Scrap vs. Stash

I feel really goofy .. which isn’t unusual.  As I was looking back through my blog for the picture for this post, I found this one.

That’s where those extra blocks came from!  Not like this quilt isn’t hanging across the banister upstairs; not like I didn’t use it to cover up with on the sofa last night.  Don’t know how I ended up with 14 extra blocks though.  Maybe there’s another quilt somewhere that used these blocks . . like maybe on my bed! 🙂

OK . . back to the planned content of this post.  What kind of quilter are you?  As in . .

  • Do you mostly use kits?
  • Do you mostly use patterns and try to match your fabrics with those shown on the pattern?
  • Do you mostly let your quilt shop ladies choose your fabrics?
  • Do you mostly make scrap quilts?
  • Do you mostly try to use the stash and improvise where needed?

I’m sure there are more options but those are the ones that come to mind.

And more important, are you happy with where you fit into those parameters?  Have you been in one of the categories but for some reason have moved to another?  Maybe you do some of each of those things with no particular preference to any of them?

Kits have never interested me.  I can think of several reasons – (1) I lose everything.  I often have to go back and cut second pieces because I can’t find the first ones I cut.  That’s just life for me . . I’ve accepted it.  (2)  It makes me real nervous when I’m cutting and have just enough fabric to get it right.  If a pattern says I need 2 yards, I’ll usually buy 3.

I don’t think I’ve ever been much into trying to duplicate what’s in the picture.

When in Kentucky, I would sometimes hand Betty at The Village Mercantile a pattern and say “pick the fabric”.  She has great taste in fabric and she has so much fantastic fabric, I’ve always been happy with everything she picked.  If you have Nine Patch Extravaganza, there’s even a quilt in there that has Thimbleberries fabric!  I love Thimbleberries’ quality but it just isn’t my type fabric.  Betty chose those fabrics for me when I was making a quilt for a lady I didn’t know.  I wanted it to be a surprise so I had to ask her husband what she liked in her home and he told me kinda country, kinda antique so Betty chose the fabrics.  I really liked working with those fabrics and would never have chosen them on my own.

Now, here’s where I have conflict with myself.  You see . . there’s never enough conflict in this house so I just have it with my own self . . and if you believe that . . well, don’t believe it!

Bonnie Hunter is the best scrap quilter I know.  I’m amazed at the quilts Bonnie and other scrap quilters make.  I want to do it but it just doesn’t work for me.  It may work later.  I’ll keep thinking about it.  I suppose in order to make a dent in this stash, I need to be a stash quilter and a bit of a scrap quilter.

This is a quilt that our guild in Kentucky once made.  It was designed by Michelle Wyman and was in a magazine but I can’t find the reference to the magazine or to Michelle’s web page.

It was supposed to be scrappy.  We were supposed to put all our pieces into two bags . . the backgrounds in one bag and the colored pieces in another.  Pull a piece out and use it.  You can see that I couldn’t do that.  I found my border stripe, then chose brights that matched the stripe and all my background is the same.  And, in the probably 10  years since I made this quilt, I haven’t gotten any better at scrap quilting.  There’s a knack to it and I don’t seem to have that knack.

I think I’m a decent stash quilter though.  If the pattern calls for 4 yards of background fabric, I can use several similarly colored pieces.  If it calls for 2 yards of red or green or whatever, I don’t mind combining the reds or the greens to get the 2 yards.  It doesn’t all have to be the same exact fabric.

This isn’t the kind of thing that keeps me awake at night but I have been trying to cut my leftovers into usable pieces – 3-1/2″ squares or whatever.  But . . what will I do with them now?  My 3-1/2″ box runneth over and I have no interest in making something really scrappy.  I guess the squares can just age for a while longer and eventually something will speak to me.

I’m content being a stash quilter and I suppose that’s what really matters, right?


  1. 1


    Mmm… I actually enjoy “all of the above”. Maybe because I haven’t really been quilting that long, I don’t have a comfort zone yet. I like kits, I like making stuff from my stash, I love scrappy quilts, and I like designing quilts in EQ.

  2. 2

    pdudgeon says

    LOL those ‘extra’ blocks are also the same base blocks as in your ‘Shining Stars” pattern…

    as for kinds of quilting, I do a little bit of all of it, but i’ve never asked anyone else to pull fabric for me. one thing i hadn’t done before was BOM’s, but i’ve got three lined up for the New Year—GULP!

