Scrap quilt therapy – Part 1

I try not to share too much personal information on this space. With two growing young men, the photo opportunities are becoming limited, and their need for privacy increasing. However, we have had some really challenging times as a family over the last few months. Finally last week I found myself completely overwhelmed, whichever direction I turned. There are too many things calling my name and too much noise and clutter to enjoy doing any of them. Even my sewing, which is normally such a retreat for me, was not providing me with any relief. In desperate need to just stitch fabric together, I upended the contents of my “triangles” box into a bowl. You know those triangles that get trimmed off of blocks, flying geese, binding… they all went in.


Scrap therapy ASD quilt - Cassandra Madge


Grabbing them, mostly at random, I chain pieced them together over and over again. No trimming, no planning. Just repetitive sewing.


Scrap therapy ASD quilt - Cassandra Madge


Chain pieced the new “squarish shapes” together into pairs, into fours, and eights.


Scrap therapy ASD quilt - Cassandra Madge Scrap therapy ASD quilt - Cassandra Madge Scrap therapy ASD quilt - Cassandra Madge


My only design choice was simply to try to spread the colours and patterns out…. there was a lot of green to spread around!


Scrap therapy ASD quilt - Cassandra Madge


Take the finished slabs of 16 triangles and unearth some pieces of unknown grey fabric left over from my earliest quilts… cut into squares and strips but never used, languishing in a bag of random grey solids.


Scrap therapy ASD quilt - Cassandra Madge Scrap therapy ASD quilt - Cassandra Madge Scrap therapy ASD quilt - Cassandra Madge


Slice the blocks up into random wonky shapes, stitch them together, press and trim down. My arbitrary number was 5 1/2″ squares. I still had NO idea where this was all going, but I was starting to love the process.


Scrap therapy ASD quilt - Cassandra Madge Scrap therapy ASD quilt - Cassandra Madge


Suddenly I had 8 of these finished blocks. They absolutely glowed in my sewing studio.


Scrap therapy ASD quilt - Cassandra Madge


But the itch just wasn’t scratched so I started to dive into my regular scrap boxes, grabbing all the odd shapes, the tiny pieces that I couldn’t bear to throw out. Glorious slivers of colour, all randomly stitched, pressed, trimmed, stitched again. Now I had an idea, so it was time to make a big slab of “made fabric”, such that a designer could never dream of. Only one rule – no solid colours. It had to be all print, crazy, quiet, busy or low volume. Sometimes bits got trimmed off and sewn back in a different spot. Some pieces are trimmed down so small only the tiniest glimpse of them is seen. But all of them have their place.


Scrap therapy ASD quilt - Cassandra Madge


The back was orderly chaos – seams going everywhere and a vain attempt to reduce the bulk with open seams for the final joining pieces.


Scrap therapy ASD quilt - Cassandra Madge


For scale, this slab of colour is 10 1/2″ square. That’s a lot of very tiny pieces.


If you are excited to see where this is going next, then stay tuned for Part 2!


 Happy Crafting - Cassie.

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8 Responses

  1. Mary

    It’s wonderful! I hope the stitching held some of the worries, at least for awhile.

    • Cassandra

      Thanks Mary. It certainly did help, and I found myself getting more and more excited about the project which definitely gave me the break I so badly needed 🙂

  2. Angie @

    I hope things are on the improve. I know what it’s like to feel like you’re drowning with all the pressures, commitments, twists and turns. Your blocks looks great. I too had so much fun with this technique a few months ago. Hope you have a fabulous day! <3

    • Cassandra

      Thanks so much Angie!! It really did help to start this crazy project and get excited about it – I got a bit of clarity into my life and could take a deep breath and move on. You have an awesome day too chica! xx

  3. agnes

    I do this with my scraps too! I made an ironing board cover a while ago. Now I’m planning some grocery bags when I get my panels big enough. You’re semi planned gray HSTs looks great! That last 10″ panel is just scrappilicious!

    • Cassandra

      Thanks for sharing your ideas! It’s fun to think of all the ways you can use scraps once you get going on them.

  4. Hope

    I love all the bright colours, would find just looking at them therapeutic I think. Can’t wait to see what comes next. 🙂

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