How to Make a Scrap Quilt Using the Paper Bag Method

Make your quilting fun with this liberating and unique way of making a scrap quilt.  It's easy with the Paper Bag Method. Free quilt pattern included. - createwithclaudia.com

Have you ever lost your sew-jo? Let’s face it, we all get into a sewing slump from time to time. I know I do. To help me snap out of it, I try to find projects that are a little different. I join quilt challenges or sew some small projects. But my favorite way to make quilting interesting again is to make a paper bag quilt. Yes, I know it sounds a little weird, but you read that right. At this point you are probably getting curious, so here is how to make a paper bag quilt.

Essentially, this method turns scrap quilt making into a fun game. It’s easy and, depending on the pattern and quilt size you choose, you can put together a quilt top in a day or so. You don’t need to worry about what fabrics go well together, or where blocks should be placed. The only rules to follow are your own.

A paper bag quilt is just like making a standard pattern, except that you change how you choose the fabric pieces. Every block is a surprise and you never know how it is going to turn out.

Guidelines

To make a paper bag quilt you need to make a few decisions before you begin.

  1. Choose a Pattern – A simple pattern is best for this method.
  2. Decide How Many Bags You Need – This will depend on the pattern you choose.
  3. Choose Fabrics – Once you have chosen a pattern and calculated fabric requirements, make sure you have all the fabric you need.

How to Make a Paper Bag Quilt

First, press and cut all of the fabric pieces in the sizes needed.

Next, depending on the pattern you choose, you may need to divide your fabrics into separate bags. For example, if you are using light and dark values, you would need two bags, one with light ones and one with dark ones. If you are making a charm quilt, you only need one bag.

Here are some examples.

Make your quilting fun with this liberating and unique way of making a scrap quilt.  It's easy with the Paper Bag Method. Free quilt pattern included. - createwithclaudia.com

For this quilt, I needed bags for every color, and each piece was cut so that when I pulled it out it could be cut in half and used twice in the block. Each block was a different color.

Make your quilting fun with this liberating and unique way of making a scrap quilt.  It's easy with the Paper Bag Method. Free quilt pattern included. - createwithclaudia.com

The blue fabric in the broken dishes scrap quilt above was the main fabric, and the fabrics in the paper bag were squares large enough to make the block. I only needed one bag for this project.

Make your quilting fun with this liberating and unique way of making a scrap quilt.  It's easy with the Paper Bag Method. Free quilt pattern included. - createwithclaudia.com

When my daughter was young, she helped me with the nine patch quilt above. All of the jewel tone fabric squares were put into a bag and she pulled them out for me. I only needed one paper bag for this quilt.

Make your quilting fun with this liberating and unique way of making a scrap quilt.  It's easy with the Paper Bag Method. Free quilt pattern included. - createwithclaudia.com

You can use the paper bag quilt method with many patterns. This scrappy autumn log cabin was made using it. I needed 16 bags, 8 for the various beige strip sizes and 8 for the various brown strip sizes.

Make your quilting fun with this liberating and unique way of making a scrap quilt.  It's easy with the Paper Bag Method. Free quilt pattern included. - createwithclaudia.com

Only one bag was needed to make this patriotic quilt.

The Fun Part

Once the bag(s) are ready, it is time to assemble the blocks.

Without looking, pull the fabric piece(s) you need out of the bag and sew them together like you normally would. The only difference is that you don’t see what you are getting until you have taken it out of the bag. There is no making sure that the fabrics look good together. You use what you get. It’s the ultimate scrap quilt.

Once you have sewn all of the blocks together, they need to be assembled into the top.

Put all of the blocks into a paper bag (or larger container that you can’t see through) and pull out what you need to start assembling your block. Again, the only difference between a standard quilt top assembly process and this method, is that you don’t peek when you pull the blocks out of the bag.

Finally, choose your batting and backing, and finish the quilt however you like.

It’s a completely random and liberating way of quilting. I normally take a lot of time choosing just the right fabrics for my quilts, so making a quilt like this is a bit of a relaxing challenge. But it sure is fun. I get excited with every piece of fabric I pull out, seeing which one I get. I may not always like the piece I pull, but I don’t change it, and the block ends up looking just fine.

