Quilting With Scraps With A Special Meaning: Framed Scraps Quilt

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This quilt tutorial is for those really special fabric scraps that you just can’t bear to get rid of because you love the fabric so much or they hold a special memory.

This framed scraps quilt is the perfect way to showcase those unique fabric scraps – fussy cut pieces and oddly shaped fabric scraps work great for this.

You’ll give each scrap piece its own frame within a block. And your finished quilt will become a larger gallery of all the individual framed blocks.

A true unique piece of art!

I hope you enjoy this quilt creation, let me know if you have a go at making your own!

I also have a video tutorial on my YouTube channel you can follow along with, so if you’re more of a visual learner, just skip straight ahead to that!

Fabric Requirments For Framed Scraps Quilt

There is no set size for this quilt, you can make a baby sized quilt, lap size or go big.

In order to make this quilt you will first need to refer to my separate tutorial for the Framed Scraps Quilt Blocks. For those blocks you will need:

  • Special scraps of fabric, 1 per block. These scraps can be small or larger – the ones I used were between 2.5″ up to about 5.5″.
  • Background fabric (I used white). The amount you need will depend on how many blocks you intend to make. Allow yourself approximately 8″ square of background fabric for each 6″ block you intend to make.
  • Framing fabric (I used black) – the length needed for this will depend on the size of your scraps. See the separate framed scraps block tutorial for all the details.

How to Make a Framed Scraps Quilt

Step One: Make Your Framed Scrap Blocks

finished framed scraps quilt blocks
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

If you haven’t already made your framed scrap blocks, you’ll need to do that first.

I have a tutorial for Framed Scraps here, that you can follow along with.

Basically, you start with any special piece of material you like from your scrap stash and then frame it in black or white.

You could choose to frame your scraps in different colors, but I just like how much they stand out against the plain background.

The amount of blocks you need will depend on the size of your quilt. I made quite a large quilt and had roughly 70 blocks. My quilt was 45 x 70 inches.

You could make a queen size or any specific quilt size you like.

The blocks don’t all need to be the same size; some of mine were 6 inches, and some were 7 inches.

It does make it easier if you make the blocks all the same size, but I do love the eccentric look of this finished quilt with different size blocks.

If you don’t want to use framed blocks, you can use any scrappy blocks you like.

Step Two: Quilt Block Layout Decisions

Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

I didn’t have a clear idea of how I wanted this quilt to look, so I played around with a few ideas before I started sewing them together.

I ended up color-blocking my frames and putting most of the white ones together, all the black ones together, and another small white section at the top of the quilt.

Step Three: Sew the Blocks Together

Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

Next up, I sewed the blocks together. If your quilt blocks are all he same size then it is just a case of sewing together in rows like a traditional quilt.

If you have made different-sized quilt blocks you may need to add some ‘coping strips’ to make them fit with each other.

A coping strip is a strip of background fabric (the same fabric as the rest of your blocks) that is added to one side of a quilt block or group of quilt blocks so that it is the same length as another quilt block or group of quilt blocks that have been sewn together.

To join your quilt blocks, sew right side together with a quarter-inch seam. Trim if needed and continue. You can sew in rows or create groups of blocks and add coping strips to them to make them fit with the adjacent section.

Keep adding blocks in the same way.

This quilt ended up being around 45 x 70 inches long.

I wasn’t sure what I was making the quilt for at the time, so I decided to make it to the requirements of Quilts for Care Leavers.

They ask that quilts be 20 inches longer than they are wide, so it feels like a big hug when you wrap yourself in it!

Step Four: Square The Quilt

Squaring the Quilt
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

When I had all the blocks sewn together, I used my set square to square the quilt and get a straight edge on each side.

Squaring up is not my strong suit so I won’t go into detail here how I did it, but it worked well enough for me!

One thing I love about quilting is that there isn’t just one way to make something work, although I have learned through plenty of quilting mistakes that there are definitely wrong ways to do things!

Step Five: Add A Border (optional)

Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

I wanted to add a border to this quilt, to give myself a bit more leeway when it came to finishing the quilt off.

The border needed to match the background fabric color. So a white border for the white blocks, and a black border for the black blocks.

I used three-inch-wide strips, but you guys know me! I didn’t really measure the lengths of the strips; I just eyeballed them to make sure they were a little bit longer than the white and black sections that I wanted to add a border to.