  3. 3


    I seem to get myself into making wall-hangings quite often and I often just put them together as I go….starting with a new fabric I’ve bought and then adding what I think is being “called for” as I go along…sometimes from stash and sometimes having to go buy something ELSE new. I have had EQ for a few years now…surprise gift from DH and…can you believe?…I have no clue how to use it? My one friend said I should upgrade from EQ 5 (which is what he bought) to EQ 6. She said since I usually “design” stuff as I go along, I should LOVE EQ. Maybe I will make that be a goal in 2009…to learn to USE that. (Should I pay to upgrade it, though, or should I just try to learn EQ5 first and then see about upgrading if I succeed in learning it AND like it????) As for kits, the idea appeals to me, but I have held off on that…don’t have a single one. I have a friend who got one and did NOT have enough fabric. She then improvised. I’d feel ANNOYED if that happened to me…so maybe I better continue to avoid kits!!! 🙂

  4. 4


    OH…..ALSO…pretty funny about finding the quilt that used those extra 14 blocks. AND…if you find another quilt (maybe partially completed) they belonged to and have nowhere for THAT one to go, you can just finish it off quickly in your “spare” time and send it here….I love the work you do!!! LOL 🙂

  5. 5

    Karen says

    I am not a fan of kits for the same reason as you–always worried I will be short on fabric.

    I like scrappy, but I do planned scrappy. I hate it when you do scraps and you have to work so hard to not have 2 of the same fabrics touching.

    Also not a fan of charm packs–I am a pre-washer and the squares shrink. No more charm packs for me.

    I have made quilts to match the fabrics on the pattern.

    Actually most of my quilts I have made up myself. But they are no where near as gorgeous as the patterns you make up!

  6. 6


    Actually, I’m that option you didn’t mention – I always pick my own fabrics, usually drastically different from the ones in the pattern, and I buy them for that specific quilt and rarely much more than the quilt needs. That’s right, I don’t have a stash to speak of. (I’m obviously not playing along with the stash busting. Or a scrap quilter.) And the leftovers and few random pieces I have stored are regularly used in non-quilt sewing projects that need small pieces. Or baby quilts. But, I don’t worry about using them in the quilts.

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    I’ve never bought a kit. I can’t really afford them.

    I LOVE my EQ6 and one of my 2009 goals is to learn how to use it better. I still have a hard time designing an entire quilt in it.

    Usually I find a pattern I like but end up using an entirely different colorway than the one suggested.

    I’ve never asked the LQS to pick fabrics, but once I asked 2 of my best friends to pick a fabric for me that I wouldn’t normally pick.

    I Love making scrappy quilts, and am learning to let go of the controlled look.

    I am trying to use up stash and scraps without buying too much.

    I love your quilts! You inspire me that you get so much done.

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    I am a “controlled” scrap quilter. I like all my background pieces to match. I do have a small stash of pieces of 1 yard or so. I will pull from there then purchase what is needed to finish the particular quilt I am working on. I always buy at least 1/2 yard more than required of a particular fabric, sometimes more if I really like it. I don’t often buy for the sake of buying, but once in a while that special piece will jump out and cry “buy me, buy me”. Well, you know what I have to do then, I buy it! Of course, if my wallet would allow I would buy a yard of every fabric in every shop I visit. The wallet usually wins.:) I never buy kits, I do see kits that I think are beautiful, but I never have bought one and don’t think I will for fear of running out of fabric. Your current BOM is the first one that I’ve ever done. I am really enjoying it. I started one from my LQS at the same time. The wait is killing me! I will ask someone’s opinion about my fabric choices but I usually just plunge in and start picking them out. I love picking fabric for others.

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    Boy, those are loaded questions? I love kits and BOMs. Although I’ve rarely had a problem with not having enough fabric, I’ve miscut a tme or two. That’s why I usually get the backing to match the kit. It’s easy enough to steal a strip off the backing fabic if needed. You’ve taught me to start using the stash, and I’ve done pretty well with that this year. Sometimes it was fabric from the same line, but, hey, stash is stash!! I’m still learning about my stash, and am looking forward to sewing up a bunch of it this year! On patterns, sometimes I have the same fabric and use that, but mostly I use totally different fabric. Jane will sometimes help me pull fabric in a quilt shop, but I’m learning to do pretty good on that, too. Scrap quilts give me the most problem. That’s another area I want to delve into this year. So far the scraps I’ve used have mostly been for applique and the little log cabin quilt that I need to get back to. On that one, the scrappier the better.

