Love of Scrap Quilts – Earth Day 2021

love of scrap quilts, tub of scraps

Earth Day 2021 is feeling refreshed and renewed.  Indianapolis had hail, snow, and some wintery mix this week.  I thought this was spring?  These crazy weather patterns are a result of climate change and we all have made an impact.  Quilting is an industry full of waste and consumption.  It’s the part that I hate about it.  You have to buy a line of fabric quickly because they may not reprint.  A certain designer puts out a new line and it’s gobbled up.  Over the last couple of years I have shifted my focus away from consuming and focusing on my love of scrap quilts.

Give me your scraps and I can make something awesome.  Here are some scrap quilts I have made with friends or other people’s scraps.

I also believe every baby should have a handmade quilt.  Friends come to me with a gender or color palette.  I can make a Simple Squares quilt in a day or weekend.  My scraps are usually stored in certain sizes so doing a pull is pretty easy.  Then I dig into my larger scraps to offset.

The simple squares is one of my favorite quilts to make.  It’s great to see the combination of colors and prints come together to be something unique.  There are one or two already organized to be made.

Another favorite is half square triangles.  These also come together quickly when you have your scraps ready to go.  There are a variety of ways you can manipulate a half square triangle as well.

My scrap bins are usually overflowing and my favorite part is digging in.  Start gathering and playing, ideas start to come to life.  Then those scraps become something new entirely.

Using scraps is not only sustainable, but gives projects so many options.  You shouldn’t be afraid to play with scraps to see what you can make.  Some of my favorite quilts have been created by just playing.  Most of the time I don’t know if they will work, but I love the process.

My love of scrap quilts is not going away.  I have even found someone that will tiny scrap pieces for her projects.  There is a bag ready to be shipped once I finish my next quilt.

Tired of your scraps?

Try a swap with friends, check Instagram for destashes, or organize one in your swap.  Seeing new options will sometimes help spark creativity.  Also it’s okay to give some away if you aren’t inspired.  Partner up with another quilter so you can keep a scrap pipeline going.

Some people aren’t into scraps and that’s okay.

I love scrap quilts because they are economical for stretching your fabric investment.  Plus, you are creating less waste.  Sustainability was not something I thought of when I started quilting.

Do you make scrap quilts?  If not, let’s connect.  I will take those scraps off your hands.  No, seriously.




Scrappy Solids Strip Quilt

solid quilt, scrappy quilt

My solids bins was overflowing with strips. Earlier in 2021 I decided it was time to really tackle some of my scraps.  The solids bin had not been used in a few projects.  So why not create a scrappy solids strip quilt. For the longest time I have admired solid strip quilts that I’ve seen.

Rather than tackle everything all at once, I started just sewing one morning for 20 minutes or so.  I did sort my colors from the grays and whites in my solid scrap bin.  This part went quickly.

scrappy strings

Soon there was enough to look at making blocks.  Time for some starch and a hot iron.  I sewed the strips into rectangles and then pressed.  It was satisfying to see the blocks start to add up.

stack of strip blocks

All of these blocks had to be trimmed.  This was a bit of improv sewing on my end.  There wasn’t really a size I had in mind either.  Some were long, some were wide.  I love that there was no plan.

trimmed blocks

On a weekend without the boys I set out to make the top.  For some reason, I thought this would only take a few hours.  The sewing Gods laughed at me and this top took forever.  I had it all laid out among the legos on the floor and made it almost impossible to enter the room.  So, I had to finish the top so the boys could play in there.

scrappy quilt top

I needed a few more blocks to round out the top.  As I put it together I realized it was not big enough for a baby quilt.  Honestly, the photo above barely put a dent in my solids bin of scraps.  I busted out a few more blocks.  To make my original version I would have needed probably another 40-50 blocks.  Sometimes you have to know when to just stop in a project.  There will be more solid scraps that I can play and work with later.

