Plus Infinity Quilt – The Scrappy Version
Have you got fabric scraps?
If you’re a quilter then you 100% have scraps – ha!
It’s a natural by-product of creating a quilt. And if you’ve been quilting for a little while, then those trimmings have probably started to accumulate into piles!
Which is why having scrap busters in your quilty pattern chest is key in plowing through those piles.
But finding a graphic modern quilt pattern that plays well with a scrappy colourway can be tough.
Which is how the scrappy version of the Plus Infinity quilt came about!
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SCRAPPY QUILT VS. A QUILT MADE WITH SCRAPS - WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE?
See, I don’t normally do scrappy.
Working with scraps – all the time.
Working with only scrappy scraps – never.
You might be sitting there thinking “um, Shannon, what’s the difference?!”.
Most of my improv quilts are made using scraps leftover from a specific quilt I just finished making. For example, the House of Cards quilt is made entirely from remnants of my geometrical Flight Plan quilt.
Scrappy means diving into your fabric scraps that have been jumbled together and making a quilt solely based on scraps found in your scrap stash.
There’s also a third scrappy option, which entails just randomly using the scrappy scraps without any real planning or curating.
In fact, this was the first true scrappy quilt that I made, and I don’t know if she ever would have happened had I not just completed the 7-Day Scrap Sorting Challenge!
It was back in March 2020 and my scraps were overwhelming me. The basket next to my sewing table was overflowing with remnants and was in desperate need of a sort through.
Taming your fabric scraps can be daunting. Where do you even start? Which is why the 7-Day Scrap Sorting Challenge is so helpful. I walk you through sorting your scraps by colour so you can then see how much you have on hand and what storage solutions you need.
SCRAPPY FABRIC SELECTION PROCESS
Once I had my scraps all rainbow sorted, I was ready to dive in and start using them.
But I still had a mountain of fabric remnants that were beckoning to be used.
So, I dove in and decided what I really needed was a scrappy Plus Infinity quilt. It had been awhile since I made my last one and I was itching to see what she’d look like all scrappy.
While I LOVE working with scraps, this scrappy fabric play session was one of the best trips down quilty memory lane 😊
As I was selecting my prints, cutting and stitching, I really enjoyed revisiting the textiles I’d worked with before, and seeing them paired in new ways was super inspiring.
While scrappy quilts are a lot of work to get cut, the slower process and time reminiscing was really quite relaxing and enjoyable. One of the ways you can speed up the cutting time is by cutting your scraps into pre-determined sizes. I share more about this approach in the 7-Day Scrap Sorting Challenge. I tend to keep me scraps whole (i.e. I don’t cut them down) as I like keeping my options open; however, I may revisit this approach as I continue in my journey as being able to pull out containers with the pre-cut sizes I need would be pretty genius (and so much quicker too!).
I think this one comes back to the types of projects you make. You know me, I’m all about approaching your quilty practice in a way that makes sense to you.
When it came time for the central plus, I was in a little bit of a pickle. I didn’t have that much on hand to choose from and was caught between a blue print and the purply pink I ended up going with. Here was my thought process.
- I was trying to keep this project truly scrappy and only relying on remnants from previous projects.
- Given this constraint, my options were limited, and it was a great reminder to “just make it work”.
- While the purple may not be the most ideal option (since it kinda blends with the purple quadrant), what I love about it is that it’s a print that reads as a solid and has colours from each quadrant.
- But the best bit (and the one that means the most to me), is that this print is the very print I used on the backing of the original Plus Infinity quilt I made for the What Shade Are You blog hop. To think that 3 years later I would end up featuring that print on the front of a scrappy version is just so fun to me! And reminds me, yet again, how it truly is the journey.
I had stocked up on some linen during a Black Friday deal back in 2019 and, while I hesitated for a nano second on using this *dark gray Essex linen with the most gorgeous turquoise thread woven through as the backing, I quickly recovered and reminded myself to use the fabrics I love rather than saving it for another project. It reminded me to:
- Use what I love, and I love linen. I can always buy more, right?!
