Though there are many patterns which seem to be made with scraps in mind most patterns, even those not created with the use of scraps in mind, can be adapted to use scraps. Making a pattern work for scraps is mostly about working out a quilt recipe that works for you. This is easy and fun to do using quilt software like EQ7 which allows you to work with blocks and quilt views that allow you to preview what changes in the quilt recipe would look like before you actually sew blocks for the quilt. If you don’t have EQ7 you can still do this but it is a bit more work as you will need to draft the block and then copy it several times and then color the blocks using colored pencils or markers. Once you have your blocks colored you’ll be able to lay them out and see what they look like in various settings..with and without sashings and borders.
Recently I’ve been toying with the idea of starting a new scrappy quilt…but one with a bit more structure than most of the scrappy quilts I make. Colors of brown, teal, and cream have been teasing the corners of my mind at odd times of the day and night. I had a bit of time over the weekend and so decided to play around a bit with EQ7 and see what I could come up with.
I laid out my basic color scheme…teal, cream, dark brown and then added some borders and sashes which I like.
But as I played with this color scheme I wondered what this quilt would look like if I used a monochromatic color scheme…all blues for example? So…I did a little coloring in EQ7 and came up with a new coloration of the block.
Once I finished the coloration in EQ7 I wanted to know what the whole quilt would look like if I used that color scheme…so I did a little more fiddling and came up with a blue quilt which I like as well…maybe more than the brown and teal one that originally got things rolling.
The recipes for these two quilts are very different. The brown and teal quilt relies on both color, and value and has a high degree of contrast. You can easily look at the quilt and see what the recipe is. Dark browns form the on point frame around the central block. A light cream on cream forms the background of the block and the area that surrounds the teal part of the block. The light that is in the center of the teal is a little darker than the background…but not much.
There is a lot of difference in value between the cream on cream and the dark brown, between the cream on cream and the teal. There isn’t as much difference in value between the cream background and the slightly darker center of the block. This block and this quilt works because the difference in value makes it easy to see the parts of the block. You can look at the quilt and easily pick out each part of the block. This is due to using a different color for different parts of the blocks.
With the blue block there is not as much difference in value. The blues in the block range from light medium to dark blue. There is nothing as light as a cream on cream or white on white which might have given the block more contrast. I still think this block works…but it works because of the value difference between the light and dark parts of the block.
Having finished my playing with the blue quilt I couldn’t help but wonder what the block would look like if I used my less structured anything goes approach to scrap quilts…so I colored up a sample for that and made three samples…playing with different scrap colorations and different layouts…sashes vs. no sashes.
This coloration seems a bit busy to me. It doesn’t give the eye a good place to stop. It’s hard to make out the parts of the block.
In an effort to give each block a bit more definition I added some white sashes and bright cornerstones.
There is quite a bit more definition here. It is easy to see each individual block. The blocks don’t seem to merge together. But if white works…what about a deeply contrasting color of sashing? What about black?
The pattern for any of these quilts is easy. It’s all triangles (other than corner stones and sashes).
For blocks the following sizes cut squares the following sizes—then cut on the diagonal
12 inch finished—cut squares 3 7/8”
10 inch finished—cut squares 3 3/8”
6 inch finished—cut squares 2 3/8”
Cornerstones and sashes are 2” finished