    It’s all a learning process for me, every single quilt! 2009 is going to be a banner year! I can just feel it in my bones! Wait, maybe that’s the cold, wet weather I’m feeling in my bones!

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    I have tried to pull scraps out of a bag and just use what ever I get out but I can’t do that. I like to color coordinate. I find patterns then use my own fabrics in whatever colorway I want to do the quilt in.

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    I am absolutely a scrap quilter. I can’t make a quilt with less than 20 fabrics and even 20 is boring to me. Sometimes I use patterns and sometimes I make my own. I am more of a traditional quilter than an art quilter. I love traditional blocks.

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    Quilting is a journey for me. I started out having the QS ladies help me pull fabrics. Then I loved kits for a while — all the “pulling” was done, and I usually liked what was hanging on the shop wall. Then I felt more confident and selected my own fabrics, getting further and further from what was originally suggested. I love scrap quilts, although I tried the pull-out-a-square-from-the-bag method, and I could rarely accept what I pulled out. I think the longer you quilt, the better eye you get for fabrics and colors, and the further you can venture out of your safety zone. So I don’t know where I am on my journey — I’m probably lost in the boondocks by now — but I’m enjoying the ride!

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    Having worked and taught in a quilt shop before we moved I did laugh as you laid out your list because I could see so many of our customers in my mind… they do come in every variety!

    I loved picking out fabric for folks or helping them get started as so many are just afraid to get started but do fine. It’s actually easier for me to find fabric for others than it is to pick out for myself… my usual mode for my projects is to pick a bunch of stuff out – look at it for awhile and then put it all back. Then a day or two later come back and pick out stuff again…. you see that just doesn’t work with a customer! LOL I have picked stuff out before and left it on the counter while I pondered it a day or two… by the time I decided there were several requests from customers to get a kit for ‘what ever she’s making I want one’… LOL

    I’ve had students who could not sew scrappy if their life depended on it… nope no way… and that’s fine. I can be a little bit controlling but eventually just start slapping things together…

    When I look at a pattern I like to ‘see’ it in different colors… and I’m not usually swayed by what the pattern picture looks like. I like using EQ to view patterns in different colors or fabric groups… like vintage, batiks, or florals.

    I use to always buy more than I needed but when I started working in a quilt shop I had to start purchasing only what the pattern called for… if I was teaching it I needed to know if there were any problems with quantity. If we were putting kits together we usually rounded up a bit so that there was a little room for error – but you can’t do that too much because then the kit costs too much. I didn’t use stash fabric during that time because in a shop you want to highlight the fabrics that are available in the shop – because we all know the customer is going to want the very same fabric you used in exactly the same place you used it. So we usually tried to make up some kits of the shop ‘sample quilts’ so that we could accommodate those customers.

    I look forward to getting back to sewing soon – something I haven’t done since we moved in June. I’m not working so I will be digging into my stash… which unfortunately my husband knows is sufficient because he’s moved it 3 times now. Goodness knows I’ve got plenty to keep me busy… and to fill in what I don’t have there are plenty of Amish quilt shops here in Lancaster County, PA! LOL

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    Scrap quilts are my favorite although I’m not very good at combining and mine often just look like a mish mash. Bonnie is my heroine. I want to be her when I grow up. I’ve never bought a kit. They are pretty and so nicely co-ordinated but I would rather my quilts were “mine” not clones of everyone else who bought the kit. I pay no attention to specific lines of fabric. When I buy it is because the fabric appeals to me. I rarely have a specific quilt in mind except when I buy for a back. Because of you, I am now a fan of BOM, as long as I can use my stash and color choices. But even with that, I’ve not stuck with my original fabric choices and have added alternates because I didn’t have enough of the original in my stash. I guess I’m a stash/ scrap/ improvise type of quilter. And a cheapskate since I rarely buy patterns getting my inspiration free from the internet.

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    Mary L says

    First of all..those 3 1/2″ squares or strips you have you don’t know what to do with…they could easily come live at my house!

    I’m with Vicki…I am nearly 95% a scrap quilter. I not only find using just a few fabrics boring, I rarely use solids. I like lots of patterns and textures, lots of colors, though I use mostly darker, “muddy” tones and rarely anything I would term “bright”.

