Got Scraps? Make a Quilt . . . with Help from a Terrific New Book (+ a Double Giveaway)

Sensational Scrap Quilts_AmaazonI have always loved scrap quilts . . . so much so that “back in the day” I wrote a book about them. Published in 1992 by the American Quilter’s Society, Sensational Scrap Quilts enjoyed multiple re-printings, and was the basis for a workshop I taught all across the US, throughout the UK, and even on the “high seas. ” SSQ is long out of print now, although you can still find “gently used” copies on Amazon and other similar sites. 

That said, you can imagine how excited I was to receive my copy of Scrap Quilting with Alex Anderson, my friend Alex’s latest book from C&T Publishing.

The latest from Alex, hot off the press!
The latest from Alex, hot off the press!

There are seven wonderfully scrappy quilts patterned in this colorful, 80-page book, in fabrics and styles for most every taste.

For example, Bow Ties is a true stash buster, great for combining bits and pieces from all the fabrics in your collection. Notice how the subtle change in value placement within the block creates a “faux border” for this cheerful quilt.

Bow Ties, 56 1/2" x 56 1/2", designed and made by Alex Anderson, machine quilted by Dianne Schweikert. Photo courtesy of C&T Publishing.
Bow Ties, 56 1/2″ x 56 1/2″, designed and made by Alex Anderson, machine quilted by Dianne Schweikert. Photo courtesy of C&T Publishing.

Looking for something that reflects the Modern aesthetic so popular in quilting these days? If so, you’ll love this fresh re-interpretation of the classic Sawtooth Star block.

Seeing Stars, 48 1/2" x 54 1/2", designed and pieced by Alex Anderson, machine quilted by Dianne Schweickert. Photo courtesy of C&T Publishing.
Seeing Stars, 48 1/2″ x 54 1/2″, designed and pieced by Alex Anderson, machine quilted by Dianne Schweickert. Photo courtesy of C&T Publishing.

Alex called upon her impressive stash of 19th-century reproduction prints to create Scrappy Sampler, which includes all the blocks featured in the project quilts in a fun-and-easy, jigsaw-puzzle set.

52 1/2" x 56 1/2", designed and pieced by Alex Anderson, machine quilted by Dianne Schweikert. Photo courtesy of C&T Publishing.
52 1/2″ x 56 1/2″, designed and pieced by Alex Anderson, machine quilted by Dianne Schweikert. Photo courtesy of C&T Publishing.

Do you have a large collection of solid scraps? This arty solid scrap quilt, which Alex made from her collection of Cherrywood hand dyes, features a snazzy “squiggle” border–instructions included!

Double Flying Geese, 49 1/2" x 57 1/2", designed and pieced by Alex Anderson, machine quilted by Dianne Schweickert. Photo courtesy of C&T Publishing.
Double Flying Geese, 49 1/2″ x 57 1/2″, designed and pieced by Alex Anderson, machine quilted by Dianne Schweickert. Photo courtesy of C&T Publishing.

In addition to these wonderful projects, you’ll find step-by-step instructions for a scrappy, batiky Birds in the Air quilt, a super Shoo Fly Variation made with 1930s reproduction prints, and elegant Baskets inspired by a rich, large-scale focus fabric. An 11-page gallery of vintage and new scrap quilts, including two by Diana McClun and See How We Sew‘s own Laura Nownes, provides even more inspiration.

The quilts, however, are just the “dessert” in this info-packed book; Alex offers a tasty serving of  “meat and potatoes” as well. You’ll find tons of helpful info and photos to guide you through fabric selection, design and construction strategies, setting and border options–even quilting possibilities–so that you can adapt any of the projects to suit your taste (or stash) or design your own scrap quilt from scratch. There’s even a color wheel on the book’s final page.

Alex shows you how the same block looks when worked up in various color schemes. Photo courtesy of Alex Anderson.
Alex shows you how the same block looks when worked up in various color schemes. Photo courtesy of Alex Anderson.

Check out this three-minute YouTube video to get the scoop from Alex herself.

Bow Ties in a casual setting. Photo courtesy of Alex Anderson.
Bow Ties in a casual setting. Photo courtesy of Alex Anderson.