Make your quilting fun with this liberating and unique way of making a scrap quilt.  It's easy with the Paper Bag Method. Free quilt pattern included. - createwithclaudia.com

Free Quilt Pattern Using This Method

Try it for yourself with this easy Scrappy Paper Bag Rail Fence Quilt Pattern. Don’t be scared to try it in other colors too.

Make your quilting fun with this liberating and unique way of making a scrap quilt.  It's easy with the Paper Bag Method. Free quilt pattern included. - createwithclaudia.com

May Entry for the Patterns by Jen 2019 Monthly Color Challenge

May Entry for the Patterns by Jen 2019 Monthly Color Challenge - createwithclaudia.com

Wow! The color prompt for the May entry for the Patterns by Jen 2019 monthly color challenge was lime green, and boy was it a fun one. This is not a color I normally use, so I had to go out and hit the fabric stores. I can’t complain though, we quilters love finding an excuse to go fabric shopping.

Fabric Choices

I hit the jackpot with both of these batiks, the lighter one really pops and the darker green has accents with the lighter color in it. Both of the choices fit really well with my decision to go with batiks for this fun challenge. They also give a little bit of an update to the traditional broken dishes block pattern.

The flower prompt for May was the Spider Mum and, even though it’s a bit of a stretch, I think that the paisley print in the darker fabric mimics the flower.

What’s Next?

Every month I find myself getting more and more excited about seeing what the next block is going to be. I’m really enjoying this challenge and am already playing with block layout ideas in my head. That way, when the end of the year rolls around, I am ready to assemble my quilt.

This is the fifth block of the challenge, and they have been easy to assemble with the instructions provided. It’s not too late to join in if you are interested. Head over to Patterns by Jen to check out all of the details.

Progress

The month of May was the second use of green in the challenge, but the lime added a vibrant twist and a whole new look to the block. Here are all of the blocks so far. All I can say is bring on June and the orange color!

May Entry for the Patterns by Jen 2019 Monthly Color Challenge - createwithclaudia.com

Easy Dollar Store Patriotic Wreath

Easy DIY Dollar Store Patriotic Wreath Tutorial - createwithclaudia.com - #fourthofjuly #patriotic

When the month of May rolls around, I start thinking about getting out all of my red, white, and blue décor. I see the colors in stores, and all of the projects I make seem to include them. This year I decided to make a small wreath for someone who is unable make her own, so I went to a nearby store that sells everything for a dollar and found just what I needed. It only cost me about $4 to make this DIY dollar store patriotic wreath, and she loves it.

Whether you need an inexpensive hostess gift for a party, or just want to refresh your summer holiday decorations, this project is just what you are looking for. An added bonus is that the store sells the same types of items for various holidays, so this wreath can be made for just about any occasion.

Let’s get started.

Supplies You Will Need

Easy DIY Dollar Store Patriotic Wreath Tutorial - createwithclaudia.com - #fourthofjuly #patriotic
  • 1 Floral Foam Ring – 10” diameter
  • 1 Patriotic Scarf – approximately 63” long
  • Bouquet of Red, White and Blue Silk Carnations, with one flower of each color pulled off of stem
  • 1 Triple Strand of Red, White and Blue Beads, separated into single 3 strands
  • Craft Glue
  • Glue Gun (Optional)*
  • Paper Towels

* Using a glue gun with this project makes it go more quickly, but if you do, use extreme caution and follow the manufacturer’s directions. Also, don’t use the glue gun for attaching the scarf to the foam. Glue guns and foam don’t always mix, and the foam can dissolve and emit harmful fumes. It’s best to do this project in a well ventilated area.

Cover the Ring

Easy DIY Dollar Store Patriotic Wreath Tutorial - createwithclaudia.com - #fourthofjuly #patriotic

Cover your work surface with paper towels or newspaper.

Remove any tags from the scarf and floral ring and fold the scarf in half lengthwise.

Apply a generous strip of glue, about 3” long to the back of the foam ring.

Place one edge of the short side of the folded scarf on the glue and press down. Let it sit for about 10 minutes so the glue begins to dry.