    When I first started quilting I was very disciplined and stopped to cut any scraps from a project into varying size squares. Don’t use strips alot..but do still have bins full of those squares. Guess I was doing the Bonnie Hunter thing before I even knew who she was. My favorite quilts are my scrap quilts..the more fabrics the better I like it.

    I have only purchased a kit once I believe. Even then I had to add fabrics from my stash to augment the kit because it didn’t have enough variety. I do like BOM’s. A couple years ago I had 13 BOM’s going at once and challenged myself to make them using my stash. I allowed myself to purchase new fabric only for background or borders for the finished top. I actually completed all but two of the BOM’s and have about half of them quilted.

    This will be the third year I’m trying to work from my stash and I’ve only been quilting for less than 7 years. I started my stash even before I started quilting!

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    I’m a scrap quilter and like to improvise as I go along. I have never used a kit. It seems futile to me to make something that somebody else has already done. Picking the fabric is at least half the fun for me. I buy more than I need for a project to build up my stash. I haven’t been quilting long enough to have enough variety in my stash for what I want to do.

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    I think we all evolve over time as quilters. I am a huge fan of Bonnie’s when it comes to scraps and organization, but I just can’t let myself go as far as she does with mixing all the scraps together. It’s just too far out of my comfort zone. The tip that I liked best was her suggestion to pick a quilt to wanted to make and start saving scraps for that. It you have box of 3.5 inch squares, then pick a pattern that calls for those. I can’t just randomly mix lights and darks, instead I may be working on an Irish Chain with brights and a log cabin with pastels. It’s easier for me to work with categorized chaos. Monochromatic is also a safe way to do scrappy. It’s easier to mix it all up if everything you are using is blue. The other easy way to wade into being scrappy is with charity quilts. Somehow knowing the quilt is for someone else makes it easier to cut loose a little bit.

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    Pam says

    I use stash where possible. I love to pick out my own fabric. No kits for me–too planned. I improvise as I go.
    Your Shadow Stars is the only quilt that I cut out all the sashing, etc before sewing any part. I set it by hour and it went together perfectly.

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    1. NEVER OR EVER WILL buy a kit. I hate having all the planning done for me. Also never buy charm packs, jellyrolls or other prepackaged fabric sets, for the same reason.
    2. Always use patterns. I’ll only match fabrics if I really like the look.
    3. NEVER let store owners select my fabrics. I tried this twice and purchased fabric I didn’t like at the time and still don’t like.
    4. YES to the scrap quilts, but I’m a scrap quilter like Bonnine Hunter ie planned scrapper. Actually I think all scrap quils are planned.
    5. ABSOLUTELY start with my stash, and I can’t thank you enough for continually reminding us of the wealth of beauty we have in our stashes. Recently I used some 10 -15 year old pieces and people asked me where I bought the pretty fabric. You have been and continue to be a great motivator.
    6. I’ve always enjoyed being a scrap quilter, working with traditional or contemporary traditional designs. I have very strong opinions on art quilts – I don’t think they belong in the category of quilting but in art, where fabric is the medium as opposed to canvas and paints.
    One more comment – I like quilt patterns in which a second colorway is shown in an insert to the original quilt. It opens my mind to color possibilities, and I feel like I’m getting 2 quilt patterns for the price of 1, so to speak.
    Thanks for the opportunity to express my views.

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    I buy kits once in awhile…I make mostly planned scrap quits. I sew samples for a shop and the shop owner usually picks the fabrics and cuts based on what the pattern calls for…….I keep track of how much of it was used and compare to what the pattern called for. Some pattern designers will have more yardage listed than is needed and some put the yardage at what is actually used. Then the shop owner decides how much to take away or add to the kit.

    When I worked for a quilt shop, one of our biggest nightmares was a quilter coming back with a kit and saying there wasn’t enough fabric……so that shop always put more in the kit than was needed to help with that issue.

    We seem to be a very diverse group here, we know how we like our quilts be to…..but you would be amazed at the number of quilters that want to make quilts exactly like the shop sample and they don’t like substitutions. That’s to bad that they haven’t gotten out of there box to see the other possibilities that exist.

    I like it Judy when you design in EQ and then show other possibliities with color in the same layout. I might just have to add EQ to my wish list.