I quickly basted this quilt with some yardage in my stash.  I did have to add a solid piece on the side to make sure it was just wide enough.  For quilting, I went with free motion in loops.  I wanted the quilting to fade into the design and this actually worked.


Finishing the Quilt

Forty minutes later it’s done and ready to be trimmed.  This took some work to make sure the quilt was even on all sides.  Slightly challenging considering there wasn’t a set size for the blocks.  Let’s just say I improv trimmed as well.

For the binding, I had a blue solid fat quarter that I used.  Once bound I quickly washed it.

Tip – always throw a Shout Color Catcher into your quilts the first time you wash them. 

Here’s an important step when you’re dealing with a scrap quilt, all the extra little threads.  I find the more you use and play with the fabric, the more it frays.  Those little frays love to come through on the top.  This is why I always wash a scrappy quilt before giving it to someone.  I can trim all of those little threads and make it a non-issue.

We have had some crazy winds here making quilt photographs almost impossible.  We had a day without a ton of wind…so out to the fence I went.

solid quilt, scrappy quilt

The backing was just perfect and used many of the colors from the front.

This quilt doesn’t have a home yet, but feels good to make some room in my solid’s bin.  I should have made it bigger, but I was ready to move on to the next project.

Entropy Quilt – Pattern Testing

entropy quilt, solids quilt series

Over Christmas break, I had the pleasure of pattern testing for the Entropy Quilt by Squats_and_runningstitches.  Summer created a wonderful pattern for confident beginners.  I wanted to test this out because it used half square triangles.  This is one of my go-to designs for quilts, so it was nice to have something different with the Entropy Quilt pattern.

Selecting the fabric took me a bit.  I wanted to use what was in my stash, but couldn’t pull together the right bundle for the fat quarter version I was doing.  Then I remembered all the scraps I still had from my mural quilt.  My latest series of quilts was born.  A solid series using the leftovers from the mural quilt.  How can I get the most out of that and using my stash.

Fabric Selection

In my stash were some solids that could round out the colors.

entropy quilt, fabric selection in blue, green, and gray

What I realize now, is that more contrast would have been helpful.  Rather than gray, playing more in the green and crossing over to teal.  That would have required more fabric and would have gotten me off track from my goal.  USE WHAT I HAVE.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the final product based on my selection.  Once I started piecing I recognized the need for more contrast.


The Quilt Top

Summer’s instructions are easy to read and well organized.  She put some time into how you cut fabric and make blocks.  Piecing took no time.  Trimming is the worst part about half-square triangles but also critical.  Otherwise everything is wonky and incredibly frustrating during piecing.  ALWAYS TRIM YOUR HSTS!  I put on a Netflix show and knocked it out.

Within an afternoon I had the top created.  After pressing the seams I ran outside and put it on the fence.  I thought it was cold then, right now it’s 14 degrees in Indianapolis and feels like 9 degrees.


The Finished Quilt

The Fat Quarter Version of the quilt is a little bigger than a yard of fabric.  There wasn’t any wide backs in my stash, but I did have a blue and some leftovers from a T-shirt quilt from 2019.  Once basted I pondered the quilting for a couple of days.  This would look amazing with straight lines, but I wanted to add some softness to it.

So, I decided to free motion quilt it.  With a podcast turned on and headphones in, I was able to quilt this in under an hour.  There were plenty of quilting issues that arose.  Mostly being out of practice since there were not many quilts made at my house in 2020.  After washing it, most of the issues are hidden.

For binding fabric I picked a blue, gray, and white print that was gifted to me as part of IMQG holiday party gift a couple of years ago.  I used a 2″ binding by machine.

I know exactly who this quilt is going to.  However, with COVID rates rising in Indiana, we haven’t seen them.  I really should just mail it at this point.  Who doesn’t love a surprise in the mail?

After Thoughts

My next version will be a bigger, scrappier version.  Others have posted their version under the hashtag #entropyquilt and it had me thinking of additional options.  Buy the pattern, support a small business.

