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

20+ Unique Household Items To Use For Appliqué Templates

20+ Unique Household Items To Use To Make Quilt Appliqué Templates - createwithclaudia - #quilting

I am the first to admit that I don’t use a lot of appliqué in my quilting. However, every once in a while, I will design a piece that includes some in it. The problem I have with this is that I am kind of frugal, and I don’t like to spend money on appliqué templates that I will only use one time. Additionally, the ones available for sale are not always what I am looking for. So I improvise, and in doing so, I’ve come up with 20+ unique household items to use for appliqué templates.

I’m always surprised at the things I can find. From cleanser containers to magnets, I’ve never had a problem finding the perfect shape. Of course, if you are following a particular pattern, then you are going to want to use the templates that are provided with the pattern. However, if you are coming up with your own appliqué design, your first stop ought to be in your house.

Like store bought templates, these items are suitable for any type of appliqué you will be doing.

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Worthy Places to Donate Quilts Locally

11 Worthy Places to Donate Quilts Locally - createwithclaudia - #quilting

One thing I have found over the years is that quilters are incredibly generous people. If you think about it, we don’t just donate a quilt, we donate the time, the money, and the love that went into making it. We give our creations to charities and they generate warmth, literally and figuratively, around the world. There are many deserving groups around the world that accept quilt donations. However, you may prefer to keep your gifts closer to home. Here are 11 worthy places to donate quilts locally.

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Creative Prompts for Quilt Inspiration

120 + Creative Prompts for Quilt Inspiration - createwithclaudia.com - #quilting

As quilters, we all get to a point where we just cannot seem to come up with any new ideas. It has happened to me many times, and it is extremely frustrating. Now that I write about quilting and crafts online full-time, it is important that I always have fresh ideas. If I don’t have something in the pipeline, I don’t have anything to write about. Because of this, I have come up with more than one hundred and twenty creative prompts for quilt inspiration that can help you get rid of your creator’s block.

Before I get to the list, here are some ways to remember your awesome ideas. I can’t count how many times I have come up with an idea, and then gotten home, only to realize that I completely forgot it.

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