Then, I attached the border in the same way I was sewing on the blocks. I laid the border right side to right side, and sewed a 1/4 inch seam allowance, attaching the black border to the white when I needed to.

You could use jelly roll strips for the border, they’re normally around 2.5 inches.

Step Six: Quilting

Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

I wanted to quilt the negative space (the white and black areas) but leave the framed scraps unquilted.

I chose a blue fabric for the background in this quilt. I sometimes make my quilt backs scrappy if I don’t have a large enough piece to use.

For this quilt, I used my HandiQuilter Moxie Longarm.

I set it up so I could just float the quilt top back and to, in straight lines in a matchstick style using the manual channel locks.

I set the machine up with the channel locks so that it could only go left and right, so I got nice straight lines,

Then, I manually pulled it to go down an inch or so every time I wanted to advance to the next line of quilting.

Every time I reached a framed scrap, I stopped and went back the other way.

If this isn’t clear, watch the video as you’ll be able to see exactly what I mean on there!

The best way I can describe it, is it was like a game of ping pong! Every time I hit a block, I made a 90-degree turn to stitch straight down for just under a centimeter, and then I went back the other way!

I used black thread on the black background and white thread on the white background.

Step Seven: Bind the Quilt

Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

The last step is to bind the quilt.

Again, I wanted to try something I’d never done before. This quilt was really one of a lot of firsts for me!

I wanted the binding to match the colors in the background, so white binding on the white sections and black binding on the black.

For binding, I like to machine sew my binding, so I machine sew on the back first and then flip it over and machine sew the front.

I had white at the top and bottom of the quilt, so I bound the top and bottom and down each side until I had around a 1/2 inch left before the black started.

I then used a method that is typically used to join binding at the end when you finish a quilt to join my white and black sections.

To join the black and white binding, I folded the raw edges of the black under and back on itself. With the white fabric, I folded the raw edges to make airplane wings and tucked the point into the black fabric.

I then sewed these in place, flipped the quilt over, and secured the binding to the front of the quilt, too.

This is what the binding looks like at this point.

Photo: Upcycle My Stuff

Again, if this doesn’t make much sense, the video definitely does so feel free to watch for clarification!

A helpful subscriber also commented on the video to point out I could have done the binding the same way as I did the border…as in join the black and white binding strips first, pin it to the spot I wanted the color change and sew from there, then just do the binding join on the quilt anywhere else where the join won’t be as noticeable! Genius! I’ll definitely be doing it that way next time.

Don’t forget to add a label to your quilt at this stage. It’s a great way to add a personal touch to the quilt so that future generations always have some information about it.

I’m thinking of giving this particular quilt to a charity that gives quilts to children leaving care when they turn 18. I think it would be really special to add a label to this quilt with a thoughtful message for them to treasure but I will restrain myself as this charity has their own special labels they add on before gifting.

Finished Framed Scraps Quilt

I absolutely love how this quilt ended up! I love that the framed scraps are a little puffy and stick out from the flatter background.

It gives the illusion that they are the artwork in a gallery, and that is really what I was going for!

Photo: Scrap Fabric Love
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

Someone commented on my YouTube video to say they’re going to make this quilt using their baby’s special clothes – I love that idea!

Here are some close-ups of the quilt too:

Photo: Scrap Fabric Love
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

Video Tutorial for Framed Scraps Quilt

If the video doesn’t show below you can find it here.

Top Tips for Quilting with Scraps

  • This project is suitable for confident beginners. As you’ll see in my videos, I love to just jump straight in. I’m not a perfectionist or big on measuring, and I think it’s one of the best ways to learn, so my tip to you is to just jump straight in and get quilting! Some of my favorite quilts have just been improv style.
  • If you want to make things a little bit easier for yourself, make the squares all the same size so it’s easier to join them together. If you decide to do this, make sure all the scraps of fabric aren’t all in the same place or it’ll end up looking too uniform.

I love putting all my scrap fabrics to good use and turning them into something really beautiful that will be enjoyed for years to come.

I find it so much fun to try out new things and improve my quilting constantly.

Have you made any scrap quilts recently? I’d love to hear from you, if you have any questions or you want to share your thoughts!

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Happy Quilting!