    Karen L

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    I’m definately not a scrap or stash quilter since I have neither. I usally buy a pattern, change it a bit, buy exactly the amount of fabric I need, make it, and finish it. I make up something to use my leftover pieces into and the fabric is gone. I do have about 4 projects I have fabric bought for, that isn’t made up yet, but they are very specific projects and I know where the fabric belongs. If I want to make something, I usually am inspired at work. I work part-time at the quilt shop, so seeing different fabric every weekend, inspires me to pick out a new project. I typically do one project at a time before starting another one. I’m a young quilter, under 30, who has been quilting about 10 years, but sewing for 20+. My mom (who also works at the shop) has an overflowing stash, so I’ve made myself control how much I have. (We’ve moved the stash 5 times!) I do occasionally buy a kit, especially when we are on vacation or shop hopping and I want to get something quick. I tend to buy kits that I’ve seen made up. I also like kits when the pattern calls for 20+ different fabrics, because otherwise I would have to buy each one individually and it would cost me 3 times the kit cost.

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    CindyC says

    I am a scrap quilter. Very rarely do I buy yardage. I have been quilting for 13 years now. Finally slowed down on buying fat quarters and began using my stash for quilts and shopping there first. I also had a Bonnie Hunter system going before I heard of her system. (The only way to control your scraps and actually use them). I am always attracted to scrappy quilt patterns (either in books or magazines). I do not try to duplicate the original, but get my own thing going. I mainly do traditional blocks, not many art quilt things. I will go outside my box to do something different. I have a friend that is a quilt designer/pattern writer and I will work with her sometimes to get her things completed for shows, etc. I figure the more fabrics the merrier. Plus, I remember where most pieces came from (either person, event, shop, or in another quilt) and each quilt is a journey of fond memories. I probably have some fabrics in every quilt in the house. I also have EQ5 and need to learn to use it better. I will not upgrade. I had EQ4 and upgraded to 5, never really learning the program. I think it does more than enough and since I am not “savvy” on the program, I will not miss more. I have only seen one kit I wanted and did not have the money at the time to buy it. Hunted a couple of months later and could not find it anywhere. There are not too many quilt shops near me, so most of my fabric shopping is done online. I too find it hard to resist a sale and find that my fat quarters have grown into 1 yard cuts, so I now get many quilts out of each. Glad Speck is better, I also love daschaunds and am glad to see he is better. Cindy

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    Brenda says

    I love kits. I don’t have a great eye for fabric yet, and kits make my life – well, they work. So many questions!! What kind of quilter am I?? I love scraps. I make alot of them. Do I finish what I start?? Uh, not often. I can get to the binding stage and then it sits there…… I love to start things, the newness of it all – so I really don’t consider myself a quilter. A piecer – yes! Quilter – no.
    Yes, I let the ladies at the store pick out my fabrics and I try to see the pattern on the cover in a different color choice, but if I like the pattern done as it’s shown, I will copy it…. that is what caught my eye in the first place. Do I use up my stash?? I – no, not really. That is why, when I found your site, I printed off the ‘stash busting challenge’ and am doing that for 2009. I have so many projects in the wings, that I have bought stuff for and I don’t do them, it makes me crazy.
    So, to answer your questions in one line: Lets see what kind of quilter I am in 2009!

  24. 26

    CindyC says

    I am a scrap quilter. I have been quilting for 13 years now. Finally slowed down on buying fat quarters and began using my stash for quilts and shopping there first. I also had a Bonnie Hunter system going before I heard of her system. (The only way to control your scraps and actually use them). I am always attracted to scrappy quilt patterns (either in books or magazines). I do not try to duplicate the original, but get my own thing going. I mainly do traditional blocks, not many art quilt things. I will go outside my box to do something different. I have a friend that is a quilt designer/pattern writer and I will work with her sometimes to get her things completed for shows, etc. I figure the more fabrics the merrier. Plus, I remember where most pieces came from (either person, event, shop, or in another quilt) and each quilt is a journey of fond memories. I probably have some fabrics in every quilt in the house. I also have EQ5 and need to learn to use it better. I will not upgrade. I had EQ4 and upgraded to 5, never really learning the program. I think it does more than enough and since I am not “savvy” on the program, I will not miss more. I have only seen one kit I wanted and did not have the money at the time to buy it. Hunted a couple of months later and could not find it anywhere. There are not too many quilt shops near me, so most of my fabric shopping is done online. I too find it hard to resist a sale and find that my fat quarters have grown into 1 yard cuts, so I now get many quilts out of each. Glad Speck is better, I also love daschaunds and am glad to see he is better. Cindy

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    I have done of all of the listed ways to create. I agree about kits though…I always lose something or cut wrong so I don’t do kits anylonger.