1-Giveaway IconNow for the giveaway! Alex has generously provided not just one, but two autographed copies of her brand new book for two of our lucky readers. Leave a comment below by noon (PDT) Thursday, September 26, and I’ll announce the winners in my Friday post. Tell us anything “scrappy”–what you like best about scrap quilts; about a favorite scrap quilt you’ve made, seen, given, or received; a tip for collecting, sorting, or storing your scraps . . . it’s up to you!

Before I sign off, I’m happy to annouce that Elizabeth A. Monahan is the winner of the Amy Smart’s Chain Linked pattern from my August 30 post. Congratulations, Elizabeth!

That’s it for now. ‘Til next time, happy stitching!Darra-signature

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99 thoughts on “Got Scraps? Make a Quilt . . . with Help from a Terrific New Book (+ a Double Giveaway)

  1. My love for scrap quilts began when I inherited a queen sized scrap quilt made by my great grandmother; the pattern is called “Worm on a Fence” and consists of over 2000 little scrap triangles. It was made in 1899-1900 according to my grandfather.

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  2. I love all the memories sewn together. “This piece was DH scrup shirt, this piece was DGD nursery curtains”, etc. Had a great day being an aid in your classes at “Quiltfest” in Jonesborough TN, many years ago. Loved the free piecing blocks the quilters made, and have used the technique many times, since then.

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  3. I love scrap quilts, especially the ones made from old clothing or scraps from sewing clothing. Love being able to identify the fabric in each patch and remember what article of clothing it came from and who wore it.

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  4. I have many books on scrap quilts, including yours, which is one of my favorites. I took your class back in 1992 at Houston. Most all my quilts are “scrappy” – I rarely use less than 50-60 fabrics in a quilt. I use Bonnie Hunter’s fabulous “scrap users system” to store my scraps, and her leader-ender technique to turn many of them into quilts.

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  5. I love scrap quilts! They are so much fun to make! However, in general I don’t like sampler quilts, but Alex’s “Scrappy Sampler” is a wonderful exception. I love it! Alex’s new book would be a nice addition to my library.

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  6. Almost all my quilts are scrapy. Heck I have stash back to the 80’s and it seems to be multiplying, so right now all my quilts are coming from stash, except for maybe the background!

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  7. Just watched the quilt show with Alex’s scrappy quilt, wow do I want to give this a go. I would so love to win a copy of her book. I have so many scraps collected from a few years now, all colour co-ordinated in plastic bags in a lovely old suitcase (Also a great way to hide it from Hubby LOL) Will keep my fingers crossed Hugs Jeannie in Australia

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  8. Sometimes the best quilts are the scrap quilts because of the memories. My grandma used up all her scraps making fun quilts. They were like an “I Spy” quilt as we hunted for the fabric she used to make our old dresses and pajamas. Nothing was wasted! Thank you for the opportunity to win Alex’s book.

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  9. Because I grew up in a family of six, living on a fixed income, with parents who had survived the Great Depression, we never discarded anything. One night’s dinner became a new, fascinating meal the next night, clothes were handed down for sibling to sibling, and our “new” car had been broken in by some other family. Our family motto was reuse and recycle before it was in vogue. So of course, my first quilt was a patchwork of scraps from my mom’s stash and my scraps! How fun to find a new book by one of my favorite quilters, Alex Anderson, which is dedicated to “scrappy quilts!” Can’t wait to recycle and reuse my precious leftovers to make a creative new piece!

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  10. I love to grab a piece of fabric from my stash and seeing how far I can make it go in a quilt. It is amazing what you can fit into a quilt with remnants.

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  11. My first quilt was the bow tie pattern that my college roommate showed me how to make. It was quite scrappy and back then I used all kinds of fabric, not just cotton. I didn’t know any better!
    I have always loved Alex’s shows!
    Thanks for the giveaway!

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  12. When I started quilting I had one book – That’s right Alex’s 3rd Edition “Start Quilting with Alex Anderson” This little book was the perfect way for me to learn about quilting and not be afraid that my efforts would end up in the trash, with utter disappointment and crushing my dream of learning to quilt. Thank you Alex for being a great inspiration and guide to learning to make a quilt. I’d love your new book, and even if I don’t win it, I’ll be getting a copy. I can’t wait to get my hands on it.

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  13. I just learned the hard way to prewash or test any red scrap you may want to use. I worked so hard on a scrap ’30’s baby quilt and when I sprayed the blue pen I used to mark the quilting, four pieces of a red ran into the white background fabric. I am still working on getting it out.

