Scraps Happen, Part II

Many of my scrap quilts are inspired by other quilters.  I still find it useful to start with a collection of fabrics I think “go together”.  In that regard, I do NOT worry about color per se, though I recognize that color is a big “bugaboo” for many quilters.  I do find it useful to decide at the outset whether the quilt is to be bright or muted colors, but beyond that I don’t worry much.  And of course I break that rule sometimes, too.

One of my first inspired-by-others adventures was a series of quilts I made after reading Gwen Marston’s books.  I just love her aesthetic, and wish I had been able to take a class with her while she was alive.  Here is a quilt I made for the Quilt Alliance annual contest a few years ago, based on Gwen’s published quilts:

improvisational quilt

“Gwen Visits the Farm” is a quilt I made for the Quilt Alliance contest; the black fabric has words representing animal sounds such as “quack”

I also used a collection of Cherrywood scraps to make this quilt based on Gwen’s “liberated log cabin” idea:

improvisational quilt

Cherrywood Toss, 59″ x 61″, 2016.  My favorite part of this was making the background out of a mixture of dark colors.

Also, taking a cue from my friend who makes a small art quilt each week, I made these 3 quilts based on lessons in one of Gwen’s books:

I continue to learn from the quilters I consider “the best” by making quilts inspired by their ideas.  A recent one was inspired by Maria Shell’s tutorial on improvised flying geese:

The colors of the quilt blended with the colors of my chimney, where I stuck it up to be photographed

Of course, not all such experiments are particularly successful.  I love Freddy Moran’s aesthetic, but this table runner based on her ideas didn’t turn out very well, in my opinion.  I expect to make more things using her ideas, and they’ll improve 🙂

I designed and made this runner for a guild challenge

Since, at this point in my quilting career, most of my fabric collection is scraps, there will be many more scrap quilts to come!  Next week I’ll discuss how I use scraps in quilts made from patterns.



13 thoughts on “Scraps Happen, Part II

  1. In Cherrywood Toss I like the ‘scrap’ application for making the dark background – very effective and adds so much ‘restrained’ energy to the top IMHO.
    I didn’t know you were restricting yourself 100% to scraps since you say most of your fabric collection is scraps…interesting.
    Looking forward to more of your experiments!

  2. I took a class from Gwen Marston but didn’t particularly enjoy the results, however, I love the idea of cutting them into blocks and adding sashing to give it a bit more structure. Thanks again for the ideas!!!

      • I think that part of the problem with the workshop is that you couldn’t take ALL of your fabric with you so it limited the palette a bit!! I also know that I am not great with free-form…something I need to work on!!

  3. I love the background of the Cherrywood fabric and the resulting quilt–so beautiful. I, too, took a class with Gwen Marston in January of the last year she was teaching. We drove for three hours to get there and I emerged with little more than a small sample quilt, which was ruined when a Famous Quilter decided to use it as her “demo” block in a quilting class at QuiltCon (and no, the Famouse Quilter didn’t ask permission). I threw it away, but think the qualities that come forward in Gwen’s classes are also in her books. You have the best of her.

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