Making a Plan
In the late fall of 2021, I decided that I wanted a fast and easy project that might actually use up some of my scraps. That’s when I saw that Emily Dennis had created a free quilt pattern called the Scrap Stash Plus quilt.
It looked like the perfect project to help me dive into my scrap bins and play with what I *already had*.
Raiding my stash
I keep my scraps in colour order in the closet of my sewing room / our guest room. It’s not a very sophisticated system - I simply clump like colours together in a big pile. If I have a very small amount of a particular fabric left over, I like to cut it into either 2.5” strips or 1.5” strips. Many scrappy projects (including the Scrap Stash Plus quilt) call for these sizes of scraps, so it turns out to be quite practical to have on hand.
Emily’s pattern recommends using eight different colourways and since I loved the look of her Scrap Stash Plus quilt, I decided I would try to mimic her colours as best as possible.
I had no problem finding enough pink, peach, blue, purple and aqua fabric, but yellow, orange, and green were more of a challenge. I was specifically concerned when I looked at my (pitifully small) section of green fabric. However, I was *just* able to scrape by while using nearly every scrap of green fabric in my stash. Phew!
I was very surprised to see how little low-volume fabric I had in my stash, so I did purchase some fat quarters in order to have enough background fabric. No worries, the extras will be used in future projects that require low-volume fabrics. Easy peasy!
Completing the blocks
These blocks came together fairly quickly and were really fun to put together! I would work on one entire colourway at a time (meaning: I stitched all of my yellow blocks together at once, and then moved on to the orange blocks, etc).
It took me months to finish my Scrap Stash Plus quilt because I worked on it only in fits and spurts, but I clearly remember working on it over the Christmas 2021 break.
Pressing the blocks with new iron
The reason I remember being excited to pick this project up again over the Christmas break is because I received a new Reliable Velocity 230 IR iron as a gift from Ian. What a great present!
I was completely floored when I saw the difference between my new iron and my old one. Namely: my blocks were SO MUCH FLATTER with the new iron!
When I was pressing my blocks with my old iron, I had to use my wool pressing mat and a clapper in order to get the blocks to lay even remotely flat. But with my new iron? They were flatter than the old blocks without having to use any additional tools. I’ll have to write a full review of this iron in the future, because it’s a game-changer!
I have the (now discontinued) Velocity 230 IR, and the closest existing model is the Velocity 240 IR. I promise you won’t be disappointed!
Assembling the quilt top using webbing
When it came to assembling the quilt top, I laid out all of my Scrap Stash Plus blocks on my design floor, then stacked them up using the 3-Pin Method that I first learned about from Doug Leko on a Fat Quarter Shop tutorial. It’s an easy way to keep all of your blocks in the correct order and makes chain piecing a breeze.
For this quilt, I decided to try “webbing” my quilt top. It’s a process that was made popular by Suzy Quilts, and involves keeping all your blocks attached as you chain piece them.
The end result is a funky, spider-web-looking bunch of blocks that can be pressed and then sewn together in rows.
I’m not sure why it took me so long to try this method, but it definitely won’t be my last time - it made the top assembly go together so much faster. Do you like to “web” your quilt tops? Let me know in the comments below!
Around the time that I finished my Scrap Stash Plus quilt, I had just acquired some Sew Tites Magnums (a new-to-me tool for loading quilts on a longarm machine). I wanted to test their ability to keep a quilt square as I stitched a pantograph that requires precise realignment, so I chose the Domestic Stitches - Triangles pantograph from my friend Leisha’s website, and I was ecstatic with the way it turned out!
The Sew Tites Magnums did a great job of keeping the quilt parallel with the bars of the machine, and realigning this super tricky design was a breeze!
If you want to save 15% off your order at Sew Tites, simply use the code MATANTE at checkout. I think you’ll love them as much as I do!
Making scrappy binding
After longarming the quilt, I had to decide on a binding fabric. Given that this was such a scrappy quilt, I thought it would be fun to try a scrappy binding as well. Can you believe this was my first-ever scrappy binding?
I wasn’t sure whether I should use diagonal seams or straight seams when making the binding, so I asked Instagram for advice. So many people (from both camps) replied with their experiences, and I decided that there was no “wrong” choice.
I went with straight seams and love the way it looks!
While I love to use my Juki TL 2010Q for piecing my quilts, I like to attach my binding to the front of a quilt using my Janome MC 6700P sewing machine on the dining room table. The machine has an even-feed system that’s perfect for this kind of job, and the table is critical to supporting the weight of the quilt. The binding goes on in a snap with no waves or uneven stitches. #winning
From there, I can decide whether I’d like to finish the binding by machine or by hand. For this fun Scrap Stash Plus quilt, I wanted to try yet another first - Big Stitch Binding.
I had purchased a pile of gorgeous Wonderfil Eleganza 8wt cotton thread while at QuiltCon in Phoenix, and was dying to try it out. I chose a hot pink thread and stitched my way through the binding in no time. Again, this was another mind-blowing, time-saving technique that I couldn’t believe I had never tried before. I think I’ll have a hard time going back to “regular” hand-sewn bindings in the future.
Even though it took months to finish, my scrappy quilt actually came together quite quickly (at the end) and helped re-start my sewjo.
I’m so thankful that this quilt reminded me how much I love to sew and make quilts. You wouldn’t think that I would need reminding of this basic fact, but I did. Before this quilt, it had been months and months since I had completed a project. I had been telling myself that I “didn’t have time” to sew for myself. Of course, that wasn’t true - I had simply not been prioritizing time to sew.
Now I’m firmly back on the sewing bandwagon, and this project helped me kickstart a period of creativity and productivity. I can’t wait to share all of the other projects that followed this one!
Taking my finished Scrap Stash Plus quilt to a photo shoot
In March 2022, I hired a photographer to take some “brand shots” of me (this is something that you apparently need when you run an online business). We rented a studio in Winnipeg and spent a very intense hour getting one million shots of me with various quilts. Of course, I brought my Scrap Stash Plus quilt!
I’ll leave you with this gorgeous shot that the photographer captured. I love it so much, and am so grateful for all the new techniques I learned while sewing it!