    Glad Speck is healthier…I got rid of a living poinsettea plant just because of the danger to the grandbabies and doggies.

    Happy Holidays!

  26. 28


    How did you wind up with 14 extra blocks? Well, if you’re anything like me, you get an idea and then you cut & cut & cut and sew & sew & sew. Finally you take time out to count the blocks and actually figure out how many you need for the quilt you want to make. Wow, extra blocks!! That’s how I ended up with enough blocks to make two queen size quilts when I started sewing 5 x 5 blocks out of squares cut from my odds ‘n ends of hand-dyed fabric. Also cut a bunch of 3 1/2 x 6 1/2 bricks to make Bonnie’s Bricks and Stepping Stones pattern. Will probably wind up with another two quilts there. Keep in mind that the world is a better place with more quilts.
    That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it 🙂

  27. 29


    Actually the 5 x 5 quilt is from a picture I saved from the Internet. I think it may be one of your QFAH patterns. It’s the first thing I’m working on after Christmas.

    As for what kind of quilter am I?—–I never buy kits, never have. I like to pick out my own fabrics. I’m mostly a scrappy kind of stash quilter. Scrappy quilts are what I remember from my childhood & it seems to me that’s what quilts should be. Some of my stash is older than my children & my youngest is 32. I use pictures on patterns as guides but by the time I make them the fabrics are no longer available so it’s never exact, just the colors. So far this year I’ve pieced 5 tops, mostly from stash. I did buy some fabrics especially for a pink & brown quilt and border fabric for a couple. Otherwise it was mostly backings and batting. I intend to try Bonnie Hunter’s way of piecing backings from 10 1/2″ squares some time, but I’m usually in too much of a hurry to get something finished.

  28. 30

    Liz says

    Hello y’all..

    Kits – the one kit I bought a long time ago is still in the package. However, I recently went to a mystery quilt class with my sister and niece (a newbie quilter) and we did get packs with the precut fabric for the blocks. That worked well since we had fun sewing and not cutting. I used to buy the fat quarter packs of the lines of fabric – but sometimes I find that it is harder to decide what to do. The fabrics are so nice that I like to look and not cut – that is something I will work on resolving next year.

    Patterns – sometimes I use and sometimes I use the pattern as a starting point. Never match the fabric, perhaps the color idea.

    LQS – no on using them to pick the fabric. I think that is the fun part of quilting – looking for the project, fabric, piecing the top… finishing, well that’s an issue.

    scrap quilts – I like them, but I am also a control person on color ways, background, etc. The random ones I tried are still in the UFO pile.

    Stash using – not as much in the past, though I like to add to it. 2009 will be a stash busting year!

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    I’ve never bought a kit, but have used kits when on a Jackie Robinson retreat… her “surprise”is always in kit form. When using a pattern, I use the fabrics shown on the pattern as a guideline, but always pick “my” colors. Used to try to duplicate colors in a quilt, but have gone way past that mode of operation! I never let the quilt shop ladies pick my fabrics, but will consider their opinion, if offered. I love making scrap quilts. I have a bin full of 4″ squares and bins of 2 1/2″ strips, 2″ strips, and 1 1/2″ strips. Lately, have ignored my bins, which are overflowing. But I do try to use my stash instead of buying fabric, which is so hard because I teach in a quilt shop!

    I am thrilled with my quilting style. I go for bright colors in a lot of my quilts, but my favorite colors are purple and turquoise. Lately have been going out of my “box” and putting orange in my quilts.

  30. 32

    Evelyn says

    Sounds like you are a co-ordinated scrap quilter – that is what I classify myself when it comes to scrappy. I like to sort my scraps by summer/winter/spring/fall color themes or lights/darks – in other words, I don’t throw everything into the same quilt. I like to make quilts that call for a certain amount of yardage too – I will buy extra to be sure I have enough and also some to put in the scrap pile. When I see a pattern I like, I tend to buy the fabric needed – many times in a different color way (I love the quilt magazines that show you several options!), but sometimes very similar to the quilt shown. I never try to match the fabrics exactly! Kits? I did 1 kit once and I swear – they only gave me 1/2″ extra fabric on each piece so if you didn’t lay everything out exactly perfect-o – it just wasn’t going to work. And then I was sad that I didn’t have “scraps” for the scrap pile. I won’t do a kit again. And fat quarter towers – I just love if I can really splurge on something special! Any pattern that works with a fat quarter tower (well – you still got to buy yardage for borders) is a real plus for me!