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  14. I wish I had a scrappy story to tell! But I am a new quilter who is just beginning to build a stash! But this book looks sew wonderful to learn from I had to comment in hopes of winning one!

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  15. I was just admiring this book on “The Quilt Show” and put it on my list of books to consider when our Guild library buys some new books. I am on the library committee and do most of the research on the books we buy. I would LOVE to win an autographed copy of Alex’s book for our Guild library! I adore scrap quilts, too — it might be awhile before the book actually made it to the library!

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  16. Thank you for the giveaway. I absolutely love scrappy quilts especially 1930’s . When I go fabric hunting I always have a look for a little piece of fabric that could be added to my 1930s collection.

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  17. I once saw a quilt that was made following the Granny Square crochet afghan pattern–very scrappy and I thought unique. I would love a copy of Alex’s new book to add to my library with her other books. She is a great teacher.

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  18. What beauties! Scrappy quilting not only creates a new quilt memory, it serves as a reminder of all those other projects finished for family, friends, events…it’s a many-memories holder!

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  19. I love to make “scrappy” quilts, not necessarily actual “scraps”, because I like to use lots and lots of different fabrics and I don’t have to worry about running out of any particular fabric. I enjoy using little bits of a favorite fabric in several quilts that way!

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  20. I ADORE scrappy quilts. The first one I had was given to me by my great Grandma McDonald. I still have it although it is in storage until it can be repaired. I love how scrap quilts have so much history built right into them. Thanks for the chance to win. 😀

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  21. I love scrappy quilts. It is always so fun to make another quilt from the leftovers. I usually piece them as my leaders and enders when sewing. Thread and time saving, too. This book looks amazing!

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  22. Alex writes the best books! I think I must have them all. I love scrappy quilts. I guess it is because I am a “the more the merrier” kind of quilter. I have made one quilt using just 2 fabric/colors (blue and white) and I thought I would die of boredom.

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  23. I love scrappy quilts! One of my fondest childhood memories is sitting and sorting my grandmas sraps by color and then helping her create beautiful quilts! I have made 3 scrappy rag quilts.

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  24. Sometimes I think scrappy quilts are easier to decide the fabrics because you pull out a scrap and use it. But then other times, instead of making a few fabric decisions, I am making hundreds!

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  25. Oh I LOVE this book. Really want to make the Scrappy Sampler. Alex’s instructions are always so easy to follow and I love her use of color.

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  26. I love Alex Anderson’s books…she explains things so well! Hoping to see you this weekend at Alden Lane! I’m flying down tomorrow from Seattle with a friend for a Material Girls week of quilting fun…

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  27. In all the years I’ve been quilting, I don’t think I’ve ever made a real scrap quilt. But, I’ve certainly collected A LOT of scraps! Probably enough to make every quilt in this book!

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  28. Wow! I would love to win this book from Alex Anderson on Scrap Quilts. It would be just the motivation I need to pare down that stash that I have that just seems to keep growing!

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  29. My favorite scrap quilt is a very simple 9 patch. The patches were made by my Mother in the last year of her life. She salvaged the littlest of scraps that I was discarding from a grandmother’s flower garden quilt. Because of her confinement all was done by hand. After her passing I put the 9 patches together, backed it with flannel and gave it to my Daughter and Grandson. They are kept warm by the wonderful memories the quilt represents.

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  30. I have a Mug Rug to make for my Quilt Guild’s monthly swap. With my bag of solid scraps and inspiration for this e-mail, I’m good to go. Thank you.

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  31. I actually belong to a scrap quilting group. We meet the last Saturday of the month and work on a different project each month. Scrap quilts are great because the more fabric you use the more the different fabrics “go together”. Oh, if I win Alex’s book, I would be so scrap happy!!!

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  32. I am working on a colorful scrappy quilt using 2-1/2″ color squares in a 4 patch with white or off white. This will be a full rainbow quilt when I eventually put it all together and it may be big enough to cover the house!

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  33. I love making scrappy quilts to surprise family and friends with an unexpected gift. I recently had some 2 1/2 inch stripes and cut a few from old fabric small pieces I had and sent the quilt to my granddaughter for the start of her HS years. I pieced 3 stripes, cut 6 1/2 inch squares placed them on point with a white on white and it was beautiful. Our grandmothers often only had scraps to create with and look what they made, now I am the grandmother.

