The Campfire quilt pattern is a longtime favorite here at Suzy Quilts. Pulling inspiration from the traditional log cabin pattern, this design adds lots of negative space for a fresh, modern twist. Even though the pattern is written for those who enjoy buying yardage, Campfire is the perfect chance to make a scrappy modern quilt!
In the past I have mentioned my deep love for the history and heritage of quilting. Check out this Campfire quilt post for a list of in-depth quilt history blog posts along with some great tips for making your very own Campfire quilt.
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Campfire: A Scrappy Modern Quilt
For extra tips on making this scrappy modern quilt, check out the post – Campfire Quilt Pattern – Tips, Pics & Fabric! One thing I mention there (and pretty constantly through the SQ blog because I love it) is how helpful a tailor's clapper is when making this pattern.
Use a Tailor's Clapper
If you're not familiar with what a tailor's clapper is, check out this post – 8 Things You Never Knew About the Tailor’s Clapper as well as this short tutorial video below.
In the video tutorial above I am using the Thrive quilt pattern as an example.
Try Ripping Your Fabric
Ripping fabric can be a new concept to quilters. Ironically, moments ago I was reading a lengthy discussion in a sewing Facebook group about this very thing. A quilter was really upset that some new fabric she ordered was delivered to her and had been ripped off the bolt.
She was utterly confused why a fabric store would do this. Why wouldn't they give her a clean cut with a ruler and rotary cutter? Even though I completely understand the frustration if you aren't expecting a ripped edge, there is a purpose behind it.
Fabric rips on grain. If you are a garment sewer, it's possible you don't even own a rotary cutter because you snip and rip a lot of your fabric pieces. Grain is really important in garment sewing because it affects how a piece of clothing hangs.
In quiltmaking, we care a lot less about grain because we are cutting small pieces of fabric that will then be sewn to other small pieces of fabric. Things like drape or the way fabric hangs on a body doesn't matter.
However, when cutting and sewing long strips, like in this Campfire quilt pattern, you will notice some odd bowing in your fabric if you cut off grain. Below is a video showing you how to rip your fabric to get it on grain, and thus avoid any pesky bowing in your long strips.
Disclaimer: ripping fabric is just one technique and is totally optional. You don't need to go forth from here and rip all of your fabric. 😉
In the video tutorial above I am using the Grow quilt pattern as an example. I filmed it during Week 2 of the Grow quilt sew along.
Make Your Binding Scrappy Too!
Making a scrappy modern quilt? Why not make your binding scrappy too! I absolutely adore this cotton/linen blend from Figo and love the way it pops as binding fabric. It's called Dash from the Surface collection and I found a bit left on Etsy.
If you haven't made one of these Campfire quilts yet, I challenge you to reach into your stash and see what you already have. Chances are, if you've been sewing for a while, you have most of what you need already!
The version seen here scraps together the light background fabric too, so don't be deterred if you don't have tons of yardage of the same thing. There's always a work around when scrappy patchwork is an option. 😉
Comment below with your strip tips or Campfire quilt plans!
14 thoughts on “A Scrappy Modern Quilt: The Campfire Pattern”
i am in my 70’s now and growing up my Mom was seamstress-I was taught to tear my fabric to be straight on the grain. some of the quilt fabrics do not tear well , but I did just tear a bunch of flannel fabric for borders for my quilt-it worked out so well
Remind me of this magazine this appeared in years ago. I have the magazine in my magazine stash, and I put a sticky note on the front of it, but of course I can’t remember which one it was!
I am 71 years old. Years ago yardage was always ripped when purchased. I went with my mother to purchase fabric often and even when I began my sewing journey fabric was ripped. There was a boxy gadget attached to the edge of the counter. There was a slit on one side into which the edge of the fabric (usually along the fold) was placed then slid along until the asked for amount of yardage was measured (with a dial on top of the box). A lever was pushed and a clip was made in the fabric and the sales gal used this to then pull or rip the fabric that you asked for, separating it from the bolt. These days I often feel sad for the gal at the cutting counter having to use those very dull scissors (or rotary cutter) and cutting all the fabric all day long. Talk about sore hand!! Coming from clothing construction to quilting, it is a challenge to “let go” of the idea of keeping things on the straight of grain.
Anyone know the beautiful blue backing fabric on this fabulous Campfire?
Unfortunately, that fabric was not clearly labeled and found at a Vogue Fabrics that has since closed. Isn’t it pretty?
Can you tell us more about the fabric line you used and the backing? Live there colors!!
Thanks so much for the info about the clabber. My seams are lovely! Love this pattern. So versatile. Needed a modern baby girl quilt and it was perfect.
I’m so happy to hear that!
Hi Suzy, i purchased your campfire pattern and right in the middle of piecing. It looks fab already. I am relatively new to quilting, I would not feel confident to free motion the quilt…. what machine quilting design would you recommend? Straight lines all the way? Or perhaps I could use the wavy stitch on my machine to make a different effect?
Hope you can help.
Ps: thank you so much for sharing your passion and knowledge with us
If you’re pretty new to machine quilting, straight lines or following the lines of the pieced pattern is the easiest way to go. Check out this post if you haven’t already – https://suzyquilts.com/6-tips-for-straight-line-machine-quilting-a-k-a-matchstick-quilting/
I have just “discovered”you today because of your class in the quilting summit. I enjoyed your class, your style and your humor and I am looking forward to following you! I am going to refer some of my beginner friends to you because you explain the basics so well.
Thank you! 🙂
After ripping the fabric did you iron it before cutting?
Totally up to you, Michele! You can if you want, but I usually go straight to cutting personally.