For all of your scrap-busting needs, I bring you - 10 FREE scrap quilt patterns!
You don’t have to be a quilter for very long to start accruing scraps of fabric. A little snip here, a slice there, and pretty soon a pile forms...and grows...and grows. My scraps can be as small as a 2” x 2” print that I’ve grown particularly fond of and can’t seem to throw away.
Other times, a whole ¼ yd. will be tossed into the scrap pile. For the most part, I try to contain the chaos to color-coded bins, but sometimes, I’m in too much of a slicin' and dicin' tizzy to stay tidy and off I pitch them into the bin.
You know the bin. That huge plastic tub that’s very existence screams, “Once you come in you never come out! Muhahaha!!”
Sigh...yes. That bin. Somehow that bin even survived The Great Purge of 2015 inspired by Marie Kondo’s magical book on tidying up (if you haven’t read it, it’s pretty great. However, don’t expect me to apply it to my fabric stash. That’s asking waaaaay too much.).
Tips on Making a Scrap Quilt
Let’s get real. We’re not going to throw those scraps away, so let’s do the thing we told ourselves we were going to do when we bought that giant tub. Let’s use those scraps! (You may also like 3 Steps to Finish Your Wips.)
If you’re like me, and gravitate towards more modern, minimal quilt designs, the idea of a scrap quilt sounds pretty unappealing. I know. I get it. I think there are a couple tricks, however, to help one steer clear of a cluttered composition and keep a clearly focused design.
- Maintain a precise color palette. Pick a few colors, and stick with them. Even if you use 20 different hues* of those colors, the overall appearance will look intentional and well thought out.
- Use negative space to offset the scraps. If you want to alleviate “chaos” in your quilt design, use contrasting colors to create a distinct composition. This will also diminish any “muddiness” you may get from using all different scraps of the same shade.*
- Mix yardage into the design. By adding larger swatches of fabric, notably solids, the quilt will seem less busy in its overall appearance and allow the scraps to pop, rather than fade into a sea of pieced prints.
*Hue is simply another word for color.
Below are 10 super cute FREE scrappy quilt patterns. None of them are specifically written for scrap quilts, but all of them can easily be adapted to accommodate your ever-growing scrap pile.
Tip: Before diving into one of these patterns, take a quick assessment of the size of your scraps to make sure the pattern is a good fit. Some of these designs call for larger scraps than others.
Check Out the FREE Quilt Patterns on Suzy Quilts!
Did you miss the FREE patterns tab here at Suzy Quilts? Turn any of these free quilt patterns into a scrappy quilt simply by using scraps!
1. Wildwood by Fat Quarter Shop
You could achieve this same look by using any gradation of colorful scraps. When picking scraps for this quilt, lay sections of them out side by side to see how they appear together. Sometimes a dark large print can appear lighter than a chintzy print of a different shade simply because of the scale of the pattern.
2. Diamant by Art Gallery Fabrics
This quilt, originally designed for Art Gallery Fabrics is a perfect beginner-friendly quilt pattern. It uses strips cut up and rearranged to create this beautiful motif. If you don't have yardage in your stash, use small squares to get the same look!
Even though this sample quilt uses neutrals, it would look just as lovely using your favorite bright fabrics too!
3. Tri Love by Melissa Lunden
Simple triangles! What could be better? Use the pattern's triangle sewing and cutting technique to create triangles appropriate for your scraps. These triangles can be easily sized up or down as long as you keep them the same as each other.
4. Abundance by Jeni Baker
An abundance of scraps, maybe? The largest strip of fabric needed to make this quilt is 3" x 6". If you don't have scraps large enough you can still make this wonderful quilt and here's two solutions:
- Make fabric. By that, I mean sew smaller pieces of fabric together and then trim them down to the size you need.
- Introduce some yardage cut to the appropriate size. Use your scraps as 3" squares rather than cutting down 3" x 6" strips as the pattern says. The yardage will be used for the 3" x 6" strip for the center "cross-bar" of the cross.
5. Field Day by Robert Kaufman
You see all that yellow? Use scraps! This quilt will look vastly different based on the scraps you have on hand. Although this pattern assumes you are working with yardage and instructs that you cut 2 ½" x WOF (width of fabric) – substitute 2 ½" squares of scrap fabric and sew them together individually.
6. Arcade by Amy Sinibaldi
With blocks set on point, this simple design looks more complex than it is. Originally designed for Amy's Mayfair collection, this timeless design would look great in many different color combinations! Each block could even be made with a different batch of scraps!
Scrap Quilt Patterns Useful Notions
- How to Choose the Right Quilt Batting
- The Best Sewing Table
- The Best Quality Thread: Part 1 and Part 2
- 5 Best Cutting Mats for Quilters
- Best Rotary Cutter
- The 4 Best Quilting Rulers
- The Best Iron for Sewing
- The World's Best Sewing Scissors
- Your Guide to Finding the Best Thimble
- Best Pins for Quilting
- The Best Quilt Marking Tools
- Fusible Batting Tape: Why You Need It and How to Use It.
- 8 Things You Never Knew About a Tailor's Clapper
- 5 Types & Sizes of Hand Quilting Needles
- Must-Have Quilting Tools
7. Perfect Picnic by Ansley Carnevali
The scrappy alterations to this quilt are similar to the #5 Field Day Quilt. Rather than cutting long strips of fabric, use your scraps and cut the exact amount needed for each block. Aside from the cream background these blocks are made up of 2" and 3 ½" squares. For the scrappy border, get crazy! Just use whatever size you have handy!
8. Comet by Rashida Coleman-Hale
This quilt is a what I imagine you see after getting punched in the face. Or maybe a nicer way to put it is – this pattern packs a punch! With an asymmetrical composition, the overall appearance is complex, but in actuality, all you need to be able to do is sew a half square triangle.
9. Hidden Garden by Me, Suzy Quilts
This applique quilt pattern was designed by yours truly. I used raw-edge applique so it whipped together in no time at all! You do need a large piece of background fabric for your scrappy petals, but if you opt for a solid background, which tends to be less expensive than a print, the price of sewing this quilt will remain wonderfully budget-friendly.
10. Mind the Gap by Moda Fabrics
To make this pretty pattern all you need are 12 fat quarters and some background fabric. Even though it's written for Moda Bella solids, this design would also look great with a few prints mixed in!
The history of patchwork quilting is rooted in economy. As you sift through your fabric scraps, choosing which ones to use, let your mind drift to an earlier time when quilters cut up old clothes, bedding and household textiles for their quilts.
By making a scrap quilt you are joining hands with the quiltmakers of history and sharing in a wonderfully beautiful heritage. I hope you feel strength in that and let the rich tradition of scrap quilting empower you to make something to be proud of!