- It made the most sense to me (based on what I already had in my stash). The front is quite intense and bold and I liked the idea of having a calmer back. Plus, I got super excited about seeing the colourful quilting on the back once I was done 😉
- And I’ll also be honest and say it was the path of least resistance. I needed to get this one done and off my design wall (DIY to make your own), so using what I already had on hand was a no brainer. Not to mention, I was really trying to stick to my low-buy goal for 2020.
I had the best time quilting her up. I was originally just going to go with some super simple straight-line quilting, but then when I thought about the scrappy nature of this quilt and all the colours featured, I decided to play those elements up.
Which is why I opted for a different coloured thread in each of the quadrants. Pink thread for the pink quadrant, blue thread for the blue and so on. But I not only played with coloured, I also included lots of different thread weights and quilting techniques to add in all the quilty texture. Here’s how the thread play worked out:
The pink quadrant got machine quilted with 50wt Aurifil Thread in the colour *2425 Bright Pink (this is a crazy versatile colour that I’ve featured here, here and here in just the last few projects). I then added some big stitch hand quilting using 12wt Aurifil Thread again in the colour 2425.
The purple quadrant was machine quilted using 50wt Aurifil Thread in the colour *2520 Violet. I then hand tied the quilt (a first for me) using purple and lilac coloured embroidery thread.
The green quadrant was machine quilted using 40wt Aurifil Thread in the colour *1231 Spring Green. With a mix of little quilted pluses and big stitches added using pearl cotton in size 8 for added texture and dimension.
The central plus was quilted using 40wt Aurifil Thread in the colour 1148 and 5006 (this *set would work too). Why two different shades of turquoise?! Well, I was having problems winding my bobbin at one point and I had 3 or 4 lines left to quilt in the central plus. To avoid any bobbin winding issues, I went with the path of least resistance and used the light Turquoise since I already had a bobbin wound 😉
Not at all planned, but in the end, this one is kind a quilt sampler featuring all the different quilting stitches!
Can you believe I temporarily forgot about this gorgeous ombré binding I created! This is the hazard of making the binding in advance – ha! As I was quilting her over the holidays, I couldn’t remember whether I already had the binding made. And then the fun of seeing this ombré binding again and getting excited all over again once I remembered about her! I’ve never been more excited to get a binding on a quilt before! This was definitely the cherry on top of an epic and super fun quilting journey.
I love it even more that the binding is all made from leftover binding strips from previous projects. The scrappy theme continues!
So, that’s it! That sums up my first true scrappy quilt and I can see the appeal. There will no doubt be more scrappy quilts in my future 😉
If visual is more your thing, I walk you through how the scrappy version came to be, the different threads I featured and some tips on how you can make the Plus Infinity quilt your own. See it in this video:
What I discovered from working on my first scrappy quilt is that it’s like a trip down quilty memory lane. Not only was it fun to revisit old prints and think back to the original quilt they were featured in but seeing them all pieced together reminds me of a charm bracelet my grandmother gifted me. Hers was filled with gorgeous trinkets from her travels around the world – a fave was the jewelled pineapple. Sadly, it was stolen when our place was robbed many years ago (yup, they walked out with our 300lb safe – whaaaaa?!). But I still remember it, and this quilt, makes me think of it all the more. Funny how a quilty project with nothing to do with my grandmother’s charm bracelet, has been the very item I’ve thought about during this quilty journey!
I hope this encourages you to dive into your scrap bins and start using those remnants. I truly believe that scrappy projects are bonus projects you get from your fabric investments. It helps maximize your fiber dollars and keeps material out of the landfill. Even better is that you now have a functional piece of art that is ready to provide comfort and warmth.
The Plus Infinity quilt pattern has been updated to include instructions to make your own scrappy version. I also took the opportunity to update the pattern with some additional tips and a few more step-by-step graphics for ultimate quilty success.
I’d love to know -- what’s your favourite part about making scrappy quilts?
PS don’t forget to take the FREE 7-Day Scrap Sorting Challenge to get your scraps tamed!