Scrap vs Scrappy
I used to think I made scrap quilts. But I’ve reexamined that idea.
At some point I realized calling them scrap quilts suggests they are made only from leftovers: bits and bobs from other projects.
And that is simply not the case. I regularly cut up yardage for my quilts. I do dip into my scrap
bag bin box corner, below, but I need more fabrics and more varied fabrics than I can find there.
I don’t make quilts with seven fabrics, I make quilts with 70 or sometimes many hundreds. So I’ve settled on the idea that such creations are better called “scrappy” quilts.
In my way of thinking, a scrap quilt is made from leftovers. A scrappy quilt could include leftovers, but has as its main feature many, many different fabrics.
A pieced top I’m going to quilt soon is one I’ve dubbed Trip Around the Tulips.
I have a lot of ’30s reproductions I’m no longer fond of and I wanted to see if I could combine them with other fabric genres and get something exciting. I used my friend Bonnie’s Scrappy Trip tutorial and made a few blocks, loved the result.
I also knew quickly that I wanted more interest than only the Scrappy Trip blocks. I paged through my books and patterns and found these tulips. I think I might have combined two designs—one for the flowers and one for the leaves—but I didn’t record it. If anyone recognizes either, I’ll be happy to add that info. I’ve googled endlessly with no luck.
Buttery yellows were an easy choice for the backgrounds. I kept them very similar so they’d look like a family. The idea of “similar” does a lot of heavy hitting in scrappy quilts.
I made this guy at the very beginning, before I had much direction for the quilt. He turned out not to work so into the orphan box he went.
I downloaded this Honey Bee pattern by Ellis and Higgs on Etsy. I had to punch up the body color to orange so he’d show up against the yellow ground.
That block went swimmingly so I got this Ladybug, too. You can see that I rushed and didn’t get the antennae to line up properly but that was my fault, not theirs. I decided it was good enough. I make quilts for fun, and stressing over a ladybug is not in my genes.
I tried stitch-and-flip units to make a green inchworm and it worked! You really only have to suggest an idea, and a viewer’s mind and eye will make sense of it if it’s close enough.
I added in some spacers of yellow squares on each end to make it all fit. Then I took a victory lap (that’s like stay-stitching the edges so the seams don’t pop open before it’s quilted) and called it good. I’m so anxious to quilt it!
And now you know the difference between a scrap quilt and a scrappy one!