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    What you like doesn’t matter as long as you know what you like and do what you like. Not everyone has to be a scrap quilter. You do beautifully at what you love best. As far as what I like to do? As far as your list goes – here’s what I do – I wouldn’t put the word “mostly” in any of these however, as I do lots of different things so I took it out.

    Do you use kits? – Sometimes. Using kits from my favorite shop Momma Made It is just like having the owner pick the fabrics. She gives you a stack of fat quarters plus fabric for borders, but other than the border you can use the fabrics however you want when you make the quilt. Other than Sharons the kits I get are pretty much all applique.

    Do you use patterns and try to match your fabrics with those shown on the pattern? Rarely, but now and then.

    Do you mostly let your quilt shop ladies choose your fabrics? No, except for Sharon’s kits.

    Do you mostly make scrap quilts? Yes – though they are better called “multifabric” because they are rarely from scraps.

    Do you mostly try to use the stash and improvise where needed? Yes – but then my stash is more like a quilt shop because when I want to quilt I want to have everything available NOW – I rarely go to the quilt shop to get something for a quilt other than borders or backings.

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    Cherie Moore says

    I used to buy patterns and pick fabric to mirror the pattern but I’ve changed over the years to picking my own fabrics. Kits used to make me nervous about cutting the fabrics wrong but now it doesn’t bother me because I’ll just pick a new fabric from my stash to add/substitute. I generally don’t have anyone help pick out fabric but I like your idea of having some pick them out if you’re making a quilt for someone who has different taste than yours. I love your quilts and don’t think you need to “force” yourself into scrappy! 🙂

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    What sort of quilter am I?
    Never buy patterns in any form, always design my own. Love Electric Quilt 6, but would need about five centuries to make all the quilts I have designed so far, without those I will add next month!

    Always chose my own fabric, though got a favourite shop owner to select fabric for one project. My mistake was to give her a colour picture, courtesy of EQ, next time will give her a grey scale illustration so she chooses her colours, not mine!

    With scrappy quilts I pick a heap of fabrics which don’t scream at each other, cut them and pick them out of a bag. Too much time is spent selecting fabrics for a scrap quilt. The secret is to use a simple pattern for scraps.

    I use a lot of fabrics in nearly every quilt, starting with some purchases, adding bits and pieces from the stash, never using just one range of fabric. Will never buy a kit, as I don’t want a clone of another quilt.

    Sometimes I draw up a block, then design a quilt to use it in, sometimes I design the quilt, then find the blocks to fill in the spaces!

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    I don’t use kits; haven’t ever. I don’t often use patterns, and I’ve never had a quilt shop lady pick my fabric – I like to do my own thing, and make up my own quilts. I make plenty of “scrap” quilts because I don’t have many big pieces in my stash right now, so if I have a special quilt, I generally have to buy. And I love doing what I do!

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    Right now I’m really into scrap quilts. I love using scrap quilt patterns from Bonnie Hunter’s website and her book. Since I have been almost (LOL) No-Buy for 3 years now, I am really concentrating on working my stash down and finishing up all the UFO’s. Did make one kit, but didn’t like it very much–never again!
    My feeling is that everyone has to find what works for them, for their interests, and for their budgets. It’s wonderful that there is such diversity among quilters.

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    I suppose I’d call myself a scrap quilter although I do use my stash to do it. It took me a few years quilting to get here but I’m pretty sure it’s where I’ll stay. I love scrap quilts best!

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    let’s see…kits? only for appy patterns with about 25 million shades “green” or “brown” or whatever. Ihave lots of green and brown but not that many shades.

    Scrappy? controlled scrappy-i’ll use all the “blues” i have but just the blues-not every color

    Let the LQS pick colors? I’ll take in a focus fabric(usually forthe border) and ask them to help me find a pink or a yellow or whatever to go with it

    copy a magazine/pattern? never exactly-but sometimes i’ll use thier suggestions if its a theme quilt(30’s or kids or ect) i almost always change the size of the finished quilt

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    I just got caught up on all your posts…so glad your dog is okay!!!! I’ll bet you were so worried. Poor little guy!
    I usually pick out my quilts by looking in magazines and books. I also go online and take a look around. When I find one I like I start going through the stash. I make sure to give credit where credit is due if I use someone else’s patterns. I haven’t bought a kit yet. There have been a couple out there that I’ve taken a second look at but then I remember all the fabric I have at home and put the kit down. heehee
    Happy quilting!!