This could be a fun block to make to swap with friends for an even scrappier one.  I’m looking at you Rachael, Holly, Amy, and Katie.  Anyone down?

Look for more solids quilts coming from me.  I’m loving this color palette and have some scraps to use up.


A Random Spot for Quilt Inspiration Leads to Something HUGE

Random Spot for Quilt Inspiration, quilt in front of its inspiration

This quilt has been months in the making.  Rarely do I say that, but this one took a while to complete.  In the summer of 2020, we took the boys to Fishers to catch Pokemon.  This is my first time publicly admitting I play Pokemon Go.  While we were out, I ran across this building that was a random spot for quilt inspiration but I loved it.

tiled building in downtown fishers indiana


Fabric Selection

We chatted it over and I decided this would be a quilt for our new house.  Ah yes, we sold two houses and bought one together in August 2020.  Before we moved I emailed the wonderful team at Crimson Tate to help me put together a bundle of solids that would match these colors.  We added a darker blue to fit our decor a bit more.  The colors are linked at the bottom of the post.  The team at Crimson Tate delivered and I quickly picked up my bundle in July 2020.  For the backing I wanted to add Heather’s Night Hike to it.  We love the outdoors, so this fit perfectly with us.

solid quilting fabrics

The fabric sat in a bag for months because Porter had to do virtual learning and it sucked all of the creativity out of me.  If you’re a parent that has had a kid home elearning, you may understand.  There wasn’t much left to give at the end of the day.  He went back in October and I was able to get some cutting done.

fabric strips


Making the top didn’t take long.  It’s just strips, but the pinning in place took a good bit of time.  I don’t pin many things when I’m piecing, but I knew in order to keep this straight, this would be a crucial step.  Otherwise, this could have been a wonky hot mess!

strips of fabric pinned together

The quilt top turned out huge.  We planned to put it on a queen-sized bed and I knew the five columns wide would work.  It became a beast to maneuver.  I had forgotten how big a queen-sized top can feel.  Luckily I had a plan for pressing and keeping the seams nested as I worked.  As we wrapped up Christmas break, I decided that was a good time to baste this sucker and get finished.  The boys would be elearning again for another two weeks.  If I have it basted I can work in small chunks on quilting this.

quilt top on the driveway


While basting I turned on Crime Junkies podcast and got to work.  This almost didn’t fit the space in my living room I had set up to baste.  The fabric had to be STRETCHED for the backing in a few spots along with the batting.  I should make a note not to buy backing fabric until I’ve completed the top.  I bought like 4 yards of Night Hike thinking I would use the leftover solids on the back.  Wrong…I have started on a series of quilts using the scraps from this one.  More on those later.

laying out a quilt, basting a quilt

A random box of solids I had received from a friend saved the day.  That aqua blue had yards and I pivoted my design to make it work.  Then off to the machine it went.  Deeper and deeper into true crime podcasts I got.  If you haven’t listened to Crime Junkies yet, do so.  I adore they are from Indy.  I would quilt in just a few minutes here and there.

quilting at home on a domestic machine

Once quilted I grabbed some Robert Kaufman White and Gray wide back grid I had curtains at my old house and made it into binding.  I couldn’t decide just one color to use, so a white made it soft and works in the color scheme.

binding cut for a quilt

The Finished Quilt

I love the finished product on this quilt.  Before I started sharing any photos I did reach out to Fishers Parks Department about the building.  Ratio Architects is responsible for the design of the building that inspired this quilt.  We had great weather this weekend and we went out to shoot some photos of the quilt with its random spot for quilt inspiration.

quilt by its inspiration, fishers indiana, quilter with quilt

It’s back on the bed and we are snuggling under it at night.  There are more solids quilts coming in the upcoming weeks.


2021 The Year of Gratitude

gratitude, quiltytherapy

Hello Sunshines!  I have missed you on the blog.  There are tons of posts in draft, but I didn’t finish them.  We can all agree that 2020 was a doozy.  So many things started and not much finished.  As we move into 2021 I decided to write more again and share my journey.  This year I have chosen to focus on Gratitude.