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  34. I am new to quilting and sewing in general so I do not have a stash of scraps yet. That being said I do like the idea of using scraps for pot holders or hot pads. I also love the Bow Tie Quilt pictured in the book. Its just too cute!

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  35. I know this book will give me a lot of ideas on how to use scraps. Since I’m new to quilting, I’ve been saving the leftovers for my first scrap quilt. I’ve been cutting the fabric into various widths and storing them in separate plastic containers. Soon I’ll have enough for a full size quilt. Can’t wait to get started!

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  36. I’m doing a few scrap quilts now just to get the stash a bit “whittled down.” Could definitely use Alex’s ideas to do more. Some end up as donations to charity, so it cheers someone else while helping me as well.

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  37. I am a frugal sewer so my stash of scraps in a bit overwhelming and I really need a scrapy project! These quilts would be a perfect way to use all those lovely little pieces that I have saved over the years! I need to use them to make room for more!!

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  38. This is to Darra…I happen to a proud owner of your Sensational Scrap Quilts book…Yes, from way back when you taught a class in Paducah,Ky and I still reference the book…Will look forward to purchasing Alex’s new book…I’m a scrap lover from way back…Mary Sowell

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  39. I first fell in love with scrappy quilts when my sister brought home two log cabin quilt tops – all hand stitched. One went to me. The woman who pieced it used scraps from the Arrow shirt factory that once operated in our area. These were the lights and every fabric you could think of formed the darks. I still have it and love it. I never felt comfortable sandwiching it!

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  40. Scrappy quilts have always called to me. My favorite is one I made with squares collected from everyone in my quilting group. We chose a theme (chickens) and that’s all it needed to help all of the squares play together. This new book looks like another winner for Alex!

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  41. I love scrappy quilts…I’ve got a box full I’m just looking for the right inspiration. This looks like what I need! Thanks for the chance to win.

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  42. I’m not as much of a scrappy quilter as my quilting pal. One day, she and I were stitching together when I noticed all the fabrics she was using looked very familiar. She had bought a bag of scraps at our quilt show — a bag I had donated for sale 🙂

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  43. I continue to accumulate scraps. And, now that my husband is doing some quilting, we are developing quite a collection. I have used some scraps to make pineapple quilt blocks and to try out other blocks that appeal to me but I want to “test” first. Alex’s book would sure help me make some decisions regarding a cohesive quilt. Thanks for the offer!

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  44. The scrap quilts are wonderful! I have around ten years of scraps that I would love to put together in a quilt, Alex’s new book would give me the inspiration I need to do it.

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  45. I haven’t done a scrap quilt yet. I’m trying to grow my stash first. However, I really want to make one someday. There’s something so cozy and comforting about them. Thanks for the chance to win a book!

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  46. Looks like a great book! I was looking at a different Alex book yesterday, one a friend owns. I’d checked it out of the library many times when I started quilting, and I still love the patterns and use of color.

    Scrap quilts are INTERESTING! There’s so much to look at, and so much depth of color, so much to keep your eyes moving. They are not flat, but invite you in as to a warm hug! Thanks for the chance to win.

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  47. I adore scrap quilts! I love how Alex has reworked her favorite stars into a modern setting, just beautiful! I’d love a copy of the book to start one of these exquisite scrappy quilts!

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  48. I love the look of scrappy quilts and they remind me that you have material from some of your other quilts that you love do much. I sort my material by the kind (cotton, batiks, fleece…) then I sort them by color. Thank you for the chance to win.

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  49. I am currently working on a scrappy double Irish chain. This is a very special quilt to me. As I am sewing squares of fabric together, I remember previous quilts I have made. Also, several of my sewing friends have shared scraps of their fabrics.

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  50. I love scrap quilts and that is why I have lots of fabric.
    I am making a Double Wedding Ring quilt out of lots
    of Bonnie and Camille fabric. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  51. My favorite scrap quilt is one I made from the scraps I got from my mother, after she died. In it there is fabric from her clothes and from things she sewed for me and my sister.

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  52. After seeing Alex’s arty Double Flying Geese quilt, I had an ah moment. My guild of 200 is having a challenge called “50 Shades of Gray” and this would be the perfect quilt to make with lots of grays. After our challenged is judged all the quilts will be in the Mancuso Show in Florida, then to The Cornell Museum in Delray and then to show venues in other states.

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