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    Glenda in Florida says

    I try to use my enormous stash whenever I can. My goal is to have at least half of the fabric for each new project come from stash. Of course, I add to my stash regularly, so some of it is 10 years old, and some of it is one month old. I do tend to buy with a person in mind that I might use the fabric for–often times me:-)

    I tend towards controlled scrappy, and refer to authors like Donna Lynn Thomas who calls it “color-family recipe”, Gayle Bong who talks about character and style of fabrics, or Lynn Roddy Brown who writes about quilts based on color, and groups of related fabrics. Sally Schneider’s book “Scrap Frenzy”is full of examples of this type–including two of mine that Sally provided the guidelines for. I just can’t throw that Halloween print in there next to a batik, next to a 30’s repro. I might get there, but for right now, I’m not. Though, that might be the way to reduce the true scraps that now fill two large boxes.

    I don’t buy kits, and I seldom make a quilt exactly like the pattern calls for. I seldom make a quilt in the size the author intended, even if there are multiple choices. I do ask for advice from the manager of the LQS–she has excellent color sense, and she has never steered me wrong. I’ll take in what I’ve got,and tell her what I think I need–for example, I knew I needed green, and I had three choices in my stash, but they didn’t thrill me. She chose something off the shelf that was just perfect.

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    I never buy quilt kits, because I like to piece my way and not per instruction usually so I always need more fabric. I almost always modify patterns to suit my tastes or needs. I’m also a matchy-matchy person and I have a particularly hard time scrap quilting.

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    Lynne in Hawaii says

    I usually pull my fabric together as I go. I don’t work from kits. I seldom use a pattern…just kind of wing it. I get an idea for a center block (many times with applique’) and build from there. Since I make for family I have an idea of colors I need for a project and mostly work from stash.

    I do love the patterns you come up with. They are stunning! And you can always move your 3 1/2 in squares along to someone. (nice use of stash:-) ). I have made quilts for the homeless from blocks given me (VBG).

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    Ginny Worden says

    I think I fit into all the above, and maybe a few you haven’t mentioned. My quilting, like my quilts evolve, and none seem to fit into any one category, and that’s fine with me. Next year, which is almost here, is to reduce stash, and to finish projects, ( mind you I say that every year

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    I have bought one kit: still not out of the box. And although I enjoy quilt shop help in looking for fabric, I like to pick my own. I rarely “copy” a quilt pattern but frequently take bits and pieces out of pictures to put into my own designs. I have done two art quilts but don’t have the talent, or walls, for them. What I really like doing is coming up with an idea, picking colors, selecting out of my stash and then going off to the quilt shop to fill in. While there I usually find other fabric I can’t leave there and thus add to the stash while completing my new project’s fabric gathering. I like to think of it as building my own kits. I pack them all up together, ready to go, and then frequently forget about them as I go on to other new ideas.

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    Oh, Judy, you’re speaking directly to my heart with this post. Sigh! I do enjoy kits and have been know to replace one or of the fabrics just to make it ‘mine’. I enjoy BOM’s projects because I’m not good at selecting fabrics that will work together in the end. I wish I had the ability to be more a scrap quilter as I enjoy every quilt I’ve ever seen that’s been made from scraps. Bigger Sigh! Bonnie is the ultimate scrap quilter and I’d love it if I could organize my scraps like she does but I digress I simply can’t. LOL

    Wonderful post, Judy!

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    I’m a stash quilter. I do a lot of applique and shop my stash for the fabrics I need for that. I haven’t yet made a quilt that could be called a scrap quilt, although I have made a few that were scrappier than I might otherwise have chosen. It’s been a LONG time since I walked into a quilt shop and bought all the fabric I needed for a quilt. I sometimes work from patterns, but seldom make a literal translation of the quilt in the picture. I have a strong sense of what DOESN’T work for me, but not always as strong an idea of what would please me. It’s rare these days that I plan a whole quilt out from beginning to end. I usually fall in love with a block pattern, or a color combination, or some other motif and go from there and see what it calls for next.

    I love your blog, thanks for all you share.