Quick 2020 review

Here’s a brief overview of what happened in 2020 to that guided me to my word for 2021.  January brought an immense amount of grief and loss.  February brought my son’s school fundraiser that we had on 2/29.  Good thing because the world shut down shortly after.  March brought happiness and frustration with birthdays and elearning.  April through May was a blur of elearning and managing my workload.  Then in May we sold my house.  We found our dream home.  In June I messed up our timeline by painting the wrong color as a touch up all throughout the house.  I also joined the council at my church to help make decisions on how our church evolves.  July we sold another house.  August we moved into our home and started elearning again.  September through November was another blur of elearning and work.  Some hikes were thrown in and lots of outdoor time.  December was peaceful and slow.

I even took some time off from work, which I rarely do.  In that precious downtime, I started thinking about what I really wanted going forward.  On my birthday I attended a goal-setting workshop with the talented Erinn Bridgman.  She had us do an exercise that at first I thought was going to be hoaky.  However, it stayed with me and led me here.  She asked us to envision ourselves five years from now.  What did you talk about and feel?  Tisha five years from now was so light, radiating gratitude, and was so happy.

Gratitude journey

I thought about myself in the future, which I have NOT done in a long time.  Life has caused me to be too focused on the now and hasn’t allowed for much planning.  The end of 2020 helped me start looking forward and how I truly envision my life.  I want to be that gracious woman in the future.  Life has given me so much and I need to be thankful for it.  How do I start this gratitude journey?

My friend gave me a gratitude journal early last year.  It got put up because I wasn’t ready for it then.  Now, I am ready to start focusing on that.  The intention is to work through the prompts after the kids go to bed.  Why then?

gratitude journal, quiltytherapy

I’m already upstairs and near my room.  The book lives on my nightstand now, so it’s out and easily seen.  Great!

Personal goals

As I started writing this I opened the only page of the gratitude journal that I did complete.  Personal Goals.  Wait, I filled this out?  Okay, what did I focus on in February 2020?

In six months pay off consumer debt…check!

In one year have X in my savings account and an additional X for safety…check!  I’m not disclosing those numbers publicly.

In five years have traveled to Europe, be planning another trip and have $25,000 in savings.  I will share that number because I’m working on it and well it’s going to take some time.

No wonder me in five years is full of gratitude.  She’s been released of consumer debt and working towards bigger and bigger goals.  She has gotten new experiences and traveled.

Moving forward

As the year progresses I plan to share my gratitude endeavors.  I hope to focus on all the areas of wellness as well:

  • Spiritual
  • Financial
  • Physical
  • Emotional
  • Intellectual

This is a journey for sure and the course is not totally mapped out yet.  I know where I want to end up in five years and understand these are long-term changes.  You can’t change your mindset in a day, this will take lots of work and evaluation.

What are you working on in 2021?

Thoughtful Teacher Gifts for 2019

thoughtful teacher gifts, quiltytherapy

The time of year to get gifts for your child’s teachers and support staff at school. What do you get the people that are with your children everyday? Getting thoughtful teacher gifts can be hard. I have been at a lost for weeks and finally reached out on Facebook and got ideas from both parents and teachers.

I’d say a massage, but that seems too personal. If you are considering alcohol make sure you know the school’s rules on alcohol. Here are some suggestions for other parents that may give you some good ideas.

Ideas From Teachers:

  1. A heartfelt note. They can be a great pick me up when the day is shit.
  2. Gift cards

Ideas from Parents:

  1. A heartfelt note
  2. Gift cards to Target, teacher supply store, or any big retailer
  3. Hand sanitizer
  4. Cozy socks
  5. Scarf
  6. Cute tissue packs

All wonderful suggestions and ideas. Definitely adding to my list for my son’s teachers. In the past I have looked for locally handmade items or even something handmade from Porter. There just isn’t time this year.

What items would you add to the list? Add them to the comments.