In the spring of the year I get the urge to clean. Sort out, purge, dust in the corners, and then enjoy—albeit for a few weeks—the newfound order. When my sewing room is the candidate for a spring-cleaning, I often think about really culling down my bins of remnants and scraps. Then, I remember the Scrap-Happy Quilt design and those bins of odds and ends stay in their rightful place.

Several years ago, I presented a TV series called Scrap Happy Quilts, or was it Scrap Happy Quilting? Hmm, the titles seem to run together. Regardless, the most popular technique featured scraps of fabric, tucked and sewn within columns of fabric to give a dimensional look. Due to viewer requests, I repeated the technique with updated fabrics in the new series,Column Quilts. Here’s a summary of the Scrappy Column Quilt.

•  First, sort like colors together. From the larger pieces, 3-4” wide strips (or wider if you’d like) as long as your fabric.

•  Cut the smallest scraps in 2-3-or 4” squares or rectangles. Then, fold in creative shapes: trapezoid, right triangles, prairie points, etc.

•  Arrange the accent pieces on the columns, fold along the raw edges and then stitch a ¼” seam. Seam columns together until you achieve the length that you’d like for your quilt.

Stitch narrow strips to between the columns.

The dimensional, tactical elements of this quilt make it an ideal kids’ quilt, making it an ideal gift or project to sew with a sewing newbie.

I’ve just given you a quick summary of this designs. The detailed instructions are in the book/DVD, Column Quilts; along with numerous other column quilt designs.

Tuesday’s blog featured an applique technique from the workbook,Applique Know-How Workbook. The random featured winner is Susan S. Here’s here comments:

I really like applique on quilts and garment.  My favorite method for quilts is to use the ‘sticky back fusible web’ technique, iron the applique in place and use decorative stitches around the edge.  It’s a cool way to use all those stitches that come on the machine. For garments I like to sew on iron-on interfacing so the sticky side is out and the seams are enclosed, cut out the center and iron the applique in place, then use the same decorative stitches to fasten it down.  It makes a softer finish and less bulk.


Susan will receive a copy of the Applique Know-How Workbook.

Well, if you get the bug to clean this weekend (there’s a closet earmarked in my house), remember, all those fabric scraps do have value. Wish me luck cleaning!

Bye for now,