Scrappy Quilts

I have another vintage quilt top to share.


It has a great variety of fabrics (click pictures to enlarge)

I love this scrappy quilt, the overall look is scrappy but controlled.  The mismatched pieces are separated by strips of fabric that help tone down the jumble and make it less confusing and yet still scrappy.


Some scrappy quilts go to far in the scrappy and they become a confused mess (at least in my opinion)

here is one in my collection that I find harshly confusing….not calm or pleasing as I like a quilt to feel.


Your eye doesn’t know where to go.  Even if you don’t realize it your eyes look for a definable pattern and similar fabrics.  Look at the top again.  I bet you see this block first.


Or the one with all the pink below it…the rest of the quilt doesn’t have much pink in it and it becomes a jumble.

What would happen if the blocks had more like colors?

Here is one ( I must admit it isn’t my favorite, but it is less confusing)


Perhaps the most well know pattern for a scrappy quilt is the double wedding ring.  The arcs are usually a wide assortment , but where they join the pieces are the same creating a sense of unity.


All that white helps to tie it all together as well.

Sashing can be a unifier.


The brown holds it all together and the seemingly unrelated fabrics now go together.

There are so many different fabrics here, but the yellow unifies them all.



In this simple nine patch the white squares are the unifier.

The quilt I am working on now is really well designed….looked at on their own the fabrics seem totally unrelated, stripes, plaids, solids, big prints, small prints, every color imaginable.


But there is a unifier….each block has the purple at the base of the arch


That purple ties it all together.

Scrappy quilts aren’t always about using up everything….sometimes there is a lot of planning.

Happy quilting


14 thoughts on “Scrappy Quilts

  1. katechiconi says:

    I’m with you on this. Scrappy is fine, but it should have visual harmony, and the eye needs a bit of quiet space to make sense of colour.

  2. Sharon Eshlaman in Galesburg says:

    Wow, talk about a fabulous collection of quilts. You have a wonderful selection….something to please everybody……even the scrappy one that hits you in the face to get one’s attention! I kind of like that one…hmmmm Hi to the Inspector for me, please 🙂

  3. Prairie Quilter/Nebraska says:

    I agree with your thoughts on the scrap quilts. I want to see more than chaos. I’ve always believed that even though our pioneer ancestors made scrap quilts, they still had a design in mind. I’m sure it doesn’t always hold true. For the most part I believe they could control very little in their lives, but they could control the color, value and placement of their scraps. I believe they not only needed function in their quilts, but also desired beauty.

  4. Thank you so much for taking the time to post such interesting information on your blog. I know that to blog is sometimes a time consuming operation, it’s a lovely thing you do giving your time to others. Much appreciated.

  5. Siobhan says:

    So you like controlled scrappy…I know what you mean. But I have to admit I love both of your Carpenter’s Wheel tops!

    • timquilts says:

      I do like more control…..I feel like the first one could be any random sized pieces sewn together and end up looking the same….it is so random that it is hard to even see the carpenters wheel….I guess Im too literal to appreciate the total random..or maybe I need to look at them some more 😉

  6. Carolanne says:

    I have trouble with ‘random’, my brain wants so much to make order out of chaos! I have not enjoyed those exercises beloved of some teachers where you pick squares at will from a bag and put them all together. I would have to control what went into the ‘random’ bag! I like your examples of scrap quilts. They have great charm.

  7. Pat Long says:

    I love the scrappy quilts but #2 is confusing-it’s hard to pick out the pattern. I think a plain sashing between blocks would help. Your stash of quilts is amazing. I just bought a scrappy lap quilt top and can’t wait to get quilting on it.

    • timquilts says:

      Ever since I got #2 I have been thinking about changing it, with sashing or something to give ti some order…..I still haven’t decided
      have fun with your scrappy!


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