Next, wrap the scarf around the floral ring, making sure to cover all of it. The scarf should be long enough to cover the entire ring, and will end up just about where you glued on the first edge.

Using your glue gun, carefully add glue to the area where the scarf ends, making sure to glue it all down. Because the scarf is folded you will have to add some glue in between the layers. If you do not have a glue gun, you can also use craft glue. It just takes longer to dry.

Add Beads

Easy DIY Dollar Store Patriotic Wreath Tutorial - createwithclaudia.com - #fourthofjuly #patriotic

Then, take one strand of beads that has been cut so it doesn’t form a loop, and glue one end to the back of the wreath. I like to do this in the same place where the scarf is glued because there is already some glue there that you can use.

Carefully wrap the string of beads around the ring, about 3 to 4 times, depending on how long the string is. It should end close to where it started. Add some more glue to hold down beads. To ensure that the beads don’t slip, add a drop of glue at each point that the beads meet the ring on the back side. Let the project sit for about half an hour to allow the glue cool and set.

Add Flowers

Easy DIY Dollar Store Patriotic Wreath Tutorial - createwithclaudia.com - #fourthofjuly #patriotic

Flip the wreath over so the right sight is facing up.

Next, take the carnation that was pulled off of the stem and, if needed, trim a bit of the green plastic from the bottom of the flower. That will help it sit flush against the wreath.

Then, add a drop of glue to the bottom. Press the flower to the wreath and hold it for about 30 seconds to make sure it doesn’t fall off. Repeat with the other two carnations.

Add Hanger

Easy DIY Dollar Store Patriotic Wreath Tutorial - createwithclaudia.com - #fourthofjuly #patriotic

Lastly, it’s time to make the hanger. I like a shorter wreath hanger, so I cut my string of blue beads down to about 20” long. Apply a drop of glue to one end of the string and join it to the other end to form a loop. Without touching the hot glue, hold in place for about 30 seconds to let the glue cool a bit, then set aside to finish cooling.

Easy DIY Dollar Store Patriotic Wreath Tutorial - createwithclaudia.com - #fourthofjuly #patriotic

Once it has cooled down, add the hanger to the wreath. Lay the beads down on the table, then lay the wreath on top. Take the loop on top of the wreath, bring it over the front, and feed it through the loop on the table. Gently pull and you have a hanger.

Easy DIY Dollar Store Patriotic Wreath Tutorial - createwithclaudia.com - #fourthofjuly #patriotic

The only thing left that you have to do is decide where to hang it. So the next time you are feeling crafty and patriotic, but don’t want to break the bank, try making this easy dollar store patriotic wreath.

It’s always fun to decorate with patriotic colors. Here are some more festive ideas for your celebration.

Made entirely of upcycled items, this wreath brightens up any door.

Perfect for your left over scraps, this rustic wall hanging is easy to make.

Great for getting rid of all of that denim, this patriotic table runner will look good any time of the year.

Wooden Spool Craft Projects

Awesome Wooden Spool Craft Projects

Anyone who sews knows that they will eventually end up with an empty spool that gets tossed in the trash. Why not recycle them into some unique items instead? Here are 11 awesome wooden spool craft projects choose from.

Where to find spools

Today, spools are made out of plastic, but vintage wooden ones can still be found in flea markets or antique shops. Some of them still have their original labels or graphics on them, which adds another interesting design element. If you can’t find vintage spools, new ones are easily available.

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Vintage Wooden Spool and Bead Pendant Tutorial

Vintage Wooden Spool and Bead Pendant Jewelry Making Tutorial - createwithclaudia.com

In the area where I live is this terrific recycling store that sells all kinds of used items for artists. It’s a treasure trove for those of us who create things, and I always end up buying something. On my last visit, along with handfuls of buttons and beads, were a handful of vintage wooden spools that came home with me. I bought them on a whim and I didn’t have any particular project in mind, so I put them in a small dish and set them aside. It wasn’t until I was sorting through the beads, that the idea for this vintage wooden spool and bead pendant tutorial came to me.

As you can see, I made it in two different colors, and I just can’t decide which one I like best, the brown or the green one. Whenever I wear either pendant, I get compliments on it. It’s a unique and funky addition to my necklace collection that I will wear for years to come.

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