Getting the Most Out of the Tiniest Scraps

Coasters made from crazy quilt squares
Coasters made from crazy quilt squares

I think that every quilter, after a while, grows to love one part or one type of quilting more than others.
For me, it’s become scrap quilting.

For the uninitiated, scrap quilting is not limited to using existing scrap. You can certainly do that but it is not the only way to scrap quilt.

The term can also refer to any quilt that’s made from a large number of fabrics. There are some patterns that just lend themselves to mixing a bunch of everything in one color way or one shade from light to bright or dark.

The result is always interesting to look at because you never know what seemingly strange combination of fabrics surprises you with their contrast or blend.

Then there are crazy quilt squares.

I maintain a hierarchy of scraps according to size. I keep strips that are two or two-and-a-half inches wide in one location. Scraps that are largish in another location. And odd-sized, smaller scraps in another location.

I use the latter to flip-and-sew crazy quilt squares from time to time.

These squares pile up (I only make them one at a time because doing a lot of them would be, to me, tedious) and have used them in all sorts of small projects.

Like these coasters that I made for my son’s fiancee, Jessica.

It was her birthday on Monday, and she’s long admired a set of these coasters (the prototypes) that I made for myself.

So now she has six of her own.

I cut the backings for these two-and-a-half inches bigger than I need, quilt them in a spiral with some batting, and then bring the backing up to the front for the binding.

Once the crazy quilt squares are made, they go quick. And the coasters absorb spills or the dewy stuff that gathers on a cold drink on a hot day. You can fling them in the washer and dryer without constraint.

And no two are ever alike. Which is part of the fun of scrap quilting.