I searched my own blog to find out when I’d reviewed Emily’s previous book Quilt Remix. That date would be January 2011. This girl is prolific. No wonder she has a scrap pile to be dealt with! Emily is the talented designer behind Carolina Patchworks pattern company and the author of Scrap Republic, her most recent book for C & T Publishing. She is also a very creative, out-of-the-box modern quilter that is able to translate her world view on color and design into language the rest of us can understand, learn, and create great quilts from.
When I first read the book I wasn’t quite sure that a whole book could be written on scraps. Second time through I picked up on the color theory and lessons being shared. Hmmm… these simple concepts were giving me big ideas. And yes… ahem… lets just say I have a few scraps of my own that could be put to the test. The first stop on the blog tour was White. Tomorrow is Red. Guess what that makes me? Emily said that even though Pink wasn’t part of ROYGBIV she would make an exception. I’m happy to report I fell in love with Pink all over again!
The next decision was which quilt to make. The book contains 8 projects that are split between two sections: The Weekend Stasher and The I-Have-Nothing-To-Hide-Anymore Stasher. The first section contains projects appropriate for beginners, quilters looking for something quick, and those with a smaller scrap stash. Section Two contains projects that are larger in scale, more complex, and require a larger quantity of scraps. While I easily qualified for Section 2 projects based on quantity of scrap stash, I ultimately decided on the Beeline Quilt (the first quilt on the clothesline from Section 1).
In keeping with the theme of the blog tour, I decided to make my quilt with a single color of scraps vs. the color wheel progression described in the pattern.
Surprise #1: I had a really good time going through my scraps, sorting by size, and reminiscing about how each came into my life. I created 3 piles by width of scrap: 4″, 3″, and less than 3″.
Surprise #2: piecing the scraps into strips was really fast. I didn’t belabor the combinations too much. I tried to keep a healthy mix of alternating light and dark. I followed the instructions in the book in spirit and didn’t worry about the exact dimensions. My scraps fell naturally into my 3 size groups. I also cut quite a few 4″ strips from FQs and yardage in my stash.
Surprise #3: It was extremely satisfying to create a quilt top from bits and pieces. I throw away a LOT of scraps so the ones I keep are truly fabrics I love. Watching them come alive in this new form, all playing so well together, was exciting.
I highly recommend Scrap Republic if you’re looking for inspiration and practical designs on how to divide and conquer a growing scrap stash. Or just come for the color theory. Both topics are presented with equal attention to detail. I guarantee you will feel compelled to piece together small bits of fabric in rainbow color order. Emily’s sense of humor is appropriately woven into the narrative. It reminds us that quilting is fun, hanging onto our scraps is universal, and creating something from these ever so valuable bits of cloth is a satisfying endeavor.
A note for the scrapless: each pattern also provides alternate instructions with yardage requirements.
ps my light is poor on this rainy Northwest evening, will show more of the quilt top later this week.
There is quite a list of fun prizes to be won at each stop. I love how Emily is so detailed in such matters! Leave a comment sharing your thoughts on scraps, tips for using them, or anything scrap related that comes to mind. Yes, I need all the help and support I can get. I didn’t even dent my scrap bucket with this quilt! I’ll draw the winners on Thursday, October 6.
- Scrap Republic from C&T Publishing — printed version for US residents, PDF for international
- Scrap Republic Eco Tote from C&T Publishing
- Bag o’ Scraps from Robert Kaufman
- ROY G BIV Essential Cotton Thread in Red, Pumpkin, Butter, Lime, Cerulean, Midnight, and Red Violet from Connecting Threads
- Mrs. Roy G. Biv Pattern from Carolina Patchworks (the pattern that inspired the book!)
And more great stops on the blog tour:
Monday October 3: White Rachel Griffith @ p.s. i quilt
Tuesday October 4: Pink Kathy Mack @ Pink Chalk Studio (yay, you’re here!)
Wednesday October 5: Red Kimberly Jolly @ Fat Quarter Shop
Thursday October 6: Orange Jake Finch @ Generation Q Magazine
Friday October 7: Yellow Pat Sloan
Saturday October 8: Green Connecting Threads
Sunday October 9: Blue Scott Hansen @ Blue Nickel Studios
Monday October 10: Indigo John Adams @ Quilt Dad
Tuesday October 11: Violet/Purple Allie Heath @ Robert Kaufman