps were piling up. It seemed like such a waste. But now here is what I do:
For example yesterday I cut and made some quilt blocks from this lovely Micheal Miller fabric. (Isn’t it cute…I’m kind of wild about it.)
And when I was finished with those blocks I had some left over scraps. They weren’t large enough to really do anything with but still large enough that I didn’t want to throw them away. So, right then as I was cutting I just cut those scrap pieces into a stack of 2 inch squares.
It only took a minute and a had a nice neat little pile. That I then put into a Ziplock bag.
But not this Ziplock bag….I made a new one for the pictures. My Ziplock bag looks pretty terrible and it’s bulging at the seams with 2 inch blocks. Which is great because when I need some simple sewing then I pull out my bag and make simple 9 patch blocks from the squares I find inside.
Sometimes I make them match like this one:
But sometimes I don’t. Which means I have two bonus quilts in the works. One that will be made up of many different coordinating 9 patches that will look like a bunch of mini quilts sewn together and another quilt that will be koo-koo-crazy. And I think I will like both…and both will have been built from left over scraps that would have just been sitting there wrinkled up in a bin.
And I’m telling you this has really saved me in the scrap bin area…now i just need to get up the energy to tackle those scrap bins and cute those wrinkled up pieces into usable squares as well!
PS: I actually have two scrap square bags. One that is full of 2 inch squares and one that is 2 and 1/2 inch squares…I don’t know why….those are the two sizes that I picked but after I’ve been sewing them up I personally like the 2 inch blocks best because if it’s going to be crazy it might as well be really crazy right?
It’s a good idea. Some of the ladies at quilting were teaching some newbies about cutting their scraps into 2″ blocks, or 2 1/2″ strips when they were longer pieces. For those, it’s like making your own jelly rolls with all the scraps. Often people gravitate towards the same fabric colours and styles anyway, so all those scraps might even end up coordinating in a jelly roll quilt. I love it when people share useful advice.
I keep my scrap squares in a bin next to my machine. Instead of using a scrap of fabric in between rows of the quilt I’m working on, I pick up 2 scrap squares and sew them together together instead. Before I know it I’ve got enough 9 patch blocks for a lap quilt!
Linda Blakita says
I was just doing this very same thing this afternoon. Lots of triangles, and I am going to make 2″ hst and use them in a quilt. I also laid out and pinned a quilt with leftover fabric from a kit. I got a whole second quilt top out of it!